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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Jan. 28 - Feb. 3, 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 1/28/18 we talked about DOL's guidance on whether interns are employees. Know the correct answer. See the post for details.

TAKEAWAY: It used to be so easy – bring on a young adult as an intern to give him or her a learning experience. Not so now as there are many factors going into whether the person is an employee or an intern. Know which.

The post on Monday 1/29/18 reminded us that 40 years later, women who formed Willmar 8 keep up the fight for equality. Amazing! 40 years ago, these women picketed their bank employer for equal pay and equal opportunities for advancement. They did that because a male loan officer candidate was hired without prior notice of the availability of the position. The post includes the bank's response at the time. The women kept fighting as in the post, including being out on strike for 2 years. Now they still fight for equality.

TAKEAWAY: Pay employees based on job performance, not gender. Period.

In the post on Tuesday 1/30/18 we noted you should do research before buying a home or condo governed by a homeowners' association. (Let me help you.) Yep, more than 63 million people live in planned communities. Planned communities can be great as they provide services to the owners, but they also have contractual covenants and rules that all owners must live by. Check the post for background and some things to look at.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure the Association does what it is supposed to and you as a resident are willing to abide by all of the covenants and other governing documents.

The post on Wednesday 1/31/18 noted that restaurants and patrons (and other public places) need to know the law about service animals. True service dogs are there to assist their owners deal with a disability and are therefore covered under the ADA. As noted in the post, there are ADA regulations about service animals and any place of public accommodation should be familiar with them.

TAKEAWAY: Do not treat someone with a service animal differently than anyone else – afford him or her the same treatment.

In the post on Thursday 2/1/18 we learned that experts find people are unaware of radon, the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer. To put it in perspective, about 7 out of 10 homes in York County tests high for radon (prior to any mitigation). Two homes next to each other might have drastically different levels of radon so don't just assume that because your neighbor's home is or is not high in radon, yours will be the same. The post gives some background and data to know about radon.

TAKEAWAY: Radon is colorless, tasteless and odorless – have your house tested and if the level is high, get a mitigation system installed.

The post on Friday 2/2/18 told us that Volvo will pay $70,000 to settle an EEOC disability discrimination matter. So what happened? Volvo made a conditional job offer to an applicant who was a recovering drug addict in a supervised medication-assisted treatment program. He told Volvo about the medically-prescribed drug as part of the physical exam. Volvo fired him on the first day due to the use of the medically-assisted drug. The post talks about what Volvo should have done and why. Instead, it's paying $70,000 plus other relief.

TAKEAWAY: Hire and fire based on the ability to do a job, not a medical reason (that is illegal).

Finally, in the post yesterday 2/3/18 we read that a lesbian firefighter prevails in court after having brain matter flung at her. Her colleagues spat on her and more as listed in the post. They even threw brain matter at her! A jury found in her favor in 2016 and the case went up on appeal. The federal appeals court just upheld the verdict for the reasons in the post.  

TAKEAWAY: Make sure to treat all employees the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation – otherwise you might find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

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