These days, keyboard warriors are taking to social media to dispense their own brands of internet justice. Most of the time, this practice is highly annoying but otherwise pretty harmless… Until a social-media shenanigan crosses the line, which can result in unintended consequences, even problems at work. In the digital age, where social justice is at our fingertips, employers and employees should understand their rights (or lack of) with respect to social media usage.
April 10, 2019 I had the honor of addressing a large group for the Livonia Chamber of Commerce event, “Forum for Employers in an Era of Recreational Marijuana.” As an added bonus, WWJ Radio did an exclusive interview with the panelists, which aired shortly after the event.
Should an employer and employee be allowed to agree to delay or extend FMLA leave? In the past, those arrangements allowed employees to use paid time off (PTO) either before the start of FMLA leave or to extend the duration of FMLA leave. However, a recent change in position at the Department of Labor makes this type of employee-friendly arrangement a violation of the FMLA.
In 1988, Congress passed the Drug Free Workplace Act, which requires organizations that are awarded federal grants and contracts to establish certain drug-related policies. With the recent legalization or marijuana in Michigan, it is a good time to review those requirements. Although legal in Michigan, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
A 60-year-old woman made news headlines in January when she was awarded $21 million dollars by a Florida jury because her employer refused to accommodate her Catholic missionary work. The employee, Marie Jean Pierre, needed Sundays off in accordance with her religious beliefs, and for years, the company accommodated her. When the company began scheduling Pierre for Sundays, she adapted by voluntarily switching shifts with other workers. However, Pierre’s boss finally ordered her to work a Sunday, and when Pierre refused, he fired her.
Does federal or state law prohibit employment decisions based on an employee’s sexual orientation? How about gender identity?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against an individual “because of such individual’s . . . sex.” But many courts disagree as to what the law means. In fact, most courts still hold that gender identity and sexual orientation are not protected under Title VII. However, employers should be on the lookout for a possible policy shift.