Eric B. Meyer

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .

Articles by Eric B. Meyer

HR News & Trends, Talent Management

Think That an Employee Might Be Faking Sick? Check on Social Media

Photo by Dreamstime

By Eric B. Meyer

It’s that time of year again — open enrollment, flu shots, and CareerBuilder.com’s annual list of the most creative excuses for missing work.

But before I get to that, how about some missed-work statistics based on responses from 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 3,103 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government), from a survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from ­­Aug. 11 to Sept. 5, 2014:

  • 28 percent of employees have called in to work sick when they were actually feeling well; Read more…
HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Do Fingers With Frostbite Constitute a Disability Under the ADA?

ADA

By Eric B. Meyer

Let’s talk about what it means to have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act.

In Wilson v. Iron Tiger Logistics, the plaintiff, a truck driver, developed frostbite on a bunch of fingers while performing maintenance on his truck in Canada in -25 degree weather.

That’s dedication to your work! Although, speaking of dedication and cold weather, I think of those smokers who stand 21 feet away from our office in the dead of winter — not -25 degrees, but still pretty frickin’ cold — holding that cigarette to their lips. Now, that is some serious dedication. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Employer Wants to “Bring Color” to Workplace, Gets Lawsuit Instead

ENDA discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Let’s get one thing clear. Anyone can be a victim of discrimination. And when it comes to race, we’re talking black, white, brown, whatever.

And in this instance, it added up to a $620,000 jury verdict and nearly $165,000 in attorney’s fees.

Case in point, in Boneberger v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Mr. Boneberger, who is white, claimed reverse-race discrimination because his employer failed to transfer him to the position of Assistant Director of the St. Louis Police Academy. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is It Legal For the EEOC to Send 1,330 Emails to Your Employees?

eeoc

By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating Case New Holland, Inc. for age discrimination, or so a complaint that Case New Holland recently filed in federal court alleges.

So, how is this news?

Apparently, the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to Case New Holland email addresses trolling for potential class-action plaintiffs — or so the Case New Holland complaint alleges. And by sending those emails, the EEOC violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution — or so Case New Holland alleges.

Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why You Need to Be Careful Emailing Employees FMLA Paperwork

FMLA_poster

By. Eric B. Meyer

Remember, over the summer, when I wrote about how sending Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork to an employee via first class mail is a big mistake.

Why? Because if the employee claims not to have received the paperwork, then you have no proof of delivery, and possible FMLA interference issues if the employee is somehow precluded from taking FMLA leave.

So, I offered three alternatives: Read more…

Legal Issues

The One Thing HR Can’t Do If An Employee Reports a Noose

Photo by istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

One employer appears to have screwed up royally, which seems to be part of a trend this week.

Yes, there are several things you don’t want to do if an employee reports a noose in the workplace, among them:

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

It May Not Be Good to Ask Entry Level Workers to Sign Non-Competes

Jimmy-Johns-Circle-Sign

By Eric B. Meyer

My Facebook and Twitter feeds were blowing up yesterday with links to articles at NYTimes.com, The Huffington Post, and Jezebel about how the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain supposedly makes its sandwich makers and delivery drivers sign non-competition agreements.

These agreements purport to preclude employees from working for certain nearby competitors for two years after their employment with Jimmy John’s ends.

I’m not going to comment specifically on Jimmy John’s and its purported practice other than to say that I work in Philadelphia and it would be sacrilege to let a “sub sandwich” pass between these lips. But, I do have a few general pointers from employers about restrictive covenants. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is It Discrimination If You Get Fired For Bringing a Gun to Work?

No guns firearms sign

By Eric B. Meyer

Getting fired for bringing a gun to work probably isn’t discrimination. But hey, what do you have to lose by filing the lawsuit anyway, right?

So, I was reading this opinion (Dipigney v. AutoZoners, LLC) from a New Hampshire federal court about an employee who claimed that his firing was discrimination.

Except, the thing is, a customer noticed that the employee was carrying a gun at work — his work being an auto parts store. So, the company investigates. The employee admits to HR that he had a gun at work.

The company has a policy against carrying firearms at work. So, the employee gets fired. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court Foils the Age Discrimination Claims of “Superman”

Superman Man of Steel superhero

By Eric B. Meyer

General Zod is not impressed.

Carlyn Johnson was diligent and hard-working. As a security guard, he had a reputation of never refusing an extra shift. Indeed, his  dependability earned him the nickname, “Superman.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Johnson’s willingness to work, a field service manager expressed concern about Johnson’s ability to work long hours. This field service manager told both Johnson and Johnson’s wife that Johnson was “too old” to be working and it was “time to hang up [Johnson's] Superman cape and retire.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Warns That a Duty to Accommodate May Extend After Childbirth

Photo by istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Seems one employer may not have received the memo. Now, the EEOC is taking aim.

Over the summer, the EEOC issued new guidance on accommodating pregnant employees. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn’t require reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees. That is, unless you accommodate other employees who are not considered to have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In that case, you need to do the same for pregnant employees.

Got it? If not, Jeff Nowak has a good discussion here, focusing on light duty accommodations for pregnant employees. Read more…