I’ve attended quite a few HR and talent management-related conferences this spring, but the one that really got my brain going came wrapped up in the wonderfully warm, dry Arizona desert right before the heat of the summer kicks in.
Yes, it was in that marvelously pleasant environment that Littler Mendelson, the largest U.S. labor and employment law firm, had their annual Executive Employer Conference.
It was two days of panels, presentations, and discussions that were forthright and fascinating, and although the subjects might be different, the underlying message from all of them was basically the same:
There’s a lot of regulation and legislation coming out of Washington right now, and more to come, so you better be on your toes and ready to deal with it before it deals with you. Read more…
Employer liability for violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is no longer theoretical.
The EEOC has announced its first-ever GINA settlement. A large fabric distributor agreed to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to resolve alleged violations of GINA and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
What did the employer do wrong?
According to the EEOC, it erred when it asked an employee for her family medical history as part of its post-offer medical exam. The claimant was required to fill out a questionnaire that inquired whether she had any family history of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other conditions. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
When offering respect in the workplace training for employees and supervisors, I emphasize that an employee who laughs at sex jokes in the workplace is the same employee who may later sue for sexual harassment.
Like Little Ladner did.
(Yes, Little Ladner)
Ms. Ladner used to work for a nursing home in Mississippi. In her Complaint against her former employer, she alleged a kitchen sink of classic sexual harassment: Read more…
By David Hackett
“We get up at 12 and start to work at 1! Take an hour for lunch and then, at 2, we’re done! Jolly good fun!”
In the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy finally reaches the city of Oz she’s met by a happy bunch of residents who sing these lyrics. But working schedules in Oz are a far cry from reality where, instead of fewer hours, many are often asked to work extra hours.
The question this often leaves for employers is, “how and when should workers be paid for overtime?” Read more…
By Howard Mavity
It’s not our fault — it’s their fault.
I’m not talking about kindergarten playtime or its “adult” equivalent — politics.
Any time multiple employers are involved, labor and employment matters becomes much more complicated. The classic example is a construction site. OSHA refers to such settings as “multi-employer worksites.” Read more…
By Howard Mavity
When Jordan Barab famously admitted that OSHA was utilizing large penalties accompanied by harsh press releases to “motivate” employers to comply, I had mixed feelings.
Fear is a great motivator. Aggressive publication of legitimate noteworthy OSHA citations has a role in the “carrot and stick” process of safety enforcement. Moreover, I understand that the former OSHA Region IV Administrator first used the phrase, and frankly, I doubt that she misused the approach. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 223-204 to pass the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, which would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to permit employers to provide compensatory time off in lieu of monetary compensation for overtime hours worked.
Presently, through the Federal Employees Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules Act, only state and federal employees may receive comp time in lieu of overtime (OT). Read more…
The NLRB has had a ruling overturned by a federal appeals court — again.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, “Employers cannot be required to post a notice that tells their workers they have a right to join a union and bargain for better wages, a federal appeals court ruled in the latest setback for the National Labor Relations Board.”
According to the newspaper:
The (NLRB’s) so-called poster rule would have required more than 6 million private employers to post a one-page notice in a prominent place. Labor leaders hoped it would help stem the long decline in union membership in the private sector. Only about 7 percent of private-sector employees belong to unions. Read more…