Monday, September 16, 2019

Employee fired for stacking his intermittent FMLA leave with vacation days loses retaliation claim

Kevin LaBelle, a lab technician for Cleveland Cliffs, took occasional days off from work for approved intermittent FMLA leave for flare-ups related to a shoulder injury. His employer noticed that LaBelle seems to always take his FMLA leave by combining it with scheduled days off and vacation days.

Friday, September 13, 2019

WIRTW #568 (the “work songs, vol. 1” edition)

Today, I thought I’d take a look at some of the best songs ever written about working. Here are my first five. (These are not necessarily the “top 5,” and are not in any particular order; they are just the five that came to mind.)

They hurt you at home, and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever, and they despise a fool
Till you’re so fucking crazy, you can’t follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be

A working class hero is something to be

It’s a rich man’s game
No matter what they call it
And you spend your life
Putting money in his wallet
Working 9 to 5
What a way to make a living

Now I’ve made a living out of shaking my ass
And if you offer me an office, I’d have to pass

But our jobs are all jobs, and sometimes they suck
I love what I do, and I’ve had pretty good luck

And if your train’s on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slavin’ jobs and get your pay

If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

Bus driver
Ambulance man
Ticket inspector
I don’t understand

What songs would you add to my list? Drop a comment below and let me know.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

It’s hard to win a lawsuit when you admit you don’t have a case

James Scott’s employer fired him for accumulating 10 points under its no-fault attendance policy. He claimed FMLA retaliation, alleging that his employer unlawfully assessed some of his points while he was taking FMLA-protected leave to care for his ill wife.

At his deposition, however, Scott admitted that the FMLA had nothing whatsoever to do with his termination.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

When alcohol is involved, the ADA distinguishes between “having a disability” and “disability-related misconduct”

Alcoholism is an ADA-protected disability. Yet, the ADA does not require that employers accommodate alcoholics by permitting them to drink, or otherwise be intoxicated, on the job.

Case in point? Dennis v. Fitzsimmons (D. Col. 9/5/19).

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The supposed #MeToo backlash is just discrimination by another name

A recent study suggests that there has been a backlash against the #MeToo movement.

According to  the Harvard Business Review, men have are treating their females co-workers differently because of #MeToo.

  • 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women
  • 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interactions with men
  • 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues

Monday, September 9, 2019

NLRB asks for help to overturn some really $%#^ bad decisions

“Bob is such a NASTY MOTHER FUCKER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! Fuck his mother and his entire fucking family!!!! What a LOSER!!!!”

“Hey, did you bring enough KFC for everyone?” “Go back to Africa, you bunch of fucking losers.” “Hey anybody smell that? I smell fried chicken and watermelon.”

You’d think that if any of your employees lobbed any of these bombs at a supervisor or coworker, you’d have no legal issue if you fired them. And you’d be right … usually.

Friday, September 6, 2019

WIRTW #567 (the “passion” edition)

With a 13 year old with one foot dangling in the music business, I do a lot of reading about the music business, and what it means to live that life in 2019 and beyond. This article, written by Rhett Miller late last year, perhaps sums it up better than any I’ve read. It’s titled, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker. And it paints a fairly bleak, isolating picture of what it’s like to be a musician  today.
In garages and basements and dorm rooms across the country and around the world, bands are forming this very minute. They are arguing over favorite songs, greatest albums, Stratocaster versus Telecaster, and inevitably which one of the members is going to have to switch from guitar to bass. These hopeful young dreamers give me hope. 
But we also shouldn’t kid ourselves: they are exceptions. For every one of these fledgling anarcho-syndicalist collectives, there are a thousand or a million kids alone in their bedrooms staring at Protools screens wondering what they have to do to get the Swedish cabal to write a hit song for them. They download a file onto Bandcamp or YouTube, start logging the hits, and pray. 
And oh my God, that sounds so lonely.

Yet, despite that depressing, like-count obsessed picture of today’s musician, Rhett’s tagline to his article is perhaps his most important thought. “Can music still save your mortal soul?” (He eloquently writes about how it saved his.)

I’m an optimist. As I look at my kids, and the community they are creating through the friendships and partnerships they are building through music, I have hope. Not hope for success or a hit song (because that’s not what it’s all about). But hope that they’ve found something to be passionate about, and like-minded people with whom to share that passion. For that’s what will lift them up and carry them through life. 

Here’s what else I read this week:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

When common sense carries the day

Jordan does not explain how being disciplined for her unplanned absences and tardy arrivals created a hostile work environment. Without evidence indicating that she experienced severe or pervasive conduct, Jordan’s hostile work environment claim fails.

Every now again it’s refreshing to review a common-sense judicial opinion. Jordan v. United Health Group is just such a case.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Social media accounts are not telling you the whole story about your applicants and employees

If you rely on social media to paint for you a full and complete picture about your job applicants and employees, you are going to be very disappointed.

According to a recent survey, 43% of workers use privacy settings to keep material hidden from employers, and 46% have searched for their own names and taken further measures to conceal their social media presence based on what they found.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Why “ban the box” doesn’t work for employers or employees

Listen this clip from Ear Hustle (a podcast about “the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration”), and then let’s chat about “ban the box.”

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