Friday, November 16, 2018

WIRTW #532 (the “❤️ the holidays” edition)


On December 25, I will turn 18 in Christmas years. My wife and I starting dating in October 2001, and we celebrated our first Christmas together two months later. I LOVE Christmas. I joke with my wife that I married her for Christmas. I love the lights, the tree, the family togetherness, the snow, and the overall peaceful spirit of the holiday.

And the music. I love Christmas music. Which is why this year, I'm thrilled that I get to combine my favorite holiday with my favorite band.

Today, Old 97's released "Love the Holidays," a collection of twangy Christmas tunes to fill your ears and your soul with yuletide joy.

Take a listen to the exquisitely beautiful "Snow Angels," a song that seeks togetherness in these troubled times, and calls for us to find that which binds us instead of that which us divides us.

Look to your left, look to your right
Everyone of us is a beam of light.
Together, we’re strong. There’s no need to fight.
Everyone of us is a beam of light.

I also dare you not to imagine snow falling outside you window as you listen to the imagery this tune invokes.




The blog is off next week, as I'll be home getting ready for, and then celebrating, my other favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. But, come back the week after when I'll announce the finalists for the Worst Employer of 2018 (have you voted yet?), and take us through the year's home stretch.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Do you know? Pre-employment medical examinations


A local mayor has gotten himself in some hot water for his selective use of pre-employment medical examinations for hirees. How selective? According to WKYC, one woman claims that the mayor required her and other women, but not men, to be examined by his personal doctor. For his part, the mayor denies the allegations as an act of a "fertile imagination," and claims that he sends all city workers, male and female, to the same doctor for pre-employment exams.

Why would her allegations rise to the level of unlawful activity?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What can you learn from the law firm partner suspended for watching porn at work?


According to The American Lawyer (sub. req.), Hogan Lovells has suspended one of its partners in its London office for watching porn at work. How did it catch the offense?

In IT employee read his internet logs? No.

He forgot to close his browser when he went to the loo and his assistant walked into his office? No.

He visited an unsafe site that spammed his entire office with malware? No.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Do you know? English-only workplace policies


White Americans, what?
Nothing better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out?
You're an immigrant too!
– White Stripes, Icky Thump (2007).
Estefany Martinez-Gonzalez and Imelda Lucio Lopez, both crew members at a McDonald's restaurant, and both Hispanic, claimed that their employer discriminated against them by requiring them to speak English at work (as opposed to their native Spanish).

Monday, November 12, 2018

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Friday, November 9, 2018

WIRTW #531 (the “Mexico” edition)


Last night, I got to watch my daughter hit a home run, on stage at The Beachland Tavern, singing "Mexico" with decker. (You can read the backstory of how this all came together here.)


Huge thanks to Brandon Decker, for reaching out and offering to share his stage with Norah.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A resignation in lieu of termination is (more or less) still a termination


"At your request, I am submitting my resignation."

So wrote now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his resignation letter to President Trump.

Yet, no one reasonably believes that Sessions resigned. "At your request, I am submitting my resignation" is a termination, period.

Clients ask me all the time, about an at-risk termination. "Jon, what if we just have him resign? He can't sue us for discrimination, then, right?"


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Job applicant told, "Your sexuality may be an issue with the atmosphere of the office environment."


I found the following story posted to the legaladvice subreddit. It's titled, "Turned down for a job, asked what the issues were. Told 'your sexuality may be an issue with the atmosphere of the office environment'."

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sexual harassment prevention 101: NO STRIP CLUBS


Last month, the EEOC held a public meeting on preventing workplace harassment. Entitled, Revamping Workplace Culture to Prevent Harassment, it's the agency's second meeting since forming its Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, and its first in the #MeToo era.

The EEOC discussed the need for employers to take a holistic approach to change workplace culture to prevent harassment.

Somehow, the EEOC missed "No strip clubs for employees" as one of its anti-harassment talking points.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Managing Election Day at work


As tomorrow is Election Day, I thought I'd share a few tips for employers to keep in mind.

When salary is a proxy for age discrimination


Jim Boylan, recently fired as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against his former employer. According his lawsuit [pdf], then-head coach Ty Lue told him that team owner Dan Gilbert "wants to go younger" in his position and "find somebody who's a grinder and younger."

On its face, those statements certainly seem like direct evidence of age discrimination.

But are they?

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