The sour economy has every company looking for ways to pinch pennies. If belt-tightening turns into illegality, employers can expect employees to alert the authorities. Virtually every law governing the workplace has a whistle-blower provision.
Under the ADA, medical exams are allowed only if needed to determine whether an employee requires a reasonable accommodation or if the employer believes the employee will be unable to safely perform the job. But can employers require employees to agree to more extensive medical examinations as a condition of employment? Probably not.
Here’s some common sense from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals: A co-worker’s isolated idiotic comment isn’t enough to support an entire discrimination lawsuit.
Employers sometimes forget that merely asking for a reasonable accommodation may be a protected activity. That’s true even if it turns out that the employee isn’t disabled and therefore isn’t due an accommodation. Anything an employer does that could be construed as punishment for requesting help could spell trouble—and a retaliation lawsuit.
Long Island’s Bayville Fire Department will allow volunteer firefighters to accrue length-of-service credit past age 65 as part of an age discrimination settlement with the EEOC. The volunteers accrue service time and then receive bonuses based on that time. The payments essentially amount to a pension.
Sometimes despite your efforts to prevent it, a complaint leads to solid evidence that a female employee has endured severe sexual harassment at the hands of co-workers. What’s your next move? And will that move enable you to prevent a successful lawsuit? If you correct the problem and prevent any further similar harassment, your company will be in the clear after 300 days.
Make sure your employee handbook covers federal jury service and that supervisors don’t punish employees who serve on federal juries. Employees who are called to serve on juries in federal courts are protected from discharge because of their service.
If an employer has to move people and equipment around to cover an employee’s work during FMLA leave, it may be difficult to reintegrate the returning employee right away. That’s OK. Minor delays aren’t enough to support an interference-with-FMLA-rights lawsuit.
Everdry Marketing and Management, a waterproofing firm, has paid more than $500,000 to satisfy a judgment won by a group of 13 women who filed sexual harassment claims against the company.
When Congress raised commercial pilots’ mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65, not all pilots were pleased. Pilots who had been forced to retire under the 60-years-of-age rule weren’t grandfathered into the new system. The pilots are seeking back pay and lost wages under state laws and the Federal Tort Claims Act.