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Ok, to be fair, the Pregnancy Discrimination Amendment Act (here), isn’t exactly the most progressive piece of legislation. Kinda like putting provolone on a cheesesteak; no Cheez Whiz here. Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the PDAA yesterday to clear up the confusion arising from the Supreme Court’s opinion in Young v. UPS. Continue reading

Wow! I thought I’d seen it all in the employment space in the past 72 hours with this Rachel Dolezal downward spiral (bing, bang, boom).

But, this recent federal-court opinion I read last night. The one about an employee with Attention Deficit Disorder who was fired after discussing vaginal massages with a co-worker (even Tyrion Lannister would blush) restores my confidence in my chosen profession.

Rather than just walk away, why did this employee claim violations of various federal employment laws? Because the blog gods are good, my friends.

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Yesterday, the EEOC’s Select Task Force on Workplace Harassment (STF) — as opposed to this STF (sorry, I’m basically a 12-year-old trapped in a quasi-successful lawyer’s body) — held its first public meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the scope of workplace harassment and the types of research already existing on the issue. Continue reading

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Late last week, Rachel Dolezal, the President of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP and a leader in the black community, was outed by her parents as being white.

The controversy caught a lot of people by surprise, most notably, the Spokane Chapter. Amidst a flurry of activity over the weekend — just check your Facebook and Twitter feeds — Ms. Dolezal planned to address the issue at a monthly meeting tonight. However, the Spokane Chapter announced on its Facebook page that the meeting would be postponed “to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders.”

Now, what if this discussion consummated in firing Ms. Dolezal? Would that be legal? Continue reading

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Let’s say that you have an employee who suffers from anxiety and stress. The employee is very religious and her doctor encourages her to attend church on Sundays. Not only does church provide fulfill her spiritually, but it helps to lower both the stress and anxiety and significantly reduce her reliance upon prescription medication.

But, you’ve scheduled this employee to work a Sunday through Thursday schedule. Still, she comes to you and asks for all Sundays off to attend church as an accommodation for her anxiety and stress, which are probably disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Question: Do you have to allow her to go to church? Continue reading

picketAn employee was caught on video saying to black employees, “Hey, did you bring enough KFC for everyone?” and “Hey, anybody smell that? I smell fried chicken and watermelon.” The company had a strict anti-harassment policy. So, after learning about the comments, the company fired the employee.

So, what would compel an Administrative Law Judge to require that the company reinstate him? Continue reading

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In March 2014, President Obama announced (here) that he would seek to revamp the Fair Labor Standards Act as it applies to overtime, “particularly for executive, administrative, and professional employees (often referred to as ‘white collar’ exemptions).” You can also read my post about the President’s announcement here.

And yet, here we are over a year later and the Department of Labor has yet to issue proposed regulations for public comment — let along the final updated regs. Continue reading

Yesterday, on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), brought the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act back to the Senate. The Act, which is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to: Continue reading