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According to multiple news reports, on Friday, shortly after the Henry Pratt Company communicated to a 15-year employee that the company was ending his employment, he began shooting. All told, he killed five employees (in a five-minute span). After police arrived, the shooter exchanged gunfire. Six officers were injured. The employee died.

You can read the WaPo report here, and the NPR report here. Continue reading

Execution Sling Hanging Hangman Knot Penalty Rope

Many years ago, a man called me asking if I would represent him in a discrimination action against a company.

Now, you know me. I’m a management-side lawyer. I write a blog called The Employer Handbook. But, then he mentioned that someone had hung a hangman’s noose at his job site. He had pictures.

And he had my full attention. Continue reading


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Let’s imagine that one of your female co-workers gets promoted. Shortly afterward, some of your male co-workers spread false rumors about how their recently-promoted colleague must have slept her way to the top.

Do you think that: (a) these rumors are gender-based, or (b) based upon false allegations of conduct?

The former could be the lynchpin to a viable sex-based hostile work environment claim. If it’s the latter, i.e., the rumors could have just as quickly been spread about a man, then the hostile work environment claim gets dismissed. Continue reading


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“Let’s see,” I said to myself. “I want to blog about this important, brand new medical marijuana employment law decision. This is a burgeoning area of the law, and this particular decision will enlighten my readers like few others I’ve written about.”

“Yeah, but unless you can find a ‘free for commercial use, no attribution required’ scales of justice made out of marijuana leaves, I think you should rank the spices in your spice rack instead. After all, readers love a good ‘turmeric v. garam masala’ showdown.”

***Googles ‘marijuana scales of justice’*** Continue reading


Vincent Le Moign [CC BY 4.0]

I don’t blog much about the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with FCRA, I suggest that you call an employment lawyer. Like stop reading this blog post right now and call your employment lawyer!

For the rest of you FCRA fans, I promised to blow your mind and, clickbait-be-damned, I’m going to break your strand of clutching pearls. Continue reading


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A few weeks ago, a Pennsylvania federal judge reluctantly ruled in this case that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not unlawful (or you, could say, permissible) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continue reading

My Boss Is A J-E-R-K! (cropped)

Nyttend [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

There’s this defense to discrimination claims to which, sadly, we on the defense side must resort occasionally.

That is, if a manager or supervisor is mean to everyone, then it is unlikely that he or she has singled out a particular person based on that individual’s race, religion, national origin, etc.

It’s called the “equal opportunity jerk” defense. Continue reading

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