Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Court Sheds Light On “Pregnancy Accommodation” Obligation After Young V. UPS

A federal appeals court panel has come out with a decision interpreting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Young v. UPS, and the result wasn’t too good for the employer. The Sheriff’s Department of Ulster...more

4/29/2016 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

Lego-Based Workplace Harassment Will NOT Be Tolerated.

You’ve heard of sex-based harassment, race-based harassment, and disability-based harassment. But have you ever heard of Lego-based harassment? Shawn Roy was terminated from his job because he was allegedly creating...more

4/28/2016 - Harassment Hiring & Firing Termination Unemployment

Employer Guide to Family and Medical Leave Act

The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, has issued a new guide for employers on the Family and Medical Leave Act....more

4/27/2016 - DOL FMLA Wage and Hour

Vindicated, And It Feels So Good . . .

The Washington Post “Fact Checker” column gave Two Pinocchios last week to the “79-cent pay gap factoid.” That’s the factoid that says women make only 79 cents for every dollar that men make. Debunking that dubious statistic...more

4/22/2016 - Equal Pay Gender Equity Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Wage and Hour

North Carolina’s HB 2: The Final Analysis

This will be my last “analysis” post on the wrongful discharge provisions of North Carolina’s HB 2. (I know you are heartbroken!)- I’ll continue to post on breaking HB 2-related news as it develops. Several...more

4/22/2016 - Employee Restrooms LGBT OCR State and Local Government

Ugh. HR Consultant Hit For $1MM In Unpaid Overtime

No one is immune from wage-hour payouts. Not even a Human Resources consultant. California HR consulting firm TriNet has reportedly agreed to pay approximately $1 million in overtime and liquidated damages to 267...more

4/22/2016 - DOL Exempt-Employees Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

This Just In: Gov. McCrory Signs Executive Order Backing Wrongful Discharge For “EEO” Discrimination

Thanks very much to the colleague who just sent me this. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina has signed Executive Order No. 93, which is somewhat of a backtrack on HB 2....more

4/13/2016 - EEO Executive Orders Governor Pat McCrory Wrongful Termination

More On HB 2 And Wrongful Discharge: My Response To Charlotte Magazine

For the background on this situation, please see my post from Friday on HB 2. I spoke for almost an hour Friday evening with reporter Greg Lacour from Charlotte Magazine, and he asked me to go through his April 4 article “The...more

4/11/2016 - EEOC Employee Restrooms Hiring & Firing LGBT Wrongful Termination

Ignore The Hype: Here’s What Employers Need To Know About North Carolina’s HB 2

Argh! I was hoping not to have to talk about HB 2 again (North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill”), but there has been so much misinformation about what it did to wrongful discharge claims that I’ve just gotta....more

4/8/2016 - Corporate Counsel EEOC Employee Restrooms Hiring & Firing LGBT Popular Statute of Limitations Wrongful Termination

Is Obesity A “Per Se” Disability? One Court Says No.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week that obesity is not a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act — even as amended in 2009 — unless the condition was...more

4/8/2016 - ADA EEOC Hiring & Firing Obesity Weight Discrimination

No April Foolin’ – Third Lawsuit Challenging DOL Persuader Rule Is Filed

We now have an April Fool’s Day Persuader Rule challenge (but it’s real). The National Federation of Independent Business leads this group of plaintiffs, and has filed suit in federal court in Texas, which is in the Fifth...more

4/4/2016 - Collective Bargaining DOL Persuader Rules Unions

“Lighten Up, Baby,” And Other Harassment “Best Practices” For Employers

Many employers ask me: “Robin, what are your ‘best practices’ for workplace sexual harassment?” I’m glad you asked! No. 1: Be sure that your policy on sexual harassment is boring and legalistic. The entire legal...more

4/1/2016 - April Fool's Day EEOC Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

Second Lawsuit Challenges USDOL Persuader Rule

Mercy me! We now have a second challenge to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Persuader Rule, filed today in federal court in Minnesota. This morning, I reported on a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Arkansas. What...more

4/1/2016 - Collective Bargaining DOL Persuader Rules Unions

First Lawsuit Challenges DOL’s Persuader Rule

Like the first robin in spring, here is what we believe is the first lawsuit challenging the “Persuader Rule,” issued last week by the U.S. Department of Labor. ...more

3/31/2016 - Collective Bargaining DOL Persuader Rules Unions

Suit Seeks To Block N.C. “Bathroom Bill”

Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination....more

3/29/2016 - Common Law Claims EEO Employee Restrooms Equal Protection New Legislation Sex Discrimination State Law Claims Title IX Universities Wrongful Termination

N.C. “Bathroom Bill” Has A Bomb For Wrongful Discharge Plaintiffs

Big news for employees and employers in North Carolina — the General Assembly enacted a bill on Wednesday (signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) within hours) that was primarily intended to preempt a certain high-profile municipal...more

3/25/2016 - EEOC Employment Discrimination Hiring & Firing LGBT Sex Discrimination Wrongful Termination

Gender Pay Gap Is Greatly Exaggerated, New Study Says

A new pay equity study conducted by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist for Glassdoor.com, has performed an invaluable service in taking the roughly 21-cent pay gap between men and women — the basis for new “comparable...more

3/25/2016 - EEOC Equal Pay Pay Gap Wage and Hour

Hold Onto Your Hats! DOL Persuader Rule Is Coming Today.

According to news reports, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing this morning its long-awaited (and, for employers, long-dreaded) “Persuader Rule.” The rule is expected to create an obligation for employers, attorneys,...more

3/23/2016 - Attorney-Client Privilege DOL Persuader Rules

Female lawyers, Republican Bosses, and Kitchens: The Sequel

I have to admit, I was afraid that I might need to go into hiding after I expressed doubts last week about that study claiming that female lawyers don’t do well when their bosses are male Republicans. But the reader feedback...more

3/18/2016 - Employment Discrimination Equal Opportunities Hiring & Firing Legal Opinion

Is Driving An “Essential Function Of The Job” For Your Road Warriors?

If your employee isn’t a professional driver but spends a lot of time on the road, how “essential” a job function is driving for ADA purposes? Is driving “essential” at all? In what I consider to be a very significant...more

3/18/2016 - ADA Corporate Counsel EEOC Essential Functions Pfizer Reasonable Accommodation

What Can Employers Expect From A Justice Garland?

President Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Garland, age 63,...more

3/17/2016 - Justice Scalia Merrick Garland SCOTUS

Is Your Company Small? The EEOC Has A Little Fact Sheet That May Help.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a nice little “fact sheet” this week for small businesses, summarizing their obligations under the laws that the EEOC enforces. ...more

3/11/2016 - EEOC Gender Identity New Guidance Sex Discrimination Sexual Orientation Discrimination Small Business

Female Lawyer With Republican Boss? Go Back To The Kitchen!

I don’t know what to make of the study, conducted by business professors from the University of Michigan and Temple University, that purports to find a negative correlation between political conservatism among some law firm...more

3/11/2016 - Diversity Political Parties Sex Discrimination Women in the Law

Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts Of Employees? The Shadow Knows.

“The boss is a jerk. I dread coming to work every day. I’m treated unfairly. Everyone else gets better treatment than I do. My pay stinks, and my company’s paid-time-off policy leaves much to be desired. I should sue!”...more

3/4/2016 - FLSA Minimum Wage Wage and Hour

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