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November 27, 2021

Tesla factory employee alleges ‘rampant sexual harassment’ in lawsuit

Just a month after Tesla was hit with a $137 million punitive damage verdict for racial harassment, the company now has been accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed in California state court. The lawsuit by a female factory worker describes a culture of sexual comments, groping and extremely troubling behaviors toward women with […]

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November 20, 2021

Recent federal wage and hour Investigations should remind employers to get their pay practices in compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor announced earlier this month that it recovered $40,000 in back wages from Richmond-based Alliance Drywall & Paint LLC. The drywall company allegedly failed to pay 63 non-exempt hourly employees time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, as required by federal and state law, according […]

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November 13, 2021

Navigating the uncertainty over the vaccination rule for private businesses has left employers scrambling

The legal battle over a vaccine rule started almost immediately. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an emergency temporary standard on Nov. 4 requiring employees who work for a private company with 100 or more workers to get a COVID vaccination by Jan. 4 or submit to weekly testing. The lawsuits were filed […]

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November 8, 2021

A white man awarded $10 million in damages is a reminder that employers can’t discriminate in the name of diversity

A federal jury in late October awarded David Duvall $10 million in punitive damages for discrimination following his termination as senior vice president for marketing and communications at Novant Health Inc. in North Carolina. Duvall, a white man, alleged that he was terminated to support diversity efforts when he was replaced by two women — […]

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October 31, 2021

EEOC cautions employers on questioning the sincerity of a religious belief when a COVID accommodation is requested

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently updated its coronavirus technical assistance guidance, providing advice on how to respond to religious objections to employer vaccine mandates. The guidance provides some additional clarity that employers and employees may find helpful in evaluating the accommodation requests. Applicants and employees may request a religious exemption or reasonable accommodation from […]

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October 18, 2021

A California jury gave Tesla $137 million reasons to prevent and stop racial misconduct in the workplace

A Black contractor who sued Tesla alleging racial discrimination and harassment was recently awarded a whopping $130 million in punitive damages and almost $7 million in compensatory damages by a San Francisco jury. The plaintiff was not an employee of Tesla, but was working as a contractor at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., as an […]

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October 16, 2021

Virginia requires reasonable accommodation for pregnant workers

Virginia employers with six or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to employees for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, including lactation. This law is an expansion of what is required under federal law. Although the law went into effect in 2020, many employers seem to be unaware of the unique nature of Virginia law […]

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October 11, 2021

A $3.525 million settlement highlights that employers cannot use staffing agencies to discriminate in hiring

Most employers realize they can’t discriminate against candidates for employment by seeking someone “younger” or seeking “male only.” Likewise, they shouldn’t be hiring a staffing agency to discriminate on their behalf. Staffing agencies also cannot comply with a client’s request for a preference in a candidate that could result in discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices. […]

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October 2, 2021

Employer have rights to the required medical documentation for those seeking a vaccine exemption due to a disability

What can be requested from workers seeking a vaccine exemption because of a disability? It is an important question to ask these days. For instance, is it sufficient for a worker to present to his employer medical documentation from a health care provider that simply states, “I have been treating Fred for diabetes and as […]

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September 25, 2021

Employees are exhausted and burnt out – and so are employers

Employees are exhausted and burnt out — and so are employers. Nike recognized this mental health breaking point and recently announced it would close its headquarters office for a week to give employees a break. The company posted a statement online that employees were to “take this time to unwind, destress and spend time with […]

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