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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, 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 11/26/17 we asked: Want to kill a sex discrimination class action suit? Ford Motor Company case is blueprint. This may not affect too many employers, but it is still instructive for all. The post tells us that the process can be the game-changer – so employers might want to take notice.

TAKEAWAY: If you are engaging in allegedly discriminatory actions, and are the subject of both administrative and judicial actions, resolving one might spell the death knell for the other.

The post on Monday 11/27/17 confirmed: Employee ignored work rules? No unemployment benefits. Yes employers can have rules. Yes they can enforce them. But what is employees break those rules? Can they still recover unemployment benefits? The post answers that question. And explained why.

TAKEAWAY: Know what gives you a valid basis to fight an employee's eligibility for unemployment benefits.

In the post on Tuesday 11/28/17 we reminded you to beware small changes that could be retaliation. If something changes during an FMLA leave, that something might be illegal, even if it's small. The post shows how that plays out – and a court's reaction.

TAKEAWAY: If an employee is taking an approved FMLA leave, don't make changes to the job unless they were in the works before the leave (or can otherwise be legally justified).

The post on Wednesday 11/29/17 was about providing reasonable accommodations under the ADA Regulations. Covered employers (defined in the post) must provide reasonable accommodation to enable a covered employee to perform the essential functions of the job. But what is reasonable? Some examples are in the post. But that comes only as part of the entire process (again, laid out in the post).

TAKEAWAY: Know when you must engage in the interactive accommodation process, when you don't have to, and the reason for each.

In the post on Thursday 11/30/17 we read that not all jokes, propositions are necessarily workplace sexual harassment. Good to know with everything that is going on. First, as the post points out, they have to be "harassment". Then they have to be work-related. There are also other requirements as in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Employers should never condone off-color jokes or sexual propositions, but their mere existence does not necessarily mean that illegal harassment occurred. Check with your employment law attorney.

The post on Friday 12/1/17 was a reminder: personal email is discoverable. A federal judge just served up that reminder in a sex discrimination case. Emails are sent from so many sources – all may be subject to turnover in litigation. The post has a few tips to help in this area.

TAKEAWAY: If you don't want a personal email account to be fair game in litigation, don't use it for work-related emails.

Finally, in the post yesterday 12/2/17 we saw that the feds fined a potato processor $100,000 for employment status discrimination. The allegations were that it discriminated against immigrants during employment authorization verifications. The post tells how certain people were singled out (and why that was allegedly illegal). But it settled, for a lot of taters.

TAKEAWAY: Treat all employees the same unless there is a valid legal reason to treat them differently – and then check with your employment law attorney just to be sure.

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