Some supervisors can’t or won’t refrain from finding ways to punish employees who complain about alleged harassment or discrimination. That’s why it’s important for someone in HR to follow up on every complaint—even if it turns out to be unfounded—and ask whether there’s been any retaliation.
Employees who use up their FMLA leave may still be entitled to more time off when that leave expires. Some additional time off can be a legitimate reasonable accommodation under the ADA. But if the employee still can’t return after additional leave, it may be time to discuss termination.
New York employers in the hotel and restaurant industry have a new pay rule to work with, changing how tip income is handled and tweaking other details that affect how much pay workers take home.
Employees at Century 21 Department Stores in New York City and Long Island undergo searches every time they leave the store for breaks and at the end of the day. They say the process sometimes takes 15 minutes or longer. The problem: Century 21 makes them clock out first. Employees say that violates the FLSA.
Employers are generally free to develop their own internal policies, but many laws require employers to notify employees of those policies. Consider the case of Jones v. City of Atlantic City in which an FMLA dispute revealed that Atlantic City hadn’t updated its handbook in 13 years. In fact, the last update happened two months before the FMLA was signed into law.
Employers everywhere must be extra cautious about discipline that could be construed as retaliation now that the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed that the fiancé of a woman who filed an EEOC discrimination complaint was protected from retaliation by their mutual employer.
Sometimes, it’s useful to ask for an employee to comment on allegations that could lead to his discharge. For example, in the following case, the employer was about to fire a worker for omitting prior employment from his job application. Before doing so, the employer directly asked if that had, in fact, happened.
Employers that pay new hires more than employees with the same or similar experience should be prepared to prove why they needed to sweeten the pot. Otherwise, they risk an Equal Pay Act lawsuit if it just so happens the hire is of the opposite sex as an incumbent.
Employers can’t punish employees for complaining about alleged discrimination or harassment. That’s true even if the complaint doesn’t pan out, as long as the employees complained in good faith. But judges don’t want employees to use the threat of a retaliation lawsuit as a way to circumvent fair discipline, either. There’s a way for employers to get judges on their side.
A Manhattan bakery will fork over $436,000 in back pay, interest and liquidated damages to 27 employees as part of the resolution of a U.S. Department of Labor wage-and-hour lawsuit.