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legal RSS feed Tag: legal

What Employers Can Learn From the Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case

by Oct 14, 2014, 12:49 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.18.54 AMOver the past five years, the EEOC has seen a significant increase in charges of religious discrimination. Between FY 1999 and FY 2008, the EEOC received an average of 2,447 such charges per year. Between FY 2009 and FY 2013, the EEOC has received more than 3,000 such charges each year, with a record 4,151 charges received in FY 2011 alone. With the religious diversity of the country increasing, it is unsurprising that public and private employers and applicants and employees of faith are struggling to figure out each other’s expectations.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will be able to provide some guidance on the subject. This week, the Court agreed to review a decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals involving Abercrombie & Fitch’s decision to deny employment to applicant Samantha Elauf because she wore a headscarf to her interview. Abercrombie has adopted a “Look Policy” for its “models” or sales floor employees, which prohibits models from wearing black clothing or “caps” and subjects violators of the Look Policy to discipline up to and including termination.

Elauf is a practicing Muslim and has been wearing a hijab or headscarf since the age of 13 for religious reasons. During the interview, Elauf wore a black headscarf. The interviewing manager assumed that Elauf was a Muslim and wore the headscarf for religious reasons.  But neither she nor Elauf said anything during the interview to confirm or counter that assumption. keep reading…

California Temps Can Now Sue Employers for Staffing Firm Violations

by Sep 30, 2014, 5:13 pm ET

California State SealCalifornia employers will now share liability with their labor contractors for complying with state labor and wage laws, including safety and workers’ compensation laws.

Governor Jerry Brown this week signed into law the hotly contested AB 1897, which extends to nearly all employers rules that previously applied to temps and contract workers in the agricultural, construction, and garment industries.

Strongly supported by organized labor, the bill was labeled a “job killer” by the California Chamber of Commerce, which sought to rally its members to have the governor veto the bill.

The bill gives temps the right to sue the company, rather than the staffing agency, for violations of California labor laws. They must first give the client employer 30 days’ notice of an alleged violation. keep reading…

LinkedIn Pays; HiringSolved Plays

by Aug 8, 2014, 5:36 am ET

HiringSolved explosionWhat’s better than a hosted networking party at a recruiting conference? How about 20 pounds of Tannerite and a small arsenal of weapons, including a semi-automatic AR-15?

I’m practically giddy with appreciation for LinkedIn’s Davy and Goliath battle with startup HiringSolved. Not familiar with it? Here’s the short version: HiringSolved scraped; LinkedIn sued; HiringSolved surrendered. Now, as part of the settlement, the talent profiling aggregator has to destroy the data it collected from LI. keep reading…

Would the EEOC Like the Words You Use ?

by Jul 30, 2014, 12:05 am ET

DeadspinJust ahead of May’s NFL draft, the irreverent sports site Deadspin created a stir when it posted a tool to analyze the words used in scouting reports to describe black and white college football players.

You simply plug in your word picks to see how often they are used for players falling into those two racial groups. NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra found, among other things, that the word “gifted” appears .58 times per 10,000 words for black players and not at all for white. Plugging in “worker,” Calcaterra found it applied almost twice as often to white players as to black. And “underachiever”? The Deadspin tool shows it’s used more often to describe black players.

Now, what if instead of NFL scouting reports, this kind of analysis was used on employee performance reviews or candidate interview notes? keep reading…

U.S. Govt Updates Info on Pregnancy-related Discrimination

by Jul 15, 2014, 3:08 pm ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 11.47.11 AMThere’s new info out from the EEOC in the U.S. about pregnancy discrimination, the first big explanation of federal pregnancy-related rules in 30 years.

It’s not all recruiting related; much of what the government is spelling out deals with employees already on the job.

But, there are some sections on applicants. keep reading…

Employee-driven Non-compete Litigation: A New Hook on an Old Line

by Jul 4, 2014, 12:26 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 1.18.28 PMHypothetical situation:

John Smith, an employee with Fast and Speedy Cab Co., a taxi company, leaves his position as a dispatcher. Smith and Fast and Speedy entered into a noncompete at the beginning of Smith’s employment. Upon his departure, Smith seeks and is offered a position with a competing taxi company, also as a dispatcher. The competing taxi company, Faster and Speedier Cab Co., knows about the noncompete, but has serious questions about its enforceability. It decides to hire Smith nonetheless. What happens next? keep reading…

Long Hours; No Pay. 24 Apply Anyway

by May 9, 2014, 12:30 am ET

World's toughest job ad

If you saw that kind of ad, would you apply? Twenty four people did and were interviewed on video, which got posted on You Tube. Eighteen million views later, most of North America knows what the job is and who’s behind it.

In case you haven’t here’s a hint: “It’s not just a job. It’s probably the most important job.” One more, “If you had a life, we’d probably ask you to give that life up.” keep reading…

Recruiting to Avoid a Rocky Mountain High — the Impact of State Marijuana Laws

by Mar 31, 2014, 5:34 am ET

marijuanaHow a state law becomes a recruiting issue 

I recently visited Boulder, Colorado, and guess what: everyone there was talking about the new marijuana law. If you are recruiting leader for a large corporation, you may fail to realize how much the laws of individual states can either positively or negatively impact your recruiting in that region. Take this Colorado marijuana law, for example. As a result of the law and its related publicity, firms trying to attract talent to the state may get a noticeable increase in applicants from younger workers who view the new law as a positive thing, making the state a great place to work (For example, the University of Colorado had a 33 percent spike in freshman enrollments this year. Some have attempted to attribute the rise at least in part due to the publicity around the law).

But a recruiting leader shouldn’t be surprised to find out that state laws can also have a negative impact on recruiting. Once more using the Colorado example, there is already some indication that employees with families are having second thoughts about relocating there because they are unsure about living in a state where their children could be continually exposed to widespread marijuana use. And before you make the assumption that the recruiting implications of this law are unique, realize that the same positive and negative impacts may come from other state laws relating to high profile issues. Those might include local laws covering gay rights/marriage, abortion, access to voting, tax rates, and school choice and even, as happened in Florida, gun laws.

Recruiting Challenges in a 420 World keep reading…

We Disclaim any Responsibility for This Post

by Mar 28, 2014, 12:01 am ET

contract lawyer adBefore you read this week’s Roundup, please pardon the legal fine print, which I will dispose of forthwith.

Because this week’s post deals with lawyers, who like venomous spiders, ill-tempered rattlesnakes, and dark, lonely alleyways, are all to be avoided, we hereby disclaim any intent to injure, defraud, defame, dispossess, (add your favorite legal disclaimers here) any organization, institution, business or person living or dead.

Now, to our story: It seems in Richmond, Virginia a certain contract attorney working for a staffing firm there got frustrated and decided to go public, posting an amusing (if you aren’t the staffing firm or a contract lawyer) help wanted ad on Craigslist.

The ad has been deleted from the site, but not before AbovetheLaw.com got a copy and posted highlights, beginning with the obligatory “We are currently seeking” part. And what is that was being sought? “Licensed attorneys for upcoming projects that will likely never materialize.” keep reading…

Supreme Court to Decide if Security Check Time Is Compensable

by Mar 4, 2014, 2:48 pm ET

Amazon logo A case that has the potential to cost staffing companies — and, in turn, their clients — hundreds of millions of dollars is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices agreed to hear a FLSA suit against Amazon’s temp worker provider Integrity Staffing Solutions over whether workers should be paid for the time they spend going through company security on their way home.

Two former employees provided by Integrity who worked at Amazon’s two Nevada warehouses sued the retailer’s staffing firm demanding to be paid for the 20-25 minutes it routinely takes them to clear the daily security check. Because the case was filed as a class action, it could affect many or most of the estimated 38,000 temps at Amazon’s three dozen U.S. warehouses and distribution centers. keep reading…

Judging the Voice: The Reality of Phone Interview Bias

by Jan 24, 2014, 6:44 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 8.42.21 PMWhat do you have in common with Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Sheldon, and Adam Levine? If you spend time searching for top talent, quite a lot! After all, with the rise of HR phone screening and first-round phone interviews, recruiting is beginning to resemble the blind auditions on the blockbuster TV show, The Voice.

On The Voice, blind auditions ensure that talent is judged fairly, with no bias based on their appearance. On the recruiting front, the voice of a job candidate could unwittingly cause bias or at least weigh heavily on the decision-making process of an interviewer.

Now, some would say that candidates actually benefit from phone screenings because initial decisions are not influenced by a candidate’s appearance or body language. However, research suggests that many candidates’ voices could sway first impressions and damage their chances for a second interview. After all, it’s human nature to make silent judgments about people based on how they speak.   keep reading…

Sing all You Want, but Hang Up the Phone First

by Dec 27, 2013, 6:31 am ET

Voicemail by errorIf you are one of those unlucky recruiters staffing the office during this hiring interregnum, today’s roundup was written with your entertainment in mind.

Mostly, you can thank GeniusHR for collecting this most amazing list of employee and employer blunders and antics. For some reason, the software vendor chose a fictitious “annual report” as the vehicle for sharing these stories, all of which prove the maxim that no matter how dumb or lame a thing is, someone will do it.

I’ll share two of the more stunningly incredible complaints — anonymized to protect the guilty — that GeniusHR includes in its top 10 list: keep reading…

U.S. Govt Lists Resources for New Disabilities, Veterans Guidelines

by Dec 5, 2013, 1:19 pm ET

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.07.31 AMIf you’re following the action on the new disabilities and veterans hiring guidelines in the U.S., there’s a new site that may help a bit.

This one’s coming from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and it’s simply a list of resources to help you when sourcing and hiring people with disabilities and/or veterans.

The info is divided into categories: accommodations; tax incentives; inclusive environments; disabilities, and veterans.

While I’m at it, in case you’re a service provider yourself, here’s a link to information on getting on the resource list.

People Are Patenting Social Media Recruiting

by Nov 19, 2013, 5:03 pm ET

BeyondcomLogo_HPThis recruiting-with-social-media bit has become popular enough that some companies are trying — in some cases successfully — to patent it.

Beyond.com is one.

In the summer of 2012, it acquired the assets of a company that was struggling called JobFox. JobFox was one of the early matching companiesJobFox was later sold to Doostang. Confusing, I know, but in short, JobFox sold its assets to Beyond.com, and its domain name to Doostang.

Anyhow, Beyond.com acquired three patents and three pending patents. One of those pending patents was just awarded, for what Beyond.com says is “the invention of a technology that allows for social recruiting, the process of sourcing or recruiting job candidates through the use of social platforms.” You may have seen an intriguing press release this week about it and thought, “huh? Did Beyond just patent social media recruiting?”  keep reading…

JobDiva Claims Monster Infringed Its Patents

by Nov 19, 2013, 4:20 pm ET

jobdiva logoJobDiva, software provider to the staffing industry, has filed a federal suit against Monster Worldwide, claiming the technology behind the company’s popular 6Sense search and matching engine infringes on patents it holds.

Monster logo 2011The complaint alleges “Monster has infringed JobDiva’s patents by incorporating JobDiva’s patented resume search technology into Monster’s products and services.” It goes on to say that Monster did this “despite being informed that JobDiva held patents covering the technology.”

Monster had no immediate comment on the suit, which was just filed Monday. keep reading…

The New Customer Service: Sue the Rude

by Oct 25, 2013, 6:45 am ET

NatalieGrantHermsPoor customer experience and air travel go together like poor customer service and banking. The only difference between today’s unhappy customer and last century’s is that social media has enabled the customer to tell the world.

So it’s no surprise that gospel singer-songwriter Natalie Grant-Herms took to Twitter and Facebook when a Southwest operations agent refused to allow her and her children to board when and how she wanted. keep reading…

Oil and Pregnancy Don’t Mix, But Apples and Berries Do

by Oct 18, 2013, 6:33 am ET

apple blackberryMaybe not so much for apples and oranges, but BlackBerrys and Apples do indeed mix.

Within days of last month’s announcement of 4,500 upcoming layoffs by the sinking ship that was once BlackBerry, Apple threw a “career event” in a hotel a few minutes from the firm’s Canadian headquarters.

Sifting through the LinkedIn profiles of the mobile device maker’s engineering and operations professionals, Apple sent out personal invitations. The pitch: keep reading…

E-Verify Shutdown Means Return to Paper I-9s; H1-Bs Halted

by Oct 8, 2013, 3:29 pm ET

logo-everifyHiring has all but stopped in parts of the U.S., casualties of the federal government shutdown.

When the feds went dark last week, the E-Verify system went offline. Although the feds have waived the rule that employment verification inquiries have to be submitted within three days of hire, some employers have put hiring on hold rather than risk running afoul of immigration rules.

Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders, told Bloomberg News that builders won’t hire help as long as the system is down. keep reading…

Lawsuit Accuses LinkedIn of Hacking Users and Spamming Their Contacts

by Sep 22, 2013, 1:32 pm ET

linkedinIn a blog post Saturday, LinkedIn denied charges in a federal lawsuit that it hacked into users’ email accounts collecting addresses of their contacts in order to send them marketing messages.

“Quite simply, this is not true,” writes Blake Lawit, senior director, litigation at LinkedIn.

He was responding to a class action suit filed last week that alleges LinkedIn accessed users’ Gmail, Yahoo, and other email accounts by pretending to be the account owner.  On its website, the  Los Angeles firm of Russ August & Kabat says, “The class action lawsuit charges LinkedIn with violations of federal and state law,” and solicits others to “Tell us your story.”

In the lawsuit, the firm cites numerous examples of posts on LinkedIn’s community site complaining about LinkedIn sending invitations to their contacts without their permission or knowledge. Typical of the cited complaints in the lawsuit is this one, posted in March to LinkedIn’s Help Center: keep reading…

Final Rule on Disabilities Released in U.S.

by Aug 28, 2013, 11:08 am ET

DOLThat U.S. government proposal about disabilities hiring ERE was the first publication to unveil two years ago is now out in its final form. keep reading…