Legal Issues

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: No 1st Amendment Protection For Teacher Trash-Talking Online

Natalie Munroe

By Eric B. Meyer

Do you remember Natalie Munroe?

She’s the teacher who enjoyed a cup of coffee in the spotlight a few years ago after getting suspended for bashing her students on her personal blog.

Among other things, she described her students as argumentative f*cks who may engage in Columbine-style shootings.

Out of all this, back in June of 2012, she sued her employer, alleging that her employer deprived her of First Amendment constitutional rights. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Supervisor-Subordinate Romance Isn’t Necessarily Discrimination

Office romance

By Eric B. Meyer

Over the weekend, I read this case (Clark v. Cache Valley Electric Co.) in which a male plaintiff alleged discrimination because his supervisor was allegedly schtupping a female subordinate and treating her better.

(The court said “voluntary romantic affiliation,” but why say in three words, what you can say in one?)

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that, in exchange for putting out, his female co-worker received better job assignments, bonuses, and other working conditions. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues, Webinars

TLNT Webinar – EEO Compliance: How to Avoid Discrimination in the Workplace

Most employers are well aware that they must prevent discrimination in the workplace, yet, within the past 5 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received the highest number of charges of discrimination and retaliation in its 50+ year history.

From an employer’s perspective, settlement costs to resolve an EEOC claim fade in the face of additional, often unrecorded, costs to the employer’s organization, such as the potential loss of employee morale or the employer’s reputation. This webinar will show you how to avoid these costs by teaching you:

  • What qualifies as discrimination under the EEOC
  • Which laws are enforced by the EEOC
  • How to stay in compliance with those laws
  • What an employer’s obligations are, including EEOC posting requirements
  • And more

Attend this webinar to learn the strategies needed to prevent EEOC claims and protect your organization from lawsuits and fines

Date/Time of Webinar: August 19 2014 at 2:00 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific

Registration Link: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/wozdirtjzmme&eom

Sponsor: PosterTracker

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

President’s Order Bans Discrimination Against LBGT Employees

Obama

President Obama signed an Executive Order Monday banning discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors.

Last month, I blogged here that the White House had announced that it intended to eventually ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors through Executive Order because the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), did not make it through Congress.

Since that time, several gay-rights groups withdrew their support for ENDA, fearing that it afforded “religiously affiliated organizations … a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

What Is an Intern? The Labor Dept. Lists the 6 Factors That Define One

internships

By John E. Thompson

We wrote some time ago about a lower federal court’s determination in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures that at least two unpaid interns were “employees” for federal Fair Labor Standards Act purposes.

This ruling is now being reviewed by the New York-based Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over Connecticut, New York, and Vermont). The U.S. Department of Labor has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in which it supports the lower court’s decision.

The Labor Department’s filing provides some interesting insight into its views about when an intern is an “employee” for purposes of the FLSA’s requirements. Read more…

Global HR, Legal Issues, Recruiting and Staffing

How to Handle Independent Contractors for Global Organizations

123RF Stock Photo

By Annie Lau

As the global market grows seemingly smaller, more and more companies are expanding their reach around the world.

Some companies send U.S. employees overseas, while others hire locally, or even utilize local independent contractors. As in the United States, companies must be mindful of the risks involved when hiring independent contractors in their international operations.

While different countries have different levels of scrutiny when it comes to determining who is an independent contractor and who is an employee, many of the principles remain the same. The main questions deal with the company’s control over the person’s work. Read more…

Legal Issues

Ban the Box Has Turned Into a Big Employer Problem

Ban the box

Ban the box has gone viral.

And while the removal of this little check box has potentially made life easier for job seekers with a criminal past, it has created much confusion and frustration for employers.

If you haven’t been in the loop, “ban the box” is the catchy phrase that refers to removal of the check box on a job application asking whether a candidate has been convicted of a crime. Ban the box shows no signs of slowing down, and it’s creating new headaches, not to mention real risks, for employers across the country. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Split EEOC Issues New Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

From istockphoto.com

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues, despite reservations expressed by some EEOC Commissioners.

In general, the five-part guidance explains Title VII‘s prohibition against pregnancy discrimination, describes individuals to whom the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) applies, discusses the expanded definition of “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it applies to pregnancy-related impairments, and sets forth examples of best practices and reasonable accommodations.

The guidance was approved by a 3-2 vote along party lines, with Commissioners Constance Barker and Victoria Lipnic voting against it. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Supreme Court Will Hear Case on Pregnancy Accommodation at Work

Photo by istockphoto.com

By Steven E. Kaplan

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Young v. UPS, a decision that will determine whether and to what extent an employer must provide pregnant employees with work accommodations, such as light duty, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

On Jan. 9, 2013, the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, VA., upheld the district court ruling in Young that:

  1. The employer did not “regard” a pregnant employee as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and, Read more…
HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

How Off the Clock Use of Social Media Can Still Impact Your Workplace

From istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Last month I was speaking about social media and the workplace to a fabulous audience at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando. (Email me if you want a copy of my slide deck).

One of my session themes was that there is no such thing as employees using social media “off the clock.” That is, even if an individual tweets or updates her Facebook status outside of the four walls of the workplace, that communication can still impact the workplace.

Dan Davis at IBM’s Social Business Insights blog recently wrote about this, and another Twitter user described it as the “24/7 social media conundrum” Two recent incidents described below bear this out. Read more…