Friday, April 20, 2018

WIRTW #502 (the “AirTalk” edition)

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate made history by unanimously changing its rules to permit Senator (and new mom) Tammy Duckworth to bring her newborn onto the Senate floor while she cast votes.

Yesterday, I guested on Los Angles public radio station KPCC’s AirTalk and spoke with Libby Denkmann about what this means for the future of parental leave laws in America, and why we should be ashamed that countries like Iran and Afghanistan do more for their working moms than we do.

Thanks to Libby for the great conversation, and to my friend, Kate Bischoff, for the connection.

You can listen here. The segment starts at 29:50, and my interview starts at 41:30.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

If you weren’t angry about the fired Saints cheerleader before, you will be now.

Remember Bailey Davis? She’s the New Orleans Saints cheerleader fired for violating the team’s social media policy.

Her offense? This photo, which she posted to her personal Instagram.

She’s already filed a civil rights complaint, and now she’s speaking out about her alleged discriminatory treatment, and discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading in general.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Apparently God is in the restaurant business, at least according to the 6th Circuit

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
It’s been nearly three years since I first reported on the Department of Labor’s wage and hour lawsuit against Akron, Ohio’s, Cathedral Buffet, owned and operated by the Earnest Angley Ministries.

The DOL’s allegations are pretty offensive. Not only did it claim that all of the restaurant’s employees worked for free, it also claimed that the ministry coerced church members into volunteering, telling them they “had an obligation to provide their labor to the Buffet, in service to God, and that a failure to offer their labor to the Buffet … would be the same as failing God;” that Angley “was God’s prophet, and saying ‘no’ to Angley would be tantamount to saying ‘no’ directly to God,” and “‘blaspheming against the Holy Ghost.’”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I abhor the term “wage theft,” and you should too

Photo by Thirteen .J on Unsplash
This past Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a story entitled, Do wage theft laws in Ohio harm or help workers? Notably, it quoted yours truly as the voice of management on this issue (thanks to Olivera Perkins for the interview):
Some business advocates argue with the very term “wage theft.” Jon Hyman, a local lawyer who represents employers, says not every employer cited for wage theft has willingly denied rightful wages.”To me, wage theft is a loaded term,” he said. “It presumes an intent to steal.” 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Must you pay employees for FMLA-related breaks during the work day?

Photo by Liam Stahnke on Unsplash
Last week, the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division resumed its practice of publishing Opinion Letters. One of the first it published answers an interesting question about the intersection of the FLSA and the FMLA.

Must an employer pay an employee for FMLA-approved breaks taken during the work day?

I’ve taken some journalistic license and paraphrased the questions. The answers, however, are verbatim from the DOL Opinion Letter FLSA2018-19 [pdf].

Friday, April 13, 2018

WIRTW #501 (the “fireflies” edition)

According to a recent study, going to concerts adds years to your life.

If this is true (and who am I to argue with science), then last Thursday should propel me into triple digits.

We went to see our fav, Rhett Miller, who invited Norah to share the stage and duet with him.

I learned 4 things watching Norah:
  1. She’s got nerves of steel (which I kind of already knew).
  2. Her performance belies her 11 years of age (which is also kind of already knew).
  3. She can hold her own with a 30-year veteran of the industry.
  4. Thanks to Fake ID, I’m probably on an FBI watchlist.

Thank you Rhett, from Norah (and us, too). You are one of a kind.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Anti-harassment anthems

Yesterday, I came across the very cool video for a new Speedy Ortiz song, “Villain.”

The song tackles issue of harassment, assault, and consent.

Rock music has always tackled the important social issues of the times, and #MeToo should be no exception.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The other side of diversity

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash
Workplace diversity has two sides.

One side says that employers cannot discriminate against minorities. The other says that employers cannot discriminate against non-minorities in favor of minorities.

Some people call this reverse discrimination. I just call it discrimination.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


According to the Washington Post, nearly one in five — about 17 percent — of harassment complaints filed with the EEOC come from men.

And many involve same-sex harassment.

Some examples:

Monday, April 9, 2018

Cyclist fired for flipping off Presidential motorcade sues former employer

You may recall Juli Briskman, the biker that flipped the finger to Trump’s passing motorcade, and lost her job after a photo she posted went viral.

Ms. Briskman is not taking her termination lying down. In what appears to be a deep-funded and well-orchestrated campaign, she has filed suit in Virginia state court against her ex-employer.