Monday, December 26, 2011

Best of 2011: Numbers 10 and 9

   10. Unstable employees, direct threats, and the ADA

Employers faced with a legitimate and potentially dangerous employee need not wait for the powder keg to explode. Instead, employers can treat the employee as a “direct threat” and separate the individual from employment.

   9. Wal-Mart v. Dukes does not equal barefoot and pregnant

There is no doubt that by limiting class actions, Wal-Mart was a big win for businesses. But let’s not confuse what Wal-Mart is for what it is not. It is not a death blow to women’s rights in the workplace. It will not eliminate all of the good that Title VII has done for women (and its other protected classes). It will not take us back in time to the days of June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson…. So let’s not overreact to the Wal-Mart decision by arguing that its impact will take women back to the stone age, or, worse, the 1950s. Such knee-jerk overreactions unnecessarily polarize us into positions that do nothing to further the debate over the real issue—eliminating workplace discrimination.