Legal Issues

The cost of a careless remark

December 20, 2019
The Americans with Disabilities Act forbids discriminating against disabled employees. Openly hostile acts or comments are, of course, illegal, but you should also avoid making comments that show you even regard the employee as unable to work adequately.

Smiley Dental supervisor frowned on pregnancy

December 10, 2019
Smiley Dental in Dallas has agreed to settle EEOC pregnancy discrimination charges that arose after a receptionist informed her boss she was pregnant a month after being hired.

Mere threat of discipline is no reason to quit

November 30, 2019
Employees who quit can still sue their employers just as if they had been fired for an unlawful reason—under very limited circumstances.

Medical inquiries cost Texas employer $50k

November 15, 2019
Oncor Electric Delivery in Dallas has settled charges it violated the ADA when it asked employees to reveal drugs they had been prescribed.

Discover wrongdoing during FMLA? Fire away

November 14, 2019
It’s natural to worry about terminating an employee who is out on FMLA leave. However, the FMLA does not prohibit employers from making employment decisions that they would have made anyway if the employee had never taken leave.

Superstar won’t behave? Feel free to fire

November 7, 2019
Sometimes, an employee does a great job, but an abrasive personality makes him more trouble than he is worth. Superior work skills and productivity insulate superstars from legitimate discipline or termination based on poor behavior.

Harassment victim told to put on your ‘big girl panties’

November 1, 2019
When an employee at a Walmart store in Rochester complained about sexual harassment, her managers took an unusual approach.

Territory bias was a million-dollar mistake

October 29, 2019
Here’s a warning for managers who assign sales or service territories to employees: Never make assumptions about who can best serve your customers on the basis of race, national origin or other protected characteristics.

Employee has seizure at work? Hold your fire

October 25, 2019
Workers who have episodes of seizures are protected by the American with Disabilities Act, which means it’s illegal to bump them off the payroll because of that brain disorder.

To sue for FMLA interference, employee must ask for FMLA leave

October 24, 2019
In order to claim an employer violated the FMLA by denying leave, the employee must have actually requested that leave. She doesn’t have to formally state, “I am requesting FMLA leave.” However, what she says must at least be understood as a request.