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Monday
Dec292014

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015

Below is a review of the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week.  You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

Following recent holiday food excesses, the post on Sunday 12/28/14 was about whether obesity is considered a disability under the ADA. According to the EEOC, obesity can indeed be a disability under the ADA Amendments Act. This means that employers should probably just skip right to the next step, accommodation.

TAKEAWAY: The ADAAA broadened the definition of disability and brought more employees within its ambit; with more people becoming obese in the US, this means employers more often must accommodate someone in order that they can perform the essential functions of their job.

In the post on Monday 12/29/14 we talked about how to have productivity after the write-up. After making sure the write-up includes only facts as applied to any policy and sets out the discipline and any consequences for a failure to improve, make sure three things are properly in place: delivery by the manager, delivery to the employee, and follow-up. First, how the manager delivers the write-up is oh-so important; it helps if the discussion can end on a high note (something the employee does well and should continue). The other tips are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: It is hard enough to discipline employees, so if it’s going to be done, make sure to do it right and make it work for you.

The post on Tuesday 12/30/14 was all about timing: 5 must-have employment law resolutions for 2015. So what are the tips? 1. Revamp the employee handbook. Make sure it is current, both with your practices and applicable law. 2. Know your wage & hour compliance rules. This can help prevent any back wage liability in the future. 3. Fine-tune your harassment policy.  For all types of harassment and including what to do if harassment is experienced or suspected. And once you have the policy in place, follow it. Tips 4 and 5 are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: You should always know what laws apply to your company and your employees, but it is always good to start off a new year on the right foot by shoring up your employment practices and policies.

In the post on Wednesday 12/31/14 we talked about not letting the OWBPA put a rift in your RIF. While the economy is recovering, some employers still need to downsize and that may include employees over age 40. The law provides for certain things that must be in a severance agreement in order that the employee legally waives any potential age claims s/he may have. There are special requirements depending on the number of people over age 40 being laid off. Go to the post for more information and contact us for assistance.

TAKEAWAY: The safest course to take when ending the employment of someone over age 40 is to obtain a waiver of claims; that is done in a writing that must contain certain things or it will not be valid. It is a legal document; treat it as such.

The posts on Thursday 1/1/15, and here, our first of the new year, wished you a happy new year.

TAKEAWAY: May 2015 be your best year yet. We stand ready to assist with your employment law needs.

The post on Friday 1/2/15 talked about the difference between foreman and supervisor in workplace discrimination lawsuits. No they are not necessarily the same. The employer here had a policy that included race discrimination and a detailed reporting process. The African-American employee was under 2 Caucasian foremen who often directed racial comments to him and harassed him in other ways because of his race. Further, nooses were left around the jobsite and other things happened. The employee admits he didn’t tell management but did tell his union steward; he also alleged that the steward said he’d spoken with the superintendent of the jobsite where the employee and foremen worked and the superintendent was going to support the foremen and take no action on the complaint. The steward says he told the employee to make a written complaint. The employee quit and filed an EEOC charge. The general superintendent then became aware of a harassing text message and offered unconditional reinstatement (and plans to fire the 2 foremen). The employee filed suit. The trial court dismissed the suit because the foremen weren’t supervisors and there was no evidence that management know about the harassment prior to the voluntary quit. Based on a Supreme Court decision, the appeals court said that since the foremen didn’t have hire and fire authority, the employee had to show management knowledge of the harassment for the suit to proceed; he couldn’t and it didn’t. 

TAKEAWAY: Not only should employers do their best to prevent harassment and discrimination, but employees must know who is and isn’t authorized to act on behalf of the employer for legal liability purposes.

Finally, in the post yesterday 1/3/15 we recounted the Top 10 consumer debt myths. So what are they? 1. If a creditor charges off a debt, it is no longer owed. Nope. That just means they got it off their books, not that it is unable to be collected by someone else in the future. 2. Filing for bankruptcy lets me eliminate debt on my car and house. Again, nope. The bankruptcy filing rids you of personal liability on those debts, but if you want to keep the items you still have to pay for them (with limited caveats). 3. If I don‘t pay my debts, I will go to jail. Nope again. Debtor’s prisons went the way of the dinosaurs. However, the post details a few situations when jail can be a result. 4. If I don’t pay my credit card, my wages will be garnished. Maybe, but not until after suit is filed and judgment entered, and only then if the state in which you work allows wage garnishment. The other myths are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Just because you saw it on the internet does not make it true; often there are many myths floating around about consumer finances. Contact a professional to make sure what is or is not true for you.

References (5)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
  • Response
    Response: pokerplasa.org
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
  • Response
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
  • Response
    Response: agen Judi
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3,
  • Response
    Response: domino 99
    Austin Law Firm, LLC - York, PA Lawyer - Homeowner, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law - ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 3,

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