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Family FunechaThat according to a a new survey from The National Partnership for Women & Families.

The survey compared how state-based rights and protections compare to the 12 weeks of leave for new and expecting parents provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the protections provided by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and the right to express breast milk at work provided to some nursing mothers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The report card covers all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. No state earned an A. Only 1/3 scored a C- or higher, while more than 1/3 flat-out failed. The highest grades went to California and Connecticut, each earning an A-. Locally, New Jersey ranked near the top with a B+, while Pennsylvania scraped by with a D.

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.”

So, let’s get right to it. In Pearce-Mato v. Shinseki, decided earlier this week, a Pennsylvania federal court reminded us that episodic impairments may, indeed, be disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act:

The fact that the periods during which an episodic impairment is active and substantially limits a major life activity may be brief or occur infrequently is no longer relevant to determining whether the impairment substantially limits a major life activity …  An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

 

One of my favorite reads on NJ employment law is Ogletree Deakins’s New Jersey eAuthority. The June 2012 issue highlights several pieces of legislation now pending in NJ of which employers should take note. I’ve summarized four of them after the jump…

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illustration_view-people-magnifierIf an employee complains that her supervisor is sexting her, making unwelcome physical contact, and telling her that she can get a better work schedule in exchange for “small favors,” you better damn well investigate that!

Ignore it and you risk losing a valuable defense to sexual harassment claim. This is because, generally, to avoid liability for sexual harassment, an employer must demonstrate that it undertook reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct harassment.

But the failure to investigate could cost an employer even more. Like a dead-to-rights retaliation claim too.

Really? Retaliation too? Yes. I’ll explain after the jump…

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munroe.jpg

And she’s making news again…

It’s been nine long months since I blogged about a favorite of The Employer Handbook: Natalie Munroe. You can read about her here, here, here, and here.

She is the PA teacher who, on her blog, described her students as argumentative f*cks who may engage in Columbine-style shootings. She got  suspended, but was later reinstated, and taught during this school year.

Spy vs Sci 558John and Mary are co-workers. They are also Facebook friends. And both John and Mary have adjusted their respective Facebook privacy settings such that only Facebook friends can view what they post online from their individual accounts. Consequently, John and Mary can view each other’s Facebook posts, but Sam the Supervisor, who is also on Facebook, cannot. Neither John nor Mary are Facebook friends with Sam.

ABC Company, John and Mary’s employer, wants access to Mary’s Facebook account. On behalf of ABC, Sam demands that John login to his Facebook account on a work computer and then allow Sam to shoulder surf as John views Mary’s Facebook postings. Fearing for his job, John relents.

Does Mary have a claim against ABC Company for invasion of privacy?

The answer follows after the jump…

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moneyBilled as a way to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, the Paycheck Fairness Act, did not make it out of the Senate yesterday. The Paycheck Fairness Act earned 52 votes in favor of proceeding to final consideration, eight votes shy of the 60 votes necessary for cloture. The vote came down strictly along party lines, with the two independent senators voting with the Democrats and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) not voting. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed his vote so that he could bring the bill up again.

In other news…

  • The Eleventh Circuit Court of appeals ruled on Monday that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits claims for retaliatory hostile work environment. The decision brings the Eleventh Circuit in line with everyone else.

toiletHey employers! You know what’s stupid? My tongue-in-cheek pun on despicable workplace conditions. Depriving employees of bathroom privileges. Even dumber is firing them after they complain to state regulators about the lack of an onsite toilet. 

One company recently learned this lesson the hard way. Details after the jump…

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theysaid.jpgYesterday, I came across this post at EmployerLINC, which reprints this news release from OfficeTeam, offering up the many ways that an employer can be told, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.” (Donna Ballman, I owe you a nickel in royalties).

The reasons for quitting ranged from mere boredom to a desire to join the circus. One employee even quit to join a rock band.

Hey, I’d love to be a rock superstar. (Not really, but it’s the only chance I’ll get to play Cypress Hill on this blog…like ever.)

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