Is A Company Responsible for its Employee’s Social Media Posts?

Question- Can your customer sue you if your employee disparages him? Short Answer- Yes! Just ask Hertz Rent-A-Car, as it was recently sued by a customer alleging negligent supervision, training, and retention. The customer alleged that Hertz breached its duty by allowing employees to use a Hertz computer to post disparaging comments on Facebook that… More

Another Maryland County Bans the Box

Prince George’s County is the latest Maryland County to hop on the Ban the Box bandwagon. Starting January 20, 2015, employers with at least twenty-five full-time employees in Price George’s County (MD) are prohibited from asking an applicant about his or her criminal record until the conclusion of the applicant’s first interview. Once the Council’s… More

Is Being at the Office an Essential Function? Maybe Not

When an employee requested to work from home full-time to accommodate her disabling irritable bowel syndrome under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), her employer refused, stating that the company stressed in-person teamwork. The district court agreed with the employer and found that the employee’s accommodation request was not reasonable.   The Court of Appeals, however,… More

Clipper’s Owner Controversy Highlights Importance of Investigation

UPDATED When professional basketball team owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks about African Americans, the NBA commissioner followed the correct procedure.  He conducted a timely investigation and implemented a punishment he thought appropriate to the violation —a lifetime ban from the game and $2.5 million dollar fine.  While you may or… More

The NLRB Slaps Down Negativity Ban

Ever wish you could tell employees to stop being so negative all the time?  A Michigan employer learned the hard way that this type of ban can get you in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board).  The Board found unlawful a policy that employees could not “make negative comments… More

A Little Preventative Medicine Pays Huge Dividends on Avoiding Discrimination Harassment Lawsuits

As we often counsel clients — courts and juries realize that employees are human beings and humans sometimes do dumb things.  That’s why the discrimination and harassment laws “credit” employers who make real efforts to communicate (and update!) their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and who provide training to their employees on these topics.  In other words,… More

FMLA Does Not Mean Vacation On Demand

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles covered employees to unpaid leave to deal with certain family and medical illnesses.  As one employee learned the hard way, however, the law does not guarantee vacation on demand.  Hurley v. Kent of Naples, Inc., 2:10-cv-00334-JES (11th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014).  The employee suffered from depression, and… More

Chances Are, Your Confidentiality Policy is Unlawful

Most employers require that employees keep all company-related information confidential.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has long frowned on such policies because from its perspective the language can “chill” an employee’s right to discuss confidential information such as wages and other terms and conditions of employment.  And before you stop reading — even if… More