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Posts by Joe Boone

Heterosexual HR Manager Loses Discrimination Claim

A heterosexual HR manager fired after writing an angry Facebook post against Target’s policy of allowing transgender individuals to use restrooms according to gender identity could not state a discrimination or retaliation claim, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The plaintiff began working in the Louisiana office of Plant-N-Power Services Inc. (PNP) in…

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Employers Beware: Workplace Gossip about Sex May Risk Liability under Title VII

Sexually explicit rumors, affairs to influence promotion, jealous male coworkers, sexist remarks by a high-ranking manager, and ultimate retaliation and termination—an episode of Mad Men? The plot of a new show on Netflix? No. Real sexual harassment—at least according to Evangeline Parker, who filed a claim alleging discrimination under Title VII against her former employer,…

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Employers Take Heed: The EEOC Is Cracking Down On Pay Discrimination

Equal pay for equal work is a hot topic for employers. In the last few years, several states have passed equal pay laws, while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is paying more attention to equal pay issues on the federal level as reflected in recent enforcement actions. Just last month, the EEOC filed two…

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When is Obesity a Disability under the ADA?

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act poses difficult challenges for employers, and one of the toughest issues to come along in recent years is how to deal with obese employees. Thanks to a new decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the law appears to be settling on the principle that obesity only…

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Don’t Freeze Up: Know What to Do When ICE Comes Knocking

Employers should understand how to handle I-9 inspections by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and proactively prepare for possible enforcement actions to avoid penalties and prosecution. While the uptick of ICE’s deportation enforcements has made headlines, their I-9 inspections have received less media attention despite similar dramatic increases. In 2017, ICE conducted 1,360 I-9 inspections,…

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Seventh Circuit: Obesity Alone Is Not A Disability Under the ADA

As we previously reported, the issue of whether obesity is a legally-protected impairment is complex, and jurisdictions differ on the extent to which they consider obesity to be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). On June 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Second, Sixth,…

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FCRA’s Seven-Year Reporting Window Begins with Charge, Not Dismissal

The seven-year limit for reporting criminal charges on background checks begins when the charges are filed, not when they’re dismissed, a federal appeals court recently ruled, meaning employers should know that criminal charges exceeding the seven-year limit shouldn’t appear in employment screens. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 14 that the measuring…

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FMLA May Protect Leave for Visits to the Doctor

A bakery that fired an employee who left work early to see doctors concerning his prostate cancer, for which he sought Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, has viable claims even though his doctor did not timely certify the absences for FMLA leave, a federal district court ruled. The plaintiff worked for Lewis Brothers,…

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Red Flag: When An Employee Raises ADA Issues During Disciplinary Meetings

The need to consider Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations can happen at any time during the employment relationship. Generally, an employee will ask for an accommodation before problems with performance emerge. Sometimes, however, an employee decides to notify you of the need for an accommodation when an investigation is underway, when they are being disciplined, or…

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