Employment Law Blog Carnival- Res Ipsa Edition

On September 21, 2011, in HRExaminer, by Heather Bussing

Employment Law Carnival Blog Heather Bussing on HRExaminerWelcome to the Employment Law Blog Carnival- a great collection of articles on the hottest issues in employment law from some really smart lawyers—who blog.

About a year ago, John Sumser hosted the HR Carnival. It was the brainstorm of Shauna Moerke, aka HR Minion. A few months ago, Eric Meyer, who knows a good idea when he sees one, decided to do an employment law version. And here we are again.

It’s customary for the host to say something clever or interesting about each link to entice you to read them.  But I think I misplaced my wit somewhere between writing pre-trial motions and arguing with weasels this week. So I am doing the res ipsa loquitur edition.  Res Ipsa Loquitur is legal/latin term that means “it speaks for itself.”  So here are the posts with excerpts, and a little bit about the authors—check them out.   —Heather Bussing, EAB Editor and Employment Attorney

1.            Eric B Meyer, Employment Attorney, Dilworth Paxson LLP in Philadelphia,                           Pennsylvania

Blog:     The Employer Handbook

By The Numbers: Employment Laws by Total Employees

With so many employment laws out there, it’s not easy to keep track of what those laws say — let alone under which of them your business may be covered.

Well, who loves ya! After the jump, it’s employment laws by the numbers — number of employees that is — that your business must employ to be covered under certain specific federal employment laws. (I’ll even throw in a few extra state statutes for my PA/NJ/DE readers). . . .

2.            Heather Traver, Alabama Employment Attorney

Blog:      Human Resource Updates

Is it Lawful to Not Hire a Pregnant Woman Because She’ll Need Time Off for Maternity Leave?

We all know that employers subject to Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) cannot discriminate against pregnant women. But what happens when you want to hire someone, only to realize they will  be taking maternity leave at either 1) a critical time in the business calendar and/or 2) while they are on a probationary period and not eligible for any type of leave? . . .

3.            Adam Whitley, Employment Attorney at Morisi & Oatway, PC, Quincy, Massachusetts

Blog:     Damned if You Do; Damned if You Don’t!

You Could Be Damned if You Fire an Older Worker. You Could Be Damned if You Don’t.

If we are being honest we must admit that many of us will eventually get “too old” to do our jobs. This won’t happen to everyone. I have had cases against lawyers in their 90’s who were quite capable. I imagine that Jack LaLanne would have been a fine lifeguard or firefighter even in his 80’s. But most of us could not do those jobs in our 80’s.

Don’t take this post the wrong way; I’m strongly against age discrimination. . .

4.            George Lenard, Employment Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, with intern Beth Hanson, senior at Beloit College

Blog:      George’s Employment Blawg

Employment of Women: Survey of Issues & Initiatives — Equal Pay

The Wage Gap–Though it’s been nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, there still remains a wage gap between women and men. The median earnings of full-time women workers are about 80 percent that of full-time male workers. This represents a large improvement over the 59 cents-on-the-dollar average of 1963, but it obviously remains a substantial, stubborn gap. Also, it has not improved significantly over the last decade. . . .

5.            Donna Ballman, Employment Attorney, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Blog:      Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home

Can My Employer Fire Me Because I Was a Domestic Violence Victim?

If you need time off for medical treatment or to seek an injunction against domestic violence, some state laws and city and county ordinances protect you, but most still don’t. Some states provide that employers must give you a leave of absence to deal with the effects of domestic violence. Other states have laws that protect crime victims if they need time off to go to court. A few states have laws saying you are entitled to unemployment if you have to leave your job due to domestic violence.

6.            CPEhr-  Los Angeles based HRO firm

Blog:      Small Biz HR Blog

Double Jeopardy: The New Risks of Employing Undocumented Workers

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis recently stated that all migrant workers, regardless of their legal status, will be offered the full protections of U.S. workplace laws. Solis went so far to state that foreign workers need to know their legal rights under US employment law so they can effectively lodge complaints against their employers, without the fear that they will be deported or fired. According to Solis, “No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights.” . . .

7.            Janelle Milodragovich, Employment Attorney, Foster Pepper PLLC in Seattle, Washington

Blog:     Washington Workplace Law

Fired Because Of Facebook: NLRB General Counsel Addresses Offensive Facebook Posts In The Context Of Protected Activity

Three recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) memoranda concluded that employees posting complaints about their jobs on social media websites may not be protected from disciplinary action even if their complaints are job-related. In each of the three cases, the NLRB Division of Advice recommended dismissal of the claims that employers violated the NLRA when they disciplined or discharged employees for Facebook activity. . . .

8.            John Hyman, Employment Attorney, Kohrman, Jackson & Kranz, PLL in Cleveland and Colombus, Ohio

Blog:      Ohio Employer’s Blog

“Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.”

In Sunday’s New York Times, University of Texas economics professor Daniel Hamermesh penned an op-ed entitled, “Ugly? You May Have a Case.” He argues that the law should protect “ugly” the same as race, sex, and disability. Here’s his thesis: [B]eing attractive … helps you earn more money….

9.            Casey Christensen, Employment Attorney, Christensen Law Group, PC in Walnut Creek, California

Blog:     California Workplace Law Blog

Just How “Independent” is That Contractor, Really?

Your small business is doing better than you’d hoped, and you could use a little help.  But you don’t want to pay workers comp insurance, payroll taxes, or other employee-related costs.  And you want to maintain a little flexibility, in case the business trend suddenly shifts.  What’s an entrepreneur to do?  Hire an independent contractor (IC), of course.

Not so fast. . . .

10.            Phillip K. Miles, Employment Attorney, McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.

Blog:        Lawffice Space

Details on Proposed Unemployment Status Discrimination Law

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got text. On Monday, I reported that President Obama’s American Jobs Act would include provisions that prohibit discrimination against job applicants on the basis of their unemployment status. As a follow-up, you can now read the full text of the proposed legislation here. The “Prohibition of Discrimination in Employment on the Basis of an Individual’s Status as Unemployed” runs from pages 129 through 134. Here’s a brief overview: . . .

11.            John Holmquist, Employment Attorney, Demorest Law Firm, Michigan

Blog:       Michigan Employment Law Connection

Guns in the Workplace Revisited

Guns in the work place…this doesn’t sound like such a good idea unless you are talking about the military.  A recent incident which occurred in  Benton Harbor, Michigan involving the attempted robbery of a pharmacy highlights the issues of work place violence, employee self help, and the scope of an employer’s obligation to provide a safe workplace.

According to media reports, on May 8, two men entered a Walgreens pharmacy.  One of the men pushed an employee down the aisle and jumped over the counter and confronted the pharmacist.  The man pointed his gun at the pharmacist who was trying to call 911 and tried to shoot him; the gun misfired.  The pharmacist, who a had a concealed weapons permit and was carrying a gun, opened fire. . . .

12.            Dawn Lomer, i Sight, Case Management Software Provider

Blog:         i Sight Blog

How to Fire Someone Without Getting Sued

There’s a right way and a wrong way to fire someone, even when it’s a case of workplace misconduct. Do it the right way and you preserve your employee’s dignity and your company’s reputation. Do it the wrong way and you risk an expensive legal battle.

It’s never easy and it’s never pleasant, but knowing how to fire someone the right way will take some of the sting out of the process and will reduce the chance of a backlash from disgruntled ex-employees.

13.            Robin Shea, Employment Attorney, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Blog:        Employment and Labor Insider

Staking Out the EEOC and its Wave of ADA Suits Against Employers

I feel as if all I ever do these days is write about the Americans with Disabilities Act, but what else can I do? In the last six weeks, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed 21 lawsuits — count em, 21! — against employers alleging disability discrimination.

This is in addition to the $20MM settlement with Verizon (which I reported on earlier), not to mention a record high of ADA charges in fiscal year 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available. . . .

14.            Robert (“Bob”) B. Fitzpatrick, Employment Attorney, Robert B. Fitzpatrick, PLLC, in Washington DC

Blog:        Fitzpatrick on Employment Law

Second Circuit Rejects New Haven’s Post Ricci Argument . . .

On August 15, 2011, a panel of the Second Circuit in Briscoe v. City of New Haven, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 16834 (2d Cir. Aug. 15, 2011), rejected the City’s argument that Justice Kennedy’s language in Ricci v. DeStefano, 129 S. Ct. 2658, 174 L. Ed. 490 (2009) established a symmetrical companion to Ricci’s holding that a disparate-treatment claim is avoidable based upon concerns about disparate-impact liability only if there was a “strong basis in evidence” of such liability. . . .



 
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