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Yesterday, I blogged here about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission‘s first lawsuits challenging sexual-orientation discrimination as sex discrimination. While part of the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan to address emerging and developing issues, getting federal courts to agree that sexual-orientation discrimination is unlawful under Title VII is an uphill battle.

But, that doesn’t stop American businesses from creating and enforcing their own rules in the workplace against LGBT discrimination.

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US-EEOC-Seal

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is officially stepping into the ring and taking the fight to private-sector employers whom the EEOC believes has discriminated against workers on the basis of sexual orientation. Yesterday, the EEOC announced (here) that it had filed two complaints in federal court against employers whom it alleges engaged in anti-gay bias.

Oh, it’s on now!

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medicalleaverequest

Among other things, the Family and Medical Leave Act affords an eligible employee up to 12 weeks of leave from work in 12-month period for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job. We know that, to take covered leave, an employee doesn’t have to specifically reference the Family and Medical Leave Act or say “F-M-L-A” .

How, then, can an employee put the company on notice of the need for covered leave?

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medicalleaverequest

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for, among other reasons, to care for a parent with a serious health condition.

Most FMLA serious health conditions are plainly obvious: Cancer, HIV, dementia. But, then again…

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iPhone voice memo

Remember last month when I told you to short crude oil futures and bet the Broncos to win the Super Bowl about how the National Labor Relations Board concluded that an employer could not maintain a workplace rule that banned employees from recording workplace conversations, absent prior company approval. (More on that here).

Well, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, before you get any bright ideas about secretly recording your boss, you’d better think twice.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg Main Gate.jpgIf you take leave Family and Medical Leave Act, go on vacation, and post your pictures on Facebook, the odds are that your employer is going to find out about it. Why? Because your co-workers, the ones you friended on Facebook, but who really aren’t your friends, are going to snitch on you faster the Road Runner on Wile E’s Acme Rocket Skates.

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US-EEOC-Seal

If you’ve ever had to address a Charging Party’s EEOC Charge of Discrimination, you know that drafting a good Position Statement, in which the specific claims of discrimination are addressed and supported with documents and facts is hella-key.

This especially holds true now that the EEOC has announced new nationwide procedures that provide for the release of a company’s Position Statement and non-confidential attachments to a Charging Party or representative upon request during the investigation of a charge of discrimination.

So, how do you draft a Position Statement that makes the EEOC like, and the Charging Party like?

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