Friday, April 19, 2024

WIRTW #714: the ‘today's post is brought to you by the letters W, G, and A' edition

"No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street," said Writers Guild President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.

Earlier this week, Writers Guild members at Sesame Workshop unanimously voted to authorize a strike if management does not agree to a new collective bargaining agreement before their current contract expires later today. Absent a deal, picketing will begin on April 24.

The writers are seeking industry standard annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for Sesame Workshop's animation and social media segments.

Anyone who follows me on the regular knows that I'm no fan of labor unions. The demands of these writers, however, seem fair and reasonable. They will also have public sentiment on their side.

"Millions of parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions," said Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. "They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company's own messages of kindness and fairness."

Ouch. Your business has a serious problem when your actions don't match stated values. And that's brought to you by the letters, B, A, and D.

Here's what I read and listened to this week that you should, too.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Supreme Court eases path for employees to sue employers for discriminatory job transfers

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that an employee alleging a discriminatory job transfer need not show the suffering of a "materially significant" disadvantage. Instead, the employee need only show "some injury respecting her employment terms or conditions."

The case involved a police sergeant forced to transfer out of her position in the department's intelligence division. The employer claimed that she could not establish a Title VII volitation because the transfer did not result in a diminution of her pay. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

EEOC makes is clear that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act covers unpaid time off for abortions

From this point forward, if an employee needs an unpaid leave of absence to obtain and recover from an abortion, you better give it her. I realize this topic is divisive, but this issue is no longer subject to debate.

Earlier this week, the EEOC published its final regulations implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Pre-publication, agency considered 94,000 comments urging it either to exclude or include "abortion" from the Act's definition of "pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions." The EEOC chose the latter. Here's why.

Monday, April 15, 2024

One bourbon, one union election, and one Cemex bargaining order

One bourbon, one union election, and one bargaining order … is what an NLRB ALJ told Woodford Reserve Distillery last week. The judge held that the distillery violated federal labor law by undermining its employees' unionization efforts and ordered the distillery to bargain with its employees as their remedy.

Friday, April 12, 2024

WIRTW #713: the ‘lounging around' edition

Next week I'll be at the Craft Brewers Conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas — a four-day gathering presented by the Brewers Association of all things craft brewers and craft beer. There are loads of speakers spread across eight educational tracks, a massive trade show, and too many networking opportunities to count.

On the educational front, I'm speaking on Sunday as part of the THRIVE pre-conference workshop discussing how to craft a harassment-free craft brewery.

On the networking front, my firm is sponsoring the Start A Brewery lounge. Start A Brewery is a community of craft beer industry veterans who share our knowledge and experience in support of the craft beer community by helping new breweries and breweries in planning.

If you're at CBC and want to connect, look for me in the Start A Brewery lounge. I will be in and out on April 22 and the morning of the 23rd. (The lounge is open through the 24th.)

Our lounge will be located at the top of the escalators leading into the main exhibit hall at the Venetian. There will be beer available all around us, and we'll have couches and charging stations to refresh yourself and your devices.

Please let me know if you plan on stopping in so that I can make sure I'm present and available. And please say hello if you're at my speaking session or just happen to run into me at the Conference or at any of the events around Las Vegas. I will happily share a beer with you and toast our industry.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Don't be an ostrich with harassment

"If I ignore harassment, it will go away" … is the 100% incorrect response to harassment happening in your workplace. It's also a non-refundable first-class ticket to a nasty lawsuit.

An employer CANNOT ostrich workplace protected class harassment. "Employer" includes managers and supervisors. If someone in a position of authority witnesses or otherwise learns of protected class harassment in the workplace, the business has the same legal obligations as if the victim had complained.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Must you accommodation an employee's religion not to attend DEI training? Believe it or not, it might depend on the training.

"Your respectful workplace training is against my religion; count me out."

That's what one employee told his employer when it tried to compel him to attend its mandatory training about treating all with courtesy and respect.

When the employee learned that one module of the training would include LGBTQI+ issues, he explained to his employer, "This subject matter contradicts my sincerely held religious beliefs." He advised that he would excuse himself during that portion of the training.