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Back in June, the United States Supreme Court ruled here that a class of 1.5 million women could not pursue gender discrimination claims together against Wal-Mart because they lacked a common injury.

If, at first, you don’t succeed, file this Complaint in California on behalf of a class of only 90,000 plaintiffs. Will this small smaller lawsuit hold up? Find out after the jump…

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This has been an intense week here at The Employer Handbook. What, with Monday’s post on taking the “sex” out of sexual harassment, followed up on Tuesday with the 15 craziest excuses employees have for missing work. You guys seemed to like that one a lot. Then there was the post on an old guy claiming that an older judge is too out of it to rule on the old guy’s age discrimination claims. I-ro-ny! And to the three of you who read my post yesterday about the enforceability of arbitration agreements, thank you.

Hard-hitting stuff, no doubt. But, let’s kick it up a notch! *** Writes royalty check to Emerill *** I’m going to save the news on a new 90,000-plaintiff Wal-Mart class-action lawsuit for next week. Instead, for your end-of-the-week viewing pleasure, meet Joey. Who’s Joey? Well, remember the young woman who, last year, in a series of 34 pictures, quit her job? She’s got nothin’ on Joey. In August, Joey quit his job at a hotel using a marching band. A MARCHING BAND!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A4UGtM4hDQ

deweytruman.jpgCourts have blessed written agreements between employer and employee to submit federal discrimination claims to arbitration. Here is an example. 

But, there’s legal and then there’s doing right. After the jump, how one employer got it wrong. Very wrong. Plus, what you can do to make sure that your business does not make the same mistake…

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From the sublime to the ridiculous, the NY Daily News reports here that a 60-year-old musician suing for age discrimination claims that the presiding 88-year-old Manhattan judge is too old to hear the case.

According to the NY Daily News story, the plaintiff, who was representing himself before his case was dismissed in October, slammed the judge, calling him “slow-witted and unable to function.”

In a pleading filed with the court, the plaintiff also wrote that the judge, who has degrees from Harvard and Columbia Law School, “may have been a very learned jurist in his day, [but] should be removed from the bench, both because of his mental and physical limitations [and because he] could barely see unless he put his face almost on top of a document.”

CareerBuilder.com just released its annual list of most unusual excuses for calling in sick. “Lost track of time browsing https://www.theemployerhandbook.com” didn’t make the list. (Probably because it’s sooooooo commonplace).

“Siri Assistant, what is the greatest labor-and-employment-law blog of them all?”

“I found three stores in your area that sell Altoids.”

After the jump, the 15 best excuses…

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To prove sexual harassment, a plaintiff must have been subjected to pervasive or severe behavior that would make the plaintiff (and a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s shoes) believe that the working environment are hostile or abusive.

Wait, I’m forgetting something. Oh yeah, the complained-of conduct must only be on account of the plaintiff’s gender. Seems simple enough, right? No sex-based conduct. No sexual harassment. After the break, a recent example that highlights this important element.

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Back in June, I discussed here how the EEOC was discussing the use of leave from work as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The question I asked back then was how much leave is reasonable? When is enough, enough?

Well, I can tell you now — and I suppose I could have told you then — that indefinite leave is generally not an option for employees (unless the employer acquiesces). At least that’s what one federal court ruled last week. Details after the jump…

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The Family and Medical Leave Act affords eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his/her job.

Let’s say that you have an employee who requests FMLA for a medical procedure that will keep him laid up for a while. But, you’re suspicious. So, you hire a PI to follow the employee and record his every movement. You view the videotape and see that the employee is walking, driving, and even shopping. What the hell?!? Naturally, you think the employee is scamming the company so you fire him.

Legal? Or FMLA interference? Find out after the jump…

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One of my favorite bloggers, Jon Hyman, was just saying recently that social media and privacy cannot coexist. Even on their own time — out of the office — what employees say and do online can have an impact on the workplace.

Teachers are prime examples. After the jump, yet another educator has found the headlines for being outspoken online…

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On June 29, The Employer Handbook reported here that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter vetoed the “Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces” bill. This bill would have required businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees who work a minimum number of hours in Philadelphia County.

Ah, but the times, they are a-becoming quite different. Right Connecticut and Seattle?

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”