ADA accommodation suit re COVID; NFL employment discrimination suit; continued unionization wave; condo/HOA woes; and more in Our Social Media Posts This Week, Apr. 3-9, 2022.

Below is a review of the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week. You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

boston hit with covid ada accommodation suit by teachers union

In the post on Sunday 4/3/2022 we saw that Boston hit with COVID ADA accommodation suit by teachers union. The suit alleges that the School System routinely ignores or denies disability-based accommodation requests by those with underlying health conditions that put them at grater risk for COVID-19. Some of those harmed are listed in the post. How long did it take for the School System to respond to some requests? See the post (it’s not pretty). But as to other requests, some people were just told to report to work with no discussion about the request and other requests were denied outright. And then there were the other requests … see the post. Yes, there’s more, the adverse employment actions alleged to have been taken as a result of the School System’s bias. All in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Treat all employees the same and follow the letter of the law for accommodation requests. Just do it.

what to know about nfl employment discrimination case

The post on Monday 4/4/2022 told us what to know about the NFL employment discrimination case. As you may know, the suit was filed in February 2022 by Brian Flores, a Black former head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Flores was fired in January and since then has been rejected for a head coaching position by several other NFL teams. It is expected that the NFL will file its response soon, but there are 4 key things to the Flores suit. First, the suit itself will be a game-changer by shining a light on NFL hiring practices. Why? See the post. Next, the judge might certify this suit as a class action. Flores filed it as a representative of other Black coaches and executives who have allegedly been harmed in a common way. Things the judge will need to consider in the certification decision are listed in the post (and come from federal civil procedure rules). The 3rd and 4th takeaways form the suit are also listed and discussed in the post. And then there’s a bonus: what role with the EEOC play in all of this? It depends if Flores follows through ad files a charge of race discrimination under Title VII.

TAKEAWAY: Race discrimination can – and does – occur everywhere, at all echelons. Make sure your business doesn’t get caught up in a lawsuit; do things the legal way – and get assistance from a lawyer when appropriate.

man says condo wrote him up for pro-Ukraine car decorations. hmmm

The post on Tuesday 4/5/2022 showed us a man says condo wrote him up for pro-Ukraine car decorations. Hmmm. The man says he received the violation notice for having signs and flags on his car supporting Ukraine. What did they say? See the post. The violation notice said he is not allowed to show any sign, advertisement or notice of any type on common elements. His defenses? Yep, see the post. He decorated his car in support of his neighbor, a Ukrainian woman who moved to the UK a decade ago. The man is a prior condo Board member and President. The Association itself has not commented.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure to enforce the Governing Documents in your Association, but do it properly and uniformly. Get assistance from a community association lawyer.

seattle starbucks unionizes in coffee giant’s home city

The post on Wednesday 4/6/2022 told us that a Seattle Starbucks unionizes in coffee giant’s home city. Yes, the wave continues (and so apparently do the missing links: here is the one for this post: ). This vote was unanimous and makes the location the 7th in the country to affiliate with the union that is part of SEIU. How many more might be coming and where? See the post. Employees at this Seattle location are staying longer, some making a career out of it, and that has affected how they think about work conditions. The next steps? See the post.

TAKEAWAY: Keep your employees happy – whatever that means to them that you can reasonably provide. And if there is a union, bargain in good faith. Involve labor and employment counsel either way.

amazon staff reject union in AL with Ny count ongoing

The post on Thursday 4/7/2022, kept the theme, where Amazon staff reject union in Alabama with NY count ongoing. The AL count was tight and the NY one even tighter. IN Alabama it was warehouse workers who voted 993 – 875 against forming a union. But that is not final. The NLRB still has something on its plate relative to votes that could change that result – see the post. This is all vastly different from the unionization attempt there last year which fell flat. Meanwhile, in the NY election the pro-union votes are leading. The driver of the NY effort is a fired Amazon employee. How did he characterize the ongoing vote in the NY warehouse that has over 8300 workers? See the post.

TAKEAWAY: Let’s say it again: Keep your employees happy – whatever that means to them that you can reasonably provide. And if there is a union, bargain in good faith. Involve labor and employment counsel either way.

apartment mold leaves couple without bathroom; did condo/HOA act appropriately?

The post on Friday 4/8/2022 showed us that apartment mold leaves couple without bathroom; did condo/HOA act appropriately? So what happened? The upstairs condo had a leak and then this couple had a leak from April – July 2021. Apparently the owner contacted the condo association in April but it took until July for the association to send someone to fix it. But that did not end the problem. See the post for what was left behind. And for that the association didn’t send someone out again until October. And then it took an additional 4 months until workers came back to resolve that issue. So the bathroom was demolished and only a toilet left. They were told it would all be completed in less than a week. That never happened. What did the couple do then? See the post. And as for the association’s response about this whole incident? Yep, see the post.

TAKEAWAY: There are certainly delays now with labor and materials in every area of life, but what happened here is unacceptable, whether in a condo/HOA or otherwise. Contact a community association lawyer as to respective rights and obligations.

doj moves to intervene in sexual harassment lawsuit against schuykill county

Finally, in the post yesterday 4/9/2022 we saw that DOJ moves to intervene in sexual harassment lawsuit against Schuylkill County. This is not something that happens frequently so let’s look a bit more closely. In the federal suit, 4 female employees allege that a County Commission sexually harassed them and that they were retaliated against when they complained. The Commissioner is named in the post. And what did the harassment include? See the post for some details (ugh). The petition to intervene makes many allegations, including things the commission allegedly did (itemized in the post) that County officials know about the harassment but took no action to stop it until a written complaint was filed, and more (including what was done after the County’s investigation of the complaint). All in the post. DOJ got involved based n a referral form the EEOC (stemming from the charge of discrimination filed with that agency and from which conciliation failed).

TAKEAWAY: Discrimination is not illegal only in private workplaces; public – including – governmental – employers are also subject to the anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws. Know the rights and obligations applicable to your workplace and get legal help if needed.

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