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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Feb. 18 - 24, 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 2/18/18 we learned that Old Navy fires 3 employees after alleged racial profiling. And it was on video! James, an African-American, walked into a store wearing a blue Old Navy coat. What happened on his way out is amazing (and sad that it happened – see the post). And it took store security footage to resolve it – until suit is filed. Ugh.

TAKEAWAY: Treat all employees and customers/clients the same way – don't presume or presuppose anything without absolute proof.

The post on Monday 2/19/18 told us a male supervisor harassed female workers, demanded sex and exposed himself (charges the EEOC). The employer is a staffing company, so one would think it ought to know better. But the EEOC sued, alleging a male account manager made sexual comments and demanded sexual favors repeatedly. Not just once. Repeatedly. His actions included asking a female employee for oral sex in exchange for paid time off. The employee complained to another supervisor and was told to "screw him" and take the extra pay. Wow! More details on the harassment are in the post; it's not pretty.

TAKEAWAY: Train your managers on what not to do – or you could find yourself named as a defendant in a costly suit.

In the post on Tuesday 2/20/18 we saw another EEOC suit, this time because a water company fired foreman because he complained about racial slurs. At least the employer has agreed to settle this one. So what happened? The EEOC alleged that a white superintendent and white foreman repeatedly made derogatory and offensive comments to and about African-American workers. The post details the comments. One of the victims, a foreman himself, complained. Did that help? No. In addition to firing him, the company's other action are in the post. Ugh.

TAKEAWAY: Know what to do if an employee complains – and don't act like the employer here acted. Consult an employment law attorney to be sure.

The post on Wednesday 2/21/18 noted a KFC franchise to pay $30,000 to settle an EEOC disability discrimination suit. Obviously the EEOC has been busy. The suit was filed because the employer fired a restaurant manager after finding out she was taking medication for bipolar disorder. Actions taken by the owner (which do not reflect well on him) are in the post.   

TAKEAWAY: Employers must know what they can and cannot do under the ADA – train your employees and have an attorney on call just in case.

In the post on Thursday 2/22/18 was about why a board or owners should hire an attorney who specializes in condominium & HOA law. Can your association afford to lose $22,000 because an attorney did not do what needed to be done, when it needed to be done? The post tells of one such situation. It hurts every owner (in their purse!) when one or more owners do not pay dues/assessments or otherwise violate the Governing Documents.

TAKEAWAY: If you think your Association is not doing what it needs to, or if your Association needs help in enforcing the Governing Documents, contact us. We have much experience in this area and also work closely with the local chapter of CAI (the Community Associations Institute).

The post on Friday 2/23/18 was a reminder to know who can say what under the ADA's confidentiality provisions. David, a combat vet went to work as a firefighter. All went well until August 2011. It was an awful morning (see the post) but David said he was ok. Then the afternoon included a graphic training session – David said he was still ok, but later met with his boss. He also did something else – see the post. The boss suggested that David be evaluated for fitness for duty. Before the results came in, the boss talked to co-workers about David's situation. That led to David suing under the ADA. David lost. The court's reasoning is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: It is imperative that employers know who can say what in the ADA context – and how to deal with medical records. Training is imperative.

Finally, in the post yesterday 2/24/18 we saw that a judge approved a $22.5M settlement in the Nucor steel mill discrimination case. Maybe you haven't heard of it, but the case started in 2003. There was no admission of liability, but it is finally settled. It arose out of black employees alleging that white co-workers discriminated against and harassed them by the actions noted in the post (yes this is real life and not a fictional novel). Under the settlement, each claimant (it was a class action) is expected to get at least $100,000.

TAKEAWAY: We've said it before (even in a our post this past Monday): you must train your managers as to what NOT to do. Their illegal action will result in your pain and payment.

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