Staying on top of changes in state and federal employment law can be something of a challenge. It is a good idea to designate someone in your human resources department to comb through your employee materials and make sure they're up to date, and the beginning of the year can be a good time to do that.
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.
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.
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that individual arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. Therefore, employers can require, as a condition of employment, employees to agree to resolve their employment law claims individually in arbitration rather than taking them to court or attempting to act collectively.
"Although Title VII was passed more than 50 years ago, women nationwide continue to be passed over for promotion because of their sex," says one EEOC regional attorney.
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.)
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, covered employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period. The leave can be used to care for a personal medical condition, to care for certain family members' serious health conditions, to bond with a new child or to deal with emergencies related to a family member's active duty military service. More leave is available to care for a military family member's illness or injury.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have put a spotlight on sexual harassment, especially when it occurs in the workplace. Most employers want a culture free of discrimination and harassment, but it can be a challenge to create effective training programs. Luckily, a few good ideas can make your anti-harassment training program much more useful and engaging to your employees.