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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Oct. 15-21, 2017

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 10/15/17 we read that a Banana Republic worker claims boss called her braids too ‘urban. All is not well in paradise. Destiny, a black woman, alleges that her manager would not schedule her any more until she removed her box braids. The post has the details. She wears it that way for protection as do many black women. This runs afoul of EEOC guidelines but not all courts have agreed; see the post.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that race or ethnic or national origin discrimination may come in many forms – don't get caught up in any of them. Carefully think through every adverse decision and make sure you are on solid legal footing before taking the action.

The post on Monday 10/16/17 told us of a suit against Whataburger because manager was told to consider only applications that "sounded white". Yes you read that right. A white manager opposed and refused to participate in a directive to hire only white applicants. The reason for that directive is in the post. And how was she to implement it? See the post. When she refused to comply, she encountered verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, and more (in the post). Is it any wonder the EEOC brought suit on her behalf?!?

TAKEAWAY: Remember that Title VII applies to applicants in addition to current employees – don't take adverse action against applicants based on a protected characteristic.

In the post on Tuesday 10/17/17 we were told that in the Facebook age discrimination lawsuit "older workers 'didn't get it'". The suit was brought by a 52-year-old former employee. Comments Facebook allegedly made are in the post. He also says that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, did not respond when he complained about age discrimination. The suit also says that after complaining, he was accused of poor performance and other things (in the post of course).

TAKEAWAY: When taking adverse action against someone in a protected category (or with a protected characteristic), be sure that you have a valid legal reason behind your action.

The post on Wednesday 10/18/17 asked: Could NASCAR team employees be fired for protesting the National Anthem? Richard Petty wants it to be so. But would it be legal? The answer might depend on whether there is an employment agreement (and what provisions it might contain) or if the employment is at-will. See the post for the distinguishing factors between those 2 scenarios.

TAKEAWAY: When looking at taking adverse action as a result of First Amendment expression in your workplace, take into consideration whether or not there is an employment agreement that covers the situation.

In the post on Thursday 10/19/17 we looked at shifting priorities and concerns for the Iranian-American community - things we in the mainstream don't always think about (but should). A recent shift – since January of this year to be exact. The Iranian-American community is comprised of various religious groups, including Muslim, Baha'i, Zoroastrians and Jewish. The post provides some insight on their support of the new administration. The post also looks at changes within the community since the new administration came in.

TAKEAWAY: Don't look at a group bound by ethnicity or national origin as homogeneous – or all having the same beliefs or agenda. Treat them equally and just like all other employees.

The post on Friday 10/20/17 was about the ABC's of HOAs … why not abiding by the rules can get you in trouble. When you live in a planned community – whether condo or single-family homes – you have to abide by applicable state law and the Association's governing documents too. Some of the more common things that residents encounter, and Boards must enforce, are in the VID in the post.

TAKEAWAY:  Life in planned communities is, in essence, life under contract, so make sure you know what the contract says – get the right attorney to review the documents.

Finally, in the post yesterday 10/21/17 we read about sex discrimination: female chef excluded from working at all-male barbeque. Yep, not so tasty. So what happened? A female chef asked her catering company employer to work a private event; her name, as well as the other males who had asked to work it, were provided. She was turned down for the reason in the post. She sued. The rationale behind the ruling in her favor is in the post (and interesting – employees, especially in the hospitality industry, beware.

TAKEAWAY: Let us say it again: if you take adverse action against an employee, don't do it based on a protected characteristic – or you will find out just how pricey is the protection to which the employee is entitled.

References (4)

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