Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The 14th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the horrible harasser

In its press release announcing a recently filed sexual harassment lawsuit, the EEOC says that a N.Y.-based housing development and property management company violated Title VII when its owner and top executive, repeatedly subjected female employees to crude sexual comments, called them sexually obscene names, and showed them pornography.

And, as bad as that sounds, that description barely scratches the surface of what is actually alleged to have happened in this workplace.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Parental discrimination claims pose big risks for employers

According to workingmother.com, More Parents Than Ever Are Suing Their Employers for Discrimination—and Winning. The article is right — parental discrimination claims (which are really just sex discrimination claims brought by working parents) are very dangerous for employers.

Friday, July 19, 2019

WIRTW #560 (the “more kindness” edition) #IChooseKindness

Yesterday, I asked you all to join me in choosing kindness, and talked about Richard Cook’s Don’t Hurt Anyone Project. Over on LinkedIn, Richard took the time to share his thoughts on my post, which I’m sharing with y’all here.

Hi Jon, I am all in for #IChooseKindness Go! It is wonderful to see so many supportive comments. As you mentioned, I started the #donthurtanyoneproject There are a confluence of factors that led me to create something that felt so quaint and yet so urgent. One was sitting in the crowded gate area of airports waiting for a delayed flight. In my former career I did a lot of that. Inevitably I had the opportunity to talk with quite a few individuals. Sometimes we shared many of the same perspectives. Others not so much. But never in the latter of those two categories did a person get up and move to the furthest seat from me or I the same. We didn’t shout over each other. We just talked. When boarding time came we exchanged courtesies, sometimes shook hands and a few times figured out if we could be seated together to keep talking. It was hard for me to reconcile the “Divided States of America” narrative. No doubt that Americans disagree. However, I would suggest that for every ugly incident or rant that makes the news, there are far more that stop to help a motorist with a flat, make room in their family for a foster child or volunteer to help those struggling. Those people don’t ask for recognition but we need their energy. Urgently.

Let me know that you are choosing kindness by dropping a comment below, or by sharing your thoughts on any of your social channels with the hashtag #IChooseKindness.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I choose kindness

In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
                              Frank Turner, Be More Kind                                                           
I’d like to introduce everyone to the Don’t Hurt Anyone Project. Richard Cook created the nonprofit in response to “the toxic currents of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination, harassment, inequity, and injustice … growing even stronger, wider, and deeper in today’s America and across the globe,” and “to be a voice for nonviolence, equity, justice, and civility.”

I’m a huge fan of Richard, his project, and their message.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

There isn’t a “magic number” of racial or ethnic insults an employee must prove to establish a hostile work environment

Jamie Ortiz (of Puerto Rican descent) worked for the Broward County, Florida, School Board in various capacities for nearly 20 years, including, from 2009 through 2017, as an auto mechanic in the district’s garage under the supervision of Michael Kriegel.

According to the testimony of both Ortiz and many of his co-workers, Kriegel had some issues with Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics, which he expressed to anyone who would listen, including Ortiz, on a daily basis.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A handy FAQ for service animals in the workplace

A local Subway recently earned itself some bad publicity when an employee denied access to a customer with a service dog.

While this story involved a customer, and not an employee, it did get me thinking about employee service dogs at work.

I created this handy FAQ on service dogs at work for your reference.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The 13th nominee for the “worst employer of 2019” is … the excoriating executives

It’s been nearly a month since I posted the last nominee for 2019’s Worst Employer. It’s not for lack of ideas; it’s just that the prior nominees have been so awful that the bar for qualification has been set pretty high. Thankfully, France Télécom has come to the rescue.

What did the former top executives at France’s national phone company do to earn their nomination?

Friday, July 12, 2019

WIRTW #559 (the “Happy Birthday D-Man” edition)

This guy turns 11 on Sunday.

Happy birthday Donovan! Please keep making us smile.

Here’s what I read the past two weeks.


HR & Employee Relations


Wage & Hour


OSHA & Safety

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Rob Mendez won the Jimmy V Award at last night’s ESPYS, and it might be the most inspiring thing you’ve ever seen

Rob Mendez coaches the JV football team at Prospect High School in Saratoga, California. He’s also lived his entire life with no arms and no legs. He was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder that prevented their embryonic formation. You can read Rob’s entire (and entirely) compelling story at this ESPN feature story, or watch it in this Jon Hamm-narrated featurette.

Last night, at ESPN’s annual sports awards, the network honored Rob Mendez with its Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

As compelling and inspiring as he and his story are, so was his acceptance speech last night.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Why are employers testing job applicants for prescription medications?

During a pre-employment medical examination and drug screen, an applicant tests positive for Alprazolam, the generic form of Xanax (a medication commonly prescribed for anxiety), a fact she had already disclosed during the examination. The doctor performing the medical exam and reviewing the drug screen concludes that the applicant is medically acceptable for work as an intake specialist at an inpatient mental health facility. The employer, however, has other ideas. It withdraws the job offer without providing the applicant any opportunity to discuss the results.

The applicant sues, claiming disability discrimination.

Who wins?

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