The varied forms of discrimination, first suit over denial of a COVID accommodation, official definition of long COVID, maintenance challenges in a condo or homeowners association, and more in Our Social Media Posts This Week, Oct. 10-16, 2021.

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 10/10/21 we had the Tip of the Week: managers should be aware that discrimination can take many forms (and applied to pharmacy & all other fields).  This starts with Title VII, a federal statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, and even accent. The last can be really important. Like other protected characteristics, an employee’s (or applicant’s) accent cannot form the basis of any adverse action unless it interferes with job performance. For example, many white-collar professionals have completed an accredited degree program and passed a licensure exam. So, what is an employer to do if an accent is interfering with job performance? See the post for suggestions.

TAKEAWAY: Look only at job performance and not anything else when evaluating (or disciplining) employees.


The post on Monday 10/11/21 told us that the EEOC sued for disability discrimination over denial of COVID accommodation. ISS Facility Services is a Denmark-based workplace experience and facilities management company with its US HQ in San Antonio. Renosha Moncrief worked for ISS as a health and safety manager at a GA facility. From March – June 2020, ISS required employees to work remotely 4 days/week due to COVID. It reopened the facility in June 2020. Moncrief requested an accommodation to work remotely 2 days/week and take frequent breaks while on-site. Why? See the post. Others in Moncrief’s position were allowed to work from home, but ISS denied Moncrief’s accommodation request. And it did more – see the post. Then the EEOC filed suit against ISS. This was the first suit filed by the EEOC relative to a request for accommodation due to COVID-19. The EEOC highlighted (in the post) additional considerations for accommodation during or related to COVID.

TAKEAWAY: This is probably only the beginning of COVID accommodation-related cases. Know the law and consult an employment lawyer as to your rights and obligations.

real estate q&a: reconciliaton of amounts due and paid to cndo or homeowners’ association.

The post on Tuesday 10/12/2021 was a Real Estate Q&A: The Association says I missed payments. I say I did not. Now what? This is even more of a problem if the association will not provide a copy of the owner’s ledger (for reconciliation purposes). Most associations apply payments to the oldest amount due, such that a payment made this month might actually be applied to something due months (or years) before. So what is an owner who wants to straighten out the alleged deficiency to do in that situation? See the post for one suggested process to follow.

TAKEAWAY: If there is a dispute as to the status of an owner’s payments, the association and owner should work together to reconcile payments made since the alleged default. Consult a community associations lawyer if necessary.

long covid now has an official definition and more

The post on Wednesday 10/13/21 explained that long COVID now has an official definition. WHO currently estimates that 10-20% of COVID patients experienced lingering symptoms for months after. Those symptoms include persistent fatigue and other things mentioned in the post. Through no fault of their own, employees suffering from long COVID have varied impact, including increased health care costs and lost productivity. WHO defines long COVID -having named it “post COVID-19 condition” – as occurring in “individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis”. That definition may or may not also apply to children. And is there a proven treatment or rehabilitation guidance for those with long COVID? See the post. Those with long COVID must go through a continual learning process including their patterns, what brings on the exhaustion or other symptoms, and how to try to avoid those things.

TAKEAWAY: Employers may be dealing with COVID longer than a few days or weeks; consider what types of accommodations might be requested by or necessary for your employees with long COVID.

accusations of ignoring race-based harassment of white employees leads to EEOC suit

In the post on Thursday 10/14/21 we learned the EEOC says Hampton Inn ignored race-based harassment of White employees. Yes, it can happen. Here White housekeeping staff complained that a Black housekeeper used racially derogatory terms and interfered with their job performance. Did the hotel take action? See the post as to what it did and how the White employees reacted. Now the EEOC is seeking monetary – compensatory and punitive – and injunctive relief. The post gives an example of both direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination is easy and (used to be?) the most common type. But there can also be illegal discrimination if an employer stands by and does nothing in the face of that discrimination or harassment, no matter the race of the victim.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that ALL races are protected from harassment or discrimination.

condo and homeowner associations grapple with maintenance challenges

The post on Friday 10/15/21 showed us that condo owners grapple with maintenance challenges. And not just high-rise condos, but ALL condominiums and common facilities in HOAs too. The collapse of the Surfside condo tower was a tragic wake-up call with far-reaching consequences. There are many older buildings and common facilities around the country that are the responsibility of the association to repair (or replace as relevant). Some municipalities (mostly in Florida, but other locations too) are considering inspection and recertification protocols for older buildings and facilities. But that won’t alleviate the problem as it is both structural and financial. Why? Not only are associations seeing hefty insurance premium increases, but there are other things too as noted in the post. So, what are some things that condominium and homeowner associations can do in an attempt to avoid financial catastrophe in the future? First, have a reserve study, periodically (every 3-5 years) update it, and budget for reserves based on the study. Other things that can be done are noted in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Board members have a duty to ensure the structural and financial stability of common buildings and facilities; owners should hold them to that duty. Involve a community associations lawyer if applicable.

company’s owner subjects female employee to sex harassment, then fires her in retaliation for complaint.

Finally, in the post yesterday 10/16/21, we learned that an EEOC suit says company’s owner subjected female employee to sexist comments, then fire her for opposing it. Yes the suit is now settled (but of course none of this should have happened). This was another case from San Antonio (what’s in that river anyway?!?). The employer is a special events company doing mostly weddings and corporate events. The EEOC alleged that the owner repeatedly subjected a female employee to demeaning comments, including that mentioned in the post, and more (as also in the post). The employee went to HR for help and was then fired in retaliation. When conciliation failed, the EEOC filed suit. The settlement involves monetary relief (the amount is noted in the post) as well as injunctive relief and the other things noted in the post.  

TAKEAWAY: First, don’t harass or discriminate against an employee on the basis of a non-job-related protected characteristic. And then certainly don’t retaliate against that person for complaining about it!

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