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March 25, 2023

Don’t be a fool at work anytime, including April 1

Perhaps fortunately, April 1, a day designated April Fools’ Day, falls on a Saturday this year, but that doesn’t mean plenty of employees won’t have access to doing something stupid at work that could get them fired, or arrested. April Fools’ Day, according to Merriam-Webster, is “characteristically marked by the playing of practical jokes.” A […]



March 18, 2023

Court will not dismiss case against employer for religious accommodations based on pronoun use

In February, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan refused to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought against an employer who allegedly declined to accommodate an employee who wouldn’t use a co-worker’s chosen pronouns due to a declared religious conflict. The plaintiff, Denise Haskins, worked for Bio Blood Components until February 2021. Her […]



March 4, 2023

Documentation exonerates the employer in discrimination case

In a recent discrimination case, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January that an organization’s documentation demonstrated that the employee’s performance was the reason for her transfer, not her race. The employee, Catrina Bragg, who is Black, entered into a 90-day orientation program for newly licensed nurses at a hospital. She was […]



February 25, 2023

Managers must take action when made aware of harassment allegations

The scenario is all too common. An employee is subjected to an offensive, intimidating or hostile work environment due to the actions by another employee or third party in the workplace. She fears retaliation if she reports it. But the employee wants to tell someone. The employee drums up the courage to meet with her […]



February 18, 2023

Harassment against men – it’s real

Society tells men they can’t be sexually harassed. This leads to them experiencing unwanted behavior in the workplace and then being afraid to report it. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced earlier this month that Monro Inc., owner of more than a thousand auto care locations in the United States, agreed to settle a sexual […]



February 11, 2023

Guidance on hearing disabilities in the workplace

Employees with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination or harassment and also have the right to a reasonable accommodation for their disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which covers employers with 15 or more workers. In 2021, Virginia passed similar protections for people working for an employer of six employees and […]



February 4, 2023

Employees can be terminated for offensive social media posts

Too many employees wrongly think they can’t be legally disciplined or terminated for posts they make on their personal social media accounts after hours. Earlier this year, semiprofessional hockey team Peoria Rivermen released player Louie Rowe after he posted a series of tweets that it determined were anti-LGBTQ and homophobic. Rowe began his Twitter rant […]



January 21, 2023

Employers, there is no such thing as a ‘1099 employee’

Employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors are under fire more than ever with Virginia’s 2020 legislation and by the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed regulations. Employers too often bring on workers under the false premise that they are independent contractors who will, at the end of their services, receive an IRS form 1099-MISC instead […]



January 14, 2023

Employer pay obligations during a work closure

During any time of the year, weather or other factors might prompt an organization to close for some period of time, during which the employer might instruct employees not to work at all or to work remotely. The rules around private sector employers paying employees during a work closure depend on whether the employee is […]



January 7, 2023

Labor Law: A five-step plan to addressing poor performance and conduct

My most often asked question when a client calls with an issue about an employee is, “Why is this person still working there?” I hear stories of poor attendance, aggressive and abusive behavior, harassment, lack of effort, lack of performance, and insubordination — spanning years — and yet there are glowing performance reviews and scant […]