The human resources team plays a key role in promoting diversity within an organization. After all, it’s HR that works to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds. And it’s up to HR to communicate—not just to executives but to the rank and file as well—just why diversity is important. But how does HR sometimes end up being the problem rather than the solution? And when that happens, how can it be overcome?
Immigration law used to be something that few people thought about unless a friend or a relative was going through the system. Now, it’s a daily feature in our news and on social media. It’s likely that few of us have missed the news of President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders addressing immigration and travel to the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) release of internal implementation memos related to the president’s orders was international news, probably for the first time in the history of that agency.
While any pervasive political issue can affect the workplace, employers are well-advised to pay attention as the new federal policy on immigration enforcement unfolds. Rare will be the employer that isn’t affected by the administration’s actions in some way.
The following article answers some common questions about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recently promulgated guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and mental health conditions.
Ever since the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) became law and substantially expanded the definition of “disability,” employers have been warned not to focus on whether an employee has a disability when evaluating reasonable accommodations. While that warning is valid, it is not absolute, and employers should not completely skip evaluating whether an employee has a disability. Even the 9th Circuit, where employees typically fare relatively well, has found that “cantankerous” and “ill-tempered” employees who are disciplined for treating coworkers and subordinates inappropriately do not have a disability that substantially limits the major life activity of interacting with others.
Work can be stressful for anyone, and employers are wise to ease the burdens when possible in the interest of maintaining productivity and the general well-being of the workforce. But disabilities can complicate the issue, especially when the disability isn’t obvious.
Human resources professionals may be well aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the ADA Amendments Act that broadened the law’s protections in many cases, require employers to provide qualified employees who have a disability an opportunity to be productive at work by engaging in the “interactive process” and providing “reasonable accommodations.”
by Luke Draisey
It’s likely that 2016 was a year that most people won’t soon forget. It was a year marked by international turmoil, celebrity deaths, and unprecedented political disunity. We saw Great Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, the genesis of the Zika virus, and the deaths of several cultural icons, including David Bowie, John Glenn, and Prince. And who can forget the 2016 presidential election?
While many Americans have celebrated the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, for others his election is most notable for the controversy it has engendered. It should come as no surprise that the vitriol that characterized the 2016 election may crop up in the workplace, leaving employers at risk of accusations that they are fostering a hostile work environment or engaging in discrimination or retaliation.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a resource document explaining the rights of job applicants and employees with mental health conditions. The document explains that applicants and employees with mental health issues are protected from discrimination and harassment based on their conditions, may be entitled to reasonable accommodations, and have a right to privacy regarding their medical information.
Actor and writer Marlon Wayans’ use of the term “nigga,” his comments referring to an actor’s “afro” and comparing him to a black character on Family Guy, and his tweet, including a side-by-side photo comparison of the actor and the Family Guy character, were all protected speech, according to a trial court and the California Court of Appeal.
The court of appeal agreed with Wayans that his actions were part of the creative process of improvisation, character development, and writing that resulted in the birth of a character for a film he was starring in, and the tweet was in furtherance of and promotion of the film.