September 2018 Newsletter

On Friday, July 27, after a 3 week trial in Manhattan , a jury awarded $1.25 million in damages to Enrichetta Ravina, a former professor at Columbia University Business School, who claimed that she was denied tenure and forced to resign in retaliation for complaining that a senior professor, Geert Bekaert, had sexually harassed her.  Professor Bekaert will owe her $500,000 in punitive damages, and Columbia will owe $750,000 in punitive...
When does crude language cross the line and become unlawful harassment? A court decision from this week reminded me about this issue, which I’ve been thinking about and discussing in harassment training for a long time (but not on this blog). Before I go on, I should warn you: This post contains offensive language, even though I will be using asterisks or initials for the really bad words. Still with us? OK! If your workplace cursing is...
If this was August 2017, I would be touting today's post as a strong contender for the "Worst Employer of the Year." It says a lot, however, about the quality (moral suckitude?) of this year's nominees that today's post can't even scratch 2018's list of nominees. We don't have Wegmans in Cleveland. And if you don't have one where you live, let me just say that it is the pinnacle of the supermarket shopping experience. In addition to offering a...
Parental leave policies are on the rise. Maternity. Paternity. Caregiver. You name it. I am drafting more of these policies than ever before. So, you can imagine my interest when, last year, the EEOC sued skin care/fragrance behemoth Estée Lauder, claiming that its parental leave policies discriminated against men. According to the EEOC at the time, Estée Lauder provided eligible new mothers six weeks of paid parental leave for child...
Religion a funny thing. Throughout the history of mankind it's fueled so much hate, war, and death. And yet, it brings so much peace, comfort, and love to so many people. My philosophy is live and let live. You believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want. Your religion is none of my business, just as mine is none of yours. The world we be a better place is everyone lived this message. But not everyone does. Consider, for example, a ...
I don't quite agree with the legal analysis, but I agree with the principle. This week, Greg Giangrande, @Work advice columnist for the New York Post, had a situation that drives me crazy as an employer's lawyer. The column won't be available on the Post website for non-subscribers to read until next week (I think?), but here's the gist of the letter writer's concern, some of which is quoted directly from the column, and Greg's...