Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pets in your workplace? Assess the risks and draft a policy.

A reader recently emailed the following question:
Some people need service dogs to get to work. But many more simply want to take their dogs to work. What is the protocol? What are the HR rules on this? And what are the penalties for illegally taking a dog to work?
Are you thinking about opening up your business to employees’ pets? You will find very few resources on the internet to help. And, you will need a written policy before you allow pets in. Here are some considerations:

Monday, January 16, 2017

SCOTUS to review NLRB ban on class-action waivers

One of the biggest issues on the NLRB’s hit list over the past few years has been class-action waivers. In D.R. Horton, a 3-2 majority of the Board held that an arbitration agreement which requires employees to waive their right to collectively pursue employment-related claims in all forums (i.e., by giving up their right to file or join class or collective actions) violates employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act to engage in protected concerted activity. This issue is significant, as employers seek to use class-action waivers to combat the plague of wage-and-hour lawsuits.

In the four years since D.R. Horton, the NLRB has invalided hundreds of class-action waivers. On appeal, however, not all federal circuit courts have been kind to D.R. Horton. The 5th Circuit overturned D.R. Horton itself, while other circuits have sided with the NLRB on this important issue.

Now, the Supreme Court is poised to have the final say.

Friday, January 13, 2017

WIRTW #444 (the “training” edition)

The workplace training video. I hope yours go better than this example.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

… and an early contender for worst employer of the year

We already have a nominee for worst employee of 2017, so why not share the love and nominate a worst employer.

Drum roll…

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tread carefully if stripping employees of their pay

Wait, not this kind of stripping?
Stevens v. Oval Office (E.D. Wisc. 12/29/16) [hat tip: Walter Olson’s Overlawyered] poses an interesting question—is it ever permissible to dock an employee’s pay for disciplinary reasons? The fact that the plaintiffs are adult dancers docked for rule infractions such as “failing to fully remove all clothing, except for underwear, by the end of the first song when dancing on stage” doesn’t dissuade interest either.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cleveland Clinic doctor feeling ill after anti-vax blog post stirs trouble

A wellness physician at the Cleveland Clinic is in hot water following his blog post on Cleveland.com, in which he argued that parents avoid vaccinating their children. The doctor, Daniel Neides, is the medical director and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

In his post, he attacked flu shots for children and questioned the safety of childhood vaccination schedules, citing a debunked link between vaccines and autism. His byline used the Cleveland Clinic’s logo and identifies him a Cleveland Clinic physician.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Failure to follow employer’s reporting rules dooms employee’s FMLA claim

F-M-L-A: four letters that cast fear in the heart of any HR professional. So many rules to follow, so many ways to mess up and cost an employer. It's not just an employer that has FMLA rules to follow, however. Employees also have rules that they must follow, or the FMLA will not protect their leave.

In Alexander v. Kellogg USA (6th Cir. 1/4/17) [pdf], an injured production operator terminated for unexcused absences lost his FMLA claim because he failed to follow his employer's attendance policy.

Friday, January 6, 2017

WIRTW #443 (the “gigs” edition)

Holy cow, has it really been three weeks since I last posted a weekly roundup? It’s also early January, which means it’s School of Rock show season for my kiddos, and there are a whole bunch upcoming:
  • Norah grabs the mike as part of the Power Trios show, on Jan. 14 at 7 pm at 42 Eighty Food & Drink, and again on Jan. 22 at 5:30 pm at Brothers Lounge.
  • Donovan tickles the keys and makes his lead vocal debut, on Jan. 14 and Jan. 22, both at 3 pm at the same venues.
  • Norah’s Junior Headliners band, now known as the Major Minors, plays the finals of the High School Rock Off from the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Feb. 25, with a warm-up gig at Coda on Jan. 15 at 3 pm.
As always, if stop and say hello and mention the blog, your next beverage is on me.

Here’s what I read the past three weeks:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mandatory flu shots cost employer bigly

You may recall that in September I reported on a lawsuit the EEOC filed against a Pennsylvania hospital, alleging that it unlawfully fired six employees after denying their request for a religious exemption from the flu vaccine.

How did that case turn out for the employer? Not well. From the EEOC:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An early contender for employee of the year

It’s only the 4th day of January, and we already have an early contender for employee of the year. I can not do this story any justice better than the original article in the New York Post.
HR director sues to find out who sent her ‘a bag of d–ks’ 

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