It’s almost 2016.
By now, who among us: the lawyers, the HR professionals, the owners (Hi there, Mark Cuban, thanks for reading again today), has yet to deal with an allegation of workplace harassment involving social media. Why, just yesterday, I read about an employee who lost his job for going on Facebook and calling a woman — albeit not a female co-worker — a “slut.”
But, how many of us have explored ways that our employees can use social media to address concerns about workplace harassment?
There are certain stereotypes that accurately reflect an image held in common for members of a group.
For example, employment-law bloggers who practice law in Philadelphia and blog from their bloggerdomes in Southern New Jersey are generally handsome, erudite, and more appealing than a hipster drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon at a beard and vinyl convention. Many excel at fantasy football too. Many consider them the Illuminati to the Illuminati.
But I digress…
Back in October, the University of Southern California fired Steve Sarkisian, its head football coach. The Daily Beast, among others, reported that USC fired Mr. Sarkisian after an incident where he appeared drunk during a speech at a USC event.
Yesterday, Mr. Sarkisian fired back with a 14-count lawsuit in California Superior Court. The lawsuit includes claims for disability (alcoholism) discrimination and failure to accommodate his disability.
When a person claims that he wasn’t promoted because of his race, or terminated because of her gender, or brings some other claim of disparate treatment, that person must demonstrate several elements:
Yesterday, the EEOC issued two new publications on the rights of HIV-positive individuals in the workplace. As EEOC Chair Jenny Yang underscored, “Individuals with HIV infection should know that the ADA protects their rights in the workplace, including the right to reasonable accommodations.” The implication here is that HIV is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Indeed, the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations notes that it should be “easily concluded” that HIV substantially limits one or more major life activities. Further, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division recognizes that HIV is an ADA disability.
Well, tell all that to a Florida federal court.