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Coronavirus Update 2-22-2021: Get ready for the glut of Covid whistleblower tag-along claims

The headline reads, "Ex-Manager Sues Ample Hills in Lawsuit Alleging Harassment and Unsafe COVID-19 Protocols" (emphasis mine).Here's the lede:Bryce Mottram, a former general manager at one of quirky ice cream purveyor Ample Hills' scoop shops, has filed a lawsuit in New York Eastern District Court alleging that he was fired from the company in retaliation for speaking up about instances of sexual harassment and unsafe COVID-19 workplace protocols at the company.I firmly believe that for the n...
Tags: Law, Hassan, OSHA, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Ample Hills, Coronavirus, Bryce Mottram, New York Eastern District Court

Coronavirus Update 2-12-2021: Get ready for the glut of Covid whistleblower tag-along claims

The headline reads, "Ex-Manager Sues Ample Hills in Lawsuit Alleging Harassment and Unsafe COVID-19 Protocols" (emphasis mine).Here's the lede:Bryce Mottram, a former general manager at one of quirky ice cream purveyor Ample Hills' scoop shops, has filed a lawsuit in New York Eastern District Court alleging that he was fired from the company in retaliation for speaking up about instances of sexual harassment and unsafe COVID-19 workplace protocols at the company.I firmly believe that for the n...
Tags: Law, Hassan, OSHA, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Ample Hills, Bryce Mottram, New York Eastern District Court

The number one reason not to have a labor union

You would think that an employee who purposely defecates on the workplace floor in an act of revenge against his boss and then brags about it is worthy of termination. And you'd be correct 100 percent of the time … unless that employee is a member of a labor union. An arbitration board cited the employee's lengthy, faithful service record to the company and other mitigating circumstances in reinstating him.  As a result, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that it had no choice but to...
Tags: Law, CBA, Board, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Jon Hyman, Pixabay

Pop culture as a means to break down inherent biases and prejudiced divides

Think about it. If you want to know where the American public is, look at the money being spent on advertising. Did you ever five years ago think every second or third ad out of five or six you turn on would be biracial couples. [Applause] No, I'm not being facetious. The reason I'm so hopeful is this new generation. They're not like us. They're thinking differently. They're more open. And we have to take advantage of it.Those were the words of President Biden last night, speaking about race r...
Tags: Law, Biden, Cnn Town Hall, Jon Hyman, Pixabay

H.B. 352 finally fixes Ohio’s broken employment discrimination statute for employers

For lack of more artful description, Ohio's employment discrimination law was a mess. It exposed employers to claims for up to six years (the longest such statute of limitations in the country), contained no less than three different ways for employees to file age discrimination claims (each with different remedies and filing deadlines), rendered managers and supervisors personally liable for discrimination, and omitted any filing prerequisites with the state civil rights agency. The start of 20...
Tags: Jon Hyman

’Twas the Employment Law Night Before Christmas

In what has become an annual tradition for my final post of the year, I bring you the holiday classic, ’Twas the Employment Law Night Before Christmas. To all of my readers, after a 2020 no one will ever forget, thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing, and please have a happy and safe holiday season. I’ll see everyone on January 4, 2021, with fresh content to kick off the new year. ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the officeNot a creature was stirring … well, just...
Tags: Law, Said, FLSA, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Biljana Jovanovic

Coronavirus Update 12-9-2020: Maskual harassment, part 2

"I wish I could see your pretty lips if they match ur eyes.""Come on, sweetie. Lemme see that pretty face under there. Take it off for me, will you? Just a quick flash.""I can be covid and make you short of breath.""I don't wear a condom; I sure as hell aren't going to wear a mask!""Social distancing? My pocket rocket can still reach you.""I'll take your mask off and stick my tongue down your throat."These are just a few of the hundreds of awful and offensive comments to which service industry w...
Tags: Law, Lem, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Markus Winkler

Coronavirus Update 10-5-2020: Your employees should never learn about positive test from anyone but you

Ninety percent of the [White House] complex most certainly learned about it in the news, as has been the case ever since. There are reports that COVID is spreading like wildfire through the White House. There are hundreds and hundreds of people who work on-complex, some who have families with high-risk family members. Since this whole thing started, not one email has gone out to tell employees what to do or what's going on. –  If your employees are learning about a positive COVID-19 diagnos...
Tags: Law, White House, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Wokandapix

7 tips to manage political discussions at work

Did you watch the Presidential Debate Tuesday night? Do you think it showcased the best of America? If you do, I think you were tuned to the wrong channel. In fact, I'd argue that it was the low point of American presidential campaign history, if not all of Amerian presidential history. Our country is broken. We are more divided than we have been in 155 years. This division also exists among your employees. Approximately half will be Red/Republican/Trump and the other approximate half will be ...
Tags: Law, America, Trump, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, StockSnap, COVID, Red Republican Trump, Blue Democrat Biden Given

Coronavirus Update 8-18-2020: Phishing attacks are yet another COVID-19 issue that needs to be on your radar

According to the Detroit Free Press, cybercriminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try to access people's computers and steal their data. The scheme?  Cyber criminals are targeting employees who are working remotely with fraudulent termination phishing emails and invites to video teleconference meetings, according to federal authorities. As part of the phishing email or text, you might be asked to click on a link to receive more information about a severance package. If you fa...
Tags: Law, Detroit Free Press, Jon Hyman, Pixabay

Coronavirus Update 8-4-2020: NY federal judge invalidates key parts of FFCRA regulations

Yesterday, a New York federal judge issued an order invalidating several key aspects of the Department of Labor's regulations interpreting the paid sick leave and expanded FMLA provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Judge J. Paul Oetken of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found that the DOL exceeded its authority in enacting each of the following of the DOL's regulatory interpretations of the FFCRA: That an employer that does no...
Tags: New York, Law, DOL, Department of Labor, Southern District of New York, FMLA, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, J Paul Oetken, FFCRA

Coronavirus Update 7-27-2020: If your employee treats COVID-19 like a hoax

At the always fabulous Ask a Manager, Alison Green posts the following question: One of my employees has been vocal about the coronavirus being a hoax. I had to have a talk with him during our last few days in the office at the end of March because he was openly criticizing and mocking coworkers for "being afraid of the flu" and practicing social distancing. While the rest of us isolated and worked at home, he went on two different vacations out of the state and did not isolate upon returning ...
Tags: Law, Alison, Jon Hyman, Alison Green, Pixabay

Non-Coronavirus Update 7-21-2020: Employment law issues I missed covering during the pandemic

Today, I thought I put COVID-19 on a virtual pause and take a look at some employment law issues I missed covering over the past couple of months. Here are 10 stories that jumped to mind. DOL Issues New FMLA Notices and Forms, Seeks Input on Potential Changes to FMLA Regulations — via Jeff Nowak's FMLA Insights Opinion analysis: Court rules that Catholic elementary school teachers are “ministers,” cannot sue for employment discrimination — via SCOTUSblog SHRM must support Black Lives ...
Tags: Nbc, Law, Catholic, Nick Cannon, Eric Meyer, Jeff Nowak, FMLA, SHRM, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Kate Bischoff, Bloomberg Law NLRB, FMLA Insights Opinion, HR Consulting Workers sue Whole Foods, CBS News EEOC, NBC News Wells Fargo

How education could reduce corruption

We live in an era of widely publicized bad behavior. It’s not clear if there’s more unethical behavior occurring now than in the past, but communications technology allows every corrupt example to be broadcast globally. Why are we not making better progress against unethical conduct and corruption in general?Morals are the principles of good conduct, widely accepted by all. The study of morality is ethics, and unethical conduct, which underlies all corruption. Corruption undermines the rule of l...
Tags: Books, Featured, Law, Global, Blog, Ethics, Sociology, Un, World Bank, Criminal Justice, UN Convention, Pixabay, The Organization for Economic Co, Tumisu, Fronting Corruption, Jay Albanesecon

Coronavirus Update 6–29–2020: Judge hands McDonald’s a whopper of a rebuke for its COVID-19 response

A month ago I reported on a novel lawsuit filed against McDonald's Corporation in which the plaintiffs sought to have the fast-food conglomerate's alleged failure to comply with health guidance and provide PPE to its employees declared a public nuisance. Last week, the judge , concluding that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims. In so ruling, he concluded that the company fell short in its obligation to keep safe its employees and its customers. At issue in the cas...
Tags: Law, Cdc, Executive Order, Rudy, Illinois, McDonald, McDonald s Corporation, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Peter Skitterians

Coronavirus Update 6–4–2020: Can you force employees who participate in George Floyd protests to quarantine without pay?

Yesterday I discussed the legalities of placing on an unpaid leave of absence employees who engaging in leisure mass gatherings outside of work. What about employees who you discover gathered in mass to protest George Floyd's murder and racial injustice? There are legitimate concerns that the mass protests taking place in cities around the country will cause an acceleration of COVID-19 spread and a spike in cases. Can you place protesting employees on an unpaid leave of absence to quarantine ...
Tags: Law, Colorado, North Dakota, Connecticut, New Mexico, District Of Columbia, Title VII, South Carolina, California New York, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Bruce Emmerling, George Floyd

Coronavirus Update 5-27-2020: Is McDonald’s really a public nuisance?

As I've written in the past, it's difficult bordering on impossible for an employee to sue their employer based on an alleged COVID-19 exposure at the business. First, they have to overcome the issue of workers' comp exclusivity. And if they can manage to clear that, they still have the causation problem of proving that the exposure of this highly transmittable virus happened at work (as opposed to anywhere else in the world).  There's nothing like a pandemic, however, to spark the creativity...
Tags: Law, Manhattan, Reuters, McDonald, McDonald s Corporation, OSHA, Smithfield Foods, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA, PPE, Akukahr

Coronavirus Update 5-8-2020: Can you legally refuse to return to work to someone at “high risk” for COVID-19 complications?

As you start recalling employees to your physical workplace from remote work-from-home arrangements or furlough, you are concerned about an employee who has an underlying medical issue that the CDC says places him at a higher risk for complications from coronavirus. Can you refuse to return this employee to work? According to recently updated guidance from the EEOC, the answer might be “yes.” According to the CDC, the following medical conditions places one at a higher risk for severe illn...
Tags: Jon Hyman

Coronavirus Update 4-27-2020: Bringing your employees back to work when unemployment pays them more than you do

At 2 pm today, Governor DeWine will announce his plan for restarting Ohio’s economy (currently expected to begin on May 2). One huge issue, however, is how businesses can incent their employees to return to work if unemployment is paying them more than you will. Including the CARES Act’s $600 unemployment bonus that expires on July 31, an employee earning maximum unemployment benefits from the State of Ohio earns $1,247 per week, the equivalent of an hourly rate of $31.17 or a yearly salary of...
Tags: Spotify, Law, Ohio, DeWine, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Gerd Altmann

Coronavirus Update 4-15-2020: Declaring professional wrestling an essential business demeans the sacrifices all essential workers are making

Have you taken the “Florida Man challenge”? It’s a hoot. You type “Florida man” along with your birthdate to discover the head-scratching things Floridians have done on that date. For example, “Florida Man February 13” (my birthday) yields this gem: Florida Man Carrying Steroids and Marijuana Crashes Van While Attempting to Flee Cumby PD. And if you take the challenge for today, winner winner chicken dinner: Florida Man High on Flakka Has Sex with Tree and Calls Himself Thor. It should therefo...
Tags: Florida, Law, John Oliver, Orlando, Hulk Hogan, Ron DeSantis, Linda McMahon, Vince McMahon, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, DeSantis, Trump Super PAC, Performance Center, America First Action, Steve Buissinne

Coronavirus Update 4-10-2020: The top 5 things I’m doing besides working

How are you filling your non-working time? We used to fill our time running our kids all over the place for various lessons, rehearsals, and gigs. Now, however, we have a lot of down-time, with nothing to do. So how am I filling my time when I’m not working? (Which, btw, I’ve been doing a lot of over the past month.)           1. Walking … a lot. We are walking a ton of miles. As in 4 – 6 miles per day. The rings on my Apple Watch are very happy. Partly because we have 2 high-energy dogs (one ...
Tags: Law, West Coast, Pixar, Kate Hudson, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Zoominar, TanteTati

Coronavirus Update 4-6-2020: We CARES about unemployment

The past two weeks have seen a record 10 million new unemployment claims. This number does not even include many of the millions more who have had their hours or wages cut as businesses continue to struggle with the realities of operating in a world turned upside down by coronavirus. Sadly, we should expect this situation to get a lot worse before it starts to get better. Thankfully for each worker unemployed or underemployed as a result of coronavirus, the CARES Act provides significant finan...
Tags: Law, Ohio, States, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation PEUC, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance PUA, PEUC, Short Time Compensation STC

Coronavirus Update 4-1-2020: The mechanics of the tax credit for paid family and sick leave under the FFCRA

One of the questions I have received the most since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is how employers claim the tax credit available under the Act for paid leave provided to employees. Late yesterday, the IRS published a detailed list of FAQs explaining all of the mechanics of this tax credit. I want to focus on the key employment law piece of these FAQ, how an employer should substantiate its eligibility for tax credits, i.e., the documentation you need to keep. ...
Tags: Law, Irs, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Steve Buissinne

Coronavirus Update 3-31-2020: Employers, PLEASE don’t take your employees’ stimulus checks (plus video of yesterday’s Zoominar)

One employer is an anomaly, two is a trend that must be stopped. Last week, I nominated for the Worst Employer of 2020 an unnamed national restaurant chain that was reported to be stealing (the company called it “absorbing”) its employees’ CARES Act stimulus checks by reducing their scheduled hours in a pro-rata amount. Now, another employer has been outed with similar plans. According to KXAN, an unnamed national company advised its employees that it would be preemptively deducting funds from...
Tags: Law, Congress, Oklahoma City, DOL, Pat Russell, KXAN, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Paycheck Protection Program, Lost Ogle, ImageNet Consulting, Employee Emergency Compensation Program, ElisaRiva

Coronavirus Update 3-30-2020: DOL FAQs on the FFCRA, the threequel (and a Zoominar reminder) #coronavirus

A quick reminder that I’ll be live on Zoom today from 1 - 2 pm ET discussing all things Coronavirus, including the DOL’s most recent additions to its Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs (part 1 of which I covered here, and part 2 of which I’m covering below). You can access the Zoominar here: (and don’t forget that Norah promised to join for a song at the end). Now, onto the most recent development—the DOL’s weekend additions to its coronavirus paid family ...
Tags: Law, DOL, FMLA, Jon Hyman, Norah, Pixabay, COVID, Zoominar

Even though this employer won its ex-employee’s retaliation lawsuit, PLEASE don’t do what it did

Family businesses are difficult to manage. They become even more difficult when the owners are spouses, and an employee accuses one of sexual harassment. For example, consider Allen v. Ambu-Stat. D’Marius Allen worked as an EMT for Ambu-Stat, owned by husband and wife Santos and Rita Ortiz. During the four months Allen worked for Ambu-Stat, she claimed that Santos subjected her to sporadic instances of verbal sexual harassment. For example, he told her she was “pretty” and “fine as hell.” She ...
Tags: Law, Santos, Allen, Rita, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Ambu, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Ambu Stat, Rita Ortiz, Santos Allen

Urine trouble: Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether an employer can require “direct observation” of a workplace urine-sample collection

An employer requires “direct observation” of its employees providing a urine sample pursuant to its reasonable suspicion and random workplace drug-testing policy. The employer sends an individual of the same sex to accompany the tested employee into a restroom designated for the sample collection to visually observe the employee producing the sample. The employer’s substance abuse policy and the consent and release form provide for the testing, neither discloses or provides for the direct obse...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Ohio, Ohio Supreme Court, Lunsford, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Sterilite, Ji Sun Yoo, Ohio 's Supreme Court

Chipotle settlement highlights child labor issues

According to CNN, Chipotle has agreed to pay a $1.3 million fine for more than 13,000 child labor violations at over 50 of its Massachusetts restaurants. The state’s attorney general’s office accused the company of forcing teenagers to work without proper work permits, late into the night, and for too many hours per day and week. It’s the largest child labor penalty in Massachusetts history. Writing at, Suzanne Lucas (aka the Evil HR Lady) makes the excellent point that these failing f...
Tags: Transportation, Law, Massachusetts, Ohio, Inc, Department of Labor, Jon Hyman, Suzanne Lucas, Pixabay, CNN Chipotle, Ages 16

Does the ADA protect employees who travel to areas that potentially expose them to coronavirus?

Coronavirus is 2020’s pandemic du jour. It’s a serious, and potentially deadly, respiratory virus that (likely) started in Wuhan, China, and has now made its way into the U.S. with five confirmed cases. Suppose you fire an employee who you fear might have been exposed to the virus. She exhibits no symptoms, but because she had recently traveled to an area in which she could have been exposed, you think it’s better safe than sorry not to have her work for you anymore. She sues for disability di...
Tags: Law, Court, Ada, Ghana, Lowe, EEOC, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Dan Schwartz, Wuhan China, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Łukasz Dyłka

You can't prove age discrimination if you're replaced by someone older

Crescent Metal Products fired Donald Tschappatt for a variety of instances of poor work performance. He made "negative comments" about co-workers. He stood around doing nothing and disappeared from his work area. He took extended bathroom breaks. And he made various assembly and packing errors. After the company fired the 55-year-old Tschappatt, he sued for age discrimination. The problem with Tschappatt's claim? Crescent Metal Products replaced him with someone six years older. That's not a g...
Tags: Law, Hunter, Bob Hunter, Jon Hyman, Pixabay, Crescent Metal Products, Donald Tschappatt, Tschappatt, Tschappatt Crescent, Isa KARAKUS

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