I’ve seen weaker lawsuits. But let me explain why the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed that asking a female colleague to babysit, once hitting her posterior with a rubber band, and even failing to use her proper title is not enough to create a hostile work environment based on gender. Continue reading
Could QUOTING a SNOOP DOGG catchphrase AT WORK create a hostile work environment?
Over the weekend, several news outlets ran this story about a white television news anchor in Mississippi who went viral for using one of rapper Snoop Dogg’s catchphrases, “Fo shizzle, my nizzle,” during a live broadcast. This unexpected comment appeared to stun the station’s meteorologist, who is black.
You may have an overly-broad UNENFORCEABLE restrictive covenant NOT TO COMPETE if…
As we wait patiently for the comment period on the Federal Trade Commission’s proposal to ban employers from imposing non-competes to close next month, I’m here to tell you now that your business’s non-competition agreements may be dead on arrival anyway.
I’ll explain why. Continue reading
It’s WORSE than we thought. Most of your severance agreements may be ENTIRELY WORTHLESS!
Last month, I told about a National Labor Relations Board decision to ban certain nondisparagement and confidentiality provisions in a severance agreement that businesses give to rank-and-file employees (i.e., non-supervisors) in both union and non-union workplaces.
But there remained some open questions. For example, does the decision apply retroactively to old agreements? What if the employee requests mutual confidentiality language or nondisparagement provisions? What other typical severance agreement provisions are at risk?
Yesterday, we got answers from the Board’s top lawyer. (You may want to sit down and grab a
whiskey bottle stress ball.) Continue reading
Being denied coverage to use the bathroom (and a bunch of other stuff that isn’t discrimination)
When employees allege discrimination, they must prove an employer’s discriminatory motive and connect it to a particular adverse employment decision. An adverse action requires evidence of a significant change in employment status, benefits, or pay. Usually, the proof comes in the form of failure to hire, a firing, failure to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or lost pay or benefits.
But, from a federal court decision I read last night, I’ve got a list of eight items that are not adverse enough on which to base a disparate treatment claim. Continue reading
Who gets the job? The most-qualified candidate or a disabled employee requesting reassignment?
Can an employer have a categorical policy of hiring the most qualified candidate when a qualified disabled employee requests reassignment to a vacant role, even if he or she is not the most qualified applicant? The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says no.
But the EEOC doesn’t wear the black robe and bang the gavel. Continue reading
You can’t be retaliated against for NOT reporting sexual harassment. The more you know.
I didn’t even have to go to law school to figure that out. Unfortunately for a plaintiff and her lawyer, they learned this lesson the hard way.
Oh, no! Tell me a supervisor didn’t write THAT on an employee’s PIP.
If you haven’t done FMLA training for your supervisors, hopefully, this post will motivate you to get some on the calendar. Continue reading
Do employers risk violating the FLSA by reducing PTO? Is it part of an employee’s salary?
Those were the critical issues in a precedential decision that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued yesterday. So let’s talk about it. Continue reading
THIS action fell just short of possible discrimination and retaliation. (Whew!)
The plaintiff in this action has worked as a human resource specialist. She claimed that, beginning in 2019, her male supervisor made unwelcome sexual comments to her, and, when she reported those comments to his direct supervisor, they were ignored. So the plaintiff says she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) complaint. According to the plaintiff, nearly two years later, she faced a proposed letter of reprimand.
A proposed what now? Continue reading