Legal Issues

Legal Issues, Talent Management

Reducing Workplace Stress: Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA?

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By Eric B. Meyer

Isn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act fun?

Oh, right, it’s the federal employment law that y’all voted that keeps you up most at night. ADA garnered 30 percent of the votes in yesterday’s blog post of a poll. The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) and FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) tied for second with 23 percent of the vote each.

So, how about today’s puzzler? How the heck do you reduce workplace stress to reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability. Well, in many cases, I’m pretty sure the answer is you can’t. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

When Might It Be Discriminatory to Fire a Medical Marijuana User?

Medical marijuana

By Eric B. Meyer

OK, let’s assume that I’m looking to fill another Blogprentice position.

All hires must then pass a background check and drug screen.

She’s killing it in the interview! She’s hired.

Then comes the drug test, which she fails due to the medicinal marijuana she tells me she’s taking because of her epilepsy. So, I rescind the offer. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court Won’t Give Legal Relief From NLRB’s “Quickie” Election Rule

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By Nelson D. Cary and George Stevens

Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board won its first courtroom victory in connection with its “ambush” or “quickie” election rule, which went into effect earlier this month.

It was not, however, in one of the two cases that have been pending for some time, and that we have previously discussed.

Instead, the NLRB’s victory came in a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. In this new case, the employer and three of its employees sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the NLRB from applying the provisions of the new rule to an election petition filed by the United Construction Workers Union the same day that the new rule took effect. Read more…

Legal Issues

My Religion or My Job: Yes, This May be a Hostile Workplace Environment

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By Eric B. Meyer

It’s not that often that you come across a case where an employee alleges a hostile work environment based on religion. Sex? Sure. Race? Yep. But religion? Not so much.

Yet, when your employees are faced with the choice “My religion or my job,” it’s time to call the lawyers. Read more…

Legal Issues

Believe It or Not, NLRB Protects Foul Facebook Attack on Supervisor

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By Nelson Cary

Consider this employee’s Facebook post:

Bob is such a NASTY MOTHERF___ER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! F__k his mother and his entire f__king family!!!! What a LOSER!!!! Vote YES for the UNION!!!!!!!

In this case, “Bob” was the employee’s supervisor. The employee (a banquet server) published the post at least 5-10 minutes after the supervisor had instructed him to “spread out” – i.e., move away from other banquet servers – while he was serving a banquet function. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Protected Workplace Conduct Is “As Simple as Telling a Supervisor to Stop.”

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By Eric B. Meyer

When I think about retaliation, I think about who gets fired after complaining about discrimination to an HR Manager or the EEOC.

These actions epitomize the “opposition” and the “participation” clauses of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal anti-discrimination statute.

By what about when an employee doesn’t go to HR, doesn’t complain to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but, instead, simply tells a supervisor to stop sexually harassing her? If that employee is later fired, and she can establish that she was fired because she told her supervisor to stop, is that a winning retaliation claim? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: LinkedIn Isn’t an Agency When It Comes to Background Screening

LinkedIN

LinkedIn is off the hook.

A California district court has dismissed a class action lawsuit filed against the business networking site (the full decision in Sweet v. LinkedIn Corporation can be found here).

The popular social network was sued last year by job seekers who claimed that LinkedIn’s Reference Searches cost them jobs. The theory of the case was that LinkedIn should be treated like other background screening companies — a theory that was successful against another website, Spokeo. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: Sexual Stereotyping Is Really Sexual Discrimination

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By Eric B. Meyer

Last September, for the first time ever, the EEOC sued two private employers for discriminating against employees who had transitioned from one gender to another.

One of those cases settled last week for $150K.

Yesterday, the other action survived the employer’s motion to dismiss the case. Read more…

Legal Issues

For Handling Employee Disabilities, Take the Burger King Approach

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By Eric B. Meyer

ADA and Burger King?!? Has someone been eating too many Whoppers?

Actually, the inspiration for this post comes from Seattle attorney Michael Harrington, who presented The Wild, the Weird and the Wonderful FMLA/ADAAA Cases…And the Lessons for Employers! with me yesterday at the 2015 Employer Compliance Conference in Washington, D.C..

(If you want a copy of our PPT, please email me. I got you.) Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Georgia Legalizes Medical Marijuana Without Employment Protections

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By Dale L. Deitchler

With the enactment of “Haleigh’s Hope Act” last week, Georgia became the 26th jurisdiction to decriminalize medical marijuana use.

The Act, which became effectively immediately upon signature by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, legalizes such use under Georgia law in connection with nine specified medical conditions, including end-stage cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s, and sickle cell disease. Read more…