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Employment Law

UT pays $600,000 to settle coach’s race & sex bias suit

A race and gender discrimination lawsuit against the University of Texas that lasted five years has been settled for $600,000.

Alcoholism as a disability: No need to upend all processes to accommodate it

Not all disabilities can be accommodated, and employers have the right to refuse some accommodation requests that simply aren’t reasonable or feasible.

How to handle requests for religious time off

It’s perfectly legitimate to require employees to request religious leave well in advance. If you have a process to ask for time off for other kinds of leave, use it for handling requests for religious leave, too.

Disability: Beware docking attendance points

Policies designed to encourage regular attendance often use a point system to determine when employees who miss work will receive discipline. But that simplicity may create legal problems.

Have a plan for harassers in the C-Suite

HR professionals usually know how to handle co-worker or supervisor sexual harassment. But what if the alleged harasser sits high up the company chain of command?

EEOC lawsuit filings surged in last 12 months

The EEOC is filing lawsuits at a rate that far surpasses the last four years, and sexual harassment lawsuits are causing much of the surge.

Must we accommodate employees’ need to bring therapy animals to work?

Q. One of our employees suffers from severe panic attacks and has a pet hamster that she says relieves her anxiety. She wants to bring her hamster to work in case she has a panic attack. Are we required to grant this request?

Joint employers pay $300K to settle harassment complaints

An Imperial County, California organic vegetable grower and its labor contractor have agreed to settle EEOC charges that a supervisor sexually harassed and retaliated against four women who worked on the farm.

Check layoff rationale for signs of hidden discrimination

A layoff based on legitimate business reasons can still form the basis for a retaliation claim if the layoff decision was based on ulterior motives.

California Labor Code allows collective bargaining that waives some meal breaks

When employees elect a union to represent them, they give it the power to negotiate away some worker rights already granted to them by law. That can include a statutory benefit such as meal breaks if the law authorizing the breaks allows for individual worker waivers. Here’s how that played out in a recent case.