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July 2017 Newsletter

One of our employees here in Iowa has requested to bring a pet pig to work for “emotional support” purposes. A pig! In a factory! Do I need to entertain her request? And if so, what do I tell other employees?                                                                    ...
Employers have a legal obligation to investigate known sexual and other unlawful harassment, and exercise reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any unlawfully harassing behavior. When is harassment “known” by an employer such that it triggers this obligation? EEOC v. AutoZone (6th Cir. 6/9/17) offers some key guidance when an employee fails to report harassment up the chain of command per her employer’s written...
I’ll be vacationing in California with my family the first two week of July. After reading the 9th Circuit’s decision in Arias v. Raimondo—holding an employer’s attorney liable for FLSA retaliation against his client’s employee because the employee sued his client for unpaid overtime—I’m thinking of adding the 9th Circuit to my list of tourist stops in San Francisco to see if the courthouse resembles a Salvador Dali painting. Because this...
I came across an interesting article at the Harvard Business Review—The Omissions That Make So Many Sexual Harassment Policies Ineffective. The article starts with a simple question. “If 98% of organizations in the United States have a sexual harassment policy, why does sexual harassment continue to be such a persistent and devastating problem in the American workplace?” The article suggests the answer lies in corporate and cultural norms that...
Is your organization a “public accommodation” under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?  Does your organization have a website?  If so, can that website be navigated with a keyboard (instead of a mouse) and with screen reader software?  Is the audio content on the website captioned? At this point I know you are thinking, “What does this have to do with human resources or employment law?” As an HR professional,...
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