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Thursday
Sep292016

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 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 9/25/16 we reminded you to watch out for witness bias in workplace investigations. Make sure those giving statements or otherwise participating have no axe to grind and don't try to influence adverse decisions against an employee as a result of that axe. Actions like that could land the employer in hot water. See the analysis in the post as to how it works.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure any adverse action rests on legitimate, verified facts, especially if the person against whom the action is being taken is part of a protected demographic.

The post on Monday 9/26/16 talked about Motel 6 being sued by the EEOC for pregnancy discrimination. (I guess the light wasn't left on.)  What happened? Simple (but illegal): the employer allegedly placed the pregnant employee on leave solely due to her pregnancy. More background is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Don't put someone on leave or otherwise modify their schedule (or take other adverse action) just because you think they need some type of accommodation – wait for him or her to ask.

In the post on Tuesday 9/27/16, we asked: is comp time in lieu of overtime legal? The simple answer is no (at least in the private sector). Overtime work must be paid for. 

TAKEAWAY: Know what hours you must pay employees for working and what alternatives there might be to pay. Consult an employment law attorney if needed.

The post on Wednesday 9/28/16 noted the EEOC has issued retaliation guidance, including ADA interference. One of the most important things to know is that this Guidance broadens the conduct that might be deemed retaliatory, as well as the causation concept. The EEOC also issued a Q&A document and small business fact sheet – the links to both are in the post. The Guidance addresses retaliation under various statutes, not just the ADA, and also interference under the ADA. The Guidance also mentions some situations where lower courts have issued conflicting rulings and interpretations and the EEOC's interpretation also differs. They are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: The EEOC may not be the final word, but courts do give its Guidance deference.

In the post on Thursday 9/29/16, we noted that new managers must learn to play by the rules and not be pushovers. Manage abusers firmly and fairly and help others with appropriate empathy, all while getting the job done for the employer. See the post for details.

TAKEAWAY: Uniformity (unless the law requires something else) is key – know the rules and apply them in the workplace.

The post on Friday 9/30/16 was about a former Girl Scouts employee claiming FMLA violation. This is from Pittsburgh, close to home. The suit in federal court is against the employer and the CEO, alleging an FMLA violation and retaliation. Background facts are in the post. This is newly filed so stay tuned.

TAKEAWAY: When it comes to the FMLA, make sure all I's are dotted and T's crossed – adverse action might lead to suit.

Finally, the post yesterday 10/1/16 asked: what is an HOA (and why do you care)? The acronym stands for homeowners' association; it is a planned community arrangement similar to a condominium, but for single-family, detached homes. The post gives some information as to the purpose of an Association and what you might expect if you live in a planned community.

TAKEAWAY: Know your rights and responsibilities and become familiar with the Governing Documents if you (intend to) live in a planned community. Have an attorney well-versed in this type of law go over the documents with you too – they are a contract to which you become a party.

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