Friday, October 19, 2018

WIRTW #528 (the “paranoid” edition)


It's been a few months, but Fake ID was finally back on stage last weekend.


There's not much in life that makes me happier than seeing Norah perform.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Essential functions are judged by operational realities, not job descriptions


Tony Gunter worked as a press operator for Bemis, Inc., printing graphics for the outside of Huggies diapers. In January 2013, he injured his right shoulder on the job, continued to work for the next seven months, and ultimately opted for surgery when his ongoing physical therapy did not cure the injury.

He returned to his press operator job in December 2013 with temporary restrictions: no reaching with his right arm and no performing overhead work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Timing of retaliation is key factor in reinstatement of employee's lawsuit


"See something, say something" is one of the most important elements of any workplace intent on stopping harassment. Employers are supposed to empower employees to report any harassment they witness, whether or not they are the target. Key to this idea is ensuring that employees who report harassment do not suffer retaliation as result. Retaliation of any kind will chill efforts of employees to say what they see.

With this background in mind, consider Donley v. Stryker Sales Corp. (7th Cir. 10/15/18) [pdf].

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

OSHA softens its hard line against workplace safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing


It's been two years since OSHA announced its hard-line interpretation of its then newly announced anti-retaliation rules—that using incentive programs to penalize workers for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses, and that conducting post-incident drug testing without a reasonable possibility that employee drug use could have contributed to the reported injury or illness, constitutes unlawful retaliation under OSHA.

Last week, OSHA published a memo, which specifically clarifies that it "does not prohibit workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing." [emphasis in original]

What does this mean?

Monday, October 15, 2018

The 17th nominee for the “worst employer of 2018” is … the hedonistic harasser


Some call it horseplay. I call it sexual assault. And the 17th nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018.

Robert Smith worked behind the meat counter at Rosebud Farm, a small Chicago grocery store. It only took a few weeks after he started work for his male coworkers (including his direct supervisor) to start harassing him. They groped and grabbed his genital and buttocks. They reached down his pants. They repeatedly mimed oral and anal sex on him. And they did this for four years.

Friday, October 12, 2018

WIRTW #527 (the “Yeezy” edition)


There's a lot to say about Kanye's bizarre Oval Office meeting with President Trump.

But the most shocking? His iPhone password is "000000."


Please, please, please, DO NOT DO WHAT KANYE DOES.

According to howsecureismypassword.net, Kanye's password can be cracked instantly. In other words, it's not a password at all.

You can read more about the importance of password security for you and your employees here.

Here's what else I read this week:

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Make your business cyber-aware for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month


October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Let's see how good your cyber-awareness is.

Do you know the top method of cyber-attack?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#HimToo is a BAD bandwagon on which to jump in your workplace


#HimToo

A hashtag started as a reaction to #MeToo, put forth by those who believe that false accusations of rape and sexual assault against men are common and happen way too often.

Employers, #HimToo is dangerous to your workplace.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How does one measure the impact of #MeToo at its first anniversary?


It's been one year since the the New York Times reported allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein that started the #MeToo movement. Since, at least 425 prominent people across industries have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

The story, however, goes beyond the rich, and the famous, and the powerful. #MeToo has permeated every corner of our culture.

The EEOC just released its preliminary data on its handling of sexual harassment charges for its 2018 fiscal year—October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018—a year that syncs almost too perfectly with the first year of #MeToo.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Court reminds that economic realities, not corporate formalities, govern independent contractor status


The distinction between independent contractors and employees continues to confound employers.

At issue in Acosta v. Jani-King of Oklahoma (10th Cir. 10/3/18) [pdf] is whether the Department of Labor could continue its FLSA claims on behalf of individuals who provide cleaning services as franchisees of a janitorial company. If the franchisees are independent contractors, then the FLSA does not coverthem. If, however, the company misclassified them as independent contractors, then the DOL has something to litigate.

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