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Employment Law

Restaurateur forks over $240K of own money for harassment

The principal owner of West Village hot spot The Spotted Pig has agreed to pay 11 former employees $240,000—and a share of his profits over the next 10 years—to settle sexual harassment charges.

Ugly behavior not necessarily harassment

When unpleasant behavior comes to light, it’s important to step back and calmly analyze the facts. If the alleged acts aren’t pervasive or severe, it’s probably not actionable sexual harassment.

DOL funding would fall 11% under Trump’s 2021 budget

The Trump administration wants to cut Department of Labor funding by 11% in Fiscal Year 2021, according to its annual budget proposal issued Feb. 10. The FY 2021 discretionary budget request for the DOL is $11.1 billion.

House backs pro-union PRO Act

The House of Representatives on Feb. 6 approved legislation its backers say would protect workers’ right to unionize.

‘OK, boomer’: Supreme Court tackles age bias

At issue: Whether a federal government employee’s bias claim can prevail if she proves that age discrimination played any role at all in an adverse employment decision.

Demonstrate good faith by keeping thorough notes detailing your investigations

Judges don’t want to second-guess employer decisions. But they do want to see that employers act in good faith when they terminate workers. That makes it essential to document every investigation that might lead to a firing.

When documenting discipline, note all details

When an employee files a lawsuit alleging discriminatory discipline, she will point to other employees outside her protected class who were treated more leniently. It’s critical for employers to document the details that distinguish one case from another.

Track who made discipline recommendations

If you leave discipline and termination decisions to specific managers, be sure to track who has input in those decisions. If you don’t conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the underlying reasons, you may end up rubber-stamping a discriminatory recommendation.

Labor Department issues two new wage-and-hour opinion letters

In January, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued two opinion letters addressing wage-and-hour issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act. One involves discretionary bonuses while the second addresses whether some extra payments for exempt workers may affect their exemptions.

Settlement with EEOC puts Compass Group on right path

Compass Group USA, a food service company that operates a dining facility at the University of Texas’ Medical Branch in Galveston, has settled an EEOC sex discrimination lawsuit for $10,000.