Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Union membership is on the rise in Ohio; is your business ready?

Union membership numbers for 2018 are out, and while most employers should be encouraged, Ohio employers might think otherwise.

In Ohio, the percentage of workers belonging to unions is at 12.6 percent, up 0.1 percent from 2017. Nationally, union membership sits at 10.5 percent, down ever so slightly from 2017. In other words, Ohio’s union representation is both greater than, and growing faster than, the national average.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The 4th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the flagrant farmer

I'll let the EEOC do the heavy lifting on today's nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 (the 4th thus far):

A federal jury rendered a verdict … awarding $850,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to a female farmworker at Favorite Farms in Dover, Fla., who was raped by her supervisor and reported it to police and management that same day.…

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ohio amends its employment laws to limit joint employment for franchisors

As the debate over the meaning of "joint employer" continues to rage at both the NLRB and in the federal courts, Ohio has jumped into the debate by passing legislation to limit this definition under various Ohio employment laws.

Effective yesterday, franchisors will not be deemed joint employers with their franchisees unless:

  • the franchisor agrees to assume that role in writing or a court of competent; or
  • a court of competent jurisdiction determines that the franchisor exercises a type or degree of control over the franchisee or the franchisee's employees that is not customarily exercised by a franchisor for the purpose of protecting the franchisor's trademark, brand.

Friday, January 18, 2019

WIRTW #538 (the “drones” edition)

OSHA is now using camera-carrying drones to investigate outdoor workplaces.

The good news? Use is intended to be limited to areas that are otherwise difficult and dangerous for OSHA inspectors to access. Plus, OSHA will not use them without an employer's consent.

The bad news? Employers that withhold consent could face OSHA's ire and a search warrant. Plus, the program lacks any protections for things like scope of recording, employee privacy, or third-party access to the video.

You can more about it at the Ohio OSHA Law Blog, here.

Here's what else I read this week:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

An expensive lesson on religious accommodations

A federal court jury in Miami has awarded a hotel dishwasher $21.5 million after concluding that her employer failed to honor her religious beliefs by repeatedly scheduling her on Sundays, and then firing her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gillette's toxic masculinity ad isn't the problem; toxic masculinity is the problem

Gillette is facing a lot of praise, and a lot of backlash, over its recent ad slamming toxic masculinity culture.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

NLRB reverses course and restores some sense to its concerted activity rules

The NLRB is the federal agency that saw the widest expansion of employee rights during the Obama presidency. And the doctrine that expanded the most was the Board's definition of protected concerted activity.

In Whole Foods Market, the NLRB had previously held that "activity by one individual is deemed concerted if undertaken in an effort to enforce the provisions of a collective-bargaining agreement or in order to initiate or induce group action." In other words, a lone wolf could act in concert with other employees based solely on his or her intent to do so. This rule lead to some absurd results.

Last week, in Alstate Maintenance LLC [pdf], the Board restored some much needed sanity to the definition of "concerted" for the purpose of protected concerted activity.

Monday, January 14, 2019

What's good for the goose? "Reverse" LGBTQ discrimination

If, like me, you believe that Title VII's definition of "sex" includes sexual orientation and gender identity, then what do you do with the claim of a heterosexual employee who claims discrimination because of her anti-LGBTQ views?

Friday, January 11, 2019

WIRTW #537 (the “Roma” edition)

We are contemplating spending Spring Break in Rome. For those who've been, what's you best tip for first-time visitors? Sights not to be missed? Things that are off the beaten path? Where to stay? Best pizza? Best gelato?

Drop a note in the comments below and let me know your Rome tips.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The 3rd nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the barbarous boss

2019 is officially the year that my Worst Employer contest went international.

How do you motivate your employees to hit their sales goals? If you're the Runfa Hair Salon in Wuxi, China, you abuse the hell out of 'em.

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