Posts from May 2015.

Maybe it's just me, but workplace harassment issues seem to come in waves -- I'll go months, or even a year, without an issue, and then WHAM! everybody has a "situation," or at least they need to get their preventive training done.

Surfer.flickrCC.ColleccionistadeInstantes
"Darn it."

 

Right now, we're in a bit of a "flash flood," so I thought it might be a good time to review the basics, with some updates.

WHAT ARE THE FIVE ...

Thank you to all who sacrificed your lives serving our country.

Arlington National Cemetery.flickrCC.JamesDemetrie

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons license. Photo of Arlington National Cemetery by James Demetrie.

Male attorneys, it's not a good idea to use the "V" word when referring to your female adversaries, and you might even be sanctioned for it.

(Chill! I'm not talking about that "V" word.)

V0007254 Senora Pastrana, a bearded lady. Reproduction of a wood
"Does this dress make me look virilistic?"

Have you ever heard of the word "virilism"? Neither had I. But apparently it's a real thing: the appearance of male secondary sex characteristics in a female ...

Is that "random" drug test selection really random?

Many employers -- particularly, those in the transportation industry -- use third party vendors to do the random selections for federally mandated drug and alcohol tests. I think it's a great idea, because it prevents employees from claiming that they were selected for "random" testing in a not-very-random process.

Pennies.flickrCC.AlexSchreyer
"Heads up ...

Are harassment and retaliation lawsuits all going to the jury now? Are employers doomed? Are the plaintiffs' lawyers popping the champagne corks? Is the EEOC dancing for joy?

The employment law world is abuzz about last week's racial harassment/retaliation decision from my own U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (Many thanks to an attorney friend who emailed a ...

Is "digital native" the latest code term for "young"?

A hot topic for the past few days, after an article on the subject appeared in Fortune, has been whether it's discriminatory for an employer to specify in recruiting that it's seeking to hire "digital natives." A "digital native" is someone who was born into the digital world, which supposedly means people born in 1990 and later ...

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has submitted a proposed rule on the white-collar FLSA overtime exemptions to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which means that the proposed revisions to the overtime regulations could be made public before long.

Although the specifics are not known at this time, the proposed rule is ...

Thanks to my law partner Jill Stricklin, who has this news about the EEOC's new pilot program. Jill is an employment litigator in Constangy's Winston-Salem Office and was also just named to the 2015 North Carolina Business Legal Elite for employment attorneys.

The EEOC began use of a new "Digital Charge" pilot program last Friday in the Charlotte, North Carolina, and San ...

Some employers really, really hate to fire employees. That doesn't mean they won't do it - but they'll do just about anything to avoid calling it what it is.

Shovel Art.flickrCC.TonyAlter
"You should usually call a spade a spade."

A few months ago, I wrote about "bogus RIFs" - when an employer tries to avoid "firing" an employee by claiming it's really a "reduction in force."

There's another kind of ...

Many of our long-time clients and friends remember our former law partner Mike Shershin, a labor practitioner. Mike died earlier in April after a short illness. We offer our condolences to Mike's wife of 41 years, Martha, and to the rest of his family and friends. The following is a statement from Neil Wasser, Chairman of our firm's Executive Committee:

It is with deepest sympathy ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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