Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Latest Posts › Hiring & Firing


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

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

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

Double Whammy For Employer Who Won’t Accommodate Pregnancy — But Will The EEOC’s Case Survive?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit last week in a federal court in Pennsylvania against Landis Communities (retirement communities), claiming that Landis unlawfully refused to accommodate the pregnancy and...more

9/30/2015 - ADA ADAAA EEOC Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Hiring & Firing Medical Leave Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Screening Procedures Young v United Parcel Service

When Terminating An Employee, Is A Clean Break Better Than A Long Limbo?

If you have a poor performer, is it better to make a clean break and fire him, or is it better to prolong his (and your) agony? That is obviously a biased question, but some employers will do almost anything to avoid...more

9/11/2015 - Barack Obama Best Practices Constructive Discharge Executive Orders Federal Contractors Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals IBM Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Reasonable Accommodation Sick Leave Statute of Limitations Termination Transparency

Technology Blunder Lands Ex-Employee In Court

The Winston-Salem Journal (my hometown paper – yay!) reports that a company is suing a former employee in the North Carolina Business Court for breach of his confidentiality and non-compete agreements.* *The article...more

9/7/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Employment Contract Hiring & Firing Mobile Devices Non-Compete Agreements Popular Text Messages

Yes, Employers May Have To Accommodate Even “Crazy” Religious Beliefs.

Employers, it is a losing battle to debate theology with your employees who request religious accommodation. If you don’t believe me, ask Consolidated Coal Company and its parent, CONSOL Energy, which have been ordered to pay...more

9/7/2015 - Coal Industry Hiring & Firing Oil & Gas Reasonable Accommodation Religious Accommodation Religious Discrimination Termination

Can An Employee Be Fired For Having Too Many Kids?

Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer announced this week that she is expecting twin girls, and Yahoo’s stock reportedly took an immediate dive. (H8rs!) Mayer said that she plans to take only two weeks off, and she can probably manage...more

9/7/2015 - Discrimination Hiring & Firing Popular Sex Discrimination Title VII Yahoo!

Seems Like This Should Be An Excused Absence.

Geoffrey Tolliver, a Medicaid eligibility specialist for the City, went out on a medical leave of absence for cancer in November 2013, and he passed away in December 2014. The City recently moved to terminate his employment...more

8/14/2015 - Hiring & Firing Medical Leave Termination

Employment Law Autopsy: “Old Fart” Gets Fired

Here’s a lesson: Don’t call your employee an “old fart,” especially if you think you may need to fire him someday. And don’t call his co-workers “old farts” right before you fire the co-workers. ...more

7/24/2015 - Age Discrimination Corporate Counsel Hiring & Firing Wrongful Termination

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

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

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

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

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

Should An Employer Fight Unemployment? The Debate Continues . . .

You may remember that I stirred up some contentiousness a few weeks ago when I suggested that employers should not challenge unemployment claims except in the worst cases. ...more

2/20/2015 - Best Management Practices Hiring & Firing Termination Unemployment Benefits Willful Misconduct

“Weakest link” is no way to run your workplace

He was fired only 78 days later, and he hadn’t even had a chance to take over the show. His “listening tour” with employees, which began in September and was continuing when he was fired, is supposedly what did him in....more

11/24/2014 - Hiring & Firing Holiday Parties Holidays UAW Volkswagen

Top 10 Technology Blunders for Employers

As one who presumably has no nude selfies, you may not be too concerned about a “hack” like the one that continues to afflict celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty...more

10/20/2014 - Cloud Computing Corporate Counsel Data Collection Data Protection EEOC Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Facebook FTC Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Social Media Technology

A Reader Asks: “Is It Me, Or Has Job Interviewing Become Really Complicated?”

Last week, I wrote about the two situations in which an employer should ask an applicant about a disability or a religious belief or practice that might require reasonable accommodation. (As I emphasized last week, 99 percent...more

10/13/2014 - Corporate Counsel Disability Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants PDA Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination

An Employer Should Never Ask About Disability Or Religion. Except When It Should.

Everybody knows that an employer should never, ever, ever ask an applicant about religion or disability until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. And maybe not even then. Right?...more

10/6/2014 - Abercrombie & Fitch ADA Disability Discrimination Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Religious Discrimination SCOTUS Screening Procedures

Employers, Don’t Commit These 5 Firing Faux Pas!

Do you think you have that employee termination all buttoned up, and no one will be able to challenge you? Defending that EEOC charge will be a slam dunk? No plaintiff’s lawyer in his right mind would represent your...more

9/5/2014 - EEOC Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Termination

Sex Stereotyping, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, And Federal Law – Crazy-Mixed-Up Right Now

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is dead again, so there isn’t a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Is there any federal law on same-sex harassment or discrimination? If so, what is it?...more

7/25/2014 - Discrimination Employer Liability Issues ENDA Harassment Hiring & Firing Sex Discrimination Sexual Orientation Discrimination Title VII

Employment Law Believe It Or Not!

I thought only elephants had two-year pregnancies. As I’ve discussed here before, “pregnancy” for purposes of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act includes a lot of things besides the actual nine months of physical...more

7/11/2014 - Corporate Counsel Discrimination EEOC Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Marijuana Pregnancy Discrimination Race Discrimination

ADA interactive process: A quiz for employers

What do you really know about the “interactive process” under the Americans with Disabilities Act? This is one area in which I am always getting questions, and I think it’s the terminology that scares employers. “Interactive...more

6/20/2014 - ADA Disability Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Interactive Process Reasonable Accommodation

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