Do Implicit Attitudes Interfere with Diversity Efforts?

Although many companies recognize the value of a workforce that is diverse and inclusive, and may have intuitive if unexamined ideas about what kinds of variation should be counted in measuring diversity, it isn’t easy to find concise, well-explained discussions of how diversity can be promoted and maintained. In particular, many employers struggle to enhance […]

Extreme Pressure Tactics in Investigatory Interviews May Create Employer Liability

A recent decision from the Southern District of New York serves as a cautionary example for employers investigating suspected employee misconduct. Shkreli v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 13 Civ. No. 5647 (LGS) (S.D.N.Y. March 27, 2015). During an internal review, JPMorgan Chase Bank (“Chase”) began to suspect that one of its Personal Bankers – Robert […]

Navigating Sensitive Conversations

A senior executive exhibits behavior that might indicate substance abuse; an employee coping with side effects of pain medication becomes accusatory and combative; an employee seems not to understand the difference between whistleblowing and insubordination – these situations require a firm, timely, and sensitive response that many managers are ill-prepared to provide. Internal business pressures […]

National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel Issues Guidance on Employer Policies

Recently, employer policies and agreements have come under much scrutiny from various government agencies.  As has been detailed in a prior Client Alert, the EEOC has been diligently monitoring separation agreements to ensure that the agreements do not, in its view, “discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes.”  Just yesterday, […]

Supreme Court Establishes New Framework for Pregnancy Accommodation Cases

Employers often have occasion to consider the scope of their responsibility to accommodate pregnancy-related work restrictions, and there have been sharp disagreements over the correct interpretation of federal law on this issue.  On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the employer’s federal obligations in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 12-1266, […]

Responding to Suspected FMLA Misuse

Suppose an employee requests two weeks of vacation, and the request is denied – perhaps on grounds of seniority or for operational reasons.  You then receive a doctor’s note stating that the employee needs two weeks of medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for precisely the same dates as the earlier […]

Identifying and Removing Disparate Impact

Employers implementing a mass layoff often agonize over the decisions they have to make, not just because of the hardship for employees and the potential impact on the business, but because employees might claim their selection for layoff was discriminatory.  A recent paper published by Michael Feldman, et al., on the website, Certifying and […]

Insight into Employee Promotions and Resignations from the Analysis of Networks

Companies are naturally interested in predicting which of their employees are likely to resign, and which are candidates for advancement within the organization.   A paper recently distributed by researchers on, titled Promotion and Resignation in Employee Networks, suggests that techniques borrowed from the emerging field of network science offer clues about whether promotion or resignation […]

The Retirement of Yard-Man

In this time of economic uncertainty and escalating health care costs, many employers are reconsidering promises of retiree medical benefits that were made when costs were not as high.  This issue, particularly as it arises in the context of collective bargaining, has been the subject of lively litigation across the country.  States in the Sixth […]

Looking for Patterns in Performance Evaluations

Most employers expect their managers to complete regular performance evaluations for the staff they supervise, which can be used to track employee progress and provide at least a minimal employment history.  An observer could reasonably ask, however, whether companies derive as much benefit from this process as they assume.  A January 9, 2015 online article […]