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Employment Law

Short-lived, minor illness doesn’t qualify as disability under FEHA

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act outlaws disability discrimination. It includes definitions of disability, including physical disabilities that affect the digestive system if the condition limits a major life activity. But that doesn’t mean that every minor or transient digestive upset qualifies for protection, as the following case shows.

Judges know work can be unpleasant—and they’re willing to cut you some slack

Not every complaint of unfair or unpleasant treatment at work justifies a lawsuit. Rest assured that judges are often willing to defer to employer decisions unless there’s solid proof of biased behavior.

‘Bye, Felicia’ comment not discriminatory

Unless disrespect crosses the line into racial, sexual, religious or other harassment based on a protected characteristic, misbehavior won’t support a lawsuit.

Employees have more time to file FEHA bias charges

Employees who want to file discrimination, harassment or retaliation charges against their employers under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act now have more time to do so.

#MeToo 2.0: High-profile cases continue

Employee activism in the light of perceived mishandling of internal harassment complaints has prompted another round of high-profile firings. Here are some recent examples.

2019 EEOC charges continue steep decline since 2016

EEOC charges fell to 72,675 in Fiscal Year 2019, according to just-released statistics. That marks the third straight year of declining EEOC charges, with a 20% reduction since FY2016.

Steer clear of assumptions about disability

The EEOC is aggressively going after employers that single out disabled workers based on unfounded assumptions about the kind of work they can and cannot do.

Legal update: New bias protection, fluctuating workweek OT

Two new labor and employment law developments require employers to review their policies. The first adds a new form of prohibited discrimination to the already long list of employer rules. The second clarifies how to handle fluctuating workweeks under the FLSA.

Little slights can add up to hostile environment

Generally, one or two offensive comments aren’t enough to create a hostile work environment or prove discrimination. But when little jabs occur frequently, they may create a convincing “mosaic” of intentional discrimination.

Certain settlement offers don’t require approval from federal court

Good news for employers inclined to settle Fair Labor Standards Act claims before they go to trial: If you make your offer under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, it doesn’t need a federal court’s review and approval.