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Volume 5, Issue 8
August 2016
Domestic Violence in the Louisiana Workplace, Part 3: Workplace Violence

It is not a matter of if, but when an employer will be confronted with a challenging domestic violence-related issue in the workplace. Domestic violence not only causes lost productivity and increased costs for employers, but also raises a host of potential legal obligations and liabilities that employers cannot afford to overlook. In this monthly series, Labor and Employment attorney Rachael Coe will discuss the various ways that domestic violence impacts the Louisiana workplace and what employers need to know in order to protect their employees, their customers, and themselves. 

Workplace violence is a grave concern stemming from domestic violence. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 26% of women killed in workplace homicides were killed by their intimate partner. Abusers frequently appear at their victim's workplace, and all too often will harm the victim and bystanders-and employers could be liable. There are two general theories of employer liability for domestic violence-related workplace violence in Louisiana: (1) the OSHA general duty clause, and (2) general tort liability. Click here to read the full article by Rachael M. Coe.
The EEOC Takes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Seriously

 The EEOC has recently filed several lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based upon their sexual orientation. (This is a link to the EEOC's press release about these suits. Click here to read the full article by Jerry L. Stovall, Jr. 
Email Reminder - Don't Do What Debbie Did

If you have been following the Presidential race at all, you know that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former DNC Chair, was forced to resign her position because of some inflammatory emails she sent to DNC staffers regarding Bernie Sanders' religious beliefs. Debbie apparently forgot the Golden Rule of emails - If you would be embarrassed if it was read in public, don't send it in an email. Ms. Wasserman's precipitous fall from grace should serve as a powerful reminder for all to us in HR about the use of emails. Click here to read the full article by Jerry L. Stovall, Jr. 
OSHA Tries to Make Workers Safer by Making Post-Accident Drug Screens and Safety-Incentive Programs More Difficult to Apply

On May 12, 2016 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final Rule requiring many employers to submit illness and injury data electronically. This provision has been widely publicized and will take effect January 1, 2017. However, the new Rule also contains a much less publicized provision requiring employers to implement reasonable procedures for employees to report workplace illnesses and injuries promptly and accurately. This provision also contains anti-retaliation language providing that no such procedure can deter or discourage an employee from making a report. This provision of the Rule was initially set to go into effect August 10, 2016 but, due to suits filed by various pro-business interests, OSHA has agreed to refrain from implementing this provision until November 1, 2016. In theory, the anti-retaliation provision of the new Rule sounds logical. However, OSHA's construction of the rule may be less so. Click here to read the full article by Jerry L. Stovall, Jr. 
Roger Ailes Ousted Amid Sexual Harassment Claims
A court filing with the Superior Court of New Jersey states that Gretchen Carlson, anchor of "The Real Story" on Fox News was fired in retaliation for refusing to have sex with CEO Roger Ailes. The document alleges that Ailes' sexually harassed Carlson for years, suggesting she sleep with him in order to further her career, ogling her, and making lewd remarks about her body. 21st Century Fox, parent company of Fox News, opened an internal investigation and found there had been other instances of Ailes' harassment toward other employees, including "The Kelly Report" anchor Megyn Kelly.  Two weeks after the initial allegations by Gretchen Carlson, Roger Ailes stepped down as CEO of Fox News, but did not acknowledge the claims made against him. Despite Fox News' swift action, they may still face lawsuits from other women who claim their careers were impacted by Ailes' harassment. 
Management Update Briefings

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Labor & Employment Attorneys 



Leo C. Hamilton