Legal Issues

Lawsuit: Confederate flag signals harassment

August 26, 2021
Most employers train supervisors to spot signs of a hostile work environment and fix it before an unhappy employee sues. The trick is to recognize the red flags—sometimes literally.

Transfer accused harasser, not alleged victim

August 13, 2021
When allegations of sexual harassment arise, it’s common sense to separate the alleged harasser and the alleged victim. Do so by transferring the person who has been accused of harassment. Any effort to move the alleged victim is liable to be construed as retaliation for having reported harassment.

Set objective criteria for who loses job in layoff

August 5, 2021
Use objective standards to decide who will stay or go during a reduction in force. That helps eliminate the chance that bias will taint the RIF process and trigger an employee lawsuit.

Can we require an attestation of vaccination?

August 3, 2021
Q: “What recourse does an employer have against an employee if we are requiring them to complete an attestation form regarding the employee’s covid vaccination status? Can the employer terminate the employee or prevent them from reporting to work until the form has been completed? By requiring the employee to respond to the request, is the company violating any HIPAA, ADA or PHI laws?” – Anonymous, Hawaii

Long covid may be an ADA-covered disability

August 2, 2021
Some people suffer for months with brain fog, joint and muscle pain, difficulty breathing, being unable to smell or taste and any number of other conditions.

A no call/no show might be an arrest situation–what now?

July 12, 2021
Q: “An employee did not show for work for three days of scheduled shifts. Normally, three no call/no shows are considered job abandonment and result in termination; however, we are suspicious that the employee may have been arrested. We have attempted to contact him on several occasions and have reached out to his emergency contact with no response back. Any recommendations on how to handle this situation?” – Katherine, Pennsylvania

Prepare to accommodate covid after-effects

June 24, 2021
Most people recover from covid-19 within a few weeks. However, reasonably large numbers of people who had the disease experience after-effects that may interfere with their ability to work. As a result, employers can expect to see more requests for ADA reasonable accommodations and FMLA intermittent leave.

Same-sex harassment may include nonsexual behavior

June 10, 2021
Don’t ignore a sexual harassment complaint just because the workplace consists of members of a single sex and there’s no claim that the harasser was seeking sexual favors.

Firm threatens lawsuits over vaccine mandates

June 3, 2021
Despite EEOC guidance that employers may require employees to be vaccinated against covid-19, only 49.9% of Americans had received at least one shot as of June 2. About 13% of Americans say they will refuse to be vaccinated under any circumstances, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

Are we on the hook if a social media hack creates a false job opening?

May 28, 2021
Q: “Our company LinkedIn account was hacked with a bogus job opening to which people are responding. Do we have any responsibility?” – Beth, Ohio