Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Shoddy Harassment Investigation Comes Back To Bite Employer

Employers, has this ever happened to you? An employee has accused her boss of sexual harassment. Right now, it’s her word against his, but you might be able to find out the truth if you interview her co-workers. The...more

8/26/2016 - Harassment Hiring & Firing Investigations Punitive Damages Sexual Harassment

The EEOC’s Defeat In Detroit: Pants, Skirts, Gender Identity, And Religion

Last week, I reported that summary judgment was granted against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its transgender discrimination lawsuit against R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, linked to the decision (but...more

8/26/2016 - Dress Codes EEOC Gender Identity Religious Freedom RFRA Sexual Stereotyping Title VII Transgender

Spa day! Let’s do an FLSA white-collar exemption makeover!

Employers, when was the last time you had a real makeover? Let’s do one now! The new white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act will go into effect December 1, but it’s a good idea for employers to...more

8/19/2016 - DOL Exempt-Employees FLSA Minimum Salary Non-Exempt Employees Over-Time Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

BREAKING: Detroit-Area Funeral Home Wins In EEOC Transgender Case

Remember EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes? This was the transgender discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a suburban Detroit funeral home chain for allegedly discriminating...more

8/19/2016 - Discrimination EEOC Gender Identity Religious Freedom Restoration Act Title VII Transgender

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Bridging The Generation Gap At Work

What a week for aging. According to one study, people age 65 and older will outnumber people age 15 and younger worldwide by the year 2030. This is referred to as a “population plague.” In more bad news for younger...more

8/12/2016 - Age Discrimination Baby Boomers Millennials Popular Technology

Conservative Expression May Be Unlawful Harassment, EEOC Says

Is wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” cap to work a form of racial harassment? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it could be, even though the EEOC acknowledges that the Gadsden Flag “originated in the...more

8/5/2016 - EEOC Free Speech Harassment USPS

Huh? Title VII And Sexual Orientation Bias, Revisited

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided last week in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that sexual orientation discrimination is not prohibited by Title VII, consistent with a long line of appellate court...more

8/5/2016 - EEOC ENDA LGBT Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation Discrimination Title VII

Sex On TV: Final FAQs For Employers About The Roger Ailes Case

Well, Gretchen is out, Roger is out, and Megyn is in. Your Magic 8-Ball is here to answer the sexual harassment questions that employers are dying to ask....more

7/29/2016 - Fox Broadcasting Popular Sexual Harassment

Hallelujah! 5 Things About Religion In The Workplace That You May Not Have Known

Our friends at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have issued a Fact Sheet for young workers on religious discrimination in the workplace, which brought me back to the EEOC’s older Q&A and Best Practices on religious...more

7/27/2016 - EEOC Hiring & Firing Religious Accommodation Religious Clothing Religious Discrimination Title VII

Password sharing and “head-slap hacks”: What employers can do

If you have ever wondered why your company’s data is not as secure as it should be, take a look in the mirror. A study by the Ponemon Institute, commissioned by Experian and released in May, found that the majority of...more

7/22/2016 - Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) Confidential Information Cybersecurity Data Breach Hackers Passwords Popular

NC “bathroom bill” – the latest developments

It’s been a while since I’ve written about H.B. 2, the North Carolina “bathroom bill,” and I need to get with it. Wrongful discharge claim based on discrimination is back. As we expected, on July 18, Gov. Pat McCrory...more

7/22/2016 - Cause of Action Accrual Gender Identity Governor Pat McCrory Hiring & Firing Statute of Limitations Wrongful Termination

Gretchen Carlson v. Roger Ailes — Can He Sue Her?

Me and my nerdy mind. It’s too soon for me to have an opinion about who’s right and who’s wrong in the Gretchen Carlson-Roger Ailes sexual harassment case. Some very disturbing allegations have been made about Mr....more

7/15/2016 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Breach of Contract Defamation Sexual Harassment

EEOC Amends Its “Pay Survey” Proposal A Teensy Bit. I Still Don’t Like It.

On February 1, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposal that would require employers with 100 or more employees to begin submitting compensation data with their annual EEO-1 reports....more

7/15/2016 - Comment Period EEO-1 EEOC FLSA Reporting Requirements Wage and Hour

EEOC Issues Wellness Disclosure Form, Q And A

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a sample “wellness notice” that employers can give to employees before they are asked to provide medical information in connection with wellness-related health risk...more

7/14/2016 - ADA EEOC GINA Wellness Programs

Employer Groups Sue To Block OSHA’s Drug Testing Provisions

A number of employers and employer groups — including the National Association of Manufacturers and Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. — filed suit last week in a federal court in Texas seeking to block parts of the...more

7/12/2016 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Corporate Counsel Drug Testing Electronic Filing OSHA Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Sex harassment myth: “He said/she said” is no big deal.

I assume everyone has heard by now about Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, head of Fox News. I read the lawsuit yesterday, and some of the things that Mr. Ailes allegedly said struck me as...more

7/8/2016 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Sexual Harassment

“EEO” Wrongful Discharge May Soon Return To North Carolina

I don’t plan to post much more about North Carolina’s HB 2 “bathroom bill” until we start getting court decisions, but this is newsworthy. As I’ve previously noted, HB 2 had a provision that eliminated the cause of...more

7/6/2016 - EEO General Assembly Hiring & Firing Statute of Limitations Wrongful Termination

EEOC Sexual Orientation Lawsuit Settles For $200K Plus

As I’ve previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based on sexual orientation, which the Commission says is prohibited by...more

7/1/2016 - EEOC LGBT Sex Discrimination Sexual Orientation Title VII

Applicant tracking and the EEOC: “You can SUE us for that?”

Did you realize that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can sue you just for (allegedly) lousy recordkeeping? No discrimination, no harassment, no retaliation — just (alleged) failure to keep adequate records....more

7/1/2016 - Criminal Background Checks EEOC Recordkeeping Requirements Title VII

Judge Blocks U.S. Department of Labor “Persuader Rule”

U.S. District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings in Lubbock, Texas, has issued a preliminary injunction, which blocks the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Persuader Rule” from going into effect on Friday....more

6/28/2016 - DOL Persuader Rules Unions

School’s Out! So What’s With This Summer Employment Law Quiz?

No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks . . . except for one little quiz on employment law issues that come up during the summer. Don’t worry about your score – I’m told that Teacher already has...more

6/24/2016 - Dress Codes Employer Group Health Plans FMLA Managers Reasonable Accommodation Sexual Harassment Young Lawyers

The “Duty To Conciliate” Doesn’t Mean The EEOC Has To Be Reasonable.

Just how much of a duty to conciliate does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have after the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Mach Mining? Hardly any, it appears. In Mach Mining, the Supreme Court...more

6/17/2016 - Conciliation Discrimination EEOC Mach Mining v EEOC SCOTUS

FLSA Morale Nightmare: Dealing With The “New Non-Exempt”

My first job out of college was as a non-exempt clerical, and I wasn’t a very “good fit.” The work aside, I chafed at the rigid rules about start times-stop times-breaks-lunch hours-quitting times. If there was some work that...more

6/10/2016 - Exempt-Employees FLSA Non-Exempt Employees Over-Time Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

25 Quick Takes (No Kidding!) On The EEOC’s Proposed National Origin Guidance

These will be really quick takes, since there are so many of them, on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination issued this week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (The actual document...more

6/3/2016 - Corporate Counsel EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing National Origin Discrimination Title VII

Military Employment Rights: A Recap For The Memorial Day Weekend

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, here’s a summary of the rights of employees who take leaves of absence to serve our country, and their family members. USERRA - The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment...more

5/27/2016 - ADA FMLA Leave of Absence Reasonable Accommodation Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USSERA)

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