Monday, September 15, 2014

That is SO last week

Last week was rough for professional sports organizations.
Employment law issues (and related public relations issues) seemed to be everywhere in pro sports.  In the National Football League, the League and individual teams dealt with the Ray Rice suspension, the Ray Rice/Roger Goodell investigation debacle, the Carolina Panthers’ decision not to play Greg Hardy following his domestic violence conviction, and the Vikings’ decision to bench Adrian Peterson after his child abuse indictment. In the National Basketball Association, the Atlanta Hawks placed General Manager Danny Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence as a result of race-based comments about a player, and in Major League Baseball, a new discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Mets.
Because some of the conduct at issue occurred outside work, and because of the high profile of the employees and managers involved, it’s difficult to think of these as routine employment situations.  Nevertheless, as employers, the teams have legal obligations to meet and potential liability to consider.
In other developments:
  • The Seventh Circuit dismissed a harassment and discrimination lawsuit because the employer took swift and appropriate action to stop harassment and discrimination.
  • Because the employer failed to mention years of insubordination that led to the decision to fire an employee in her termination letter, a federal district court denied summary judgment and gave the employee a trial.
  • The EEOC sued Dunkin’ Donuts for religious discrimination after it refused to hire a Seventh Day Adventist.
  • The EEOC sued Cummins Power after it terminated an employee for his refusal to sign what the EEOC believes is an overly broad medical release.
  • With the latest and greatest technology, employees are seeing improved flexibility but less time off as a SHRM study showed some surprising trends.
  • The New York Times highlighted the social media postings, likes, subsequent terminations, and policy that led the NLRB to find a sports bar in violation of the NLRA.
  • Vala Afshar wrote about how technology is one of the five trends shaping the future of work.
  • An Arkansas judge was dismissed after he used social media to comment on the cases before him.
And stay tuned here for more about California’s new sick leave law and the exception for home health care workers.
Posted by: Judy Langevin and Kate Bischoff

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