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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – May 28 - June 3, 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 5/28/17 we noted Signet (Kay Jewelers) settled an EEOC discrimination case. Not exactly burnishing its image, huh?!? The suit was brought in 2008 on behalf of female sales employees. The settlement came after a court ruling (see the post). What the settlement does not cover is the other pending gender discrimination suit alleging that females were neither promoted nor paid the same as comparative males.

TAKEAWAY: You may have a valid legal basis for the action you took, or didn't take, but you may still find yourself as party to a suit – costing time and money. Settlement (without admission of liability) is often a good option.  

The posts on Monday 5/29/17, here and here, noted it's Memorial Day – give thanks to all who made it possible. Simple.

TAKEAWAY: Sometimes we step back from the law for a moment and just say thank you where appropriate.

In the post on Tuesday 5/30/17 we advised you to know what to consider before purchasing a condo. We also offered to help you. Location affects unwanted noise, ugly views, privacy problems and more. Know about parking access, where your responsibilities end and those of the Association begin, and other things noted in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure you can live with not only the Unit itself, but what is around it and the Association's Governing Documents. Let us help you know what the legal documents require.

The post on Wednesday 5/31/17 noted Avvo sued for sexual harassment: ex-employee claims she was fired after rebuffing unwanted advances. Selamawit is an African-American woman hired as an account executive in 2014. A mere 7 months later, she was promoted to senior account exec. She alleges a fellow senior account exec sexually harassed her at work events (more details are in the post). She says Avvo took no action after she complained (other than to retaliate and fire her). Avvo denies the allegations (as in the post). After receiving a right to sue notice from the EEOC earlier this year, Selamawit filed suit.

TAKEAWAY: Take all complaints seriously, investigate, and document all findings. Make sure there is a legal basis to support any adverse action taken against employees.

In the post on Thursday 6/1/17 we asked: How healthy is your condo or homeowner association Board? We suggested you conduct a thorough check-up. You are bound by your Association's Governing Documents (Declaration, Bylaws, and Rules/Regulations), you should more about them and the Association itself. Things to look into include how the common property is kept up, what the budget includes, the percentage of delinquent owners, and more things listed in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Living in a condominium or planned community can be great – as long as everyone keeps up their end of the bargain. Have an attorney explain your rights and responsibilities of those of the Association – preferably before you buy.

The post on Friday 6/2/17 told us the EEOC sued Applebee's Bar and Grill for sexual harassment. The complaint alleges that an assistant manager subjected 2 sisters to a sexually hostile work environment. First, Tracy began working as a server in 2013. During most of 2014, a male assistant manager sexually harassed her, including comments about her breast size, comparing salad dressing to semen, and more in the post. In mid-2014, Tracy's sister, Cindy, started to work there as a server. Almost immediately the same assistant manager began sexually harassing Cindy, including comments about female genitalia and more noted in the post. And as if that wasn't enough, he allegedly touched them both inappropriately too. The post tells you at what point management, who was aware of the harassment, stopped it.

TAKEAWAY: Don't stick your head in the sand – if you know about harassment or discrimination, take immediate steps to stop it – and take appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s).

Finally, in the post yesterday 6/3/17, we learned that a court ruled a diagnosed mental impairment was not proven to be an actual disability. The ADAAA doesn't always mean you skip to accommodation. While the ADAAA broadened the scope of covered individuals, it is not limitless. In this case, the court stopped when the plaintiff could not prove he had an actual disability (with the steps identified in the post. The employer did not dispute 2 of the 3 prongs, but did dispute that the condition substantially limited major life activities. How the court analyzed the case is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Employers must be careful to fulfill their responsibilities under the ADAAA, but instead of just assuming the employee is a qualified individual eligible for protection under the Act, can make him or her prove that eligibility.

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