• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Employment Law

Know the tech tools that aid union organizing

Until recently, unhappy workers could only grouse among themselves during breaks or after work. Not anymore! Now, workers enthusiastically use social media to take their concerns public and initiate union-organizing activity. These are the tech tools workers are using to accelerate union organizing. Get familiar with them and monitor them so you have time to develop an effective response.

‘Attractive people should expect harassment’: Really!?

When a female security guard complained that a male co-worker verbally and physically harassed her, her supervisor’s only response was telling her “she should expect sexual harassment based on her appearance.”

Review points-based attendance system now

Some employers use a points-based system to punish employees whose unplanned absences wreak havoc on operations. It can be effective. However, a system that’s too draconian or doesn’t allow for reasonable exceptions may invite litigation, especially from employees who claim they have an ADA-covered disability.

Employees’ pandemic lawsuits continue to evolve

The mandatory vaccination cases aren’t going anywhere soon, as employers and the federal government are leaning on such policies. But two recent decisions also remind us that pandemic-related lawsuits come in many flavors.

Remember, bias is illegal no matter who it helps

Title VII and other federal employment laws were designed to create a level playing field for all employees. The EEOC takes all discrimination complaints seriously, even when it appears one group that has historically suffered because of bias is treated better than another oppressed group.

Consider religious objections to vaccination

Legal experts say employers are within their rights to fire unvaxxed staff. However, Title VII’s religious discrimination provisions still apply. That means employers must weigh whether employees with sincerely held religious beliefs against vaccination are entitled to reasonable accommodations of those beliefs.

DOL lawsuit alleges retaliation for reporting coronavirus concerns

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against a luxury car dealer in Texas for terminating an employee who warned managers and co-workers about potential coronavirus hazards in the workplace.

Prepare for the coming wave of union activism and strikes

The pandemic-induced labor shortage has emboldened labor unions and individual workers to demand more money and better benefits. Increasingly, they are backing up their requests with action by going out on strike.

Steer clear of questions about past drug use

Warn supervisors not to pry into employees’ medical histories, including past abuse of drugs or alcohol. Simply asking workers about a perceived previous drug problem could trigger a lawsuit.

Long covid could trigger FMLA, ADA liability

Employers need to be ready to respond to more requests for both FMLA intermittent leave and ADA accommodations.