Friday, November 17, 2017

WIRTW #484 (the “what I’m listening to this week” edition)

A few weeks ago I listed my five favorite podcasts, and asked you for some suggestions to add to my listening queue.

Had I waited a month, Hostile Work Environment would have topped the list.
Each week, Marc and Dennis will bring true stories of wacky, grotesque, and just plain bizarre workplace happenings. And while we hope that you find these cases as interesting and amusing as we do — and laugh along with us in the telling — make no mistake, we’ll also be bringing analysis and legal discussion of those cases.
Two episodes in, they have not disappointed. You cannot go wrong discussing an employee’s fear of the mark of the beast, or a company that disciplines poor performers by spanking them with yard signs.

If you’re reading this, I know you’re an employment law and HR nerd (it’s okay to admit it; I came to grips with it a long time ago). Do yourself a favor a jump over to, or your podcast app of choice, and queue up the first two episodes. I guarantee that your daily commute will thank you for it.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Work stress and the ADA

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about stress, and the anxiety it can, and often does, cause.

Stress induced anxiety can cripple someone. According to the Anxiety and Depressions Association of America:
  • 72 percent of people who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives at least moderately.
  • 40 percent experience persistent stress or excessive anxiety in their daily lives.
  • 30 percent with daily stress have taken prescription medication to manage stress, nervousness, emotional problems, or lack of sleep.
  • 28 percent have had an anxiety or panic attack.

What happens, however, when the thing inducing the stress and anxiety is the workplace itself? What are an employer’s obligations under the ADA to accommodate this mental health disorder?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It’s amazing what one finds while packing

Yesterday afternoon, I received the following email from a co-worker:
To: Office All
Subject: Pardon the office all email 
I am sure you all have found interesting things that you had completely forgotten as you cleaned up your workspaces. I have no idea where I obtained this, but I hope you find it as funny as I did.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Announcing “The Employment Law Year in Review” Webinar

Do you enjoy webinars?

Do you have an affinity for six of the internet’s top labor and employment law and HR bloggers coming together to present said webinar?

Do you desire SHRM and HRCI credits?

Before you answer, what if told you all of the above is FREE.

Then what are you waiting for? Click here, now.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How do we start to STOP sexual harassment?
Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Mark Halperin, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes … the list of men accused of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct seems to know no end.

I very much hope that we have reached the beginning of a cultural watershed against sexual harassment in America. Which is undoubtedly a good thing, especially when you consider a recent Washington Post survey reporting that nearly one-third of women have received an unwanted sexual advance from a co-worker.

All of which begs the question … if sexual harassment is so prevalent in the American workplace, how do we start having a conversation about how to stop it?

Friday, November 10, 2017

WIRTW #484 (the “happy place” edition)

What’s your happy place?

Where do you take your mind when you’re just having a bad day, when you have to deal with that employee, when a client chews you out (I know, that never happens), or when you otherwise need a mental breather from the world and all of its evil and other craziness?

Mine is watching my kids play music.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

9.8 million reasons to consider transferring a disabled employee to a vacant position

Photo by Taber Andrew Bain
Licensed via Creative Commons 
Earlier this month, American Airlines agreed to pay $9.8 million to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC.

The agency claimed that the employer’s return-to-work policy—which allegedly refused to consider transfers to open positions for disabled employees, but instead required the employees to apply for and compete for vacant position upon their return to work—violated the ADA.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What’s the worst employee exit you’ve ever seen?

There is a right way to quit a job, and a wrong way to quit a job.

Last week, a Twitter employee demonstrated the worst of the latter.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Some lessons from the employee fired for middle-fingering Trump’s motorcade

Have your heard about Juli Briskman, the biker that flipped the finger to Trump’s passing motorcade?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Parental status discrimination is NOT a thing. But should it be?

I received some great feedback on LinkedIn on last week’s post on New York’s new paid family leave law.

That law grants paid leave for the same general reasons one can take unpaid leave under the FMLA. What it does not do, though, is create a new protected class.

Indeed, discrimination based on one’s status as a parent is, in and of itself, NOT illegal.