Nothing to Sneeze at: Chemical Sensitivities, Bed Bugs, Zika and Flu Shots

I recently spoke at the SHRM 2018 Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago. My topic was  “Health Issues are Nothing to Sneeze at: Chemical Sensitivities, Bed Bugs, Zika and Flu Shots.”

SHRM had over 18,000 attendees. It was a great opportunity to discuss some of the legal issues employers face when trying to manage a disease outbreak and other developing issues impacting employee health. Below are my top takeaways for those of you who were not able to attend. Continue Reading

Continuing Work Authorization for Hondurans in Wake of TPS Termination

Following the recent trend, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras.  TPS will terminate for qualifying citizens of Honduras on January 5, 2020.  Hondurans currently in TPS status may continue working in the United States through January 5, 2020, if they re-register. Continue Reading

Covering Summer Interns Under Your Employee Benefit Plans – You Can’t Just Forget About Them

It is prime time of the year for hiring “interns.” They usually are high school, college or even graduate students looking for work experience. Certain interns may be unpaid (the analysis of whether interns must be paid is an important issue but beyond the scope of this blog post). However, many companies provide paid internships. If the interns are paid employees, you may have to cover them under your employee benefit plans.  At a minimum, you can’t just think “oh, those are interns, not real employees; I don’t need to worry about them.” Think again. Continue Reading

Does the EEOC Have Your E-mail Address?

In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implemented Phase I of its Digital Charge System for employers to interact with the EEOC thru a Respondent Portal, and to access and respond to a Charge of Discrimination. If a Charge of Discrimination has been filed against your company, the EEOC now e-mails the Notice of Charge of Discrimination to employers and provides a password to access the online portal. When you log in, you can view and download the Charge and add your attorney’s contact information and provide him/her access to the Respondent Portal.  You or your attorney also can respond to a mediation request, change contact information, and upload a position statement. Continue Reading

Hurricane Season is Officially Here – Is Your Company Prepared?

After years of good fortune, the 2017 Hurricane Season severely impacted most of South Florida and the Gulf Coast. Even those of us who suffered little or no property damage probably lost power for at least a few days, and many had no electricity for weeks.  Businesses had difficulty functioning without electricity, internet access, and safe drinking water.  Many workers were simply unable to come to work – difficulty navigating roads full of debris or without working traffic lights, addressing personal needs, or providing childcare because schools were closed.  Let’s hope that 2018 is a quiet hurricane season, but just in case, below are some steps and policies to prepare for the worst. Continue Reading

Top Takeaways from our Annual Tampa Labor & Employment Law Seminar

Our first Annual Tampa Labor & Employment Law Seminar was a success, with more than 70 attendees! We anticipate growing the seminar in the coming years and will use your feedback to determine future topics and content. Thank you to all who attended.

Congratulations to our blog contest winner! You will receive complimentary registration to our 2019 Tampa Seminar.

  • Regina Speed, Palm Pavilion of Clearwater

Congratulations to our Tampa Bay Lightning tickets winner!

  • Rolando Jimenez, Tampa General Hospital

In addition to a number of essential concepts from our Miami Seminar (including the ADA, Sexual Harassment, the FMLA, and I-9s), our Tampa seminar included new insights and additional HR considerations. Continue Reading

“You’re Too Experienced” – Age Discrimination?

In January 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a federal lawsuit in Miami, Florida, against Seasons 52, a national restaurant chain.  The EEOC alleged Seasons 52 discriminated against older job applicants at 35 of its restaurants nationwide.

During the litigation, the EEOC presented testimony from over 135 applicants that Seasons 52’s hiring managers inquired about their age, and made comments such as, “Seasons 52 girls are younger and fresh,” “We are really looking for someone younger,” and “Seasons 52 hires young people.” The EEOC also alleged that interviewers told rejected applicants they are “too experienced,” which is a seemingly age-neutral statement. Continue Reading

Top Takeaways from our 28th Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar

Another successful seminar in the books! Thank you to the nearly 400 attendees who came from near and far. We hope you enjoyed the day and that our presentations provided timely, relevant and valuable insight.

Congratulations to our blog contest winners! You will receive complimentary registrations to our 2019 Seminar.

    • Monelle Petgrave, Amadeus North America
    • Dawn Gevat, JCD Sports Group

The top takeaways from each of our sessions: Continue Reading

REGISTRATION OPEN! Annual TAMPA Labor & Employment Law Seminar

Thank you to those of you who attended our  28th Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar in Miami. It was a huge success with over 400 attendees. Be sure to keep an eye out for our top takeaways post coming soon.

In addition to the Miami seminar, we are excited to bring a similar seminar to Tampa this year! Please join us for our Annual TAMPA Labor & Employment Law Seminar Friday, May 18 from 8am-3pm at the Tampa Bay History Center Museum.

Speakers from our Labor & Employment group will cover the following topics:

  • Investigating Harassment Complaints Post Weinstein – Are You Prepared?
  • There Are Two Big HR Issues You Don’t Know About – And They’re Out There!
  • Substance Over Forms: FMLA & I-9
  • You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About the ADA

Continue Reading

Retaliation Claims: Shield, Sword, or Both?

Did you know that 48.8% of the charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC in the 2017 fiscal year alleged retaliation as a result of employees asserting claims of employment discrimination? In a distant second place were allegations of race discrimination.  In third place: disability discrimination. Employers should expect retaliation claims to continue to lead the pack.  

To give you an idea, in just the past two weeks, Coral Gables Trust Company settled with the EEOC in Miami on sexual harassment and retaliation claims for $180,000 along with other non-monetary terms; a printing company in Nevada settled for $242,000; and a grower in Washington settled for $95,000. On the upside, after litigating claims of retaliation, employers prevailed last week in Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan and Florida.   Continue Reading

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