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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – July 10-16, 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 7/10/16, we talked about Wearables at work: 9 security steps worth taking (and noted the last few are super-important). This post is relevant to everyone. Tip #1: get used to it. BYOD is everywhere and you need to deal with it. Tip #2: consider the ecosystem. No this doesn’t mean the rainforests of Peru. Your office’s cloud or other system. The other tips are in the post; read them now or re-read them if you already read the post.

TAKEAWAY: Technology moves at an alarmingly quick pace – you need to be in the race and controlling what happens to, from and related to your office.

The post on Monday 7/11/16 was Hot hot: termination for conduct caused by side effects of prescription medication not disability discrimination. Lisa worked for Chipotle (yes, now you see the pun!) as a crew member; she had a long medical history. In April 2013 she told her manager she took medication and mentioned the condition, but not any side effects or other ramifications of the medication. The following Month she got new meds and took a few days off. She worked for 4 days and then arrived in what seemed like a drunken state. She was sent home and fired later that day for violating the Drug & Alcohol Policy (details of which are in the post). Lisa claimed disability discrimination along with FMLA interference and retaliation. The latter were dismissed (the reason is in the post). She claimed that firing her for the medication’s side effects was akin to firing her for her disability. The court analyzed the situation, referring to a US Supreme Court decision, and found the termination legal as being from application of a neutral policy. Details of the analysis are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Facially neutral policies can sometimes be found to be discriminatory, but this one was not – even though it adversely affected a person otherwise protected as a disabled employee.

In the post on Tuesday 7/12/16 talked about telecommuting as an ADA accommodation – whether or not the employer likes it. Remember, the employer does not have to create a new job, but it must consider if presence at the job site is an essential function of the existing job when faced with a request to telecommute as an accommodation.

TAKEAWAY: It is a good idea to consider location and whether or not job-site presence is an essential function of the job – if so, note it on the job description.

The post on Wednesday 7/13/16 was about a trans employee and ACLU suing a healthcare provider for insurance discrimination (based on sex). Joe worked as an operating room nurse and began transitioning to a woman about a year ago. Prior to his first surgery, he realized his insurance policy excluded transgender-related treatment. He filed a charge with the EEOC, alleging discrimination based on sex. The employer denied the allegations (its reasoning is in the post). The ACLU didn’t buy it either and helped him sue.

TAKEAWAY: Trans employees may be protected by local, state or federal law or order; know what is required in your jurisdiction for your business.

In the post on Thursday 7/14/16, we talked about Security: 6 steps to protect your office from rogue or careless employees. While this was directed to law firms, it applies equally in most, if not all, industries – BYOD crosses all lines. So what are the tips? First, have a policy (and make sure employees read and sign it). Second, turn on email archiving. This preserves (saves) all email even if the user deleted it. Third, disable accounts for inactive or former employees. Use the checklist in the post to aid in this step.  The other 3 steps are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Know how employees are accessing your company’s data – and control it to make sure there is no harm done by that access.

The post on Friday 7/15/16 was a reminder that the EEOC increased fines 150% for employers violating the notice posting requirements. This final rule was published and became effective July 5, 2016. Notices are required relative to Title VII, the ADA, and GINA. The maximum penalty rose from $210 per violation to $525. To see which employers are covered by the posting requirement, go to the post.

TAKEAWAY: If you are a covered employer, make sure you are properly posted to avoid being fined. It can get costly. And that’s even before the lack of notice results in harm to (or alleged by) an employee.

Finally, in the post yesterday 7/16/16 we learned Enterprise Rent-A-Car discriminated against black applicants (or so DOL has alleged). The complaint says that Enterprise favored white applicants during entry-level screening for management trainee positions (and also did not maintain proper records). Mediation failed so the suit was filed. DOL wants back pay or that Enterprise be barred from federal contract participation. 560 applications by blacks were reviewed and it appeared that white applicants were twice as likely to be hired. The company disputes the allegations.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t just talk the talk about diversity in hiring; make sure you walk the walk or you too might be on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

References (3)

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