Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just because it might be legal doesn’t make it right

The plaintiff in Tennial v. UPS [pdf], a former UPS manager, claimed that his manager placed him on a performance improvement plan, and ultimately demoted him, because of his race. In support of this claim, he relied in part on: 1) his manager’s alleged use of the word “n*****” in referencing another, nonparty UPS employee, and (2) a district president’s use of the word “boys” in reference to Tennial’s black coworkers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lessons from a job interview

Last week, Steven Colbert conducted a mock job interview for President Obama. During the course of the interview, he asked the President questions that referred both to his age and the national origin of his birth.


What lessons can employers learn from these few moments of late-night frivolity?

Friday, October 21, 2016

WIRTW #435 (the "spare time" edition)

How do you spend your down time? What do you do when you’re not working? Me? I blog, and I play roadie for Norah and Donovan. If you happen to work as an animator at Pixar, you craft emotionally compelling and visually stunning short animated films. Like this one.

Borrowed Time from Borrowed Time on Vimeo.

According to one of its two creators, Lou Hamou-Lhadj (the other is Andrew Coats), their “goal was as to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically. We really wanted to make something that was a little bit more adult in the thematic choices, and show that animation could be a medium to tell any sort of story.”

I’d say they hit it out of the park. 

Here’s what I read this week.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Is social recruiting discriminatory?

Yesterday, I noted that the EEOC is examining the impact of “big data” on how employers reach employment decisions.

Looking at an issue and doing something about it, however, are two entirely different animals. I wonder what business the EEOC has looking at this issue at all. The EEOC’s mission is to eliminate discrimination from the workplace. Certainly, there is no claim that neutral data points intentionally or invidiously discriminate based on protected classes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

EEOC reiterates its enforcement priorities for the next four years

Earlier this week, the EEOC announced its updated Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017 – 2021. So, what issues must employers have on their radar? From the EEOC’s press release:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

OSHA publishes final rule on whistleblower complaints under the Affordable Care Act

As I’ve previously documented in this space, OSHA does a whole lot more than just regulate workplace safety. Its other responsibilities include enforcing the anti-retaliation whistleblower protections of a veritable alphabet soup of federal laws.

One such law is the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare). And, just last week OSHA published its final rule on whistleblower complaints under the Affordable Care Act, available for download as a pdf here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Billy Bush, harassment, and employer liability

Dan Rather, who is riding out the sunset of career interviewing musicians on Mark Cuban’s cable channel, also has been killing it lately on his Facebook page. He recently posted the following, tipping his hat to an article on The Huffington Post entitled, Dangerous Sycophants—Billy Bush in the Workplace:

Friday, October 14, 2016

WIRTW #434 (the "Fruity Tunes" edition)

In the name of equal time, I present the set from Donovan’s recent School of Rock performance. His band—Fruity Tunes—played a tight five song set, and even features Donovan taking some vocal responsibilities on Beck’s E-Pro.

While he’s still developing as a musician, there is no doubt that he loves the stage and performing. And, if the crowed leaves entertained, who cares if you miss a few notes here and there, right?

Here’s what I read this week.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lawsuit highlights the risk of unpaid training time

Employment Law 360 reports that Hawaiian Airlines has been sued by a group of employees claiming that their mandatory unpaid 10-day customer service training course violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to court papers, trainees learned things like federal regulatory requirements and how to use a standard airline software system. … The suit claimed the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law required trainees be paid at least minimum wage “because, among other things, attendance was mandatory, the course material was related to the trainee’s job, and attendance was during regular working hours.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Atoning for employers’ biggest sins #employmentsins

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, the day on which we make peace with God for all of the sins we’ve committed over the past year. On Rosh Hashanah God writes each person’s name in Book of Life. Over the next 10 days, Jews seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and other human beings. During Yom Kippur, each individual makes their personal petitions to God, and hopes for forgiveness for the upcoming year. If all goes well, when God closes the Book of Life at the end of Yom Kippur, your name remains and your soul is safe for another year.

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