Employer Liability for Employee Blog Posting

There is no question that the use of social media by employers and employees is a hot topic.  Legislatures across theUSare considering whether employers should be allowed to demand access to employee and prospective employee’s facebook pages and other personal media, and employers are struggling to control employee abuse of social media.  A California Court… Continue reading Employer Liability for Employee Blog Posting

Medical Marijuana Use is Not Protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act

On May 21, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that theADAdoes not protect against discrimination on the basis of marijuana use, even if the use is supervised by a doctor in accordance with state law.  http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/05/21/10-55769.pdf TheADA’s definition of an “individual with a disability” does not include an individual who is currently engaging… Continue reading Medical Marijuana Use is Not Protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act

Make Bathrooms Available to Your Employees

On May 21, 2012, a jury inMultnomahCountyawarded two employees $332,000 in damages, finding that the employees were fired in retaliation for cooperating with an OSHA investigator.  The investigator, who visited the work site and interviewed the employees, later cited the employer for failing to provide bathrooms for employee use. In addition, one of the employees… Continue reading Make Bathrooms Available to Your Employees

OSHA Committee Established to Improve Protection for Whistleblowers

On May 17, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its intent to establish a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. The committee will advise, consult with and make recommendations to the Department of Labor on ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections. OSHA’s… Continue reading OSHA Committee Established to Improve Protection for Whistleblowers

Reminder – Retaliation Claim Can Succeed even if Discrimination Claim Fails

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision is a reminder that employee claims for retaliation can succeed even where the employee’s claims for discrimination fail, and that the shorter the time period between the protected activity and the adverse employment action, the more likely an employee’s retaliation claim will survive summary judgment.  In Alioto… Continue reading Reminder – Retaliation Claim Can Succeed even if Discrimination Claim Fails

Interns – When is it OK to Work for Free?

In 2011, two unpaid interns who worked on Fox Searchlight’s movie, Black Swan, sued the studio alleging that it violated the law by failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime.  Their jobs included making coffee, completing purchase orders and obtaining signatures on documents.  In early 2012, an former intern at Harper’s Bazaar filed a… Continue reading Interns – When is it OK to Work for Free?

US Supreme Court Confirms Ministerial Exeption

The US Supreme Court recently confirmed the applicability of the First Amendment’s “ministerial exception,” which precludes the application of employment discrimination laws to ministers. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School v. EEOC, 132 S.Ct. 694 (2012), the Supreme Court held the ministerial exception precluded a teacher’s claim of disability discrimination against her church school employer. The… Continue reading US Supreme Court Confirms Ministerial Exeption