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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Jan. 17-23, 2016

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.

The post on Sunday 1/17/16 talked about employees being eligible for FMLA leave on their first day of work. Seems strange but it might happen relative to a government contract if applicable factors (including use of the same plant, continuity of work force, similarity of jobs and working conditions, and more in the post) are met relative to a successor-in-interest employer. And a merger or transfer of assets is not always required. This could leave an employer open to an employee being eligible for FMLA leave on his or her first day by having fulfilled eligibility requirements under the predecessor in interest. Beware!  

TAKEAWAY: Successor government contractors should take into consideration the factors when deciding whether or not to approve an FMLA leave request – do it carefully and do it right.

In the post on Monday 1/18/16, the EEOC said a hair salon fired employees for complaining about race discrimination. Say it ain’t so! The lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleges that Regis Corporation, a company operating a chain of hair salons, violated federal law. Hope and Anne were hair stylists; the soon-to-be salon manager told them both in June 2014 that she didn’t want African-American’s working there. (Yes, I know, ugh.) The next month, they told an African-American applicant that they thought she’d not be hired because of race. August 2014 brought discharges for Hope and Anne supposedly for lying when telling the candidate she wasn’t hired due to race. More details are in the post. The lawsuit alleges they were fired for complaining about (what they thought was) race discrimination.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that not only is actual discrimination prohibited, but so is acting against someone who complains about what s/he thinks is an illegal act.

The post on Tuesday 1/19/16 brought more EEOC, this time suing a Subway owner for sex harassment. The complaint says that the store manager offered two 17-year-old females jobs in exchange for sex. They’d both applied for sandwich artist positions; the manager sent each of them an explicit text message asking for or suggesting sex in relation to their job offers. They refused (thank goodness) and were not hired.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure you properly train your managerial-level employees and take prompt action (as to them and any persons against whom they took illegal action) when you find out about their wrongful actions.

The post on Wednesday 1/20/16 told us why the new overtime regulations will keep businesses up at night. Yes, this means you. The new Regs are not effective yet but DOL is discussing them and soliciting comments. The biggest change is the eligibility threshold, from $23,650 to $50,400, making anyone less than the new number eligible for overtime pay. That will pull in many more employees who were previously exempt from overtime pay. What may happen is that employers change job duties to minimize the impact of this change. See the post for more details.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure you know how this overtime change will impact your workforce and plan accordingly.

In the post on Thursday 1/21/16, we suggested (even though it shouldn’t need to be said) you take action when customers harass employees. Employers should take all complaints of harassment seriously, no matter who is doing the harassing. Here, Tatiana was told that security caught someone taking pictures up her skirt. Security got the person’s contact info, deleted the pictures, and threw out the customer. What security didn’t do was contact the police (and the customer was a repeat offender in that store!). Tatiana complained to management to no avail. After a different customer groped her, security merely escorted him out. When she found out the first customer’s name, she filed a police complaint. Suddenly her shift changed and so did her location (stockroom). She quit and sued. Her case survived an early motion to dismiss on the basis that since management was on notice, it might be liable for the second harassment.

TAKEAWAY: Protect your employees from ALL harassment, no matter the actor.

The post on Friday 1/22/16 told us about McLane Foodservice paying $40,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit. So what happened? The EEOC alleged that McLane did not hire an applicant because it regarded him as disabled and he had a record of a disability.

TAKEAWAY: Remember the two less-used prongs under the ADA, having a record of a disability and being regarded as having a disability; action on those bases is still illegal and can land an employer in hot water.

Finally, the post yesterday 1/23/16 was about an employment law autopsy: “Old Fart” gets fired. Hopefully you all know not to call someone “old fart” (at all, but especially if you might fire him in the future). Also, hopefully you all know not to call co-workers “old farts” before firing them. More? Yes. Don’t give “progressive” warnings to that “old fart” on the day you discharge. More details (and an analysis of sorts) are in the post.

TAKEAWAY:  While Pennsylvania is a very strong at-will employment state, that won’t save an employer who otherwise violates the law (so don’t violate the law).

References (5)

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    Response: defence lawyer
    Ensure you legitimately prepare your administrative level workers and make brief move as to them and any persons against whom they made unlawful move when you get some answers concerning their wrongful activities.
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