Fridays with Frank – Sept 20, 2019

Happy Friday!

Wow, what a great week. I spent three days in Cleveland, OH, at a conference aptly named I-9 Palooza! That’s right. Three days filled with all things I-9 and E-Verify!

Although nothing could match the excitement of I-9 Palooza, this week’s Fridays with Frank is still pretty cool.

Did You Just Call Me A Dummy?  No! However, LawLogix (the company behind I-9 Palooza!) published a great paperback and e-book called Form I-9 & E-Verify for dummies. Not as extensive as the 122-page USCIS Form I-9 Handbook for Employers (M-274), it’s an excellent resource for employers and HR professionals to understand the Form-I-9 and E-Verify process and requirements better.

Sometimes Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do  There are just some questions that keep me up at night. For example, if an eligible employee needs to take time off for a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)-qualifying reason, can the employee decide whether the leave is designated as FMLA-protected? What if the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides job-protected paid leave for specific family and medical reasons that could also be covered under the FMLA. Can the employees decide (or in some situations be required) to use the paid leave before taking FMLA leave? To help me sleep better, David Mohl, an attorney with Jackson Lewis, explained that the federal Department of Labor addressed these issues twice in 2019, first in a March opinion letter, and again with an opinion letter issued in September. Spoiler Alert: the answer was a resounding no!

Their Hands Must Be Cramping!  The federal Department of Labor (DOL) also issued six additional opinion letters recently, addressing several issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). My friend Tammy McCutchen, a principal with Littler and former DOL Wage and Hour Administrator, provides a valuable summary of the opinion letters. She also introduces the DOL’s recently established Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI), which is tasked with providing compliance assistance to employers.

I Love You All…Goodbye!  If you’re like me, you’ve left a job or two in your career. Some provided fond memories, and with others, I was thrilled never to look back. In this episode of, “Say What?” we’ll learn about Deanna Evans, who, in her resignation letter, called her seven years with her employer a “great experience,” and offered to do what she could to help “make this transition easier for the company,” including “assisting in recruiting and training [her] replacement.” Then she sued her former employer for hostile work environment constructive discharge. I’ll let Eric Meyer, partner with FisherBroyles and author if The Employer Handbook blog, explain the rest. Take it away, Eric!

Well, That’s A Hoot!  Back in 1997, Hooters Restaurants (think chicken wings, beer, and, umm, well you know the place) was sued for discrimination because they refused to hire males as servers. That’s when many of us became familiar with the term Bona Fide Occupational Qualification, or BFOQ. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lets companies discriminate, in this case on the basis of sex, where doing so is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business. Enter Sactacular Holdings, LLC d/b/a Adam & Eve (I kid you not, I couldn’t make up a company name like that if I tried!), a North Carolina company being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for refusing to hire Christopher Kilby, or any male applicants based on their sex. You bring the wings I’ll get the beer, and we can watch this one together!

Thanks for spending a small part of your day with me and have a great weekend!

Posted by Frank Cania, president of HR Compliance Experts LLC.

Please feel free to contact Frank at, or 585-380-1566 with questions or for more information.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Frank Cania and HR Compliance Experts LLC.


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