Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Employers, You’ll Never Pooh-Pooh The GINA Again.

On Monday, a federal jury in Atlanta awarded two hourly warehouse workers $2.2 million in a lawsuit brought under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The controversy started when Atlas Logistics Group Retail...more

6/26/2015 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues GINA Grocery Stores Trucking Industry Young Lawyers

A First Look at the Workplace Implications of Same-Sex Marriage Equality

We asked attorneys writing on JD Supra to share with us their initial thoughts on the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision in favor of same-sex marriage equaliy, especially with the regard to the...more

6/26/2015 - Corporate Counsel Discrimination DOMA First Glance Marriage Equality Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Sexual Orientation Discrimination US v Windsor Young Lawyers

BREAKING: Same-Sex Marriage Is The Law Of The Land, SCOTUS Says

The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, hot off the press, is 103 pages long, but here it is. Some instant analysis: *The due process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution compel...more

6/26/2015 - Due Process Equal Protection First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS

Thanks a LOT, Mr. President!

As you know, I strongly disapprove of use of the “N” word in the workplace. I don’t think African-Americans should say it, and I really, really don’t think people who aren’t African-American should use it....more

6/26/2015 - Barack Obama Employment Policies Offensive Language Race Discrimination

Harassment “Must-Have” No. 5: No Retaliation!

It should be easy to avoid retaliation, right? Because retaliatory conduct is intentional – you can’t “accidentally” retaliate against someone. You can’t “negligently” seek payback....more

6/22/2015 - Best Management Practices Employer Liability Issues Harassment Human Resources Professionals Internal Investigations Retaliation Training

Harassment “Must-Have” no. 4: The Determination

It’s the moment of truth! (Dum-dum-DUM!) Two weeks ago, we talked about harassment “must-haves” 1 and 2: a good, plain-language policy, and training. Last week, we talked about “must-have” 3: the investigation....more

6/15/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Internal Investigations

EEOC V. Abercrombie’s Lesson For Employers – In 5 Minutes Or Your Money Back

In a nutshell, the Supreme Court decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie means this: if an employment decision is motivated by religion – even if the employer does not actually know the religious need of the individual – then the...more

6/9/2015 - Abercrombie & Fitch EEOC EEOC v Abercrombie Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination SCOTUS Title VII

“Must-Haves” For Your Harassment Investigation

Last week, I posted about harassment “must-haves” for employers, and talked in detail about the first two: a good policy, and training. This week I’d like to talk about “must-have” no. 3 – a prompt, thorough, and fair...more

6/9/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Internal Investigations

Less Alarming Than It Sounds: Implications of the Religious Accommodation Decision in 'EEOC v. Abercrombie'

First Glance perspective by attorney Robin Shea of the Supreme Court's recent Religious Accommodation decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie. Spoiler alert: more alarming than it sounds....more

6/2/2015 - Corporate Counsel Discrimination EEOC EEOC v Abercrombie First Glance Hiring & Firing Popular Religious Accommodation Religious Discrimination SCOTUS Title VII

Five Harassment “Must Haves” For Employers

Maybe it’s just me, but workplace harassment issues seem to come in waves — I’ll go months, or even a year, without an issue, and then WHAM! everybody has a “situation,” or at least they need to get their preventive training...more

5/29/2015 - Anti-Harassment Policies Anti-Retaliation Provisions Corporate Counsel Employee Handbooks Harassment Internal Investigations Managers Supervisors Training Requirements Workplace Bullying

Probability, Manipulation, And Random Drug Testing

Many employers — particularly, those in the transportation industry — use third party vendors to do the random selections for federally mandated drug and alcohol tests. I think it’s a great idea, because it prevents employees...more

5/22/2015 - Discrimination Drug Testing Employment Policies Third-Party Service Provider

Female Lawyer Plays The “V” Card, Wins $500 Sanction

Have you ever heard of the word “virilism”? Neither had I. But apparently it’s a real thing: the appearance of male secondary sex characteristics in a female. (Males can have the condition, too, but it’s usually more serious...more

5/22/2015

Is This New Harassment Decision The End Of The World For Employers?

Are harassment and retaliation lawsuits all going to the jury now? Are employers doomed? Are the plaintiffs’ lawyers popping the champagne corks? Is the EEOC dancing for joy?...more

5/15/2015 - Corporate Counsel Defense Strategies EEOC Employer Liability Issues Harassment Retaliation

Can We Stop With The Age-Based Stereotypes?

A hot topic for the past few days, after an article on the subject appeared in Fortune, has been whether it’s discriminatory for an employer to specify in recruiting that it’s seeking to hire “digital natives.” A “digital...more

5/11/2015 - Age Discrimination Hiring & Firing Millennials Technology

Proposed Overtime Rule Has Been Sent To OMB

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has submitted a proposed rule on the white-collar FLSA overtime exemptions to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which means that the...more

5/6/2015 - DOL Exempt-Employees FLSA OMB Proposed Regulation Secretary of Labor

EEOC Rolls Out “Digital Charge” Program For Private Employers

The EEOC began use of a new “Digital Charge” pilot program last Friday in the Charlotte, North Carolina, and San Francisco, California, field offices for employment discrimination charges filed against non-federal employers....more

5/5/2015 - Digital Charge Programs Discrimination EEOC

Did He Quit, Or Was He Fired? Constructive Discharge Quiz!

Some employers really, really hate to fire employees. That doesn’t mean they won’t do it – but they’ll do just about anything to avoid calling it what it is....more

5/4/2015 - Constructive Discharge Hiring & Firing

EEOC Proposed Rule on Wellness and the Americans with Disabilities Act – What Employers Need to Know

The employer community has been waiting for years to receive guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on wellness programs and how an employer’s obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act intersect...more

5/1/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act Corporate Counsel EEOC Employer Group Health Plans Employer Liability Issues HIPAA Proposed Regulation Wellness Programs

Hey – That EEOC Wellness Rule Isn’t Half Bad

Is the proposed rule good for employers, or bad? Pretty good overall. The EEOC has, for the most part, proposed that providing “incentives” for employees to participate in wellness programs (both rewards and penalties, which...more

4/27/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act Corporate Counsel EEOC Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance HIPAA Popular Proposed Regulation Wellness Programs

EEOC Transgender Case In Detroit Will Go Forward

As our readers know, the EEOC filed two lawsuits last fall against private employers, alleging discrimination against transgender individuals: one case against a medical practice in Florida, and the other against a funeral...more

4/27/2015 - Adverse Employment Action EEOC Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Gender Discrimination Transgender

Is Telecommuting A Reasonable Accommodation, Or Is It Not?

In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”?...more

4/17/2015 - ADA Attendance Corporate Counsel EEOC Enforcement Actions Essential Functions Ford Motor Reasonable Accommodation Telecommuting

One Of EEOC’s First Transgender Lawsuits Has Settled

The EEOC announced this week that one of the lawsuits — against Lakeland Eye Clinic of Florida — has settled. The Clinic has agreed to make two payments of $75,000 to Brandi Branson, who had been the Clinic’s Director of...more

4/16/2015 - EEOC Gender Discrimination Gender Identity OFCCP Transgender

A Lesson From Twitter Sex-Bias Lawsuit: Post Those Jobs!

Shortly before Ellen Pao lost started a “conversation” about sex discrimination in the tech industry, yet another lawsuit was filed alleging sex discrimination in the tech industry. ...more

4/13/2015 - Corporate Counsel Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals Recruitment Policies Retaliation Sex Discrimination Tech Industry Twitter

Pregnancy Accommodation FAQs For Employers

What do employers need to know about the Supreme Court’s pregnancy accommodation decision last week in Young v. United Parcel Service?...more

4/3/2015 - ADA Disparate Treatment EEOC Employer Liability Issues PDA Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

Pregnancy: Employers’ newest “accommodation obligation”

A divided U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that employers covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (part of Title VII) may be required to make reasonable accommodations for work restrictions caused by pregnancy and...more

4/1/2015 - ADA Disparate Treatment EEOC Enforcement Guidance Essential Functions PDA Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

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