Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

How Would You Rate Yelp As An Employer?

How many stars would you give Yelp as an employer? Read on! I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about Talia Ben-Ora, the Yelp employee who was trying to live in the San Francisco area working as a minimum-wage customer...more

2/25/2016 - Hiring & Firing Yelp

BREAKING: Transgender Claim Will Go To Jury

Last year, Tommy Eden had a post about a gender identity lawsuit in which an employer in Georgia actually won summary judgment. A reader alerted me last night that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit...more

1/15/2016 - Employment Discrimination Gender Identity Hiring & Firing Summary Judgment Transgender

Trojan Travails: Coach Sarkisian’s Alcoholism-Discrimination Lawsuit Against USC

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on...more

12/14/2015 - ADA Coaches Disability Discrimination Drug & Alcohol Abuse FEHA Hiring & Firing Interactive Process Reasonable Accommodation University of Southern California (USC)

As The Rotunda Turns . . . Affair, Coverup, Retaliation — And Lawsuit Against State House

You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats back....more

12/14/2015 - Defamation Free Speech Hiring & Firing Political Scandals Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies Wrongful Termination

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

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

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