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December 30, 2023

In 2024 employers shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good

Employers starting the new year will have many priorities in their business planning, some of which will include employment matters. Years ago a client asked me to do harassment prevention training. I always ask for their policies so that the training can be customized to their workforce. The client said they were working on their […]



December 23, 2023

Having sex in your workplace will get you fired – even during the holidays

This shouldn’t have to be said in a civilized society – but if you have sex in your workplace, don’t cry foul when you get fired. Even during the holidays. Even if you engaged in sex with someone of the same sex. Even if you’ve never been in trouble before. Even if it was consensual […]



December 16, 2023

Holiday parties should not be separated based on color

Should employers hold events that separate or exclude employees by race, color, gender, religion or other protected characteristics? That’s what Boston Mayor Michelle Wu did when she instructed her staffer, Denise DosSantos, to invite City Council members to the Mayor’s (apparently annual) “Electeds of Color Holiday Party” to be held at a city-owned building in […]



December 9, 2023

Appeals court determines full-time and on-site attendance essential functions

Is remote work losing favor with employers? GM recently sent a letter to employees that as of January 2024, it will strictly enforce its rule that employees be on-site three days a week with limited exception. Employees are pushing back, including those seeking reasonable accommodations due to a disability. Last month, the 11th U.S. Circuit […]



December 2, 2023

8 tips for celebrating the holidays in the workplace

The holidays are upon us, and workplaces have begun celebrating. This can be a great time of year for cheer with coworkers, but not everyone celebrates and some employees over-imbibe at the holiday events. Here are eight tips to make this time of year work for all employees: 1. Celebrate the holidays. While some may not […]



November 25, 2023

You don’t have a 1099 employee, so stop misclassifying them

Too often I hear the term, “Well, she’s a 1099 employee.” No she isn’t. There is no such thing. Employers need to stop classifying workers as independent contractors. They usually aren’t contractors – they are employees – with all the benefits and employer obligations that go along with that. They can be part-time and occasional […]



November 18, 2023

Lynchburg employer prevails where employee claimed sex-based wage discrimination

Last month, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Lynchburg-based Consolidated Shoe Co., where former employee Ashley Noonan alleged that her employer engaged in sex-based wage discrimination and retaliation. Noonan worked as a graphic designer, and claimed that another male employee, who was a content creator and […]



November 9, 2023

Plaza Azteca to pay $11.4 million for restaurant wage violations

The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that it recovered $11.4 million in back wages and damages for more than 1,000 employees who worked for Mexican food chain Plaza Azteca, which has locations in Midlothian, Glen Allen, Henrico and Richmond. The $11.4 million recovery includes $5.7 million in back wages owed to workers for wage violations that […]



November 4, 2023

EEOC lawsuit shows how to do everything wrong in claim of same sex harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued a Pennsylvania grocery chain, Weis Markets, after it terminated an employee accused of sexual harassment when she refused the company’s directive to participate in its Employee Assistance Program (EAP). According to the EEOC, a female supervisor at one of its stores subjected a female employee to unwelcome […]



October 28, 2023

Marshmallow peeps, other Halloween activities can lead to discrimination complaints

Next week, workplaces may celebrate Halloween with activities such as food, drinks, costumes, parties and the like. Many employees enjoy fun holiday activities. But with any actions that vary from the norm in our workplaces, trouble can brew. And unfortunately, it’s hard to know where the “fun” line ends. We are a diverse society — […]