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Monday
Apr042016

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Apr. 3-9, 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.

In the post on Sunday 4/3/16, we against asked the question: Independent contractor or employee? The answer can make a HUGE difference. The answer to the question depends first on whether it is for federal or state purposes. Most often the agency will use the economic realities test. Those factors are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Knowing how to properly classify a worker is important in many ways, including tax withholding and entitlement to the benefit of certain state or federal laws.

The post on Monday 4/4/16 was about Jewish professors filing charges claiming religious discrimination that damaged their reputations & careers. The professors allege that the school's president and other administrators discriminated against them after they spoke out about a lack of a Jewish perspective on campus (which, in turn, has now created a fear in others of speaking out). The post contains additional allegations levelled against the small, 811-undergraduate student school, including that an outside consultant acted as an “enforcer” and further exacerbated matters. The school has denied the allegations. The matter is in the EEOC charge process.

TAKEAWAY: If adverse action is taken or adverse treatment practiced, make sure there is a valid legal reason for same.

In the post on Tuesday 4/5/16 we noted that a failure to timely and thoroughly investigate sexual harassment claims may cost you. A recent federal court decision said that claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment are not limited to victims of the opposite sex. The decision was based on a finding that the employer failed to take thorough, timely action after a male employee complained of improper, unwanted, offensive physical contact from another male-co-worker. More details are in the post. This case contrasts with one that is binding on PA cases (unless factually distinguishable).

TAKEAWAY: When a complaint of same-sex harassment is filed by an employee, you must investigate it timely and thoroughly, just like you would any other complaint.

The post on Wednesday 4/6/16 provided the Top 10 workplace discrimination claims in 2015 (based on a breakdown from the EEOC). It resolved 92,641 charges in FY15 and secured in excess of $525M for victims in that period. Retaliation was the #1 charge (39,757 charges filed and GINA took the #10 spot with 257 charges filed. The rest are in the post.  

TAKEAWAY: Don’t be (part of) a statistic; always strive to ensure no charges of illegal harassment or discrimination are filed against you.

In the post on Thursday 4/7/16 we talked about a $1.3M discrimination verdict being overturned in a police case. In 2009 the village’s then-Mayor appointed Miguel as the new police chief. A white lieutenant sued the village and Mayor, alleging failure to promote based on race. A jury verdict awarded the lieutenant over $1.3M but ordered a new trial (for procedural reasons).

TAKEAWAY: While this case may not be final yet, it underscores the fact that employers should never make decisions based on race. Period.

The post on Friday 4/8/16 was about how sexual harassment allegations caught up with Peyton Manning after 20 years. He usually maintains a squeaky clean image, but he was named in a complaint filed by a sports team trainer against the University of Tennessee’s athletics department. Facts are in the post but include athletes calling her breasts “midgets” and violence by athletes toward women having been “played down” by supervisors and an effort “made to shield the student athletes”. The 27th allegation concerns Peyton Manning; details are in the post. While that charge was settled, it is still part of a suit recently filed against the University (after an earlier suit filed against Peyton and other family members was also settled and a second suit is closed with no details as to what happened).

TAKEAWAY: Even settled matters involving discrimination and harassment have a way of rearing their ugly heads in the future. The best way to avoid that is to ensure nothing happens to form the basis of a complaint in the first place.

Finally, in the post yesterday 4/9/16, we learned that gay couples sued a hospital for discrimination. Why? Straight couples who worked there were allowed to work in the same unit but the gay couples were not. When the hospital finally relented, it was with behavioral conditions not imposed on hetero couples. Suit was filed earlier this year.

TAKEAWAY: If you allege that an action (or failure to act) violates a policy, make sure that policy has been disseminated and is evenly enforced. Otherwise you too could be facing down the barrel of a suit.

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  • Response
    Laws are created to be followed. Everyone should follows rules and laws. Laws are created or dismissed according to the culture.

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