The Effective Leader/Manager
Sept. 5-6, 2018 Bristol, VA
Sept. 26-27, 2018 Richmond, VA
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Remedy Intelligent Staffing, LLC, a California-based staffing firm, and Lornamead, Inc, a manufacturer headquartered in New York City. In the suit, the EEOC alleges that both Remedy and Lornamead violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they refused to provide reasonable accommodations to a long-term temporary employee that would have enabled him to continue to work after his kidney condition worsened. Employers with temporary employees from staffing firms should take note as this suit may hold both Remedy and Lornamead liable for an ADA violation under a "joint employer" theory. In addition to having an ADA policy in the Employee Handbook that has been approved by SESCO, we recommend employers ensure they are properly engaging in the interactive process that the ADA requires and documenting such. Before denying an applicant or employee's request for an accommodation, we recommend SESCO be contacted to ensure ADA compliance.
Just when employers thought they were safe to restrict offensive speech and restore decorum in the workplace, a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) serves as a stark reminder that offensive workplace speech may still find protection under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act). The NLRB has held that an employee who wrote the words “whore board” on an overtime sign-in sheet was engaged in protected activity by protesting unilateral employer changes to overtime scheduling. Although the Board characterized this language as “harsh and arguably vulgar,” the Board was not concerned about this gendered language and how the use of the word “whore” to describe those with whom one disagrees is ultimately corrosive and detrimental to the cause of women’s equality in the workplace. While the recent shake-up of Board members has made the NLRB's stance on many handbook policies more employer friendly, employers should have their Employee Handbooks and HR practices reviewed at least on an annual basis by SESCO to ensure compliance.
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