Sure, I could have used today’s post to address yesterday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision about EEOC conciliation efforts.

But this is The Employer Handbook. It’s not like I just got the call up to the major leagues.

By now, my blog game is hella-strong, yo! I troll sites like TMZ and Deadspin for fodder. And when I see stories like Samar Kalef’s “Rockets’ Twitter Guy Fired Over Emoji Violence, well, like a moth to a flame. 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


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With four years of blogging under my belt, I have a pretty good sense of what may audience comes to expect from this labor and employment law blog:

  • typos
  • grammar errors
  • snark
  • “where does Eric find this stuff” posts

For today’s post, I don’t have enough hats to tip to the many readers who emailed me about this hella-crazy FMLA retaliation complaint. Continue reading

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


ADA and Burger King?!? Has someone been eating too many Whoppers? No. But I did spend a 20 minute Uber ride yesterday sucking down mustard packets.

Actually, the inspiration for this post comes from Seattle Attorney, Michael Harrington, who presented “The Wild, the Weird and the Wonderful FMLA/ADAAA Cases…And the Lessons for Employers!” with me yesterday at the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) FMLA/ADAAA Employer Compliance Conference.

(If you want a copy of our PPT, please email me. I got you.)

During the takeaways from our presentation, I went with the tried-and-true, educate your employees about the procedures for requesting FMLA/ADA accommodations, and train your managers how to spot these requests, especially where the letters FMLA or ADA are not used.

But, Mike, who killed it yesterday during our presentation — the Penn to my Teller, the Bart to Milhouse — made it real simple. He suggested that companies train managers who deal with ADA requests to think about Burger King’s old slogan, “Have it your way.”

In other words, adopt a customer service mindset. By asking an employee what the company can do to accommodate a disability, the manager immediately helps promote the goals of the ADA: a good faith interactive dialogue designed to accommodate an employee with a disability to allow that employee to perform the essential functions of the job — unless doing so would create undue hardship for the employer.

So, next time an employee requests an accommodation, extra pickles, hold the tomato, and, “have it your way.”

(Unless there is another reasonable accommodation available or the accommodation would create undue hardship. But, you get the idea).

I can’t blame you if last month’s decision from the National Labor Relations Board, left you asking the question: “Are there no limits to what employees can get away with on social media?” The Board decision, in case you missed it, reinstated an employee who went on Facebook and called his boss a “NASTY MOTHER F*&KER”  and, then added, “F*&k his mother and his entire f*&king family!!!!”

So, yeah, I’ll admit it. The Board’s decision leaves me wondering how far an employee can go when discussing the terms and conditions of employment.

Still, I’m here to reaffirm that there are limits. Indeed, when an employee uses social media to discuss matters unrelated to the workplace, there’s probably no protection available.

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Three highlights of my weekend:

  1. This sword-balloon fight at dinner on Saturday.
  2. Eagles sign Tim Tebow. Because, what could possibly go wrong by reuniting this with this in Philadelphia?
  3. Catching up on the pilot of the new FX show, The Comedians. I’m all in.

Honorable mention — ok, better than the balloon fight and the Tebow signing, but not quite #3 — was catching up with the latest edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival, which my friends at CPEhr’s Small Biz HR Blog hosted this month.

I love the #ELBC. Well, I did invent it. But, besides that, it’s a great collection of the latest from employment-law bloggers from around the country. This month’s edition includes posts on FMLA eligibility, a nice recap of Young v. UPS, medical marijuana, and your workplace kitchen. So, be sure to check it out.

More eagerly anticipated that the premiere of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, yesterday, the EEOC released its new proposed rules on wellness programs.

Although, based on the Paul Blart reviews, hemorrhoids too may be more eagerly anticipated. No strikethrough on the last sentence. Weird.

But, if you want to have an employee wellness program that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, here are five things the EEOC wants you to do…  Continue reading