Thursday, June 20, 2024

Long live Anchor Brewing! We'll have to wait and see about its labor union. ⚓ 🍻

News broke earlier this month that Hamdi Ulukaya, the billionaire founder of Chobani yogurt, purchased the assets of Anchor Brewing after its former owner, international beer conglomerate Sapporo, had unexpectedly shuttered the brewery nearly a year ago. Anchor was one of the country's few unionized craft breweries. Ulukaya has said that he would hire back as many former employees as possible but didn't know whether the union would be part of his new operations. If he hires enough of the former employees, however, he may not have a choice on the union. That issue will depend on whether Ulukaya's Anchor Brewing is a "successor" of Sapporo's Anchor Brewing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Call me … maybe? 6th Circuit saves FMLA claim of employee who failed to follow employer's call-in rules.

Latrice Crispell, a 23-year employee of FCA working as a floater on its truck assembly line, suffered from major depression and anxiety, which qualified her for intermittent leave under the FMLA. FCA had a strict 30-minute call-in rule, requiring employees to notify their supervisors of any absence at least 30 minutes before their shift, or later with a statement explaining the missed call-in.

Crispell struggled to comply with that rule during severe flare-ups of her condition, which she argued made it impossible for her to call in on time and made her absent or late 15 times during the final three months of her employment. Despite submitting explanations and a doctor's note about how her illness made it impossible for her to comply with the 30-minute rule during flare-ups, FCA disciplined and ultimately terminated her.

Despite the employee failing to meet FCA's call-in requirements for her intermittent leave, the 6th Circuit reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the employer. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It was the best of opinions; it was the worst of opinions…

Today, the EEOC's regulations interpreting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act go into effect. Thanks to two very recent federal court opinions from two different federal courts, however, it remains an open issue as to whether the EEOC can enforce those parts of its regulations that require employers to reasonably accommodate employees' elective abortions not necessary to treat a medical condition related to pregnancy.

Monday, June 17, 2024

The 7th nominee for the Worst Employer of 2024 is … the murder threatener

"I'm going to kill you."
"You're a dead man."

That's what Mario and Jaime Lopez, two of the owners and managers of Bianco Rosso, (allegedly) told one of their restaurant's former employees when confronting him at his new job. The issue that made them so mad? A Department of Labor investigation into management stealing from the tip pool.

According to a recently filed DOL lawsuit, Bianco Rosso and its three owners, Cristina Ramirez and the Lopezes, engaged in unlawful retaliation against employees who participated in the DOL's investigation.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Just because you only use the n-word on your personal TikTok doesn't mean your employer can't fire you for it.

Until yesterday, I had never heard of a "trad-wife" or of Lilly Gaddis.

A trad-wife is a burgeoning trend of women embracing traditional gender roles and lifestyles of the 1950s. Gaddis is an adherent of the lifestyle and promoter of its beliefs on social media.

In a viral TikTok video, Gaddis (white) used the n-word to describe her friends' husbands. Her employer quickly fired her and released a statement about her termination and upholding its values of diversity, inclusivity, respect, and equality.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

As seen on Reddit: payment for training time

As seen on the legaladvice subreddit:

"My company just told us about a new policy where any meeting or training that is held over the lunch hour where food will be provided is unpaid. Some of these lunch meetings are optional trainings, but some are mandatory department meetings. Is it legal for the company to deny pay for time spent at these meetings just because lunch is provided?"

Answer: It is not legal, and the time employees spend during those lunch meetings must be paid.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

An update on one of 2023's Worst Employers

Q: What do you win for coming in 6th place in 2023's Worst Employer contest?

A: 20 years in federal prison.

That's what Stavros Papantoniadis, the owner of Stash’s Pizza, is potentially facing after a jury convicted him on three counts of forced labor and three counts of attempted forced labor.