When work went fully remote, employers worried about how they could ensure that employees were clocking their required hours. Meeting deadlines and producing work were evidence that employees were on task, but what about jobs that were less quantifiable, and longer-term projects that did not yield immediate results? What about bosses who just wanted to know “butts” remained in “seats”?Continue Reading A Game of Cat and Mouse: Are Your Remote Workers Really Productive?

Recently I was updating an employee handbook and beefed up the work from home policy. I made sure the policy specified that the employee must have a dedicated work location, free from distraction, and must use only company-issued laptops. A reliable internet connection with appropriate security was a must-add, as was the requirement to only use the secure company portal for work (no emailing yourself documents). All the usual things.Continue Reading Could Headphones Have Averted a Work-From-Home Tragedy?

On June 29, 2023, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act must be provided to employees or prospective employees unless the employer is able to demonstrate that the burden is substantial. The Court rejected the “de minimus” standard as a misreading of the Court’s precedent in TWA v. Hardison.Continue Reading The Supreme Court Redefines the Religious Accommodation Obligation for Employers

On June 29, 2023, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action in student admissions decisions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. What does the Court’s holding mean for employers?Continue Reading What the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling Means for Employers

When an employer receives a complaint of workplace misconduct, they often must conduct an investigation that may include interviewing employees.  Interviewing an employee is not as simple as one may assume. Employees may have legal rights and protections that restrict an employer’s ability to interview them. Navigating those rights and protections is essential in insulating employers from possible civil and criminal liabilities.Continue Reading When an Employer Interviews an Employee, The Power of the NLRA Compels You!

When I was first practicing law, I quickly learned that the answer to many legal questions under National Labor Relations Act depends on which Board’s decision you pick. If the Board has a majority of Members (the name for those people who issue decisions) appointed by a Republican President, I was likely to find an answer that would please my management clients (and the partner who asked me to do the research). By contrast, if the Board’s majority was comprised of appointees named by a Democrat President, the outcome would vex my clients. In other words, the “rules of the game” shift with administrations.Continue Reading Say What? NLRB Rules Employees May Tape Record Others in Violation of State Law.

On February 22, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, clarifying that, in order to qualify for the highly compensated employee (HCE) exemption from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime mandate, the employee must be paid on a salary basis, and the payment of a daily rate does not constitute a salary.Continue Reading Supreme Court Provides Clarification on the Highly Compensated Employee Exemption’s Salary Requirement

Does an employer violate discrimination laws when it acts on information that it honestly believes about an employee that disqualifies him from the job? Even if the employer might be mistaken and the employee has a legally protected disability? An appellate court recently provided the answer. No!!
Continue Reading Are Rumor Based Beliefs a Defense to Discrimination Claims?

Should an employee who, while at a convention, knocks on a coworker’s hotel room door, enters, then heads to the coworker’s bed wearing nothing but a robe be fired, even if the employee claims to have been sleepwalking at the time? Or, as George Costanza of Seinfeld fame asked, “was that wrong?”
Continue Reading Extraordinary Workplace Misconduct: The Case of the Somnambulant Sales Rep