Monthly Archives: May 2010

OUTBACK SETTLES A GLASS CEILING SUIT FOR $19 MILLION

The EEOC has announced that Outback Steakhouse will pay $19 million to settle a nationwide class action suit alleging that the company maintained a glass ceiling to keep women from obtaining management positions. Outback required kitchen management experience as a pre-condition to advancement, but in a Catch-22, failed to hire women into these positions. See… Read more »

MANAGERS INDIVIDUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR UNPAID WAGES

In the Ninth Circuit Nevada-based court case of Boucher vs. Shaw, three former employees of The Castaways Hotel Casino and Bowling Center, as well as their local union, sued individual managers for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court ruled that the chairman, CFO, CEO, and HR head two of whom were… Read more »

PAYING FOR EMPLOYEE EXPENSES

In Stewart v. RadioShack Corp., (US District Court Northern District 07-4499) the court held that an employee’s expense reimbursement rights can’t be waived because they failed to follow internal company procedures for requesting reimbursement. According to the court, as long as an employer knows, or should know, that employees are incurring work-related expenses, the employer… Read more »

HR OBLIGATIONS

If you’re responsible for the HR functions at your company, you face a variety of challenges. To get the job done, follow these guidelines: Keep job descriptions up to date. Job descriptions often come up in litigation whether discussing disability accommodation, quality of job performance, essential job functions, and so on. The best starting place… Read more »

FIGHTING TURNOVER

According to SHRM, turnover rates have dropped in half since 2007, from 16% to 8%, with voluntary turnover dropping from 10% to 9%. To avoid the loss of top talent, companies are offering valued employees salary increases (49%), cash retention awards (32%), stock retention awards (26%), and higher bonus payouts (25%). However, what do you… Read more »

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN DISABILITY LEAVE AND ADA ACCOMMODATION

DeRosa v. National Envelope Corporation (US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit 08-2562-cv) DeRosa became an employee of National Envelope in 1988 working as a customer service representative. In 2002, he suffered a traumatic injury to his right leg, which resulted in swelling, ulcers, and infections. DeRosa’s physician instructed him to limit the dependency… Read more »

TAKE A SURVEY

Surveys are a great way to start a dialogue with employees. When creating your survey, consider asking these questions: Why are we taking the survey in the first place? Have a specific goal in mind. Is it to get ideas? Improve the employee experience? Improve customer service? What? Who will take the survey? All employees?… Read more »

LOOKING FOR DATA THEFT CLUES

A recent article in HR Magazine on the forensic investigation of a data thief identified a checklist of information sources that employers should consider when engaging in any type of investigation: The employee’s computer, cell phones, and other company-provided devices Parking garage access records Building surveillance footage Office access logs Office telephone logs Cellular telephone… Read more »

EDITOR’S COLUMN: DARK HR

I was listening recently to an interesting Nova Science Now podcast which noted that scientists can’t account for the vast majority of the matter and energy in our universe. For lack of a better term, we call this unknown “dark matter”� or “dark energy.” I began asking: “How much dark matter or energy exists in… Read more »