Jonathan A. Segal is a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group . He is also the managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute . The Duane Morris Institute provides training for human resource professionals, in house counsel, benefits administrators and managers at Duane Morris, at client sites and by way of webinar on myriad employment, labor, benefits and immigration matters. Read Jonathan's blog at the Duane Morris Institute or follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_HR_Law .
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Articles by Jonathan Segal
Sometimes clients ask me relative to gender:
1. Would it be gender discrimination if we do X?
2. Does the law require that we do Y?
Of course, we need to start with the legal imperative. But, as HR professionals, we know we must transcend the legal imperative and focus on the business necessity (and moral obligation) to ensure gender equality.
There is nothing that I or anyone else can say that captures Dr. King’s words.
So, please watch this and remember that, while we have made progress, we have a long way to go:
Follow me on Twitter at: Jonathan__HR__Law.
As we all know, in EEO termination claims, how we treat the "comparators" is critical. Two (2) key questions:
1. Did you let anyone else go for a same or similar reason?
2. Did you not let someone else go even though they had engaged in same or similar conduct?
What do you do if you have an inconsistent practice historically?
You are a beleaguered HR professional charged with making the holidays lively without inviting lawsuits. On the day of your company’s holiday party, you walk into the lobby of your building and see the elegant Christmas pine that you helped decorate. As you behold it in its twinkling glory, a co-worker says, “That tree is inappropriate in the workplace.”
While we have a tragic divide in the political world, we seem united on at least one issue: we thankfully express support for our Veterans. On this day, we make a point to thank Veterans for their service.
That’s a great start. But it is by no means enough.
It is hard to go on line and not read an article, blog, post or tweet on Millennials. There is, if you will, Millennial mania.
It is true that Millennial employees are now about 1/3 of the workforce and that percentage is rapidly growing. But even I can figure out the math on this one: 2/3 of the workforce is composed of non-Millennials. There is another way to describe them: older employees.
The Kentucky Clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is going to jail. She has tried to justify her refusal to perform her job on the ground that to do so would violate her religious beliefs as protected by the Constitution.
Good thing employers do not have to deal with this kind of issue. Or do we?
A manager has an open position. He will need to work closely with the new hire.
Alan applies for the job. The manager truly loathes him. I could say it softer but that is the reality.
Alan has all the requisite skill, education and experience. But the sound of Alan’s voice makes the manager’s skin crawl.
Based on his intense dislike for Alan, the manager does not want to interview him, let alone promote him. What do you do?
Stop talking about the gender confidence gap!
I keep hearing a lot about the “confidence gap”. Premise: women are less confident than men. I believe those raising the issue are well intended, but I worry about the constant drum beat on this issue for three reasons:
As everyone knows, SCOTUS ruled 5 to 4 that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The full case is cited below. The opinion is consistent with the growing support for (or at least acceptance of) same sex marriage.
I spent Friday reading social media postings, including tweets. There were strongly felt emotions expressed on both sides of the issue.
These conversations will not end on social media this weekend. They will spill into workplaces next week and for the indefinite future.
Here are my top 10 words or expressions that none of us should dare say at the Annual Convention under penalty of listening to Barry Manilow for 24 hours straight while reading the FMLA intermittent regulations:
We have heard it before. The proposed regulatory changes to the white collar exemption are “imminent.” And, then they were delayed.
Well, the regulations were sent by the DOL to the OMB. The conventional wisdom is that they will be published on June 18, 2015 (I suspect so the DOL can say “Spring”).
We know the purpose and effect of the proposed regulations will be to increase the number of individuals who are non-exempt. At a minimum, exempt status will carry a heavier price tag.
Well, “Mad Men” is no more.
As AMC marketed it, we have come to an “end of an era.” Or have we?
While it was only a television show, or so people try to tell me, the workplace implications resonated with so many of us in the HR/business community. Perhaps that is because, while much has changed, some things are still painfully similar.
The United States Congress created the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) starts on the evening of April 15 and ends on the evening of April 16. http://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance
During the Holocaust, more than 11 million human beings were systemically murdered. That includes 6 million Jews, 2/3 of the European Jewish community at that time.
Now, it’s time for headlines of the latest news:
In "It Will v Never Happen," the NLRB stated that “management rights must be respected and it is not for the NLRB to tell employers how to run their businesses. We decline the union’s invitation to do so.”
We all know the importance of recognition and appreciation. In this context, some people say “you’re the best.”
Words matter and these words are troublesome for a few reasons. First and foremost: how is the recipient to respond?
If you say nothing, either you have ignored what was intended as a compliment, or your silence may be seen as “why are you telling me that which is axiomatic?”
If you say “thank you,” are you not effectively saying that you think you are the best? A little hubris? And, by a little, I mean a lot.
Well, there are now fewer calls to the phone banks of plaintiffs’ lawyers’ as most problems resulting from holiday parties already have been raised. But plaintiffs’ lawyers have no fear: there will be a salvo of calls after Valentine’s Day. And that reminds me of a story.
It is 9:00 a.m. A secretary reports to her desk. Waiting for her is a sealed card.
The secretary opens the envelope and it is a Valentine's Day card from her manager. Having undergone sensitivity training, the manager signs it "fondly" as opposed to "lovingly."