Articles Posted in

(Betcha didn’t see that lede coming…)

So, let me take you back to late December 2012 — a time when my blog was blowing up. Back then, I wrote this post about Melissa Nelson. Ms. Nelson had worked as an assistant to dentist James Knight. That is, until Dr. Knight fired her in 2010 based on concerns from both he and his wife that if Ms. Nelson continued to work for Dr. Knight, he’d have sex with her and it would ruin their marriage.

So, Ms. Nelson sued for gender discrimination.

theysaid.jpgWant an explanation of yesterday Supreme Court decision regarding challenges to California’s ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, check out Amy Howe’s analysis “In Plain English” at SCOTUSblog.com.

And for more on yesterday’s decision and the impact it may have on your business, check out:

    Dodgeball on court

    [Whichever one of you had the voodoo doll positioned in such a way that wouldn’t allow me to pun this lede, I’m gonna git you sucka!]

    In Hayes v. Erickson Air-Crane, Co. (opinion here), a male plaintiff was constantly barraged with small penis nicknames from his male co-workers ranging from “little jimi” to “tiny tim” to “dodgeball” (based on Ben Stiller’s White Goodman character). He didn’t like it, and sued.

    The Court found that, based on this behavior, a jury could find that the plaintiff could potentially prevail on his sexual harassment claims because a jury may find that he was subjected to unwelcome sexual comments that were pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment.

    STT.pngThis week, I am on vacation. The Supreme Court didn’t get my memo. Fine. But, I’m not putting down my beer to write this post. So, you get a one-handed rundown of the two employment-law decisions the court issued yesterday. 

    Pardon my typos after the jump…

    * * *

    Continue reading

    Who would’ve guessed that, in June 2013, we’d have 11 states with social media privacy laws. I mean what are the odds? That’d be like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian deciding to name their baby daughter ‘North West’.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to check why my Twitter is blowing up.

    Oh, good God!

    Paula Deen - Washington NationalsDISCLAIMER: Since I’m getting the fodder for my post from RadarOnline (via the National Enquirer), consider the sources, and remember that what you are about to read are allegations. Plus, Ms. Deen’s team subsequently told Entertainment Tonight that Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. So make of this what you will and don’t shoot them messenger…

    Remember back when I reported here that a former employee of one of celeb chef Paula Deen’s restaurants had accused both Deen and her brother of race discrimination and sexual harassment? You’d expect that Ms. Deen would cast aside these “allegations” — especially the ones about her using the N-word and having black waiters perform as slaves at a wedding party — as slanderous accusations.

    You’d expect that wouldn’t you?

    Stethoscope-2The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits when an employer can require an employee to take a medical examination. Specifically, the ADA forbids employers from requiring medical exams (and cannot otherwise inquire into the nature or severity of a disability) unless the exam or inquiry is shown to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises (here) that an exam is permissible where the employer “has a reasonable belief based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.”

    So, let’s assume that you have an employee about whom you receive multiple reports of emotionally-erratic workplace behavior. At what pointy can you require that employee to seek counseling?

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