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February 2012 Archives

Can Employers Require High School Diploma From Learning Disabled?

If you are learning disabled and can’t get a high school diploma, what are you supposed to do if an employer requires a high school diploma for a job?

This was the question that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently grappled with, reports Employer Brief.

The major implication of the clarifying letter (originally available here), noted Employer Brief, is not that it is now illegal to require a high school diploma. Instead, an employer can still require a high school diploma, just that someone who can’t get a high school diploma because of a learning disability needs to be allowed to show their competence in another way.

EEOC's New Publications on Veterans With Disabilities

The federal agency, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recently introduced a series of new publications related to the employment of veterans with disabilities, reports the EEOC website.

The new EEOC guides are necessary due to certain changes related to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008. The changes made it easier for vets with certain impairments — like traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder — to get reasonable accommodations. Many veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan require help with PTSD accommodation.

The Guide for Wounded Veterans helps answers questions about service-related disabilities.

Tyson Foods Epilepsy Discrimination Settlement

Tyson Foods, whom everyone that eats chicken knows and loves, was put in the position of making an epilepsy discrimination settlement, reports the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The incident involving Tyson's alleged discrimination centered on Mark White, who had been seeking a job in open maintenance. White was allegedly not hired because of epilepsy. This occurred even though his epilepsy had apparently been under control for more than twelve years. White had even been employed by Tyson in the past. However, this time around, rather than hiring him, Tyson instituted a new evaluation policy for epilepsy, and excluded him from the job.

Tyler Nursing Home Age Discrimination Lawsuit

A Tyler nursing home was met with an age discrimination lawsuit after a nurse was terminated, reports the Southeast Texas Record.

The Tyler nursing home (MSHC Bonner Street Plaza) age discrimination lawsuit was brought by Glinda Hutchings in the Eastern District of Texas.

The backstory is that she had worked at the Tyler Nursing Home for 19 years. One day she s spoken to regardng errors allegedly made by other nurses. Hutchings was then offered a severance package, at which point she was allegedly told, "we are going to make you a deal and at your age, you ought to run with it."

When she failed to take the deal she was terminated.

Texas A&M Nondiscrimination Memo Adds Gender Identity Protection

For the first time in its long and storied history, Texas A&M University will add sexual orientation, gender discrimination, and gender expression, to its nondiscrimination employment memo, reports the Battalion.

The initiative, led by President R. Bowen Loftin, calls on the Texas A&M Board of Regents to adopt a non-discrimination policy that includes the GLBT community.

“Prior to this statement, because Texas is an at-will state, employees could, hypothetically be fired for being GLBT,” one of the activists told the paper.

The actual text of the memo is as follows:

Significant Discrimination Against Working Pregnant Women

Since 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has resolved nearly 52,000 pregnancy discrimination cases, reports the Chicago Tribune. And the damages from such cases have been upwards of $150 million. The announcement was made by the EEOC's legal counsel, Peggy Mastroianni.

The issue of pregnancy discrimination has been getting particular attention because of the now infamous lactation discrimination case handed down in Houston, as reported by FindLaw's Houston Employment Law News.

Sexually Hostile Work Environment Settlement in North Texas

Hobson Air Conditioning, Inc. of Northern Texas was recently in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) cross-hairs and decided to settle a day before the case went to a jury, reports the EEOC's website.

Hobson Air Conditioning was accused by former installation coordinator Misty Kratky for being put in a sexually hostile work environment, particularly as she was the only female.

According to the allegations, Kratky was faced with vulgar comments and unwanted touching. These included her supervisor asking her to show him her breasts and even exposing himself multiple times. And even though Kratky reported the harassment, nothing was done about it.

Eventually, Misty Kratky had no choice but to quit.

Lactation Discrimination Case Creates Massive Controversy

A Houston judge has sparked what is being dubbed the lactation discrimination controversy by saying that that a woman who was fired for pumping at work did not suffer sex discrimination, reports KENS 5.

The lawsuit brought by Donnicia Venters came about when she came back from maternity leave, asked if it would be okay for her to use a room to pump breast milk, and found that she had been let go, reports Care 2.

CalSTRS' Anne Sheehan: Facebook Board Needs Women

Now that Facebook is going to be publicly listed, it is getting a lot more public scrutiny. Some of the scrutiny has resulted in negative comments regarding Facebook's employment statistics.

Turns out that the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), which is the second-largest pension fund in the country and invests heavily in the public markets, is saying that the Facebook Board needs women, reports Reuters.

Facts on Pay Docking for Salaried Employees

As any small business owner knows, sometimes instances arise where it is necessary to dock an employee's salary.

However, docking the pay of an exempt employee is only allowed in very limited circumstances, as explained by the researchers at FindLaw.

Philip Wattel Restaurants Sued for Bartender Sexual Harassment

Berryhill Baja Grill, the establishments of a local businessman, Philip Wattel, were sued for sexual harassment against bartenders, reports The Job Mouse.

The suit has been brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in federal court in Houston.

The case focuses on accusations Kimberly Kulig and Laura Baatz have made against Philip Wattel, the owner of two Berryhill Baja Grill restaurants, and span the period from 2006 to 2008.

Tony Caridi of the Alamo Alleging Wrongful Dismissal

The Alamo is not a car rental service. It is one of America’s most well-known symbols.

And Tony Caridi, its former marketing director, is crying foul, after he was fired by the Daughters of the Republic of the Texas (DRT) for allegedly misusing computers at work, reports My San Antonio.

Tony Caridi was hired in November 2009 to promote the Alamo. He helped draft the DRT’s $900,000 promotions contract with William Morris agency and also with the application for a federal trademark on the words “The Alamo.” In addition, he worked on promoting Phil Collins and other stars to celebrate The Alamo (TM), 175th anniversary.