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Monday
Jan152018

ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Jan. 14-20, 2018

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 1/14/18 we learned that a surveillance video foils plaintiff's ADA claim. What did we do before technology?!? Ok, so the plaintiff was hired to assemble harnesses for industrial dryers. It was a very physically-demanding job. In Summer 2015 he brought in a light-duty note from his doctor with details on his restrictions. In August 2015 he got STD but had still not requested light duty (and there was none). The employer surveilled him during the leave; what it found is in the post. In late January 2016, he was fired (as a result of the surveillance). He sued under the ADA. And lost, one not one but 2 bases. The court's explanation is in the post and makes perfect sense.

TAKEAWAY: The start of the ADA's interactive accommodation process is a request by the employee for an accommodation – only then must the employer act. And act on fact, not fiction.

The post on Monday 1/15/18 was about a veteran fighting an HOA to display the US flag (and we noted that Associations and owners should know the law on flags). He served 3 tours in Iraq and is still fighting. This time, it's the homeowners' association on the other side. Why? He put up the US and marine flags at the sides of his driveway and the HOA says it's against the rules. Watch the VID linked in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Associations can have rules and regulations, but they must be legal. Know the Flag Act.

In the post on Tuesday 1/16/18 we noted that when it comes to unemployment benefits, an angry outburst isn't reason enough to quit. We then asked if you know what PA law would say? In this case, Edward was a lab assistant at a college. He quit after a meeting; his reason is in the post. He filed for UC benefits and was denied. The reason, which was upheld on appeal, is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Would Edgar get unemployment benefits in PA? Probably not since it appears he had no necessitous and compelling reason.

The post on Wednesday 1/17/18 asked: is terminating a severely overweight employee is disability discrimination? Ketryn thought so. She said her new boss made offensive remarks about her weight; one particular one is in the post. Other things he did are also in the post (including paying her less than a thinner, more junior employee). The employer's reason for termination is in the post along with her response to it. She sued and a judge will let the case go to a jury.

TAKEAWAY: Who has to prove what when a discrimination suit is filed are in the post and crucial to any case. Make sure you have all of your I's dotted and T's crossed.

In the post on Thursday 1/18/18 we read that they did not want a Muslim – woman sues after she claims they ordered her to remove hijab for work. Who is "they"? A Dillard's store in Texas. Duha had begun training for a sales position and was told by a department manager that she could not wear her hijab on the floor. After being told it was for religious reasons, the manager apologized. However, read the post to see what happened later – and why she took action.

TAKEAWAY: Employers may not run roughshod over an employee's sincerely-held religious beliefs – even if they run afoul of a policy or rule. Be careful.

The post on Friday 1/19/18 points to a report that Microsoft systematically discriminates against women in pay and advancement. The report was prepared and filed as part of a pending suit filed against Microsoft. The finding is that Microsoft paid low-to mid-level female employees less than similarly-situated male employees and more listed in the post. Another report suggested decisions by Microsoft were subjective. The reports also gave more details about their findings; see the post. And the suit goes on.

TAKEAWAY: Pay employees based on job performance, not gender (or any other non-performance-related characteristic).

Finally, in the post yesterday 1/20/18 we learned that a court affirmed summary judgment for the Penthouse Club in a discrimination suit. The trial court judge found in favor of Penthouse Club in a race and age discrimination suit and was affirmed on appeal. Charles, an African American male, was 50 when hired. He says that almost immediately his boss began calling him names (in the post). A few months later, when in a dispute at an unrelated nightclub, Charles ran into a co-worker in the parking lot. Charles alleges the employee shouted a racial epithet at him and told him he'd been written up. Charles' boss said there was no write-up and the name-calling would stop. Charles wanted more. Then he sued. His reasons, the club's response, and the judge's ruling are all in the post.

TAKEAWAY: This case was a rarity – so clear on the facts that the court did not require hearing or oral argument, only briefs. And it reaffirms that the facts need to be on your side for a successful outcome.

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