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May 22, 2018

Employers should not foist its religious beliefs on employees

When can “Harnessing Happiness” cost an employer $5.1 million? When that same employer foists seemingly religious beliefs on its employees, creating a hostile work environment and adverse action due to rejection of those beliefs. Last month, a federal jury in New York unanimously awarded $5.1 million to employees who claimed they suffered religious discrimination and […]



Not every trivial dispute constitutes actionable workplace harassment

Workplace harassment is inappropriate, but not always legally actionable. The U.S. Supreme Court established the standard for harassment that rises to the level of a Title VII violation. The court identified actionable harassment to include that conduct which is “sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of [the victim’s] employment and create an abusive […]



May 18, 2018

The ‘never ever’ list of behaviors that should be avoided at work

Too often individuals wrongly think behavior directed at another employee was consensual or welcome by that person. These misunderstandings frequently lead to claims of harassment, even though the person engaging in the behavior will often say he or she didn’t mean or intend to harass or offend the person. To avoid misunderstandings, I recommend implementing […]



May 7, 2018

10 tips needed for keeping the first job

The month of May brings a flood of college graduates into the workforce, with high school graduates soon to follow. While our new graduates are well-prepared for the academic and technical rigors of working full-time, many are ill equipped to understand the expectations that will be set for continued employment. Here are 10 things your […]



Despite equal pay law, examples still exist where women are paid less than their male counterparts

Equal Pay Day was recognized earlier this month. This day — April 10 — is purported to identify the amount of time women have to work (into the fourth month of the year) before they catch up to the median pay of men from the prior year. The continuation of differential in pay between men […]



April 22, 2018

Supreme Court’s decision denying overtime pay to service advisors highlights the burden on employers of an antiquated law

A decision this month by the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed two things: First, elections have consequences. Second, the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act needs an overhaul. When President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the balance of power shifted with the addition of a conservative-leaning member. In the Encino Motorcars v. Hector Navarro, […]



April 11, 2018

Can businesses have paid or unpaid summer interns?

The end of the school year is approaching, which means college and high school students will be looking for opportunities to gain experience in their chosen profession and make valuable connections with prospective employers. The U.S. Department of Labor has not created or changed many of its opinions in recent years, but in January the […]



April 6, 2018

Process to bring a harassment claim is unconventional

Employers are understandably concerned that, with the #MeToo movement, past acts of harassment could lead to lawsuits and liability. The process to bring a claim for harassment against an employer is unconventional. A healthy knowledge of the process will empower employers and employees to evaluate rights of workers and risk of liability to organizations. Assume […]



March 28, 2018

Gaining leadership lessons from historic UVA loss

Being viewed as a great leader in good times looks relatively easy. Some leaders may just assume that it will be like this forever — when contracts are rolling in, the investors are happy, the company is hiring rapidly and positive employee engagement is abound. It’s much more challenging to be a great leader when […]



March 20, 2018

Reporting and resolving workplace misconduct is required by law and is good for business

Managers often ask about the need to report and investigate workplace matters when the employee says she or he does not want to file a formal complaint after reporting misconduct. Employees are not required to file a “formal complaint” in order for the employer to be obligated to respond. Notice to any manager of potential […]