Posts from December 2015.

Oh, for cryin' out loud.

Last week, a high school principal in Bangor, Maine, banned a math teacher from having a little pink Christmas holiday Hello Kitty tree in her classroom for the holidays. She says she was told it was too "religious," although I'm still trying to figure out what religion Hello Kitty is associated with.

Pink Xmas Tree.flickrCC.Kara
Maybe the principal has a point. This tree is quite offensive.

We're on Christmas holidays/vacation until the new year and will not have any posts this Friday or the following Friday (New Year's Day). There may be exceptions for breaking employment-related news, assuming there is any. Moderation of comments may also be slower than normal.

Christmas-tree.jpg
Yeah, right - it's supposed to be in the 70s in N.C. on Christmas Day!

We wish you all and your loved ones a very ...

Who's been naughty and who's been nice in labor and employment law? Here are my picks for 2015. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

NAUGHTY!

MeanSanta.flickrCC.RichardElzey
Santa is not impressed.

The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic and almost impossible for ...

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it is reducing by half the minimum percentage of drivers who must be randomly tested for controlled substances.

The change will take effect January 1.

Currently, employers are required to test at least 50 percent of their average number of commercial motor vehicle ...

As an employer, what do you do when one of your employees reports being sexually harassed by a vendor?

Easy, right? You call the vendor's boss and say, "If you want to continue doing business with us,Costco.EnfieldCT.flickrCC.MikeMozart then you will not send this person back to our company." The vendor wants your business, so her answer is, "Sir, yes sir! Anything you say, sir! We appreciate your business! Thank you for ...

What effect are liberalized marijuana laws having on employer drug policies?

Maybe not as much as you'd think.MarijuanaPlant.flickrCC.JamesSt.John

The Society for Human Resources Management just came out with a survey of employer marijuana policies in states that have legalized it in some degree. Here are some highlights from the SHRM study:

*Of 224 employers who have operations in jurisdictions that have legalized ...

When you get tired of all the shopping and hustle and bustle, take a break and head over to Win-Win HR, where Lorene Schaefer is hosting the Employment Law Blog Carnival: A Festival of Lessons. It will get you back into the proper spirit!

Boy, the Detroit area seems to be in the front lines for the gender-identity wars.

As I've previously reported here, here, here, and here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a high-profile gender-stereotyping lawsuit going on against an area funeral home chain based on its discharge of a transgender employee. The funeral home is represented by the Alliance Defending ...

Michigan Capitol Rotunda
"I'm dizzy!"

Holy Toledo! (Or should I say, Lansing?) Here is our next celebrity employment lawsuit soap opera . . .

You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats back. It was a big deal over the summer and into the fall ...

Tommy Trojan.flickrCC.RichardHa
Trojan man!

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California.

Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on the whole situation than I do.

But who cares! I still think it's a great topic, and a case worth following!

Here's the deal, as I understand it:

Mr ...

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a CRST Truck.flickrCC.PaulSullivanmulti-million attorneys' fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initially sued CRST on behalf of roughly 270 women who were allegedly sexually harassed in their driver training. (That ...

All joy and happiness during this festival of lights!

Chanukah.flickrCC.BillLapp

 

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons license, by Bill Lapp.

 

Chanukah starts at sundown this Sunday, and Christmas is only three short weeks away. Can you throw a workplace holiday party that won't result in a lawsuit? It has been ages since we've had a quiz. Let's do it!

For more on this topic, please listen to the webinar on holiday parties that I did yesterday with Laura Kerekes and the excellent people at ThinkHR. The replay is available here.

Gee, Ma, this is swell!

LeaveItToBeaver.flickrCC.Mike
"Swell!" "Swell!" "Swell!" "Neat-o!"

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with some guidance about the rights of individuals with AIDS and HIV. The guidance is unremarkable for anyone who is familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, although it never hurts to get a refresher, and in any event it's aimed at employees, not ...

Willie Sutton.flickrCC.FBI-RobertHuffstutter
FBI photo of bank robber Willie Sutton

To find out why there is so much wage-hour litigation, read my point-counterpoint interview with plaintiff's attorney Fran Rudich, published in the November 25 edition of Bloomberg BNA's FLSA Litigation Tracker.

(Reproduced with permission from FLSA Litigation Tracker, 2015 FLLTR 6 (Nov. 25, 2015). Copyright 2015 by The Bureau of National ...

NOTE FROM ROBIN: Ellen Kearns is head of our Boston Office and co-chair of the firm's Wage-Hour Practice Group.

The new overtime white-collar exemption rule will be issuedEllen Kearns approximately July 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's fall 2015 regulatory agenda, which the Office of Management and Budget published just before Thanksgiving.

I had earlier reported that ...

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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