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

Raise your hand if you don’t own a smartphone.

According to this Pew survey, 64% of American adults own smartphones. And that’s just the adults.

So, it should come as no surprise that, in the brief amount of time it takes someone to pull a phone of a pocket, bring it to life, pull up a camera app, and hit record — five seconds maybe — anything you (or your employees) do in public can be stored and shared. Continue reading

Y’all enjoy yesterday’s Thursday Giveaway. (Y’all, huh. Look at me. You can take the boy out of Texas, but…). Anyway, if you missed out on getting a copy of that background check PowerPoint and webinar, just send me 1.21 gigawatts, Libyan-grade plutonium, and a selfie stick email me and I’ll still hook you up.

Now, let’s talk about notice under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Specifically, in those situations in which an employee doesn’t use the letters F-M-L-A, what can that employee say or do to still qualify for leave? Continue reading

If you are a Philadelphia employer, check out my post from February and this poster. While the new law requires employers of 10 or more to provide paid sick leave, those with 9 or few employees must still provide unpaid sick leave. If you haven’t done so already, update your employee handbooks.

For the rest of you (and, I suppose, my Philadelphia employer readers too), the results of yesterday’s Facebook poll are in…and not all that surprising.

71% of those who responded would fire an employee who identifies herself on Facebook as one of your employees and, in a status update, praises the murder of two police officers. Others would either discipline/counsel the employee (21%), or do nothing to the employee (4%). One of you would consult the company’s social media policy before taking action. Another one of you would discuss with the employee first and then decide what to do.

And one more of you would “Put her on a one-way flight to Itan or Notth Korea.”

It’s even better with the misspellings. In fact, I’m just going to leave that there and walk away from the computer now.


Over the weekend, while enjoying my tea and krumpets twenty minutes alone in the bathroom free from four screaming kids, I read this story in U.K.’s Daily Mail about a Facebook post from a fast-food chain employee. Shortly after news hit about two police officers gettign shot and killed, she wrote: ‘2 police officers was [sic] shot in hattiesburg [sic] tonight.! [sic].’ The same post include a few emoji (among them, a smiley face and a skull), followed by ‘GOT EM’ and a gun pointed at the words. In a subsequent Facebook post, the employee added, “we can turn this bxtch [sic] into Baltimore real quick.’ 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).

Continue reading

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)
Continue reading

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