Friday, November 15, 2019

WIRTW #577 (the “side hustle” edition)



If I had gotten paid for my appearance on Matt Christensen‘s Fraud Not Frog podcast, I could classify it as a side hustle. But I didn’t; I appeared gratis to discuss the legal concerns businesses and employees need to consider when an employee wants to engage in a side hustle.

You can listen here, or better yes, listen by subscribing to Matt’s podcast in your app of choice.

Here’s what I read this week.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

EEOC settlement provides expensive lesson on including social media in your anti-harassment policies and training


EEOC v. Nabors Corp. Services involves serious allegations of racial harassment, including the following.

Being addressed at work by co-workers with racial slurs such as “nigger”; being exposed at work to offensive, racially derogatory social media images and material circulated by co-workers and managers; being exposed to racist graffiti, including racial slurs and derogatory drawings concerning Black persons at company facilities in and around Pleasanton, Texas; being referred to as members of the “colored crew” by employees and managers; and in some instances, being subjected to intimidation and physical threats by employees because of race, Black.

The company recently resolved this case, agreeing to pay 10 employees a total of $1,225,000 to settle the EEOC’s claims of racial harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Celebrating “World Kindness Day” at work #WorldKindnessDay #ChooseKindness


Today is World Kindness Day. Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, it highlights good deeds in the community by focusing on the positiveness of our common bond of kindness.

It is a day worth celebrating, and one that we sorely need and is sadly necessary.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#MeToo does not always equal #FireHim


Just because an employee complains about harassment does not mean that if the allegations are founded the employer must fire the harasser.

Consider, for example, Abbood v. Texas Health & Human Servs. Comm. (5th Cir. 11/7/19).

Monday, November 11, 2019

The 19th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the barbaric boss


The headline is scary enough.

South Carolina Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for 
Forcing Man with Intellectual Disability to Work at Restaurant

But for this nominee, the devil lives in the details.

Friday, November 8, 2019

WIRTW #576 (the “Dolly” edition)


A couple of months ago, in the 568th version of “What I Read This Week,” I posted 5 of the best songs about work. I had no idea when I listed Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” how divisive Dolly would be. In my wildest dreams I never imagined anyone could take issue with an American icon such as Dolly Parton. Who doesn’t love Dolly? Apparently, however, some of you exist.

Thankfully, I feel vindicated with my inclusion of Dolly. WNYC recently launched Dolly Parton’s America, a nine-part podcast series tracing Dolly’s roots from East Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains to country music superstar to cultural icon. It’s a fascinating listen, especially the second episode, all about her metamorphosis from “dumb blonde” sidekick to Porter Wagoner to the biggest star in country music.

I highly recommend you add Dolly Parton’s America to your podcast queue.

Here’s what I read this week.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

“Smoking gun” email revives employee’s disability discrimination lawsuit


Maryville Anesthesiologists fired Paula Babb, an experienced Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, because it thought she suffered from a visual impairment.

How do we know why it fired her? Because the day after Babb’s termination, one of her co-workers confirmed it in an email (written at the direction of one of the employer’s owners).

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Recent decision about a positive drug test has a lot to say about the future of medical marijuana and employer drug testing


Richard Turner worked as a crane operator for Phillips 66. The company’s substance abuse policy allowed for random and post-accident drug testing for “Cannabinoids, Cocaine, Opiates, Phencyclidine (PCP) and Amphetamines,” and mandated termination for any positive test.

On April 24, 2017, Turner was selected for a random drug test, and provided a urine sample. Three days later he was involved in a workplace accident and was again tested.

The following day, Phillips 66 learned that Turner’s April 24 sample tested positive for amphetamines. As a result, the company fired him.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

When it comes to racial preference, the customer is never right


An Illinois Buffalo Wild Wings has fired all employees involved in an incident in which staff acceded to the request of a Caucasian “regular” to relocate a group of African-American diners to a different table. The reason—he “didn’t want to sit near black people.”

NBC Chicago has the details.

Monday, November 4, 2019

An employee’s disability is not a “get out of jail free” card for workplace misconduct


Does a medical leave of absence grant an employee a free pass for pre-leave misconduct discovered during the LOA? This question is squarely at the center of the court’s decision in Williams v. Graphic Packaging International (6th Cir. 10/31/19) [pdf].

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