Legal Issues

Avoid constant questions about workers’ retirement

December 16, 2021
When a 60-year-old HP employee got a new manager, the boss began to call him “uncle,” criticized his “old skills” and repeatedly asked when he was “going to retire.” After losing his job in a RIF, the employee sued for age bias.

Be sure to track who you didn’t hire, too

December 9, 2021
If the same person who made a hiring decision, knowing the candidate belonged to a protected class, also makes the firing decision, it’s almost impossible for the former employee to sue and argue she was terminated because of discrimination. But to succeed in court, you must be able to describe the applicants you did not hire.

EEOC clarifies what’s pandemic retaliation

November 29, 2021
The EEOC has updated its retaliation guidance for the coronavirus pandemic age, releasing a new technical assistance document explaining how to balance employee anti-retaliation rights under the ADA, Title VII and other laws against an employer’s need to enforce covid health and safety protocols.

Hold it! Don’t prevent extra bathroom breaks

November 22, 2021
Alert managers that some medical conditions do require more frequent visits to the restroom.

Can you fire employee for saying, “Let’s go, Brandon!”?

November 18, 2021
Southwest Airlines is investigating a pilot for saying, “Let’s go, Brandon!” during an in-flight announcement. Southwest sent a reminder to staff that “public expressions of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable.”

3 federal agencies team up to stop retaliation

November 18, 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor, the EEOC and the National Labor Relations Board are responsible for enforcing most federal anti-discrimination laws affecting workers and the workplace. Concerned with an increase in the number of employee lawsuits accusing employers of retaliation, those three agencies have joined forces to raise awareness about the problem.

5th Circuit refuses to lift stay on OSHA covid mandate

November 16, 2021
A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reaffirmed a previous order that prevented OSHA’s vaccinate-or-test covid-safety mandate from taking effect. The move adds uncertainty to a process driven by looming deadlines.

Review points-based attendance system now

October 28, 2021
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.

OSHA cites insurance agency for covid-safety violations

October 12, 2021
A federal workplace health investigation found that an auto insurance company ignored coronavirus safety requirements and allowed others displaying symptoms to work at the same Denver location where an employee died of covid-19.

Beware retaliation against activist employees

October 7, 2021
Amazon has agreed to settle allegations it retaliated against two former employees who organized demonstrations decrying the retail giant’s environmental impact and helped employees protest working conditions.