Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can (or should) OSHA regulate the NFL?

Sports blog Deadspin asks: What If The NFL Were Regulated By OSHA?

Well, Deadspin, I’m glad you asked. I answered this very question over three years ago.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

SCOTUS decision on class action waivers is not the epic win for employers it may seem to be

Yesterday, in a narrow, 5-4 partisan decision, the Supreme Court issued its most anticipated employment decision of its current term, Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis [pdf]. The Court reconciled six years of debate between split federal circuits into a unified standard that permits the waiver of class actions via the compelled individual arbitration of employment disputes.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Harassment prevention MUST start at the top

If you did not watch 60 Minutes last night, you should. The last segment detailed pervasive and rampant sexual harassment by famed chef and tv personality Mario Batali.

And it laid much of the blame at the feet of the CEO of one of the restaurants in which Batali invested, The Spotted Pig, and its owners, Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. The segment argues that Friedman and Bloomfield turned a blind eye to years of Batali’s sexual harassment of the female employees of their restaurant, and knowingly allowed it to continue.

Friday, May 18, 2018

WIRTW #506 (the “car … scratch … melt …” edition)

What’s your security blanket? That place you go when your soul needs a hug?

Mine is music.

Today, my security blanket grew a few sizes, because Peter Gabriel finally added his catalog to Spotify.

For many, their entrée to Peter was John Cusack, boombox aloft in Say Anything. My exposure was a half-decade earlier. Growing up in Philadelphia, I started each morning listening to John DeBella’s Morning Zoo on WMMR. And Peter Gabriel was its patron saint. So I was exposed to a lot of PG’s music in my formative years. My love for his art has never waned, even as my tastes have evolved in the decades since.

This morning, I could not wait to get in my car, plug in my phone, and fire up PG 1 (aka “Car”). I felt the slowburn of comfort as Peter sang about Moribund the Burgermeister (a decidedly dark tune about Sydenham’s chorea, historically and traditionally referred to as Saint Vitus‘ dance, a disorder characterized by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements primarily affecting the face, hands and feet).

Don’t get me wrong; I love discovering new music (check out Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, out today). But when I need that security blanket, I always turn to the old favorites.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What should you do when ICE comes knocking

“Hi, I’m your friendly neighborhood Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer. Do you mind if I come in and take a quick look at your I-9 forms”

Yesterday I discussed the nuts and bolts of the I-9 form. Today, let’s take a look at what happens when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits your I-9 compliance.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

7 things employers must know about the I-9 Form

Photo by Nitish Meena on Unsplash
Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that it has doubled the number of worksite investigations and audits conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Its express goal is to make sure businesses are not employing people who are in the U.S. illegally.

What is such an audit? Simply, it’s a review of business records, specifically I-9s.

In light of this news, over the next two days I’ll be taking a deeper look at employers’ obligations to comply with immigration laws. Today, we’ll examine the I-9 itself, and tomorrow we’ll discuss what to do (and, maybe more importantly, what not do) if ICE or another agency shows up at your door asking about I-9s.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The easiest way to lose an employment lawsuit

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash
Yeterday, I was tagged with the following question on LinkedIn:
Interested in your opinion on this.

The “this” in question was an $7.97 million verdict a jury in Fresno, California, entered in favor of a Chipotle manager fired for allegedly stealing $626 in cash from the restaurant’s safe.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The ADA’s interactive process is always a two-way street

Photo by MelanieSchwolert via Pixabay
Who has the burden of proof in an ADA reasonable accommodation case? The employee, to prove a lack of an accommodation, or the employer, to prove the unavailability of an accommodation? 

In Snapp v. BNSF Railway, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals re-affirmed that the burden squarely rests on the shoulders of the employee.

Friday, May 11, 2018

WIRTW #505 (the “birthday” edition)

This week I celebrated two milestones.

On May 9, the Ohio Employers Law Blog turned 11 (and after 11 years I finally dropped the apostrophe; grammarians, debate).

The day prior, Loula, our beloved family pet, turned 6.

Six is a milestone age for a dog in my family. I’ve never had a dog live this long. Flyer, my beagle, passed away at 5 from autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Zoey, our lab (and our “let’s get a dog before we have kids” dog), also passed away at 5 (you can read my obituary for her here).

Thus, we’ve waited with nervous anticipation for Loula to reach the age of 6, which she did on May 8.

It was certainly a day to celebrate. She kicked back with a dog-friendly cupcake (complete with candle, and which, for the record, my wife said tastes awful), while we humans ate ice cream and serenaded her with “Happy Birthday.”

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

NBC News takes the unprecedented step to release its internal Matt Lauer harassment report

Image by Max Goldberg via Wiki Commons
Yesterday morning, NBC News released the complete report into its months long investigation of Matt Lauer.

I was astounded by NBC’s transparency. It is extraordinarily rare for a private company to release an internal investigative report of one of its employees. In fact, it runs counter to conventional wisdom that harassment investigations should be kept as confidential as possible under the circumstances. Perhaps the combination of NBC’s status as a news agency and the high profile nature of the allegations spurred its decision.