Friday, March 15, 2019

WIRTW #546 (the “Arrivederci” edition)

Today is good bye … but only for two weeks. My kids' school gives them that much time off for Spring Break each year. So we are headed to Italy. Rome and Florence to be precise.

I'll be back on April 1 (no foolin') with some thoughts about what I learned on my Spring Break.

In the meantime, if you have any last minute tips on what to do, see, or eat in either of these cities, drop a note in the comments below.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Share or Retweet if you care about paid parental leave

Earlier this week, Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Mike Lee introduced the Child Rearing and Development Leave Empowerment Act (the CRADLE Act). It is a first step towards providing some measure of paid parental leave to American workers. Yet, it has some serious flaws.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The 8th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the lascivious leader

I can't do any better of job than the EEOC did in describing the parade of horribles the one supervisor wrought at Sys-Con, a Montgomery, Alabama, general contractor:

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, from December 2015 to May 2017, a supervisor at Sys-Con's worksite at the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery, demanded sexual favors from two non-English speaking Hispanic female employees and watched pornographic videos in front of them. The EEOC further charged that the supervisor sexually assaulted one of the employees and sub­sequently taunted her, asking whether she "liked it."

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The FLSA's salary test just doesn't matter

By now you've likely heard that the Department of Labor announced its intent to increase the qualifying salary threshold for its white collar exemptions from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $679 per week ($35,308 annually).

I'm here to tell you that this increase just doesn't matter.

Monday, March 11, 2019

What a lawful "civility" policy looks like under the NLRB's Boeing test

Consider and compare the following workplace civility policies:

Commitment to My Co-Workers
  • I will accept responsibility for establishing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships with you and every member of this team.
  • I will talk to your promptly if I am having a problem with you. The only time I will discuss it with another person is when I need advice or help in deciding how to communicate with you appropriately.
  • I will not complain about another team member and ask you not to as well. If I hear you doing so, I will ask you to talk to that person.
  • I will be committed to finding solutions to problems rather than complaining about them or blaming someone for them, and ask you to do the same. 



Blogging outside of the hospital must not include … disparaging comments about the hospital.

Friday, March 8, 2019

WIRTW #545 (the “International Women's Day” edition) #IWD2019

Happy International Women's Day!

I didn't always consider myself a feminist. But I'm proud to call myself one ever since May 27, 2006—the day my daughter was born.

It wasn't that I was hostile to the issue; I just never engaged in any active thought about it. Now that I have a female life for which I am responsible, I fully embrace the term.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

As seen on Reddit: Salary discussion bans are a BIG legal no-no

AriesAviator posted the following question in the LegalAdvice subreddit:

Boss just threatened to fire me and another co-worker because we were discussing a raise we both got- what should I do?
We both got pulled into a group chat over the app our work uses, and the first message reads as follows;

Hey I don't want to here about your raises with the other crew members we talked about this before, other places have strict rules either termination or reversal of the raise this is not okay, Don't turn something we tried to do nice for you too into a pain for us.

Which, uh, what the fuck?

I'm pretty fucking sure everything in there is MASSIVELY illegal.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Emotional outbursts as ADA-protected disabilities

The term hysteria comes from the Greek word hysterika, meaning Uterus. In ancient Greece it was believed that a wandering and discontented Uterus was blamed for that dreaded female ailment of excessive emotion, hysteria. The disease's symptoms were believed to be dictated by where in the body the offending organ roamed. It was not religious belief but a social belief.


Less than two months after Jessica Mullen's hysterectomy, she applied for a position as a stitcher with athletic footwear manufacturer New Balance. Within the first few weeks of her employment, her was having difficulty mastering one of the stitching machines, which led to an abrupt and (maybe) heated exchange with her trainer, Julie Prentiss. During that exchange, Mullen became upset and began to cry. Prentiss placed Mullen in a time-out in the break room, and contacted two human resources managers, Frances Fisher and Rachel Merry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The 7th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the disability debaser

The 7th nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is an employer that (allegedly) permitted a nearly year-long campaign to malign and harass an employee living with ADHD and Tourette's syndrome.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Harassment need not be "hellish" to be actionable

Gates v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago (7th Cir. 2/20/19) asks a question that we see time and again in harassment cases—how bad does does the conduct have to be to support a harassment claim. The answer is bad enough, but not so bad so as to be classified as "hellish."

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