Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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Appearance code quiz for employers!

How much can you do – and not do – about your employees’ personal appearance and grooming? Take this quiz and find out! As usual, I’ll have the answers at the end, so if you get one wrong, no one but you will know....more

11/4/2016 - Appearance Policy Hiring & Firing Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination

Peanut Passions, The ADA, And Co-Workers Who Take An Employee’s Allergy With A Grain Of Salt

Karla Miller of the “WorkAdvice” column in the Washington Post had a doozy last week. I’m going to assume that all the people involved in this story are female. I’m probably wrong, but that will allow me to make up fake...more

10/7/2016 - ADA Disability Food Allergies Hiring & Firing Reasonable Accommodation

The “Onionhead” Case: Fringe Beliefs And Reverse Religious Discrimination By Employers

Onionhead is this incredibly pure, wise and adorable character who teaches us how to name it – claim it – tame it – aim it. He wants everyone to know how they feel and then know what to do with those feelings. He helps us...more

10/7/2016 - EEOC Reasonable Accommodation Religious Accommodation Religious Discrimination

EEOC Small Business Resource Center: Two thumbs up!

I spent some time yesterday at the new Small Business Resource Center, which went live this week on the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I think it’s great. Small businesses, which may be just...more

9/29/2016 - Discrimination EEOC Reasonable Accommodation Small Business

School’s Out! So What’s With This Summer Employment Law Quiz?

No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks . . . except for one little quiz on employment law issues that come up during the summer. Don’t worry about your score – I’m told that Teacher already has...more

6/24/2016 - Dress Codes Employer Group Health Plans FMLA Managers Reasonable Accommodation Sexual Harassment Young Lawyers

Military Employment Rights: A Recap For The Memorial Day Weekend

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, here’s a summary of the rights of employees who take leaves of absence to serve our country, and their family members. USERRA - The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment...more

5/27/2016 - ADA FMLA Leave of Absence Reasonable Accommodation Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USSERA)

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

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

Who Was Naughty, And Who Was Nice In Employment Law This Year

The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic and almost impossible for employers to...more

12/23/2015 - DOL EEOC Job Applicants NLRB OSHA Over-Time Paternity Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination Sanctions SCOTUS Summary Judgment Wellness Programs

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)

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: 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

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

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 Employees Trust Human Resources?

After the initial NYT story ran, saying the workplace at Amazon is cutthroat — still uses “forced rankings” and even encourages employees to secretly bad-mouth each other to their bosses, has employees who break down in tears...more

8/24/2015 - Amazon Classification Employer Liability Issues Human Resources Professionals Jeff Bezos Misclassification Popular Race Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Sexual Harassment

Six Things About The ADA That Even An Employer Can Love.

When President George H.W. Bush signed you into law in 1990, I had been practicing employment law for less than two years, so I feel like you and I grew up together....more

7/31/2015 - ADA Disabilities Disability Discrimination Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Undue Hardship Young Lawyers

This Week In Employment Law, With A Lick And A Promise

It’s been a hectic week for me (I have a trial coming up), and so here are some links to employment law blog posts and workplace news items that I hope will entertain and edify....more

7/13/2015 - ADA Facebook FMLA Free Speech Human Resources Professionals Obergefell v. Hodges Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination Retaliation Same-Sex Marriage

EEOC’s Revised Pregnancy Guidance: Now, Just Barely More Flexible!

Last Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its amended guidance on pregnancy discrimination and accommodation in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Young v. UPS, issued in March 2015. The...more

7/3/2015 - Corporate Counsel EEOC Employee Rights Employment Policies Guidance Update PDA Pregnancy Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

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

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

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

“State Of The Union” On Substance Abuse And The Workplace

Where are we these days with respect to mind-altering substances and the workplace? Here’s the latest, with the “substances” discussed in alphabetical order. This blog post is guaranteed accurate™ for at least the next five...more

3/6/2015 - ADA Drug & Alcohol Abuse E-Cigarettes Illegal Drugs Marijuana Medical Marijuana Reasonable Accommodation Tobacco Workplace Safety

Employment Law Advice You Should Never Follow

This is terrible advice on so many levels. First, an employee who doesn’t have even the relatively minimal income provided by unemployment is going to be that much more likely to sue you — as a matter of financial survival,...more

12/15/2014 - ADA Discipline Disparate Treatment Employer Liability Issues Reasonable Accommodation Title VII Unemployment Benefits Zero Tolerance Policies

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