Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts for: Harassment & Discrimination

Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Jun 16 2020
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

ALERT: Title VII protects sexual orientation and gender identity

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that terminating employees because of their sexual orientation or transgender status is discrimination based on sex and therefore violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

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Photo of Jon Benson
Apr 09 2020
Q&ACOVID-19Harassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Be careful about treating “high risk” employees differently

Question: Can we exclude employees from the workplace if they’re at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older workers or workers with underlying medical conditions? Answer: In general, no. If your reason for keeping employees away from work is based solely on their membership in a high-risk group based on…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Mar 19 2020
COVID-19Employee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLeave LawsWage and Hour  

ALERT: New federal law provides paid leave for COVID-19 absences

Alert: New federal law provides paid leave for COVID-19 absences President Trump has signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, an economic stimulus package that offers employees certain emergency protections for absences related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). This new law will have a major impact on employers throughout 2020, as it…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Dec 10 2019
Harassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Approach retirement discussions with caution

Question: We are downsizing our accounting department. Two long-term employees over the age of 60 have repeatedly mentioned their intention to retire soon. They also have the highest salaries in the department. Can we eliminate their positions in the reduction in force?   Answer: Not for the reasons you suggest! Proximity to retirement is…

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Photo of Lorraine Hoffman
Sep 11 2019
Featured Worker’s CompDisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Balancing competing employee interests can be tricky

An employer in Missouri is finding out the hard way that balancing the competing rights of employees can be complicated. In this case, a coworker with Tourette’s syndrome regularly and repeatedly shouted racial slurs at an African American employee. The employer tried to separate the workers so they didn’t have to work…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Jul 01 2019
DisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and Health  

Employers need objective basis to require fitness-for-duty exam

A federal district court recently ruled that a police department complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it required a bomb squad technician to undergo a fitness-for-duty exam. Their justification? The city had an objective basis for the fitness-for-duty exam request. In this case, the technician was experiencing hand…

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Jun 10 2019
Harassment & Discrimination  

New law in Washington protects isolated workers

Washington has a new law intended to prevent the sexual harassment or assault of certain isolated workers. The law applies to every hotel, motel, retail, security guard entity, or “property services contractor” that employs a custodian, security guard, hotel or motel housekeeper, or room-service employee who spends a majority of their working…

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Photo of Matt Norris
Jun 10 2019
Harassment & Discrimination  

All Oregon employers must comply with new anti-harassment law

On June 4, the Oregon legislature passed SB 726, which will (1) extend the statute of limitations from 1 year to 5 years for complaints and civil lawsuits related to harassment and some types of discrimination; (2) restrict the use of nondisclosure (NDA), nondisparagement, and no-rehire agreements; and (3) require…

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Photo of Kara Craig
May 17 2019
Harassment & Discrimination  

Saying “a lawyer made me do it” can destroy attorney-client privilege

Question: As an HR manager, I’m concerned about sharing legal advice that I receive on behalf of the company. What are the rules around this? Answer: All parties to an attorney-client communication made for the purpose of providing or obtaining legal advice must take steps to protect confidentiality. If you or someone else…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
May 06 2019
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Termination was for threats, not age discrimination

A drug store pharmacist who had been employed by a company for 34 years was terminated for threatening to use a gun at work, not because of his age or for reporting discrepancies in the store’s drug inventory, ruled a federal district court in California. A coworker reported to HR that the…

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