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The Madness of March

The annual NCAA Basketball Tournament, a/k/a March Madness, starts today. More on that below but there is another kind of “March” for employers to be concerned about.

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The Tom Brady Decision - Arbitration Lessons for Employers

The Second Circuit’s decision to reinstate the NFL’s four game suspension of Tom Brady has been in the news this week. To those of us who handle arbitration on a regular basis, it came as no surprise. However, employers who arbitrate cases pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, or who have or are considering arbitration programs, should not be overly concerned.   

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TAGS: Arbitration

Employers Still Making OWBPA Mistakes

One of the most common requests that I receive as an employment attorney is to review severance offers.  I’ve had these kinds of requests from friends, relatives, acquaintances and (on rare occasions) clients and I seldom turn them down. I have probably handled hundreds of reductions in force for various corporate clients so I like to see how others handle them.  In the past month, I have reviewed two severances packages and both failed to follow the requirements of the Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act (“OWBPA”).  I was not at all surprised.  If I had to guess, I would say that over 50% of the severance offers I’ve reviewed over the years are not in compliance with the OWBPA.     

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EEOC and OSHA Ask: Is Your Workplace Transgender Neutral? UPDATE

I recently wrote about OSHA’s plan to develop and distribute information to ensure transgender employees have safe and adequate access to workplace restrooms.  This week, OSHA issued “Best Practices - A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers,” with the stated Core Principle that “[a]ll employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.”  The OSHA Guide notes the following:

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Supreme Court Expands Employees’ Religious Accommodation Rights

When I think of Abercrombie & Fitch, which is an infrequent occurrence, I think of soft core porn catalogues and over-priced t-shirts; now, I can add religious discrimination to the list.  The Supreme Court ruled this week against Abercrombie & Fitch for refusing to hire a young Muslim because she wore a hijab, which violated the store’s “look policy” for salespersons. 

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What Can Employers Learn From Deflategate?

Unless you’ve been out of the country or purposely avoiding news about sports, you’ve probably heard a lot about “Deflategate” and the punishment handed down by the National Football League (NFL) against the New England Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady.  The short version of the scandal is that during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2015, some of the New England Patriots’ game footballs were discovered to be underinflated, which could provide a competitive advantage to a quarterback by making them easier to grip. 

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EEOC and OSHA Ask: Is Your Workplace Transgender Neutral?

The widely discussed Bruce Jenner interview has been a media sensation but for employers there are more important recent stories on transgender issues in the workplace. Last month, the EEOC issued a ruling that Title VII was violated by the Army when it refused to allow a transgender, male-to-female, civilian employee to use the women’s common restroom.   

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Sixth Circuit Sides With Management in Dispute Over Employee’s Request to Telecommute

In a potentially important decision over workplace accommodations in an environment when telecommuting is more common, the Sixth Circuit ruled on April 10 that an employer does not need to permit an employee to work from home when an essential aspect of the employee’s position requires being in the office. 

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Wearable Technology – Should Employers Be Concerned?

With the announcement of the April 24 release date for the long anticipated Apple Watch (http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-watch/), this is a good time for employers to consider the topic of wearable technology. 

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More Good News for Employers – Supreme Court Toughens Standards

Employers received more good news from the U.S. Supreme Court this week with decisions in two cases that toughen standards for determining who is a supervisor and for proving retaliation. 

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