Articles Posted in Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment

Telework is among the array of possible reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that may enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.

Now, as a federal appellate court confirmed last month, there are situations in which telework is not a reasonable accommodation; namely, where attendance and face time are essential functions of the job. But, other times, telecommuting may be just what the doctor ordered. Continue reading

Last year, I channelled Bill Clinton in this blog post about how courts rarely recognize a single incident or two as creating what the law deems a hostile work environment.

Yeah, about that.

Even a few isolated comments can create a hostile work environment.

In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleu Corp. (opinion here), the full panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that two aggressive racial slurs made to an employee within a 24-hour period, may create a hostile work environment. (Here, the plaintiff, who is African-American, was twice called a “porch monkey.” And, each time, the harasser threatened the plaintiff).

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Folks, let me give you a little free Friday HR pro tip:

If a female employee complains to a female manager that another male manager is sexually harassing her, it’s not ok to for the female manager to respond thusly,

“He’s a guy and you work with guys. Ignore it and smile.”

That’s bad. Worse than pooping on a warehouse floor. (Even worse with the music I selected)
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Did I ever tell you about the one in college we called “The Mad Pooper”? (Actually, we didn’t use the word “Pooper.” We used another word that better expressed our distaste for this individual).

It was during my freshman year of college. More often than not after a night of revelry and intoxication, which generally fell on a day that ended in “Y,”  a phantom defacator would infiltrate our co-ed bathrooms and leave a calling card — or, more accurately, a bowel movement — right in the middle of the floor.  Continue reading

Isn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act fun? Oh, right, it’s the federal employment law that y’all voted the one that keeps you up most at night. ADA garnered 30% of the votes in yesterday’s hella-lazy blog post of a poll. FMLA and FLSA tied for second with 23% 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 that the answer is a Swedish massage, scented candles, and a FourLokoTini you can’t. Continue reading

Ok. Let’s assume that I’m looking to fill another Blogprentice position here at the Bloggerdome.

[FYI – The Blogprentice’s job is to massage my scalp during those brief periods of writer’s block or when I get the vapors, rub my feet at all other times, plus whatever tasks, reasonable or unreasonable, I may assign from time to time. Job pays minimum wage. And, by that, I mean compliments. That is to say, part of the job is to compliment me. Another part is to make sure I’m using compliment correctly (instead of complement)].

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

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.

Cause, I mean, there’s proselytizing. And then there’s

PROSELYTIZING

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When I think about retaliation, I think about that time I plastic-wrapped the judicial toilets after losing a motion to compel an employee 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 EEOC, 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? Continue reading