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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Oct. 7 - 13, 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 10/7/18 we learned about the proposed NLRB Joint Employer Rule: Substantial Control Requirement. Yes, it's back. The Board feels that this issue,”has significant consequences for the businesses, unions, and employees alike ….” The post talks about the starting point in a joint employer determination and the history of this saga through the Board. The post also talks about the implications of the current status and what the proposed Rule will do.

TAKEAWAY: Be aware of this as it will no doubt spill over from the union environment to the non-union workplace; know how you and your partners might be treated.

The post on Monday 10/8/18 told us that IHOP stores settle with the EEOC for $1M. OK, it's a $975,000 settlement over allegations that management turned a blind eye to sexual harassment directed at 16 teenage employees. Ugh. The post mentions the alleged conduct which, unfortunately, goes beyond sexual comments.  

TAKEAWAY: Just don't do it - and train your employees not to do it. The EEOC has a huge push to protect teen workers against discrimination and harassment and will litigate if necessary.

In the post on Tuesday 10/9/18, we saw that an Association is to pay a penalty for failure to reasonably accommodate. The woman asked the Association to remove carpet from her second-floor, one-bedroom condo and install hardwood floors. Why she did that is in the post. She also provided a letter from her downstairs neighbor saying there was no objections to the flooring change. But the Association denied the request; its basis is in the post along with more undercutting it.  

TAKEAWAY: Don’t end up like this Association – consult a community lawyer to stay on the right side of legal and know if, when and how to reasonably accommodate.

The post on Wednesday 10/10/18 asked: Is it "debt collection" if you never asked for money? The Supreme Court will hear arguments on this issue during its current term. First, why do you care? Because the law requires certain things of debt collectors and they can be liable for damages if they don't follow those steps. So what exactly does the term “debt collection” mean in the context of the FDCPA? As noted in the post, Congress did not define the term “debt collection” anywhere in the Act. Further reasons this is still a question are in the post. Federal appellate courts have reached different conclusions on whether a “debt collection” communication must make a demand on the debtor for payment of money in order to be subject to the FDCPA; their rationale is in the post. The case before the Supreme Court is on whether the FDCPA applies to a collector’s communications made in connection with non-judicial foreclosure proceedings, but the ruling might come down more broadly and give guidance.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure you know the law of your state if you are collecting another's debt – don't get caught on the wrong legal foot.

In the post on Thursday 10/11/18 we saw that a jury claps back at age insults and awards millions. After deliberating for 4 days, the jury awarded a record-setting sum to a California woman who, after 36 years on the job, was replaced by a much younger man. What did they give her? Sit down and see the post. It all began when her supervisor started to make remarks about her age. Some of them are in the post. The company chose not to settle and now has an uphill battle to get the jury's award reduced.

TAKEAWAY: Don't get behind the 8 ball; train your employees from the start on what not to say.

The post on Friday 10/12/18 questioned whether it is a boys club at Spotify or just part of doing business? That is the basis of a suit filed by Hong Perez, an Asian-American woman and former sales leader at Spotify. Some of her allegations against the male leader of US sales are in the post, along with the fact that they were internally referred to as "boys' trips". The post includes her allegations about discrimination in pay due to gender and what Spotify made her do. Stay tuned as this progresses.

TAKEAWAY: Workplace culture has changed and it now must have nothing to do with rewarding one gender over the other for reasons unrelated to performance – make sure your business complies.

Finally, in the post yesterday 10/13/18, we learned about a $165K #settlement with the EEOC for a manager trainee. That's a lot of bucks! A large sporting goods retailer will pay that amount and provide other relief to settle a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. Allegedly the manager and assistant managers subjected management trainee Robert Sanders, the only African-American, to ongoing racial harassment and death threats. Some of what they did (which is repugnant) is in the post. Sanders was forced to go on several leaves due to stress and was eventually fired.

TAKEAWAY: We've said it before, even earlier this (here), but we will say it again: train your employees on what they can and cannot say. It can mean a huge difference to your pocketbook.

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