“This & That” Tuesday 12.11.6 by Martin Levy

by hr4u.
Nov 7 12

Here is the latest issue of “This & That” Tuesday. I hope you find it to be informative and useful.



You can always check out my website for upcoming speaking engagements that are guaranteed to be of value to business owners. More details about the events and Human Resources 4U can be found on my website.

Labor Law Update 2013: If you are interested in having me give a “Labor Law Update for 2013” presentation to your organization early next year, please contact me so we can schedule the event.

HR4U 101 for 2013Workshop

My next full day workshop will be held on January 9, 2013. This is a practical workshop that focuses on all the things you need to know to comply with California employment law and some guidance on best practices for all your employee related efforts. Download the flyer for all the workshop details.

MKB Construction Settles EEOC Retaliation Discrimination Suit

Phoenix-based MKB Construction will pay $38,500 and furnish other relief to settle a retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The EEOC had charged the company with violating federal law by firing an employee for reporting sexual harassment.


According to the EEOC's suit, an employee at an MKB work site in El Paso was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment by a male co-worker. The harasser made sexual comments about the man and pressed against the victim in a sexual manner, the EEOC said. When the victim reported the harassment to a supervisor, he was fired in retaliation.


Retaliating against employees who oppose what they reasonably believe to be dis­crim­inatory conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.


The two-year consent decree settling the suit enjoins MKB Construction from engaging in any further retaliation-based conduct prohibited by the Title VII, and requires MKB Construction to pay $38,500 to the harassment victim. In addition, the company must issue an effective anti-discrimination policy and post a notice of intent to comply with discrimination and retaliation laws. MKB Construction must also provide training to its managers, supervisors and human resources personnel.


All employers need to know that they have a responsibility to take sexual harassment complaints seriously and not engage in reprisal against employees for simply bringing a problem to management's attention.  This settlement achieves the EEOC's objectives of promoting a work environment in which employees are free to raise issues of concern about sexually offensive conduct without risking their own job security.

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA orders Arizona trucking company to pay $315,000

OSHA has ordered M3 Transport LLC/SLT Expressway Inc. and its successors-in-interest, to reinstate a former employee and pay $280,000 in back wages and interest, $15,000 in compensatory damages and $20,000 in punitive damages.


The order follows OSHA's determination that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act when it terminated the truck driver in February 2010 in retaliation for complaining to management about safety issues and refusing to drive a truck containing explosives with a co-driver who smoked in the vehicle – a violation of U.S. Department of Transportation regulations.


OSHA opened a whistleblower investigation upon receiving a complaint from the terminated employee. The complaint alleged that on Feb. 8, 2010, the employee was informed that a new co-driver had been assigned to haul a vehicle full of explosives to Canada. Upon finding an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts in the new co-driver's truck, the employee notified supervisors that driving with this individual would be unacceptable because smoking while hauling explosives violates federal regulations. The employee was then told by management to go home and wait to be reassigned a new co-driver. Two days later, the employee was terminated.


In addition to reinstatement and compensation for the employee, the order issued by OSHA requires the trucking company to expunge any adverse references relating to the discharge from the complainant's personnel records, and post a notice for all employees notifying them of their rights under the STAA.


OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.



Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor.



  • 41% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.
  • 48% of the top 50 venture-backed companies have at least one immigrant founder.
  • Under PPACA it is expected that the uninsured rate for women will drop from 20% to 8%
  • 55% of all doctors have installed some type of electronic health record system and 75% of them say patient care has improved because of it.
  • OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND” attitudes still exist in the office workplace. “Visibility creates the illusion of value and being the last to leave the office impresses bosses.” According to London School of Business research, “telecommuters are less likely to be promoted… even in firms that explicitly encourage staff to work from home… since Managers still reward ‘presenteeism’… rating those at the office to be more dependable and industrious, regardless of the quality of their work.” The study included tech firms in California which specifically asked employees “not to come too often, yet bosses unconsciously penalized those who obliged.”            



"99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses"


~George Washington Carver~