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Employment Law

EEOC cracks down on pre-hire strength tests

The EEOC is filing—and winning—lawsuits on behalf of female applicants who complained they lost out on jobs for which they were otherwise qualified because they failed a post-offer, pre-employment strength test.

Avoid constant questions about workers’ retirement

When a 60-year-old HP employee got a new manager, the boss began to call him “uncle,” criticized his “old skills” and repeatedly asked when he was “going to retire.” After losing his job in a RIF, the employee sued for age bias.

When can FMLA be taken for care of sibling?

The FMLA typically allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave to care for the serious illness of a son or daughter. But it’s not just biological or adoptive parents who can qualify.

Offer paid suspension while you investigate allegations

When employees are accused of serious misconduct, consider suspending them with pay. It’s a way to keep alleged bad actors from doing further damage while discouraging them from suing for discrimination and retaliation.

EEOC explains covid-19 as an ADA disability

The EEOC issued new guidance Dec. 14 clarifying when covid-19 may be considered a disability under the ADA. The guidance appears in a Q&A document broadly focused on covid and the definition of disability under Title I of the ADA.

$2 million verdict in ‘glass ceiling’ bias suit

For decades, women have complained that a “glass ceiling” effectively prevents women from climbing to the top of the organizational ladder. Over the years, numerous sex discrimination lawsuits have taken aim at the glass ceiling, including this one.

Make plans to handle high-level harassment

Sexual harassment isn’t just a problem on the factory floor or in the back of the store. It sometimes simmers in executive offices, too. And the further up the chain of command the harassment originates, the more likely it will cost your organization a fortune in damages and disastrous PR.

Griping about low pay isn’t always protected activity

Countless federal laws make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activities such as reporting alleged discrimination or unfair labor practices. However, not all employee complaints earn protection against retaliation.

Be sure to track who you didn’t hire, too

If the same person who made a hiring decision, knowing the candidate belonged to a protected class, also makes the firing decision, it’s almost impossible for the former employee to sue and argue she was terminated because of discrimination. But to succeed in court, you must be able to describe the applicants you did not hire.

It’s time to review noncompete agreements

Two practical steps can help assure your noncompete agreements actually prevent unfair competition from former employees.