ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – June 3 – 9, 2018

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.

In the post on Sunday 6/3/18 we saw that the ability to work a rotating shift can be an ADA essential function. All beware. Why do you care? Because as a worker you may need to know what you can request of your employer and as an employer, you may want to know what you can require of your employee. IN the case here, the former assistant manager got PTSD and depression. He asked for a change from a rotating to a fixed schedule (and other things in the post related to the cause of the PTSD). The employer initially said yes, then backtracked. He quit and sued. The post contains a summary of the court’s analysis and why the decision came out as it did.

TAKEAWAY: The essential functions of a job must be known when dealing with an accommodation under the ADA; having a job description with the essential functions specified is a good thing.

The post on Monday 6/4/18 looked at how no-fault attendance policies can put companies and workers at risk. This type of policy does not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. It treats them all the same. Good, right? Not if points are assessed for legally-protected absences under the FMLA or ADA. Former AT&T employees recently filed suit for unlawful discrimination against pregnant women. Harken back a few years to a suit against Verizon detailed in the post. Keep those lines open for how this one plays out.

TAKEAWAY: Uniformity in enforcement of policies is great – except when it runs afoul of the law. Know when not to enforce – and get legal help.

In the post on Tuesday 6/5/18 we learned about a new law that targets homeowner and condo association disputes (and suggested owners and Board members should know about the law). It’s been a long time coming, but PA now has another avenue to resolve some disputes: the Bureau of Consumer Protection. The post gives some background on the law and some of its provisions. It will take effect some time in July so there is time to learn how it affects you or your association.

TAKEAWAY: Know what the avenue of redress is for a dispute. If you are not sure, consult legal counsel.  

The post on Wednesday 6/6/18 told us a woman accused of stealing $636 from Chipotle won millions. Jeanette Ortiz is a former manager at Chipotle. She was an excellent worker. The post has the background. A video that supposedly existed was never shown. She was fired in 2015 after being accused of stealing $636. She sued. Some of the arguments made by Chipotle are in the post. A jury recently awarded her almost $8M. Then the case settled rather than go up on possible appeal.

TAKEAWAY: Be careful before accusing an employee of wrongful conduct or taking adverse action because of it – it may come back to bite you, hard.

In the post on Thursday 6/7/18 we read that Fox News settled a slew of discrimination suits for about $10M. That’s news! Eighteen current and former employees sued for race, gender and pregnancy discrimination. Some details are in the post. One of the plaintiffs was a news anchor. How he characterized the basis for his claim is in the post.  

TAKEAWAY: Nobody is above the law, even when the defendant is an agency that usually reports the news instead of making it.

The post on Friday 6/8/18 told us a staffing company was sued for complying with clients’ race and sex preferences.  Not smart.  The EEOC brought suit against the company for its refusal to hire highly-qualified black applicants or other racial-tinged actions in the post. The allegations include sex and age discrimination as in the post. Plus retaliation!

TAKEAWAY: Just because you’re told to violate the law (by a boss, customer or other), don’t think twice about it – just don’t do it!

Finally, in the post yesterday 6/9/18 we asked: Does profanity at work create a hostile work environment? The answer is maybe. It may depend on the type of profanity. Yes, the type. A federal court was faced with that analysis. The post describes the 2 types and gives examples. One type can lead to legal liability, the other probably not. But, as the post warns, the entire situation must be reviewed. Even the timing – whether the profanity existed before or after the complaining person / victim was employed – might make a difference. See the post on that.

TAKEAWAY: This is not a case of we know it when we hear it, but rather when certain language is used in a certain context, is it illegal and liability will attach.

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