Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Latest Publications


A Cornucopia Of Wellness Information For Employers!

Earlier this month, I had a relatively short post on the proposed rule on wellness incentives and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I also promised a more...more

11/27/2015 - ADA EEOC GINA HIPAA Wellness Programs

Be Thankful You’re Not An Employment Law Turkey

Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments....more

11/27/2015 - Discrimination Hiring & Firing Sexual Harassment Termination Wrongful Termination

The EEOC And Wellness Programs: The Other Shoe Drops! (But It's Not That Bad)

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The GINA proposal accompanies a proposed rule on employer wellness...more

11/25/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act EEOC GINA HIPAA Popular Wellness Programs

Pretty Good Year For The EEOC (In Pictures)

Bloomberg BNA reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had a good year in FY 2015, which ended September 30. The agency collected more than $526 million in relief in all types of cases, involving federal as...more

11/23/2015 - EEOC Employment Discrimination

Before You Sue: 10 Questions Every Employee Should Ask

Last week, we talked about 20 things an employer should ask itself before terminating an employee. In the interests of fairness, here are 10 things that an employee should ask before suing an employer. You should know that I...more

11/23/2015 - Employment Discrimination Evidence Wrongful Termination

New Overtime Regs: Will “Duties Test” Be Beefed Up After All?

You have probably heard by now that Patricia Smith, Solicitor of Labor, announced at the annual labor and employment conference of the American Bar Association that a final rule on the white-collar exemptions to the overtime...more

11/17/2015 - DOL Standard Duties Test Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour White-Collar Exemptions

Before You Fire: 20 Questions Every Employer Should Ask

Here are 20 questions that every employer should ask itself before going ahead with a termination. If you think I’ve missed anything, please feel free to add your own in the comments....more

11/16/2015 - Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) Employment Discrimination Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Popular Protected Concerted Activity Wrongful Termination Young Lawyers

DOL’s Home Care Rule goes live.

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor began enforcement of its Home-Care Rule, which prohibits third-party employers from taking advantage of the overtime exemption for some domestic workers. The rule also narrows the...more

11/13/2015 - DOL FLSA Home Health Care Home Healthcare Workers Over-Time

T.J. Simers $7.1 Mill Discrimination Verdict: Post-Game Wrap-Up

Wednesday night the Los Angeles jury hearing the age and disability discrimination case of former sports columnist T.J. Simers came back with a verdict in his favor of $7.1 million, consisting of retro and future lost income,...more

11/6/2015 - Age Discrimination Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Jury Awards LA Times

Six Quick Takes On The EEOC’s New Wellness Proposal

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In April, the EEOC issued a proposed rule on employer wellness...more

11/6/2015 - ADA Corporate Counsel EEOC Employer Group Health Plans GINA Wellness Programs Young Lawyers

BREAKING: T.J. Simers Awarded $7.1 Million!

Based on the information I had, I felt that this should have been a summary judgment case for the Los Angeles Times. But the jury in Los Angeles did not agree. Law360 (and some of our readers – thank you!) reports that the...more

11/5/2015 - Age Discrimination Disability Discrimination Jury Awards Los Angeles Times

T.J. Simers Discrimination Trial: We Thought He’d Never Rest!

T.J. Simers, a well-known former sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is suing the Times for age and disability discrimination and is seeking $18 million. We’re providing regular coverage and analysis of the jury...more

10/30/2015 - Age Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Harassment LA Times Witness Statements

Straight From The Source: EEOC’s 10 Hottest Litigation Trends

Last week I heard David Lopez, General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, speak about EEOC litigation developments at the annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law conference....more

10/30/2015 - ADA Background Checks Conciliation Criminal Background Checks EEOC Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hiring & Firing Immigrants LGBT Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Retaliation Sex Discrimination

BREAKING: EEOC Issues Proposed Rule On Wellness Programs And The GINA

The proposed rule clarifies that an employer may offer, as a part of its health plan, a limited incentive to an employee whose spouse is covered under the employee’s health plan; receives health or genetic services offered by...more

10/30/2015 - ADA EEOC Employer Group Health Plans GINA Spouses Wellness Programs

T.J. Simers Discrimination Trial: At Last, The “Ethical Breach”!

Last week, I mentioned that I still didn’t really understand what “ethical breach” Mr. Simers had allegedly committed, and I threw out a request for help from someone (anyone?) with a media background....more

10/23/2015 - Age Discrimination Disability Discrimination Ethics Expert Testimony Former Employee Los Angeles Times

Denial Isn’t Just A River In Egypt – It May Be Defamation. Ask Bill Cosby.

This is essentially what recently happened to Bill Cosby. Three women said that Mr. Cosby sexually abused them many years ago, before many of you were born. The incidents fell well outside the statutes of limitations, so the...more

10/23/2015 - Bill Cosby Defamation Defense Strategies Statute of Limitations

T.J. Simers Discrimination Trial: “He Lied, And He Went Too Far!”

Mr. Simers’ attorneys called at least two Times executives to the stand this week as adverse witnesses. One, who was the newspaper’s Human Resources director in 2013, testified that Mr. Simers lied when he told Times...more

10/19/2015 - Age Discrimination Disability Discrimination Former Employee LA Times Testimony

For Boss’s Day: Seven Traits Of A “World’s Best Boss”

Happy Boss’s Day to all you bosses out there! In honor of the occasion, I reflected on all of the people who have bossed me around throughout my life (very few of whom were my employers, yuk-yuk). Seriously, at every stage of...more


DOL To Start Enforcing New Home-Care Rule November 12

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will start next month enforcing the new “Home-Care” Final Rule, which prohibits third-party employers from taking advantage of the overtime exemption for certain domestic...more

10/13/2015 - DOL Employer Liability Issues Final Rules FLSA Home Health Agencies Home Health Care Home Healthcare Workers Wage and Hour

T.J. Simers Discrimination Trial: Has He Folded Under Questioning?

T.J. Simers was in the hot seat for most of this week, being cross-examined by the attorneys for his former employer, the Los Angeles Times. News coverage of the trial has been a little sparse, but here’s what I’ve got...more

10/9/2015 - Age Discrimination Cross Examination Los Angeles Times

Performance Reviews For Marriages: What Could Go Wrong?

Marriage therapists are now advocating the use of “performance reviews” by spouses, according to an article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. “By taking time to regularly evaluate and review their relationship together,”...more

10/9/2015 - ADA EEOC Employer Liability Issues Fair Pay Act Human Resources Professionals Marriage Performance Reviews Pregnancy Discrimination

Gorilla Schtick, Juneteenth, And Quit While You’re Ahead

CorpCar Services of Houston (Texas) lost a racial harassment lawsuit filed by two employees based on a dancing gorilla (played by a white woman) who was hired to “entertain” at a mandatory safety meeting. The gorilla’s...more

10/9/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Punitive Damages

BREAKING: Young And UPS Settle Pregnancy Lawsuit

Law360 reported this morning that Peggy Young and United Parcel Service have settled their pregnancy discrimination/accommodation case that went to the Supreme Court, resulting in this decision from last March. The Supreme...more

10/5/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Settlement Young v United Parcel Service

T.J. Simers Discrimination Trial: Are You Paranoid If They Really ARE Out To Get You?

A psychologist retained by the Times testified this week that Mr. Simers scored “very high” for paranoia on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. His test results showed that he was “overly sensitive to criticism,”...more

10/5/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Age Discrimination Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Ethics Mental Illness Newspapers Testimonial Statements

HR FUN PUZZLE: Find What The AARP Did Right With This Underperforming Employee

Who, indeed. The organization recently won a nice summary judgment victory in an age discrimination suit brought in federal court in New York by a former employee. The plaintiff was 50 when she was hired by her 56-year-old...more

10/5/2015 - AARP Age Discrimination Best Management Practices Hiring & Firing Performance Reviews Summary Judgment

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