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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Apr 21 - 27, 2019

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 4/21/19 we learned that FMLA harassment is not actionable without missed leave. Let's look at that more closely. Here, Nancy was a medical secretary at Temple for over 8 years. She requested, and was approved for, leave to care for her daughter. The February 2016 approval was as noted in the post. Then in July 2016, Nancy requested more – see the post. It was granted. But Nancy alleged that her supervisor took actions that are illegal – her allegations are in the post. Eventually Nancy sued for FMLA interference on the basis in the post. The key to the ruling is in the post – and should be noted by every employee and employer. The court also dealt with Nancy's retaliation claim and the basis for its ruling there is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure each element of a claim is present – know what each party must prove under the statute. Consult an employment lawyer for help.

The post on Monday 4/22/19 told us there are times hidden cameras can record employee behavior—but not always. What about a camera in a hospital that captured patients undergoing sensitive procedures including Caesarian births and hysterectomies? Hmmm, it depends (on the totality of facts). Here, the recordings even caught patients' faces during the procedures listed in the post. Why did the hospital do that? Its statement is in the post. Is that sufficient? Well, it depends on the many things noted in the post, including what was the least intrusive way to accomplish its goal.

TAKEAWAY: If you as an employer are going to use hidden cameras, make sure the process you use to notify employees is legal and transparent – consult an employment lawyer to cover your legal bases.

The post on Tuesday 4/23/19 was from the courtroom: ADA accommodation do's and don'ts. Pay attention. Ok, you know all about the ADA and reasonable accommodation process, right? Hmmm. Here are a few reminders. First, take all accommodation requests seriously. When Kecia was told she would be terminated without providing evidence of her medical recovery, she complied (to a degree). The employer's actions are in the post. She sued and the suit was allowed to go forward. Some more tips (and cases) are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Know how the process works and follow the steps – don't skip anything and make sure to get all necessary facts.

The post on Wednesday 4/24/19 was about issues to be considered when re-writing Governing Documents. Community Associations (homeowner and condo) need to ensure that the Declaration, Bylaws and Rules/Regulations are up to date, both from the legal compliance and operational viewpoints. Things may have changed since the community was built. Some of the reasons to amend (or re-write) the documents are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: The Governing Documents are living, breathing documents – make sure yours are legally compliant and functionally reasonable and appropriate for your Association – consult a lawyer well-versed in community association law (such as Austin Law Firm) for assistance.

In the post on Thursday 4/25/19 we learned about a settlement in EEOC suit alleging Arby's female teen workers subjected to sexual harassment. Who settled? The owner of more than 51 restaurant franchises in several states. The suit filed by the EEOC alleged that 3 female teen employees were "regaled" by their male team leader with sexual acts he wanted to perform with them and more (yes, more, ugh) as in the post. They complained; it did not stop. What the settlement involved is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Train your employees as to what they can and cannot do – and if they act inappropriately, take action.

The post on Friday 4/26/19 was about PA medical marijuana & workplace implications. We said you need to know about this. Remember that while it is legal in PA, it is not under federal law. That that is why there are issues in the workplace. The PA Act prohibits employers from taking adverse action against an employee solely based on being certified to use medical marijuana. What it does NOT require employers to do is in the post. How the Act intersects, or contrasts, with federal law that may also apply is causing problems for many employers – and is working through the legal system. Read the post and contact your attorney. 

TAKEAWAY: Make sure your policies and processes comply with the PA Act, but also know what you may or may not do under various federal laws – and then consult an employment lawyer to be sure.

Finally, in the post yesterday 4/27/19 we learned that an Anthropologie employee dubbed 'mom' gets age claim revived. We reminded you to train your employees! Blair was 54 when she was hired. She said she was often called "mom" by other employees, even after she told them not to. And when she showed interest in a promotion, a manager told her (see the post). She reported that and eventually got the promotion. But then the employer retaliated as in the post. She sued. The trial court dismissed her suit, but it was reinstated on appeal.

TAKEAWAY: Training should cover many aspects that managers might encounter, I including harassment, discrimination and complaints of same, along with how to (re)act when those come up. Do not allow ostriches!

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