Monday, June 9, 2014

That is SO last week

Based on a reading of noteworthy court decisions, employers had a good week last week.  First, Walgreen’s termination of a gun-toting pharmacist was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court determined that Walgreens did not unlawfully terminate a pharmacist who shot his concealed weapon when robbers appeared in his store.  The shooting was a violation of Walgreens' non-escalation policy and a valid basis for the firing, the Court said.
 
In another case, which caused a lot of commentary in the employment law blogosphere, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employer did not have to offer a six-month leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation and could have an inflexible leave of absence policy that put a six-month leave cap in place.  This case runs contrary to the EEOC’s position that every leave must be individualized, with employers analyzing the impact of the leave and the ability of the employee to return to determine if such a leave is a reasonable accommodation regardless of duration.  While most commentators took this employer-friendly holding with a grain of salt, the decision itself is worth reading. It will surely be cited in a million court filings to come.
 
Additional highlights:  
 
Discrimination

  • Are Inflexible Leave Policies Lawful After All?  One Court Leaves Employers SalivatingFMLA Insights
  • The New York Times examined the gender pay gap at the top

Technology

  • Jessica Miller-Merrell takes a look through her Google Glass at  security concerns and tech in the workplace - Blogging4Jobs
  • With 28 states either enacting or contemplating enacting social media password protections for employees, should employers be asking at all?  Inside Counsel
  • Big data and whether we should use its power for good or evil was highlighted by The Guardian  

Whistleblowers
  • The SEC issued two awards to anonymous whistleblowers totaling $875,000.  WSJ Blog
  • The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating 37 cases of retaliation following whistleblowing complaints at the beleaguered Department of Veteran’s Affairs. NBC News

Posted by:  Kate Bischoff
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