The summary judgment decision issued on October 31st by Ohio federal district court judge David Dowd in Barnett v. Aultman Hospital contains important reminders for both private employers and their employees. For employers, there is the reminder that they are not bound by the First Amendment’s protections for free speech. And for employees: Always remember to confirm that your supervisor actually has been fired before going to Facebook to celebrate.
Continue Reading Ohio Federal District Court Rejects Public Policy Wrongful Termination Claim Against Private Employer Based On First Amendment

n Hewitt v. L.E. Myers Co., 2012-Ohio-5317, the Ohio Supreme Court held last week that protective gloves and sleeves are “personal protective items” that an employee controls and not equipment safety guards for purposes of stating a cause of action under Ohio’s intentional tort statute, which provides an exception to an employer’s workers’ compensation immunity.
Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Holds that Employee Not Wearing PPE Did Not Amount to a Deliberate Removal of an Equipment Safety Guard and Could Not Establish an Intentional Tort Claim

As we told reminded you last month here, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency that has enforcement responsibility over the Fair Credit Report Act (“Act”), revised the forms which employers must use to comply with the FCRA, effective January 1, 2013. There was only one little problem with the forms the CFPB provided for use: They contained various typos and technical errors that the CFPB now has recognized in its Supplementary Information in the November 14, Federal Register Notice.
Continue Reading Not So Fast … CFPB Issues Revised Forms for FCRA Compliance by January 1, 2013, First Ones Contained Typos and Other Errors

By now, you should know that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued “Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions”, which is designed to restrict criminal background checks by employers, but you may not know that enforcement responsibility for the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has been transferred from the Federal Trade Commission to the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).
Continue Reading Complying with the FCRA Amendments Before January 1, 2013 – a Step-By-Step Guide

Senate Bill 383 is an extremely employer-friend piece of legislation that was introduced earlier this week in the Ohio state Senate. The bill seeks to overhaul the Ohio’s employee-friendly employment discrimination laws, statutory and common law, and proposes the following non-exhaustive list of significant amendments.
Continue Reading Senate Bill 383 is an Ohio Employer’s Wish List

Charlotte Beck had been employed with Buckeye Pipeline Services Company (“Buckeye”) for over 16 years as a 12-hour operator. In 2009, however, Buckeye underwent a company-wide reduction in force. Buckeye created a “design team” to reform the organizational structure of the Company and implement a team-based leadership model that would be used going forward.
Continue Reading Does the Use of Subjective Criteria in a RIF Show Discrimination? The Sixth Circuit Says Not Necessarily

Following up on my post on the subject, I had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores, in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Wal-Mart’s firing of an employee for medicinal marijuana use is lawful.
Continue Reading Video Interview: Discussing the 6th Circuit’s Ruling on Medical Marijuana Firing with LXBN

Following closely after the NLRB’s first social media decision in Costco Wholesale Corporation (NLRB Case No. 34-CA-012421) just weeks ago, an ALJ for the Board has issued a mammoth 43 page decision in EchoStar Technologies (NLRB Case No. 27-CA-066726) striking down numerous employer policies that in his opinion unlawfully chilled employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity.

This post takes a look at the policies challenged in the EchoStar decision and summarizes where employers stand now.
Continue Reading One Day You’re In, the Next You’re Out: A Policy-by-Policy Analysis of the Fallout for Employer Policies in the Wake of the NLRB’s Decisions in Costco and EchoStar

Even though employee’s complaint about her supervisor slapping her on the buttocks was internally investigated by the employer, it was not protected activity and could not support her retaliatory discharge claim.
Continue Reading Slap Happy Celebration of Work Accomplishment Not Severe or Pervasive Enough for Sexual Harassment or Retaliation Claim