Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's CEO since 2015, has been ousted by the board of directors after admitting to engaging in an allegedly consensual relationship with a subordinate. McDonald's, which has suffered from accusations of sexual harassment against many of its franchisees, has a policy forbidding managers from having any romantic relationship with a subordinate, direct or indirect.
When credible allegations of sexual harassment or other misconduct are made against a top executive, companies need to take them seriously. If someone files a lawsuit, one thing the courts will consider is whether the company made a reasonable effort to investigate and correct the problem. If it did not, the company could be found liable and be forced to pay damages. It could also be a PR nightmare.
We've all heard of the gender pay gap, but what about the racial pay gap? You may know that, in 2017, American women earned about 80.5 cents for each dollar earned by similarly situated men. Far fewer people are aware of the pay disparity between whites and African-Americans and Hispanics.
In a 2015 case involving Browning-Ferris Industries Inc., the National Labor Relations Board revised its standard for determining when two or more organizations are considered joint employers for the purposes of federal labor and employment law. When companies that are otherwise considered employers "share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment," the board held, those companies are both liable for employment-related issues.
Written warnings are meant to document inappropriate behavior or performance issues, creating a record that can be referred to later or ultimately used to justify termination.
The Trump administration's priority for the Department of Labor has been to eliminate regulations thought too costly for businesses to bear. In particular, the administration promised to change how wage and hour law is regulated in the U.S.
With the opioid crisis running rampant, many companies have employees who are suffering from this addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 8 and 12 percent of those prescribed opioid painkillers will develop an opioid use disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 350,000 people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2016.
According to a recent survey by the staffing firm OfficeTeam, 14 percent of American workers have experienced a demotion -- asked to assume a lower-level role with or without a pay cut. Slightly more than half (52 percent) of demoted employees will choose to leave the company, and there is the risk of disgruntlement and potential lawsuits.
When we think about speech protections, we often think of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment only prohibits governmental actors from abridging freedom of speech, so it doesn't apply to private actors such as non-government employers. (The First Amendment does apply to government employers.)