Legal Issues

Lessons from the courts: Nooses, dinosaurs and repeat offenders

April 6, 2015
Here’s what managers need to take away from recent lawsuits in the news.

Your employee handbook: Helpful teacher … and scary betrayer

March 30, 2015
Somewhere out there, there’s someone very unhappy that he either didn’t get the job he sought from you, or left on terms he didn’t get to dictate. Realizing there’s so little downside to suing an employer, he’ll soon identify one place he can cynically mine for loopholes that he and his lawyer can use to slam you. That place is your employee handbook.

Employees must apply before suing for failure to promote

March 16, 2015
U.S. Postal Service employee Erick sued when he didn’t receive a promotion. But his supervisors said they had no idea he was interested …

When punishments differ, show precisely why

March 13, 2015
A woman of Haitian heritage was fired for sleeping on the job. She sued for discrimination, claiming two other snoozing workers weren’t fired …

Can a manager’s smirk justify a discrimination case?

March 12, 2015
An employee with a history of lengthy absences was called into a disciplinary meeting. During the meeting, she said she saw the manager smirk while looking at her records. She cited the facial expressions as the main proof of discrimination.

No victim? No problem! EEOC can still sue for bias

March 4, 2015
Even if you’re not hearing complaints of bias, realize that insiders can blow the whistle on illegal practices.

Single stupid comment can tank legitimate decision

March 2, 2015
Bosses who don’t have appropriate verbal filters can accidentally turn a legitimate management decision into evidence of discrimination.

Is simple teasing considered harassment?

February 27, 2015
Our workplace operates on a lot of laughs and camaraderie. Some of the banter seems like harmless teasing, but I’m wondering now if we are flirting with a harassment lawsuit.

Can I force a worker to change his shift?

February 26, 2015
Q. I need to move an employee to the night shift and no one is volunteering. Can I just force the move?  — Tom, Rhode Island

Be clear on what retaliation is

February 24, 2015
Retaliation claims can be brought when a person experiences an “adverse employment action” (firing, discipline, demotion, shift change, etc.) in reaction to the following.