Anti-Pretexting StatuteBy Michael R. LiedNovember 2007Hewlett-Packard’s Chairman, Patricia Dunn, was allegedly upset about leaks to the media about the company’s long term strategic plans. Hewlett-Packard retained an outside firm to gain access to its directors’ phone records, believing that one or more directors were the source of the leak.
Failure to insure contraceptives was not sex discriminationBy Michael R. LiedJune 2007Union Pacific Railroad provided health care benefits to its employees who were covered by collective bargaining agreements. While the health plans provided benefits for services such as routine physical exams, they excluded coverage for a number of things. They excluded both male and female contraceptive methods, prescription and non- prescription, when used for the sole purpose of contraception. The health plans only covered contraception when medically necessary for a non-contraceptive purpose.
Mass flu outbreak: Employment implicationsBy Michael R. LiedJune 2007Not “if” but “when.” According to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), a pandemic, likely an influenza break- out, is inevitable. Some CDC recommendations have employment law implications. For example, if employees become ill, an obvious issue may be the need to satisfy Family and Medical Leave Act obligations. There may also be issues under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. There could be implications under the Fair Labor Standards Act for employees who are required to work from home. For employers with a union, there may be labor law issues.
The need to accommodate workplace proselytization?By Keri A. LeggMarch 2007There is an increase in the number of employees who desire to not only discuss their religious beliefs and practices at work, but who also hold religiously based needs to proselytize or affirmatively oppose “sin” in the workplace.
Retaliation: How to prove it, How to avoid it. Attorney’s Perspective – PlaintiffBy Lori D. EckerJune 2007In cases where the plaintiff claims that she was retaliated against for exercising her rights under the ADEA, the usual common law tort damages, such as emotional distress, may be recovered. The same is true for retaliation cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The expectation is that the same would hold true for retaliation claims under the FMLA, although there do not appear to be any Seventh Circuit decisions on point.
Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplaceBy James E. Snyder & Hon. Reva S. BauchJune 2007Imagine being called into your employer’s boardroom and being told: “You’re a great employee, but you’re gay, so...you’re fired!” Federal law does not prohibit this kind of conduct by the employer. And in 33 states it is not an unlawful employment practice. In Illinois and 16 other states and the District of Columbia, however, it is illegal for an employer to fire an otherwise competent employee because of his or her sexual orientation.
Union not entitled to employee e-mail addressesBy Michael R. LiedNovember 2007In Trustees of Columbia University, Case 2-RC-22355 (August 9, 2007), a majority of a panel of the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) found the employer did not violate the law when it refused to provide the union with e-mail addresses of eligible voters.
United States Supreme Court crystallizes time limitation for EEOC claimsBy Daniel K. WrightNovember 2007In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc., the United States Supreme Court held that an employee who has suffered a discriminatory pay decision must file a questionnaire with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of such decision in order to preserve a cause of action under Title VII for individual sex discrimination in pay and raises.