“Can I have Talk Like a Pirate Day off?”

Pop quiz: If an employee asks for religious accommodation, do you have to give it to them? The answer, of course is, “Maybe.” Depending on how bad it is for your company.

As the big holiday season approaches, we thought it might be nice to revisit the basics of religious accommodation in the workplace, which, luck would have it, is the name of this article by our partners at Shawe Rosenthal.


Things you can’t say to employees, number 300,542

Remember last week when you asked Crazy Carl “are you crazy?” because he tried to throw away the second half of that day-old donut you were saving? …I guess that was just me. Well, turns out I could be sued. (A common HRUpdate theme, it seems.) A recent case found a supervisor in violation of the ADA when he requested an employee see a psychologist.

Click here to read the article, “Counseling Constitutes An ADA-Protected Medical Examination,” by our partners at Squire Sanders. And click here to see lots of famous people wonder, in various and sometimes salty ways, “Are you crazy?”

#discrimination_in_hiring_claims_rising_as_use_of_technology_increases #superlongtitles #hrcompliance

If you’re running applicants through online pre-employment tests, heads up. The Wall Street Journal says EEOC discrimination claims are trending as more companies use the new technology, which screens applicants but is proving weak in antidiscrimination protocols.

Click here to read more about this rise in complaints, and check out the discrimination and hiring chapters of your Human Resources Manual.

ERISA police-a!

Raise your hand if ERISA compliance is your least favorite part of HR. Good news! Rumor has it the DOL is planning to increase ERISA compliance audits this year! …Wait. That is terrible news. I’m sorry. Let me make it up to you: Raise your hand if you want a really in-depth article about an HR manager’s role in ERISA compliance, including:

  • Common areas of concern and risk
  • How to navigate the rocky terrain
  • What you need to get in order.

Is that better? How about now?


I think it is safe to say for the most part you don’t want to be on anyone’s “list” – unless that someone is Hall and/or Oates. Well after two years, OSHA has finally told us how to get off their Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which is basically OSHA’s naughty list.

After three years an employer can be removed from the list by:

  • Abating all SVEP-related hazards
  • Paying all their penalties
  • Fulfilling settlement provisions
  • Not receiving any additional citations

Seems easy enough! To read more about the SVEP – and how to stay off of it – read our partners at Fisher & Phillips article by clicking here.

NLRB finally walks the walk

For what seems like forever now we have been telling you that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is getting all up in social media’s business, but now they are doing more than just talking. The NLRB found that Costco’s “Electronic communications and technology” policy violated the NLRA as it prohibits Section 7 activity. But what does it mean?

It means you should keep an eye on how specific your policies are regarding prohibiting employees’ from discussing their work conditions in a public forum, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. But I am sure you know better than that already.

To learn more about this new decision and what you should look out for click here.