This & That Tuesday 13.11.12

by hr4u.
Nov 27 13

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 or for a list of topics that I can speak on at Chambers, Clubs, Business Associations, etc. More details about the events, topics and Human Resources 4U, in general, can be found on my website.


November 19, “Human Resources Issues for Business Owners” hosted by Simjee Periodontics and Cool Smiles Orthodontics.


Full Day Workshop on January 16: Start the new year on the right “employment law” foot! Click on HR4U 101 Workshop for more details.


Ninth Circuit Allows Class Action Lawsuit Challenging On-Duty Meal Periods

If you thought the Brinker decision finally resolved meal and rest break lawsuits you would be wrong! Meal and rest break class action lawsuits have not disappeared for California employers.


In a recent case, Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc., the Ninth Circuit allowed security guards to proceed with a class action lawsuit challenging an employer’s “on duty” meal period program.


Generally, employers are required to provide employees with at least one 30-minute, off-duty meal period no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work. On-duty meal periods are allowed in very limited circumstances and must be paid.


An “on duty” meal period shall be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the parties an on-the-job paid meal period is agreed to. The written agreement shall state that the employee may, in writing, revoke the agreement at any time.


Situations where the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has indicated that an on-duty meal period might apply include a gas station open at night where there is only one-worker on duty. But the Ninth Circuit called into question whether the on-duty meal period exception can be used by an employer who chooses to have only a single person working when they could hire a relief person. The court noted that the “nature of the work” exception is a high standard to meet. Either way, this will be an important decision for employers.


REDC Default Solutions to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

An Irvine, Calif.-based company will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC. The EEOC had charged REDC Default Solutions, LLC with unlawfully failing to accommodate a disabled worker at its Plano, Texas location.


According to the EEOC's suit the company denied an employee the reasonable accommodation of additional leave time that was required by her disability. The EEOC said that Asset Manager Terria Wiley went out on medical leave in March 2011 after suffering a stroke. In response to a letter from the company's HR director, Wiley promptly submitted a note from her treating physician indicating a specific date when she would be able to return to work without restrictions. The EEOC charged that instead of granting a modest extension of leave as a reasonable accommodation, REDC fired Wiley.


Refusing to grant a reasonable accommodation to an individual with a disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), unless granting that accommodation would create an undue hardship for the employer. Reasonable accommodations can include adjustments as simple as providing a stool to sit on or granting extra sick leave. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.


The EEOC brought this lawsuit because the company was unwilling to be flexible and reasonable in considering Ms. Wiley's request for an extended leave period. Federal law gives employees with disabilities, like Ms. Wiley, a means to continue their employment with the benefit of an accommodation.


EEOC Trial Attorney said, "Accrued paid leave or additional unpaid leave can be a reasonable accommodation under the law. Ms. Wiley was able to come back and do her job at REDC, and simply required a short amount of additional time to recover from her stroke before she could do so. We are pleased to get this case settled so favorably for her."


Note: In fiscal year 2012, 26,379 ADA charges were filed with the EEOC and state and local anti-discrimination agencies.



  • Inflation has caused a 6.7 percent drop in "real wages" since 2006 in the U.S.
  • CEOs rank human capital as the number 1 business value, ahead of customer relationships (2), product and service innovation (3) and brand power (4)


All the countries in the world that do not offer some form of paid maternity leave:

United States




Papua New Guinea


Western Samoa



Enough said!



“The fortunate circumstances of our lives are generally found, at last, to be of our own producing.”

~Oliver Goldsmith~