Kinda like this, but different.

According to a recent survey from, 1 out of 5 employers failed to read my 2011 blog post about interview questions to avoid, have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.

Indeed, the poll indicates that only 1 in 3 hiring managers recognized that questions, such as the ones listed below, should be off-limits:

If you’re in a rush, I’ll hit you with the punchline and save you the trouble of reading 1,000+ words of blog post:

Telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, except where regular attendance is an essential function of the job.

For those of you with a few minutes to spare, today’s post springs from a case, a saga really, involving the the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ford Motor Company. And since I have a few good employer takeaways at the end — hey, don’t skip all the way through! — today’s post is worth the time. Continue reading

Exactly one month ago, I addressed what many consider to be the elephant in the room when it comes to transgender employees: bathroom use.

On Wednesday, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum fired off a series of tweets (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) to lawyers representing employers and employees. Below (and here) is the one she sent to my side of the bar:

Let’s start this post off with a disclaimer:

People! I’m just a man; not a god.

I’m going to address travel time under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Many of you folks live in crazy states, like New York and its crappy basketball team, which is even worse than the Sixers. I didn’t know that was possible, that have more lenient state versions of the Act. I’m not giving any advice about state laws or local laws. Heck, I’m not giving any legal advice at all. The blog’s general disclaimer applies with equal force to this post.

Now, let’s get to it… Continue reading

Where do I find these cases, you ask? Well, I sold my soul, and a stack of Billy Ripken baseball cards, to the devil a long time ago. I ain’t telling.

But seriously, this case isn’t so much about the particular facts…

  • White employee tosses banana peels at work
  • Black employees complain of racism
  • Investigation ensues
  • White employee is forced to resign

…as it is about making sure that all involved know why an employee is being fired, and can articulate those reasons consistently. Continue reading

Oh, that collective sigh of relief of not receiving a daily email update yesterday from The Employer Handbook. (Yes, you can sign up to receive daily email alerts to my blog).

Folks, I’m sorry. Monday, I was a deadbeat; I didn’t pay my MailChimp bill. So, if you rely upon email to receive my daily blog posts, you missed out Monday on what was probably the post of the year definitely the post of the day.

But, today, I’m all paid up and back in MailChimp’s good graces. They even sent me a my own personal mailchimp. I named him Buddy.

Now where did I put my pills?

Ok, moving on… Continue reading

Happy Monday, everyone.

Glad to see I didn’t break some of your content filters on Friday with my filthy NLRB post. But, hey, just another day in the interesting life of an employment lawyer / HR professional, amirite?

Today, I bring you a very simple lesson, courtesy of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, from right here in my backyard. That lesson is this:

When you terminate an employee, do not write “Health Reasons” on the employee’s termination form. Continue reading

[WARNING: This post has some VERY foul language. Although the National Labor Relations Board may tolerate it, many of you may be offended].


By now, all of us have read the articles, which claim that the law permits your employees to complain about work on social media … and keep their jobs.

Well, that’s not exactly true. The National Labor Relations Act, which applies to most private-sector workplaces — both union and non-union — protects employees who engage in protected concerted activity. Protected concerted activity is where employees discuss working conditions with one another.

But, an employee who gripes alone is not protected. Also, vulgar and obscene comments are not protected.

Until now. Continue reading

Your company has set up a private LinkedIn Group. Your company, which controls who may become a member of the Group, has seen the number of Group members swell to nearly 700. Way to go! Because it’s a private group, the names of all of the group members are not generally available to the public.

Now, let’s say that the employee whom you have appointed to manage the LinkedIn Group — the one who knows all the passwords — up and leaves. And, of course, he doesn’t return the passwords. What can you do?

How about a lawsuit for misappropriation of trade secrets? Continue reading


One of the great things about having my own blog is the ability to share and engage with my readers in a number of relatable ways. Mostly, it’s through a casual — some may say snarky — discussion of trending legal issues affecting the workplace.

But, every once in while, I like that we can take a different path together and share personal stories. Whether fueled with joy or sorrow, these “off-topic” posts are what make this forum special.

Today, I want to share with you an update on a special little boy: Shane Metzgar.