The recent case of Carroll v. Comprehensive Women’s Health illustrates the importance of circumstances and perception when terminating a “sympathetic” employee. Indeed the opinion reads like a case study of facts and circumstances that are unfavorable for the employer. And those “bad” facts are what the court focused in on – rather than evidence that was submitted – in refusing to dismiss the plaintiff’s disability discrimination claims, and thus permitting the case to proceed to trial.
There are many reasons employers give bonuses to employees. Bonuses are a motivator. They effectively reward past contributions. Bonuses also allow employers to provide additional compensation to the workforce on a one-time basis without baking in wage increases and thus increasing the costs of wage-based benefits such as vacation. Sometimes, employers have an exceptional year and want to share the wealth with the workforce. And occasionally, employers just want to get some additional cash into their employees’ hands. While all of these reasons are benign and create good will, sometimes they result in unforeseen consequences.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken two concrete steps to provide federal contractors compliance relief.
Employers everywhere have been repeatedly warned not to automatically terminate employees who have exhausted their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Instead, employers should first consider whether the employee might be entitled to some additional leave time as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But the key question for employers has always been how much additional leave time is reasonable.
California is oft thought of as a trailblazer in the arena of sexual harassment law. Because California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act mirrors Title VII, practitioners and employers in other states often look to California cases and laws regarding sexual harassment for guidance.