Employers usually don’t have a problem terminating an employee for poor performance if the employee has never raised any kind of discrimination claim. But somehow, as soon as an employee goes to the EEOC (or even just HR) with a complaint, the same employer doesn’t know what to do. Should you terminate the employee and face a potential retaliation suit?
While in your employ, an employee has an absolute duty to act in your best interests, and not to act in the interests of anyone else in a way that is contrary to yours. The “duty of loyalty” prohibits employees from taking certain competitive actions while still working for you. Here’s how to limit the damage from an employee-turned-competitor:
It is generally agreed that anti-discrimination laws don’t create a general code requiring workplace civility. Harassment lawsuits won’t normally fly unless the abuse is objectively and subjectively severe or pervasive enough to alter the terms and conditions of one’s employment. A recent case, Williams v. CSX Transp. Co., illustrates these principles in action.
The EEOC is getting serious about helping disabled Americans. In early June, the agency held a public meeting on the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. That move came just two weeks after the agency put its new ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) regulations into effect.
In a recent case, EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education, employers scored a major victory. Now, perhaps, we can expect more courts to look skeptically on some of the EEOC’s tactics, giving employers more tools to build the workforces they need.
Most people think of 50 as the magic number for the FMLA. “Oh, we have 50 employees, so now we have to comply with the FMLA,” is a popular refrain among HR departments. It is not that simple. The FMLA has two different rules that must be met before you have to offer FMLA leave to an employee—coverage and eligibility, which both have the magic number 50 as a key component.
Short staffing makes management difficult. When an employee is out on medical leave, others have to pick up the slack. Still, remind supervisors that they can’t push employees who are out on FMLA leave to perform work while on leave. They also can’t ask employees to return early from FMLA leave. Either one is just asking for legal trouble.
Don’t read too much into the NLRB’s recent “Facebook rant” ruling. Despite much employer hand-wringing, the decision didn’t give employees a free pass on social media posts. They still don’t have license to defame, disparage or otherwise trash their company, management, product or co-workers. Here’s why.
Don’t read too much into the recent foray by the NLRB into the brave new world of social media. Employees don’t receive a free pass on social media posts. They don’t have license to defame, disparage or otherwise trash their company, management, product or co-workers. Until the NLRB says otherwise, employers shouldn’t treat social media any differently than any other form of employee communications.
The typical retaliation scenario involves an employer firing an employee who has complained about discrimination or engaged in some other protected activity. What happens, however, if the employer retaliates after the end of the employment relationship? Do the anti-retaliation laws cover allegations of post-employment misconduct? The short answer is yes.