"harassment" Blog Tag

Dr. Love(less) he don't need no office life

February 14th, 2020

Robin Shea at Constangy

The past two years, Robin Shea at Constangy has been kind enough to share her interview with Dr. Loveless, renowned advice columnist to . . . those of us who chose the office life. And sometimes those who don't. As long as it pays. Whatever.

This year, Amour De Docteur takes a shot at diagnosing:

  • how not to get called into HR for sexual harassment because "call you soon" means something different to your work colleague 
  • lookback LGBT discrimination
  • live-in relationship: commitment, sleeping dogs lying around or nepotism?
  • is a JD a real doctor, loveless or not?
  • suspicion.

(Yes, the title of this blog is an actual line from the lyrics of "Dr. Love" by heavy glam metal disco ballad rock band Kiss.)

Second-guessing the advice columns: Get off my lawn!

October 8th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

Working with older employees is something we all do, just as all of us work with younger employees – it is a function of working with people who aren't the same age as you.

But while there are almost as many "How to Relate to Millenials" workshops as there are opportunities for Than Merrill to make you money in real estate, where are the "How to Relate to the Mother Lode of Work Experience and Life Lessons Standing Right in Front of You" workshops?

Robin Shea provides 5 things Millennialites need to hear (OK, that was my Dad channeling through me).

PS – Robin's totally scientific Age-Based Teasing Matrix (above) is pretty sweet. 

IL Artificial hiring, salary history, required training, etc.

September 13th, 2019

Hannah Sorcic and Adam Weiner at ReedSmith

If you hire artificially, can you pay in Sweet N' Low?

Can you ask about an applicant's salary history? Is sexual harassment prevention triaining mandatory? Every year? Are non-employees protected from harassment by the law? Another mandatory annual reporting requirement every year?

Hannah Sorcic and Adam Weiner answer these questions (well, maybe not about paying in Sweet N' Low) and more.

Tourette syndrome, the ADA and racial harassment

August 28th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

Is Tourette syndrome a disability?

Is the "N" word racial discrimination?

Can you fire someone who has Tourette syndrome?

And what about constructive discharge?

Robin Shea covers all of this and more.

NY 11 employment laws you missed if you blinked (not 10)

February 25th, 2020

Jennifer Queliz at Cozen O'Connor

Not content to simply stop at 10 new employment laws and regulations, the state that gives us:

  • Eleven Madison Park (the #4 restaurant in the world),
  • Eleven (a clothing line aiming "to enhance the conversation amongst footballers – the world over")
  • 11R (an art gallery that hasn't updated their website since 2017)

pushes over the double-digit threshhold ala Spinal Tap and their magic amps with 11 new employment laws and regulations that have passed or gone into effect this year.

IL Tidal wave (or tsunami) of new laws for Illinois employers

August 15th, 2019

David Moore and Peter Gillespie at Laner Muchin

Look, I am not one to argue with attorneys because you never know when you might need one, so you decide for yourself the correct roaring-wall-of-water metaphor.

Regardless, any Illinois employer that either has or deals with:

  • employee handbooks
  • confidentiality
  • cannabis
  • policies
  • salary (history, sharing info, pay equity)
  • REQUIRED ANNUAL TRAINING (sexual harassment)
  • employees (probably should have just lead with that)

would be well advised (attorney-speak for "just do it") to read what David Moore and Peter Gillespie have to say and then execute said prescribed actions elucidated (attorney-speak for "just do it") (attorneys have a rather extensive alternative vocabulary).

Make your workplace a SUE-free zone

August 14th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

To be clear (for those of you who don't look at the pictures in my posts, which frankly is a little hurtful), I am not referring to SUE the T. Rex (and yes that is the correct spelling, just ask The Field Museum).

I am referring to getting a piece of certified mail that may make you wish you were battling SUE and not being sued.

We turn again to Robin Shea for five of ten ways employers get themselves sued, as she weaves together medicine, Stranger Things, needles, nachos, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and hygiene,

"Fat shaming" at work can cost more than money, a lot of money

April 22nd, 2019

Robin Shea at Constagy

Fat-shaming at work (and everywhere, but we do pander to the SEO gods) is rude, offensive, clueless, inappropriate, (insert your own adjective(s)), and expensive.

Not always expensive, but never helpful.

Robin Shea provides some background, including some help with the behaviour requirements for a legal claim of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" (spoiler alert - did this particular case reach the burden of proof? - OK, not really a spoiler alert) and a bit of potent advice" "Employers should never ignore such behavior".

I forgot ignorant. So ignorant.


If Saint Valentine had a workplace romance policy what would it be

February 13th, 2019

Emily Reber at Troutman Sanders

Workplace relationships don't work, at least for the workplace.

But they are going to happen anyway, so Emily Reber provides some policy options: prohibiting, discouraging and requiring disclosure (love contracts).

Workplace romance red (heart-shaped) flags

March 12th, 2019

Emily Fullerton at Schwabe

Workplace romance - flirting, unwanted gifts, and scheduling someone just because they are single, unmarried or childless - can cause problems for managers, supervisors and employees. Emily Fullerton helps you keep Cupid, and lawsuits, at bay whether it is Valentine's Day or not.

Super Bowl LIII and getting fired from your G.O.A.T.

January 28th, 2019

Katie Basch at Kastner Westman & Wilkins

Whether getting your goat means making someone angry or getting your G.O.A.T. means choosing Tom Brady as the Greatest of All Time, it can create issues in the workplace. So yes, your opinion and how you express it – belittling, harassing, verbally abusing, bullying – CAN get you fired.

Katie Basch provides some examples, a Cleveland Browns quiz, a couple recommendations, some good background material on bullying in the workplace, and several G.O.A.T. references.

How to Address an Unflattering Video of an Employee

January 25th, 2019

Robin Shea at Constangy

If it hasn't happened yet, there is a good chance that one of your employees will show up in a posted video in a less than flattering light, and that light is going to reflect on your company.

Days past, you would have taken the video at face value and determined disciplinary actions, maybe even termination, based solely on the video.

Knee-jerk doesn't work any more. Maybe now it is KnoW-jerk, as in know the employee is no jerk. And video, especially just a snippet, doesn't always tell the whole story.

Robin Shea helps you address the situation with a PR statement you should keep close at hand.

Why You Should Care About Employment Law

January 23rd, 2019

Jenny Goltz at Cozen O'Connor

Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, there are a few very common employment law pitfalls that all emerging com...

One of our favorites, Robin Shea, invites you into her Christmas HR world with a Christmas-themed quiz featuring:

  • Santa
  • Bob Cratchit
  • circumnavigating the globe in one evening in a sleigh pulled by reindeer
  • Ralphie
  • Rudolph
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • The Grinch.

Thanks Robin!

And to all a good night!

Holiday party what-would-you-dos

December 18th, 2018

Robin Shea at Constangy

Real life scenario 1: A very high-performing, squeaky clean employee drinks too much at the holiday party and tries to kiss a colleague.

Real life scenario 2: A colleague / mentee / impressionable underling asks if it is a career-limiting move not to attend a "dreaded company holiday party".

Discuss (if with yourself, we recommend pretending you are on the phone so people will accept your discussion with the ether).

Now grade yourself against the expert, Robin Shea.

MeToo, avoiding women, and the modified Mike Pence Rule

December 7th, 2018

Robin Shea at Constangy

One way to for men to avoid a sexual harassment claim is to avoid women. Not coincidently, that is also a way to run right into a sex discrimination claim.

So is the so-called two-step "Mike Pence Rule" (the Vice President reportedly (1) doesn't have dinners alone with women, and (2) doesn't attend parties unless his wife comes with him) a way or no way?

Robin Shea tweaks the Mike Pence Rule while debunking some "avoid" myths.

Holiday stew – ingredients for a happy and non-litigious holiday

December 17th, 2018


Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.

Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-how to help you salvage your holiday stew, including 1/2 half dry cup Secret Santa, 2 - 3 jiggers holiday party(s) - adjust accordingly, 1 medium ugly sweater, 14 oz box decorations (workplace or workspace, depending on your preference), enough year-end bonus calculation to make your eyes water

My holiday stew was oyster stew that my Mom made for Christmas Eve. Never did learn why.

Swearing at work – 7 rules

September 19th, 2018

Robin Shea at Constangy

Consider this your Cuss Class and Robin Shea is your instructor as she rips off George Carlin with her "Seven Rules About Dirty Words At Work":

  1. Less is more
  2. If you must, use a "nice cuss"
  3. Lord's name in vain brings pain
  4. Never at someone
  5. If you gotta, be equal opportunity
  6. No cuss(tomer)ing
  7. Beware double meanings

NY: Draft model sexual harassment policy/training released

August 31st, 2018

Frank Kerbein at The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. (BCNYS) is helping encourage employers to provide comments on the recently released drafts of both the model sexual harassment policy and model sexual harassment training.

Frank Kerbein, Director of the Center for Human Resources at BCNYS provides a quick review and key provisions in each. Frank will also be presenting a webinar, New York State's New Sexual Harassment Law: What You Need to Know, on September 13.

Round up stew: sick leave, harassment, non-compete, etc.

August 28th, 2018

Shenna Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Attention. Attention. The following jurisdictions had stuff change:


That is not all. Stuff will continue to change. That's life.*

*That's what people say, flying high in April, shot down in May.

Should you give your employees a little Slack – or do they have enough already?

February 4th, 2019

Caroline Pham and Collin Cook at Fisher Phillips

Slack is:

  1. the fastest growing business application in history
  2. two casual trouser
  3. enough rope for someone to shoot themselves in the foot
  4. all of the above

Correct. And for those unfamiliar with Slack the business application, it is a cloud-based “team collaboration tool.” In simple terms, it is Facebook Chat / Google Hangouts for the business world: an instant messaging application that allows users to send messages and share files through online conversations.

It is also one more technological "upgrade" that creates new opportunities for harassment, wage/hour issues and privacy concerns.

Caroline Pham and Collin Cook provide what to look for and best practices to help you avoid the foot shooting thing.