Got a busted bracket in your HR Department’s NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket pool?

Oh, riiiiiiiiiight. What bracket pool? I must be talking about that other company, the one with low-flow poop-stained toilets and the non-conforming employee handbook. #realtalk

Well, according to this survey, 1 in 7 US workers planned to fill out a bracket in an NCAA Tourney office pool. Most likely to participate would be the folks in IT (40%), with senior management 50% more likely to participate than entry-level employees. Continue reading

Before I get to a 1752-word blog post about the National Labor Relations Board going wee-wee all over your workplace Cheerios with this March 18 report from General Counsel Griffin, replete with examples of how your employee handbook is overly broad and violates the National Labor Relations Act, let me do two things:

  1. Shout out to employment lawyer and blogger Robin Shea and her fantastic job with the April Fools Edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival. Word!
  2. The follow-up podcast I recorded with Casey Sipe and Jessica Miller-Merrell from on the FMLA/ADA/WC questions we couldn’t get to during out hour-long webinar is now available. Email me if you’d like a copy.

So, about that report… Continue reading

Well, I think we can all agree that, when an employee’s protected class motivates a company to transfer him to a less desirable position, it’s time to call the lawyers and break out the checkbook.

But, what makes a transfer position less desirable?

Yesterday, I was reading this Sixth Circuit opinion about a hospital employee, who was undoubtedly suffering from a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, for several years, despite what the court described as “significant cognitive and physical impairments,” this plaintiff performed well as a housekeeper. Eventually, however, the hospital transferred the plaintiff to a different housekeeping role, one which he had trouble performing. Indeed, it was his poor performance in this new position that led the hospital to terminate his employment. Continue reading

And the Czech judge scored my lede a 4.3. Well, the second she starts paying my legal bills, maybe, I’ll give a damn. Until then…

What was I talking about? Oh yes, religious discrimination.

Over the weekend, I read this PA federal court opinion about an atheist who claimed that his boss proselytized to him about religion, even forcing him to wear a badge, which bore the company’s mission statement: “This company is not only a business, it is a ministry. It is set on standards that are higher than man’s own. Our goal is to run this company in a way most pleasing to the lord [sic]….”  The atheist claims that he covered up the mission statement with duct tape and, when he refused to remove the tape, the company fired him.

The Court, which initially put the kibosh on the plaintiff’s religious bias, reconsidered and allowed the plaintiff’s claims to survive a motion to dismiss. Continue reading

So…how many of you slept well after last night’s The Walking Dead? Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

Instead, what I do have is this link to a great post from my blogging buddy, Sharlyn Lauby a/k/a the HR Bartender. With a little help from this dude, Sharlyn’s post hits on, well, you read the lede: HR mistakes and how to address them.

Head on over to and check it out.

So did you hear the one about the prison guard who, for four years, didn’t tell his employer about his other job? The one where he served as a biker gang “enforcer.” And his biker gang nickname? Hit Man. The biker gang enforcer, who was also guarding prisoners, was known as Hit Man.

How do you think that went over at the old hoosegow? Not so good.

David Stephanides at Wolters Kluwer’s Employment Law Daily has the full scoop here. Apparently, Hit Man’s grievance didn’t go over so well either.


I’m a bit late to the party with this one. But, for those who haven’t read about it elsewhere. Voila!

The plaintiff originally taught at the high school, during which she informed her employer about her pedophobia, a debilitating fear of young children. Some time later, the plaintiff was transferred to the middle school, which was ok because she only feared elementary school kids, and not middle schoolers. The plaintiff taught middle school for six months, but, then she asked for a transfer back to the high school, saying that her talents were “underutilized” at the middle school and that another year there would be bad for her health. The school district informed the plaintiff that there were no openings, but would keep her request on file. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff retired.

She then sued the school district for age discrimination, disability discrimination, hostile work environment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract. Continue reading

Not exactly a happy workplace trinity, but it’s what fuels The Employer Handbook. That and Jolt-Cola Bombs.

The plaintiff  in this case claimed that she was sexually harassed by her male supervisor for over a year. The court’s opinion details alleged comments and groping in vivid detail.  (No recap here. I plan to keep my post PG, damn it! Ok, PG-13. You happy, now?). Whenever the plaintiff supposedly complained, her employer did nothing about the harassment.

So, finally, she decked him one.

That got the employer to take notice. Indeed, it determined that the plaintiff had been sexually harassed and it fired her harasser. Then, the company also fired the plaintiff.
Continue reading

On my speaking boondoggles around the country, what’s the biggest issue I hear from HR professionals involving transgender employees?

Yep, it’s the use of the bathroom.

Folks, it’s not that complicated. But, I’ll get to that in a sec. First, with a tip of the hat to Joshua Block (@JoshACLU), over the weekend, I read this tweet, which links to this story from Jessica Shepherd (@JessShepSaginaw), about a Planet Fitness location in Michigan that received a complaint from a female gym member. This woman complained to the gym about a transgender woman (assigned male at birth; identifies as female) in the woman’s locker room. She then told other gym members that “a man” was using the woman’s locker room.

So Planet Fitness responded. Continue reading

My new blogging platform and email newsletter have their advantages, especially the newsletter.

For example, when a daily post goes out to my blog email subscribers (and, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that here), one of the analytics I can track is the most-clicked hyperlinks. Welp, in last week’s “Heil Hitler” post, the most popular links were the two that were marked NSFW. That means NOT SAFE FOR WORK. To put this into better perspective, there were three times as many clicks on the NSFW links as there were to the link to the Fifth Circuit opinion I address. Although my analytics don’t literally say it, I will: you guys are hella-twisted.

But, hella-twisted or not, you’re still the best readers on the planet.

Hey, maybe we can just blame those clicks on the plaintiffs’ lawyers who read this blog. (Don’t worry. I love you too. Just not nearly as much). But, I’ll tell you what. One of ’em came through big time by forwarding me a copy of this opinion, which is a great juxtaposition *** Googles “juxtaposition” — nailed it! *** to what I wrote last week about how no reasonable person would construe a single “Heil Hitler” comment from a manager as creating a hostile work environment. Continue reading