« ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 24-30, 2017 | Main | ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 10-16, 2017 »

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 17-23, 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 9/17/17 we asked: a dog, a cat and a bunny walk into a diner – what's the diner's owner to do? This was actually not a joke without a punch line, but rather a question of accommodation under the ADA. Relative to service animals and emotional support animals. The post helps explain what type of animal can be a service animal, what it does, and where it can go (and under what conditions). The post also mentions briefly what the owner can and cannot ask about the animal or the owner and what the owner can and cannot do when the animal is brought into the diner. These things are not all the same for emotional support animals as they have no ADA protection – but the post does mention a few situations where the law may require its presence.  

TAKEAWAY: Know who can bring what type of animal into your business and under what conditions – before you run afoul (as opposed to fowl) of the law.

The post on Monday 9/18/17 suggested you check your COBRA notice! So you know what COBRA is, that you have to give notice, and the situations in which that has to occur. Great. But do you ever actually check the language of the notice to make sure it says everything it should and in the way it should? Probably not. The post includes where to find a sample notice that you can use. The suit referenced in the post alleges that the sample was not used in full, the part that was used was modified in ways that made it unclear and ambiguous, required information was not provided, and other deficiencies. Since the suit is against Wal-Mart, there might be a huge recovery (or settlement) coming down the pike.

TAKEAWAY: Don't be the name listed as a defendant in a lawsuit; make sure your COBRA notices are proper – and, even better, have your employment law counsel review it for legal compliance.

In the post on Tuesday 9/19/17, we noted that Company offering teen a job + firing her (& a friend) after a complaint of lower pay than a male friend hired at same time = suit filed. No surprise, right? Here the suit was filed by the EEOC against a company that owns multiple pizza shops. 2 teens, Jenson and Jake, applied to work at the pizza joint. Both got interviews and both were hired; then they talked about their pay. Turns out Jake was to be paid more than Jenson, so she called the business to complain. What the employer did next is in the post (and led to the suit).

TAKEAWAY: Pay according to job performance, not gender or any other protected characteristic. You will be found out and taken to task (or sued).

The post on Wednesday 9/20/17 was about common handbook mistakes. Let us help you avoid them. Some of the things to look for in your handbook (you do have one, right? If not, you really need our help!) are the EEO statement/policy, off-duty conduct provisions, separation policies, anti-harassment policies, and others in the post. The list in the post is not exhaustive, but merely some provisions that often end up being land mines in litigation.

TAKEAWAY: Having a handbook (or policy manual) is great, but you also need to keep it updated, both as to the law and your operations. Make sure to run it by an attorney for legal compliance.

In the post on Thursday 9/21/17 we noted that when FMLA medical leave runs out, don't forget the ADA, feds say. The EEOC filed suit recently, alleging the defendant failed to accommodate an employee who was undergoing breast cancer treatment that the failure was in violation of the ADA. The leave began as FMLA leave. That's where the problem arose. Read the post for more background.

TAKEAWAY:  We've said it before; don't look at the FMLA and the ADA in a vacuum, but rather together.

The post on Friday 9/22/17 told us that Hershey's faces an ADA suit (which is not the sweetest thing on earth). First, did you know that Hershey's had a place of business in Seattle? Well, apparently it does. A former employee at that location has sued, saying Hershey's refusal to approve her requested medical accommodation, and then discharged her, in violation of the ADA. The post contains more background information and the crux of the suit.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure to follow the steps of the interactive accommodation process as soon as you get a request for accommodation. All steps.

Finally, in the post yesterday 9/23/17 we asked: When is telecommuting considered a reasonable ADA accommodation? Yes, apparently accommodation under the ADA was our theme for the week. The answer to the question, as you might guess, is "it depends". On the job at issue and whether the essential functions can be performed outside of the workplace, either fully or at all. The post contains other things to take into consideration when discussing a telecommuting accommodation.

TAKEAWAY: Don't just rule out telecommuting - discuss why it would or would not be feasible given the essential job functions at issue in any given situation.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>