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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 25 posts in Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation.

Abusive or Offensive Language? NLRB Says “@#$% No” to Section 7 Protection

On July 21, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued an important decision in General Motors, LLC and Charles Robinson, modifying the standard to be used in determining whether an employee has been unlawfully disciplined or discharged for abusive or offensive statements or conduct while engaged in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). This decision is intended to provide needed clarity and give employers more leeway in disciplining employees for egregious misconduct and upholding existing anti-discrimination laws and policies. More >

Contemplate Before You Terminate: Rules of Termination

Posted In Employee Personnel Files, Employment Law, Hiring and Firing, Human Resource Department, Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

Donald Trump makes it look easy. With a simple statement (“You’re fired!”), the employee gets up and exits the boardroom. And like that, the underachiever is nixed from the show, ushered into a limo, and never seen again (at least, until the “All-Star” season). If only the real world was that easy. The decision to terminate an employee can give any employer anxiety, even if it is undoubtedly for the betterment of the business. This sense of dread is not without warrant; termination can be a legal landmine. Even terminating “at-will” employees requires cautious consideration. You can cover your bases, though, by carefully drafting policies, adhering to procedures, and relying on some common sense. Before any action is taken, review these simple rules that can protect you from a lawsuit. More >

Do You Need Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

Posted In Crisis Management, Employment Law, Employment Practices Liability Insurance, Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

According to the 2012-2013 Edition of Jury Award Trends and Statistics, the national median award for employment practice claims in 2011 was $325,000, up from $172,500 in 2010. This figure confirms what many in the employment law community already know to be true, that the number of employment practices claims has increased, and with that increase there has been an increase in the size of awards over the years as well.  There is no reason to believe that this trend will not continue, and no business should believe itself to be immune from employment practice claims. More >

The Equal Pay Act—Is Your Business Helping or Hurting the Cause?

In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act (“Act”) was signed by President Kennedy, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar when compared to men.[1] Today, women earn about 80 cents on the dollar.[2] President Obama addressed the issue of equal pay in his second inaugural address, “[O]ur journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.” Where does your business stand on the journey to equal pay? Equal pay may not be something that is high on your radar as an employer, but you should always be assessing if your business is compliant with applicable laws and whether employees are being treated fairly. More >

Can you fire an employee for being too sexy? Don’t count on it, notwithstanding a recent Iowa decision to the contrary.

Posted In Employee Misconduct, Employment Discrimination Laws, Employment Law, Hiring and Firing, Human Resource Department, Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

On the Friday before Christmas, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion in which it held that it is not gender discrimination for a male boss to fire a female subordinate on the grounds that she is an irresistible sexual attraction for him, even when the female employee engaged in no improper conduct.  Should you rely on this decision in making hiring and firing decisions? More >

Employment Screening: Medical Inquiries and Examinations

Posted In Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment Law, Human Resource Department, Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

A number of federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination and prohibit the employer’s use of discriminatory tests and procedures to select such employees. These laws are imperative to ensure that the rights and interests of citizens are protected. What happens, however, when an employer has no discriminatory intent, but simply needs to determine whether an applicant is physically able to perform the job duties necessary for a particular position? More >

Kentucky’s Municipal Employers Achieve Major Victory in 2012

For many, December is a time for reminiscing on the events that shaped the previous year. In our professional lives, this time affords many of us the opportunity to note those developments throughout the year that will shape and impact the year to come, or with a recent major victory for municipalities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, years to come.  Thanks in part to the vigilant efforts of McBrayer PLLC, municipal employers in Kentucky scored a resounding victory in 2012 concerning interpretation of Kentucky’s Whistleblower Act. For these municipal employers, reduced exposure to liability awaits them in 2013 and beyond. More >

Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc.- Forcing Employers to Navigate the crossroads of workplace harassment & the NLRA

Properly navigating workplace harassment laws is a tricky endeavor for any company.  A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc. (September 19, 2012) makes employers’ obligations in this arena even more uncertain. More >

EEOC’s Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

Earlier this week, we gave you an overview of the issues that, according to a recent draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”), the EEOC is likely to target in the coming years.  One of the emerging issues highlighted in that draft relates to pregnancy discrimination, specifically, situations which force women into unpaid pregnancy leave after being denied accommodations routinely provided to similarly situated employees.  In lock step with the EEOC’s express priorities, the following relevant cases have emerged over just the last few months: More >

Looking at the EEOC’s Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) released a draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). The SEP is intended to, amongst other goals, establish priorities for the EEOC in the coming years. The draft included five broad nationwide priorities, as follows: More >

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