EMPLOYERS CAN LEARN LESSONS FROM SUCCESS AS MUCH AS THEY CAN FROM FAILURE

Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Hentosh v. Old Dominion University, affirmed an award of summary judgment dismissing a retaliation claim against Old Dominion University.  In so doing, the Court also declared that, in a case where a district court does not have jurisdiction over a Title VII claim due to Plaintiff’s failure to timely file a charge with the EEOC, Plaintiff’s error does not deprive the court of the ability to hear a related retaliation claim.   Read More »

THE NLRB’S DESIGNS TO RE-DEFINE JOINT EMPLOYER

Are you a franchisor?  Do you have contractors?  Do you use a staffing agency? Do you outsource functions (food service, cleaning, security, etc.)?  Do you have affiliate corporate entities you established to operate separately?  Do you have a vertically integrated operation? If you answered any single one of these questions affirmatively, the National Labor Relations Board is gunning for you. url

Read More »

SIXTH CIRCUIT VACATES ADA TELECOMMUTING DECISION

In April 2014, the Sixth Circuit, in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., decided that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, even if the employer’s business judgment dictates otherwise. The court reversed a grant of summary judgment to Ford on the EEOC’s claim that Ford failed to accommodate an employee’s irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”) by refusing to let her telecommute most days. However, in September 2014, the court agreed to reconsider that decision, vacating its April 2014 decision and restoring the case to the docket as a pending appeal.  Read More »

QUESTIONING AN EMPLOYEE’S FMLA LEAVE? REQUIRE CERTIFICATION.

Allowing employees to take FMLA leave is good for employees, it’s good for families, and, of course, it’s required by law. But what if you have an employee who takes FMLA leave when nothing seems to be wrong? For example, you could have an employee who reports that he is taking FMLA leave every time his request for a specific vacation day is turned down. Certainly, you don’t have to allow an employee to take the day off just because the employee has suddenly decided to say that it is FMLA leave, right? images Read More »

MICRO BARGAINING UNITS COMING TO A WORKPLACE NEAR YOU

It is no secret that many employers take steps to try and keep their workplaces union-free.  One of the newer concerns for employers in that camp is the possibility that employees could form a “micro bargaining unit,” which is a unit of employees that make up only a small portion of the workforce. images

Read More »

CLASS ARBITRATION – WHO DECIDES?

Employers tend to like certain aspects of arbitration.  Often it provides a faster and more economical resolution to a dispute than litigation.  Parties can represent themselves, without the need for counsel, before an impartial decision maker chosen by them.  Most arbitrators have some level of experience or expertise in the subject matter of the controversy they will be deciding.  Courts and juries generally will have no such experience.  Employers also believe that an arbitrator’s economic self interest, the desire to be selected for future cases, will prevent an arbitrator from entering a “runaway jury” size adverse award significantly beyond the actual, documented losses and, where appropriate, prevailing party attorney fees. Read More »

PA FEDERAL COURTS ANALYZE PHRA DISABILITY CLAIMS UNDER PRE-ADAAA STANDARDS

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in Riley v. St. Mary’s Medical Center that, while the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) altered the federal standard for proving a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and as the Pennsylvania legislature has not enacted a similar amendment to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), the higher, pre-ADAAA standard for proving “disability” will apply to a plaintiff’s PHRA disability claim. pic

Read More »

DON’T MAKE DECISIONS IN THE BLIND

An employee who has 20/20 vision asks to bring a service animal—a “seeing eye dog”—into work. Must you permit the employee to do so? You might feel that this is the sort of question for which you don’t need to consult with an attorney. The answer is obviously, “No,” right? What if the employee also trains service animals on the side? Must you allow the employee to bring the animal in to work? The answer might surprise you.
Read More »

WAGE-AND-HOUR IMPLICATIONS FOR TELECOMMUTING

The practice of allowing employees to work from home – telecommuting – is a growing trend.  After all, today’s technology allows employees to work from almost anywhere, and telecommuting can be beneficial for both employers and employees.  For employers, telecommunicating can be a less expensive alternative to traditional brick and mortar locations.  Employees like telecommuting because of the flexibility it provides. 784x2048

Read More »