unocards.JPGWhy, just the other night, I playing my 5-year-old son in a friendly game of Uno.

Well, it was friendly-ish in a cutthroat sorta way. At least, that’s what the look on his tear-stained face suggested to me when I mouthed “Uno,” shimmied, and spiked my final card to win my fourth game in a row.

Now, some would say that I took it a bit too far when I collected his tears, and then painted them on my face to mock his crying. 

But those people are soft.

In Uno, I talk the talk and walk the walk.

The same could be said for employment-law webinars. And it’s not that I view “Hair, Holidays and Hijabs: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace,” a webinar that I am co-presenting for BNA today at 2:00 PM EDT, as a competition. 

But, I’m going to really need to raise my game today carry my weight with my co-presenter.

Oh you didn’t know? I have the honor and privilege of co-presenting on religious discrimination with P. David Lopez, EEOC General Counsel.

Not to worry though; I have a few aces up my sleeve — provided that I remember to wear sleeves, which has been a struggle recently.

But seriously, you could a lot worse than David and me for 90 minutes on a really hot workplace issue like religious discrimination and accommodations. There is still time to register (

Fact or Fiction?That’s right folks. It’s time for another edition of “Fact or Fiction” a/k/a “Quick Answers to Quick Questions” a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a “I don’t feel like writing a long blog post.”

Peep this ADA failure-to-accommodate case. Plaintiff is disabled and requests light duty. However, the evidence presented showed that there were no light duty positions available and the plaintiff presented no evidence to the contrary.

In denying the plaintiff’s ADA claim, the court underscored that it’s the plaintiff’s burden to show that a requested reasonable accommodation exists and is available. Otherwise, my friends, if it’s not available, then it’s not reasonable.

The answer to today’s QATQQ is fiction.

Because all the other blogs will say “paramour” or “lover”  in the lede, and I need to remain relevant (or “down,” if you will) with my more trendy readers.

Over the weekend, I read this case in which a male plaintiff alleged discrimination because his supervisor was allegedly schtupping a female subordinate and treating her better.

(The court said “voluntary romantic affiliation,” but why say in three words, what you can say in one).

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that, in exchange for putting out, his female co-worker received better job assignments, bonuses, and other working conditions.

[Tell that to Lana Del Rey. (Sigh!)]

Well, the fatal flaw in the plaintiff’s argument, as the court pointed out, is that favoring one female subordinate over one man…and the rest of the workforce (both male and female), because the female subordinate is getting jiggy with it, may not be fair, but it’s not discrimination either:

“Mr. Clark presented no evidence that Cache Valley treated women more favorably than men, and no circumstances giving rise to an inference of discrimination. Indeed, as the district court concluded, Mr. Clark merely provided evidence that Mr. Perschon extended preferential treatment to one female employee: Ms. Silver, a co-worker with whom Mr. Perschon allegedly was having an affair or some other form of “improper” relationship. Favoritism of a paramour is not gender discrimination.”

So, while running a workplace where supervisors and direct reports engage in consensual romantic relationships may not be the gold standard (e.g., perception of unfair treatment during the relationship, and the fallout when/if the two break up), “preferential treatment on the basis of a consensual romantic relationship between a supervisor and an employee is not gender-based discrimination.”

Neither is “friendship” or “cronyism.” 

In other words, go ahead and treat the jerks like jerks because they are jerks and don’t worry about violating the law.

Thumbnail image for eeoclogo.pngJust in case you thought that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission uses a soft touch towards any business that may discriminate — let alone a charity.

Earlier this week, the EEOC announced here that Goodwill Industries will pay $100,000 to settle a long-standing retaliation lawsuit.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Goodwill retaliated against a worker by firing her after she testified on behalf of another Goodwill employee in a previous federal sex and age discrimination lawsuit.

Ladies and Gentlemen: This EEOC does not mess around!

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Back when I was a young aspiring blogger — as opposed to the blog king I am now — I asked my audience (here) for some feedback to improve this jawn.

Well, you gave it, I improved it, and I’ve been turning down multi-million dollar offers to sell this piece ever since.

I won’t sell out — yes, I will — because I love you all and no one could handle The Employer Handbook with the grace and dignity it deserves.

***scratches butt ***

Could we use some find tuning? 

Probably not. But, I’m sure you folks have some good ideas to improve the blog. Maybe TMI is an issue, I dunno.

So, holler at me in the comments below or via email.

Thank you!