The National Labor Relations Board has issued three far-reaching decisions that change long-standing practices under the National Labor Relations Act. All reflect a disquieting connection between modern communications and old-fashioned labor relations.
Many bosses succumb to the temptation to build a disciplinary case against the employee by citing a long list of minor rule violations. But that can be dangerous, especially if the same violations don’t trigger the same scrutiny for other employees.
By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Other federal anti-discrimination laws add additional protected categories to the list: disability (ADA), age (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), pregnancy (Pregnancy Discrimination Act) and genetic information (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). Absent is any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Dancers at Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club in Midtown Manhattan, just collected more than $10 million following a federal court ruling, and could make even more if an ongoing lawsuit continues to go their way.
AT&T Prime Communications, one of the nation’s largest cellphone plan providers, will pay $122,254 to 255 workers to settle charges it failed to pay them for overtime work.
A former New York Police Department officer of mixed-race ancestry is accusing the department of tolerating racial bias, alleging that co-workers on the NYPD’s elite scuba diving team harassed him.
NBC has agreed to settle Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed by interns who worked on “Saturday Night Live.” The interns filed a class-action lawsuit against the network last year, alleging that NBC used interns in place paid workers, a practice the FLSA forbids.
An employee who quits because he thinks he may be fired isn’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If there was still work available, quitting would have been unreasonable.
Judges understand the difference between an unfair boss and an illegal practice. They won’t hold you liable for all bad decisions—just the discriminatory ones.
Now that every paycheck can become the basis for a new equal pay claim, smart employers are proactive about making sure they base compensation on factors other than sex, age or some combination of those factors.