September 2010 Archives
At the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Daniel Schwartz wrote a two-part piece about a Connecticut school superintendent who was forced to resign after making some lighthearted remarks on Facebook. The comment that appears to have gotten the superintendent in the most trouble was this one referring to a personnel matter:
(After the jump...)
There are plenty of good reasons that plaintiff's lawyers heart the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). It has a wide scope of coverage for employees with disabilities. It's remedial purposes are incredibly broad. A plaintiff can go directly to court with a claim under the NJLAD without vetting it with a state administrative agency first. A plaintiff can stay out of federal court where the odds of losing on an employment discrimination case on summary judgment are much higher than they are in state court.
As if the plaintiff's bar didn't need any further reasons to love the NJLAD.
Well, here's one more...
A few weeks ago, I came across an article by Terrence O'Brien on switched.com, "Facebook 'Subscribe to' Feature Lets You Follow Your Friend's Every Move."
Facebook is testing a new feature that lets you subscribe to a specific user's content. In practice, this means receiving a notification every time that user updates their status, posts a new photo, link, video or note, and Mashable aptly dubs it the 'Stalker Button.' Taken at face value, this would appear to be a direct answer to the ability to "follow" a user on Twitter...
after the jump...
Over at Texas Lawyer, Mike Maslanka has a short, but very important post about a recent case out of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
In Francisco v. Verizon South, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77083, the court sustained a plaintiff's motion to strike affirmative defenses that an employer-defendant raised because the defenses failed to meet the federal pleading standard enunciated by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombley and Ashcroft v. Iqbal. In all, the court struck ten affirmative defenses:
I remember about a month ago reading a post on Daniel Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog about a shooting involving a Connecticut employer. Actually, at the time, I only skimmed the article. Nine dead. Tragic event. But it happened several hundred miles away.
On September 9, in Northeast Philly, my backyard, an employee who claimed she was fed up with years of constant harassment from neighbors and co-workers, returned to work after her shift had ended clutching a .357 magnum. According to a news report from Philly.com, she pointed the gun at two unarmed security guards -- the employer had already taken some precautions against a potential episode of workplace violence -- and ordered them to the gate. After the guards allowed the armed employee to enter, she went to a break room where she found four employees. After ordering one to leave, the disgruntled employee opened fire on the other three. Two died at the scene. One is in critical condition
I offer five preventative solutions after the jump...
Note: This article has nothing to do with the Red Sox. Nothing at all. Just Massachusetts. And Massachusetts employment law at that. It's ok, though. Still worth a read IMHO. Good advice for my PA, NJ, and DE readers.
I was checking out Jay Shepherd's great employment blog Gruntled Employees -- get it? "gruntled" ... as in the opposite of disgruntled ... yeah, anyway -- and I came across a recent post about how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has adopted a new law requiring companies to notify employees about any potentially negative information added to their personnel files.
Hear me out. I'm on a roll with this...after the jump.
Your employee wears a head-covering. The employee's head-covering is part of her religious practice.
You're not one to interfere with an employee's religious expressions, but you're concerned that this head-covering creates a safety risk for both the employee and others. And maybe you run a prison and the head-covering could be used to smuggle in contraband.
After jump, I have some practice tips for you.
Quick! Name three people with dreadlocks.
Of the three, how many practice the Rastafarian religion?
How the hell does this relate to employment law..let alone a security job? Find out after the jump...
This is a labor and employment law blog. From time-to-time -- ok, a LOT -- I'll post about social media policies and employee use of social media. A juror making a Facebook post during a trial has nothing to do with labor and employment law. However, I'm a sucker for these stories. So you'll just have to suffer through it.
My blog designers told me that if I want to build SEO -- that's Search Engine Optimization to you rookies -- I'd better write about employment law issues affecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware (duh!) and "optimize" my blog post titles with the keywords near the front.
Learn more about which employees are covered after the jump.
In some cases, a plaintiff will argue as part of his Title VII discrimination action that his former employer didn't fire him. But rather he was constructively discharged. That's fancy speak for being forced to resign.
Robert Rank-And-File, an employee of Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc., claims that Sally Supervisor told him, "Sleep with me, or you're fired!" Robert declines Sally's advances only to have Sally fire him. If Robert decides to pursue an action under Title VII against Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc., how can he prevail at trial?
Look what just arrived in today's mail. It's a charge of discrimination from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Looks like Robert Rank-And-File -- the guy Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. fired from data entry -- alleges that the company terminated him because he's disabled.
I'll show you after the jump.
Can an employer terminate a disabled employee because accommodating the employee would create a significant risk of substantial harm to the employee or others in the workplace?
Ever been to a Gentlemen's Club?
(Wait for it...)
Me neither. But I hear that dancers tend to have a few physical characteristics in common. Or how about a Chinese restaurant? Ever notice that the employees are all...Chinese? Is that why my job applications always end up in the circular file?
Ladies and gentlemen. After the jump, may I present to you: the BFOQ.
The are two classes of plaintiffs who may assert claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Those who have a "disability"; and
- Those who not have a disability but who, nonetheless, are "regarded as" disabled by their employer.
Our old buddy Robert Rank-And-File from Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. is having problems at work again. This time, however, the culprit is not Sally Supervisor. It's Lisa Leadperson.
What is your company's potential exposure here? Find out after the jump.
Did you know that in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, under Title VII, an employer that fails to renew an employment contract or "at will" employment arrangement violates Title VII if the reasons for the employment action violate Title VII (e.g., are on the basis of a protected class)? It's true.
Wilkerson v. New Media Tech. Charter School, Inc., 522 F.3d 315, 320 (3d Cir. 2008).
As some of you know, I serve as a pro bono mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Even though I've only been at it for about year, I'm starting to see the same faces. Most of the attorneys know the EEOC-enforced discrimination laws like the back of their hand -- some even put me to shame. Others, not so much.
So, allow me to break those down for you after the jump.