Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! I know we have plenty to be miserable concerned about, but that is not my role today. Here, in no particular order, are five labor-and-employment-related things for which I am thankful. (Crabbiness returns next week.)
1. OK, I am completely serious now. You, my clients, and my co-workers and colleagues. I am truly thankful to all of you who have so kindly read this blog and (hopefully) subscribed to it, and contribute a comment or email once in a while. (If you "only" read, please know that I am grateful for that as well!) I am thankful to my clients, of whom mine are the awesomest*. And to my law firm for my livelihood and for supporting this blog, particularly (but not limited to) our managing chairman, Neil Wasser, and Tori Whitaker, our chief marketing officer, and Tori's oustanding team.
*Yes, I know this is not a real word, but it should be.
2. My EEOC. Yep, I actually like the folks in all three of our EEOC offices in my state of North Carolina. I realize that others' results may vary. But our investigators are generally open to listening to the employer's point of view, and they're always friendly, courteous, pleasant, and fair. And, as I've said here many times, I am a big fan of their mediation program, as are most of my clients. So, thank you, EEOC offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro!
The rest of these aren't as serious as the last two, but, hey, times are tough:
3. Rescheduling a lunch so that it doesn't take place during the Ramadan fast is not "discrimination against Christians." You will have to read this case to believe it -- an employee appreciation lunch originally scheduled to take place during Ramadan was rescheduled so that an observant Muslim employee would be able to attend and enjoy. A Christian employee thought this was discrimination against him and a failure to accommodate his beliefs. (Huh? I know!) As far as I could tell, the lunch was not moved to Ash Wednesday, so I'm not sure what his beef was, if you'll pardon the expression. Anyway, the court granted summary judgment to the employer. Thank you, common sense!
4. Facebook postings that include a plaintiff wearing a "C*NT" t-shirt and talking about how much money she hopes to win in her lawsuit are discoverable in a sexual harassment case. Sheesh, I would hope so. Common sense, thank you again!
5. Hostess Sno Balls, Twinkies, and Wonder Bread: the building blocks of a healthy school lunch in the 1960's. I don't think I've eaten a Hostess product since I rode my dinosaur to school in fifth grade or so. But, boy, do those pink Sno Balls bring back happy memories, along with cheese spread sandwiches on blindingly-white Wonder Bread, so squishy that when you took a bite the ends of the bread fused together to form a perfect seal. Better living through chemistry! So I was sorry to hear that the company was going out of business. Much more seriously, I was sorry for those 18,500 employees who would be put out of work as a result. The CEO squelched rumors that Grupo Bimbo of Mexico might buy the Hostess brands, so it looked like it was really over. Then we heard that Hostess and the union were going to try to resolve their differences at mediation, so we got our hopes up again. Now it appears that mediation has failed, and the liquidation will go forward. So I guess it really, really is over. Hostess, thanks for the memories! (And, displaced employees, I hope you will be able to find other work as soon as possible.)
I wish you all and your families a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Lexis.com subscribers can access the Lexis enhanced version of the EEOC v. Original Honeybaked Ham Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160285 (D. Colo. Nov. 7, 2012), decisions with summary, headnotes, and Shepard’s.
Visit the Employment and Labor Law Insider for additional insights from Robin Shea, a partner with the national labor and employment law firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP.
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