Supervisors

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Says Host User of Temporary Employee Liable for Title VII Violations

Most employers using temporary workers from an employment agency assume that they are liable as employers for certain legal claims. While a reasonable assumption, until last week, this status had never been formally...more

Employer Potentially Liable for Harassment of Supervisor by Her Subordinates

Employers are well aware of their potential liability for workplace harassment claims involving co-workers or third parties. They also understand their heightened legal responsibility when the alleged harasser is the...more

Stressed Out By Your Supervisor? Too Bad, Say California Courts

California employers may finally rejoice: there is now an employer-friendly state court decision, Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015). The case takeaway is straightforward: an employee’s...more

Another Mini-Dukes Action Revived

Current and former women employees of Wal-Mart recently won big in the Sixth Circuit in their mini-Dukes discrimination class action. The trial court had ruled that the class action was filed too late, but the court of appeal...more

NLRB Decision Highlights Problems For Colleges Responding To Organizing Efforts

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has upheld the SEIU’s narrow election victory at Laguna College of Art + Design, despite evidence that a supervisory full-time faculty member had campaigned for the union. In Laguna,...more

Taking the Stress Out of Employee Claims of Disability Caused by the Stress of Working for a Particular Supervisor

Navigating an employee’s claim of stress-related disability continues to challenge employers. Recently, the California Court of Appeal provided helpful guidance for employers when an employee claimed to be unable to work...more

Culture of Corruption in the Financial Industry: A Closer Look

A closer look at new research data about corruption in the financial industry: is the industry as far behind on organizational culture as it might seem?  A recent study, “The Street, The Bull and The Crisis: A Survey of...more

Make Sure Your Supervisors Know that Lactation Breaks Are Required by Law

Maybe once a year, I get a call from a client asking about what the law requires with regard to lactation breaks for nursing mothers. I tell them that § 207(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires them to provide (A)...more

Duty to Prevent Harm and Duty to Disclose are Both Part of General Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care

In Doe v. Superior Court (filed 5/29/15, No. H040674), the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, held that a defendant’s reasonable duty of care to prevent harm to a minor and her parents encompassed the duty...more

Confounding the equality paradigm: accommodating religious practice after EEOC v. Abercrombie - 3 steps for employers

There is a traditional defense to claims of unequal treatment: lack of knowledge. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., 575 U.S. ____ (June 1, 2015), that too was the employer’s...more

Supervisor-Caused Stress is Not a “Disability” under the FEHA

The inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing...more

Single Incident of Severe Verbal Harassment Can Be Sufficient to Establish a Hostile Working Environment

In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., 2015 WL 2116849 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the Fourth Circuit recently held that an isolated, but "extremely serious" incident of verbal harassment can establish a hostile work...more

Inability to Work Under One Boss Is Not a Qualified Disability

In Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, the Third Appellate District relied upon the repeatedly challenged holding of the First Appellate District in Hobson v. Raychem Corp. (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 614 (“Hobson”) that...more

Is Supervisor-Induced Stress a Protected Disability? California Appellate Court Says No

Employers often encounter challenging questions regarding their duty to accommodate employees who are diagnosed with stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions that allegedly impact job performance absent...more

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

Asking Supervisor to Stop Harassment Qualifies as Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may concern employers, since it gives a broad definition to Title VII retaliation claims. On April 22, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court in ruling that informal...more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Hostile Work Environment Can Be Created With A Single Racial Epithet

Despite consistent direction from the United States Supreme Court that courts should look at "all the circumstances" in determining whether a workplace environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive to give rise to an...more

NLRB Continues to Scrutinize Employer Policies - NLRB General Counsel’s Guidance Memorandum and Recent Cases Highlight NLRA Issues

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) continues to address the scope of permissible employer policies and workplace rules through guidance issued by its General Counsel and in Board decisions. In March...more

Oral Complaint to Supervisor Can Support FLSA Retaliation Claim, Says Second Circuit

On April 20, 2015, the Second Circuit overruled its existing precedent and held that oral complaints of FLSA violations, made internally to a supervisor, can form the basis for a retaliation claim under Section 215 of the...more

Supervisor’s “Smoking Gun” Comments Keep ADA Claim Alive

A recent case out of New York reminds employers of the serious impact that off-the-cuff comments can have, especially when they take place during an employee’s termination. A couple of statements uttered by a supervisor,...more

More than Just a Fable – Why the “Cat’s Paw” Matters for Employers

The Fable - “The Monkey and the Cat” is a fable (dating back to the 17th century or perhaps earlier) about a monkey who persuades a cat to pull chestnuts from the embers of a fire, only to take the reward for himself...more

Must Management Justify Treating Exempt Employees As Non-Exempt?

For years, The Big Corporation has treated its Department Supervisors as meeting all of the requirements for the executive exemption from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum-wage and overtime requirements. However,...more

A Reminder: Employers Must Train Supervisors on the Prevention of Abusive Conduct

Assembly Bill 2053 expanded the existing requirement for sexual harassment training under Government Code section 12950.1 to include training on the prevention of abusive conduct. Effective January 1, 2015, the law applies to...more

“Who is a supervisor?” Ontario Ministry of Labour releases guideline

Employers often struggle with the question of who is a “supervisor” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The answer to that question is obviously important because supervisors have legal duties under the...more

NLRB Restricts Company From Requiring Employee to Keep Performance Improvement Plan Confidential

When faced with performance or disciplinary issues, human resource professionals often turn to use of a performance improvement plan (PIP) as a method to explain to employees problems with their work and expectations for...more

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