You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.
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Articles by Eric B. Meyer
We all know that the Americans with Disabilities Act makes its unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual on the basis of his or her disability. But, the Act has even broader protections for employees.
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that an employer that does not know that a job applicant may need a religious accommodation can discriminate against that job applicant. All that matters are the employer’s motivations.
Allow me to explain.
It’s not what you know; it’s what motivates you.
ADA and Burger King?!? Has someone been eating too many Whoppers? No.
But I did spend a 20 minute Uber ride yesterday sucking down mustard packets.
On my speaking boondoggles around the country, what’s the biggest issue I hear from HR professionals involving transgender employees?
Yep, it’s the use of the bathroom.
You wouldn’t want to make the same egregious mistake as a Michigan employer. After the jump, I’ll discuss the colossal screw-up and help you avoid it.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait and listen to some Foo Fighters while you go grab your FMLA policy.
[Two bad words near the end of the Foo Fighters song. So, if you’re going to play it at work. Well, don’t play it at work].
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You know all that stuff you read on the internet about employees who can badmouth their boss on the internet, all in the name of free speech, and not get fired for it....
Yeah, about that...
[More after the jump...]
Replace Candy Crush high score with email contacts on a personal iPhone used for work (BYOD), and you have the issue that a federal court in Texas recently tackled.
This case presents a set of facts not unlike those which could easily arise in your workplace.
Five minutes ago, after taking the obligatory selfies and between games of Candy Crush, one of your employees texted (because, calling in, as if!) from an Ebola quarantine tent to alert you that she will be out of work for 21 days, while under observation for Ebola.
As an employer, what are your obligations? What workplace laws are implicated?
And, of course, because half of you are thinking it, can you just fire her?
Remember that Americans with Disabilities Act case involving Walgreens and the $1.39 bag of chips. In that one, the store appeared to really step in it by firing a diabetic who ate a bag of chips from the store without paying for it. The employee claimed that she needed the chips for her diabetes. The store defended its actions by arguing that the employee violated its no-grazing policy. $180,000 later, that case settled.
Your fitness-for-duty employee medical examinations are job-related or consistent with business necessity. So, they pass muster under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, what about the medical information you request from employees in connection with those exams?
Oh yeah, there's that too...
Ask for too much info and you might be violating not only the ADA, but also the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.
Rut roh! More after the jump...
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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
But, if you send FMLA paperwork to an employee by first class mail, then you're asking for trouble.
I'll show you why after the jump...
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Did you read the lede and think to yourself, "FMLA notice? You mean there's a notice? You mean, like in our handbook right?"
How many times has an employee provided you with an incomplete Family and Medical Leave Act certification? Oh, I don't know, maybe a missing return date...
That's right folks. It's time for another edition of "Fact or Fiction" a/k/a "Quick Answers to Quick Questions" a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a "I don't feel like writing a long blog post."
Try this one for size, folks.
Leave it to Career Builder to run a survey seeking the most unusual co-worker holiday gifts. Camouflage toilet paper made the list.
(Well, at least it wasn't used, amirite?)
Let me tell you about a teacher in South Dakota. In 2010, she received a letter communicating concerns about her performance. Subsequent evaluations of the teacher's classes noted several deficiencies. So, the school placed the teacher on a performance improvement plan.
It was right around this time that the teacher met with a physician's assistant, who diagnosed the teacher with "anxiety and depression, likely stemming from her concerns about possibly getting fired."