It’s been a hectic week for me (I have a trial coming up), and so here are some links to employment law blog posts and workplace news items that I hope will entertain and edify.
5 Things Your Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know. By the great Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. (Just to whet your appetite, the first is “I can’t fire you.”)
Can Employee Display a Confederate Flag on Facebook as Free Speech? Or Can Employer Take Action? Dan Schwartz posted this a couple of weeks ago, but it is more timely than ever, now that South Carolina’s flag is coming down. (Today. At 10 a.m.)
This is the worst team-building exercise ever. Yes, ever. From the inimitable Eric Meyer. There’s no “I” in team, but there are two “Is” in “ISIS.” So they should have known it was going to be a fail.
Don’t forget leaves of absence as ADA accommodation. Maybe not as funny as Eric, but this is great advice from Jon Hyman that employers often overlook. There’s more to life than the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Religion v. Law. Heather Bussing discusses the intersection of religion and the law in light of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. I think this is going to become a very, very big deal in the coming years.
How technology could kill the art of lying. By Andrea Peterson of The Washington Post. Think about that the next time you want to lick a donut. Employers ought to be careful, though, when they think they have caught an employee red-handed through technology. I posted a few months ago about an FMLA retaliation case brought by a former paralegal of Dow Chemical who was terminated shortly after returning to work from a medical leave. (Scroll down to “FMLA retaliation claims will go to trial, even though plaintiff was fired for falsification of time records.”) Kimberly Hartman was terminated (allegedly) for falsifying her time, but she claimed that she was actually working on her computer at home and thus accurately posting her time. The employer countered that the work she claimed to be doing should have taken only a few minutes and that her VPN logs showed that she was almost never in the system. Ms. Hartman’s husband emailed me not long ago and alerted me that his wife had won more than $330,000 after a trial on her claims. I asked him about the VPN evidence, and he said that they were able to establish that she was doing most of the work outside “the system” and was doing other legitimate work as well. So don’t over-rely on technology. It never hurts to do an old-fashioned, “analog” investigation before you take action.
Does Jeb Bush think American workers are lazy? Hill says yes. Jeb says no. (I’m with Jeb – DISCLAIMER: NOT A POLITICAL ENDORSEMENT – he probably could have stated it better, but I think it’s clear that he was advocating increased productivity, which would lead to job creation, which would allow people to work more hours. In a good way.)