It is everywhere. People you thought would never do it…they have done it. People you respected, want to respect, can no longer respect, are facing sexual harassment charges, and their reputations, businesses, and livelihoods are going up in flames. The world is changing because women are finding their collective voice to face their harassers and to change the workplace culture. It’s about time. But, what will this month’s headlines do to evoke change? And what role do you, as an employer, have in creating a non-hostile workplace?Read more
IBM recently implemented a dramatic change, announcing that they are ending telecommuting at their company, which not only impacts the hundreds of thousands of employees who work there, but could have an impact on companies around the United States and the world. Overall, in the United States, about 25% of all employees work remotely all or at least most of the time.Read more
Many of us need the valued help of others to make our lives run smoothly. I, for one, would not be able to be a practicing attorney and mother of two busy boys, without the assistance of baby-sitters and the woman I call “my fairy princess,” Vicky, our housekeeper. When I first brought someone into our home, I never thought of myself as an “employer.” I thought about it as two people having different needs that served a similar purpose (i.e. I needed to work, or go grocery shopping, or take a shower), and the baby-sitter needed money to support their livelihood. I did not consider the legal ramifications of this employment relationship.Read more
Doctors who run their own practices have to be superhuman in a sense. Not only are they expected to practice their medical specialty to a high standard of care, they are required to keep abreast of electronic reporting compliance, employment laws, OSHA, payroll, HIPAA requirements, marketing, collections, and so much more. It is no wonder then that mistakes (unrelated to medical malpractice) are made, costing doctors time, money, and stress.
The New York times unleashed a bombshell six days ago, on April 1, 2017, revealing that five women were paid approximately $13 million in exchange for keeping silent about the sexual harassment charges against Bill O’Reilly. All of the women accusing Mr. O’Reilly of sexual harassment either worked for him or appeared on his Fox network show, “The O’Reilly Factor.” The allegations included verbal abuse, unwanted advances and lewd comments. This was not the first time that Fox News had to pay a large settlement for sexual harassment claims against Mr. O’Reilly.Read more
The recent headlines coming out of Uber have been dominating employment law feeds and for good reason. What is taking place currently at this company is such an unfortunate situation that could have been so easily avoided if the employees’ complaints had been properly handled.
According to her written account of what took place, Susan Fowler, a site reliability engineer at Uber, did the right thing.Read more
We have a confession to make. We are lawyers who do not like lawsuits. Having been in the trenches for the last decade, working as plaintiff attorneys, we have come to realize that in the employment field, too many businesses are unaware of their legally required obligations. One problem is that human resource professionals are spread too thin, with responsibility for hiring, firing, maintaining payroll, facilitating discussions amongst coworkers and between the employees and their supervisors, fixing broken machines, ordering stationary, and ensuring that the company is staying in compliance with all relevant employment laws. There are few jobs in a company that carry such a broad range of duties and responsibilities. This need for such broad expertise in so many different fields can lead to a host of costly problems.Read more
The Tale of Mark The Hugger and Shelly Who Wants No Part Of It
Mark, a supervisor from the accounting department, is a hugger. When he sees a co-worker coming down the hall, he opens his arms wide and wraps them around the person tightly….maybe for a second or two longer than is socially acceptable. Bill and Jenny perceive Mark as harmless, but Shelly, the receptionist, is tense and does not want her supervisor’s hands on her. Shelly has told you, her Human Resources Representative, that Mark hugs “a lot.”Read more