Big Legislative Takeaways for Delaware

Saturday June 30 (and into the wee hours of Sunday July 1) saw the end of the fiscal year and with it came midnight and last minute (literally) deals in the Delaware General Assembly. Here were some of the biggest takeaways that will affect employment law: Continue reading

You’re Fired! Is Flipping Off the Presidential Motorcade Grounds for Termination?

twitter bird singing (2)_3Juli Briskman, a Marketing Analyst for Akima LLC, was forced to resign from her position in October 2017 following her flipping off a Trump Motorcade. Ms. Briskman thought she was legally exercising her civil disobedience, but when the picture when viral, the situation became much more complicated. Continue reading

Vaccinations and Religion: The Limits Are Set

Flushot.jpgThe anti-vaccination movement has been gaining traction in the United States for several years, much to the chagrin of safety-minded employers. While businesses offer ever broader benefits to limit the business impact of nationwide pandemics, including on-site flu clinics, many employees are refusing to participate and lowering the efficacy of vaccinations for those who do.  In an effort to protect their decision-making, anti-vaccination employees are claiming that their decisions are motivated by “sincere and strongly held beliefs” that are tantamount to a religious conviction.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the appellate court responsible for reviewing all federal trial court decisions in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, has rejected this argument. Continue reading

Is It Time to Rethink Your Zero Tolerance Drug Policy?

By William W. Bowser

Background

In my practice, drug and alcohol issues came to the forefront in the 90’s. There was a lot of publicity then about transit workers and big rig drivers causing accidents when they were high.

The Department of Transportation (“DOT”) responded by adopting regulations 5161819684_6b310a493b_zrequiring CDL drivers to be tested for drugs under various scenarios. These scenarios included pre-employment, post-accident, and at random. Every employer with at least one CDL driver had to adopt a pretty comprehensive drug and alcohol policy.  I drafted a lot of them.

Once the CDL drivers were covered, employers started expanding the scope of these policies to cover other employees. The stated purpose was to have an efficient and productive workplace and to protect the public. Continue reading

Compassionless Court Kicks Marijuana Claim

By Michael P. Stafford

Marijuana is back in the news here in Delaware. Our state’s first Compassion Center is set to open later this month and legislation decriminalizing the sacred herb has been signed into law by Governor Jack Markell.  medical marijuana_3

Delaware is by no means unique-it is part of a national trend towards decriminalization and even legalization occurring at the state level across the nation. However, as far as the federal government is concerned, marijuana remains illegal. Essentially, America is becoming a veritable patchwork quilt of differing, and inconsistent approaches-a situation that is creating headaches for employers, particularly those with national or multi-state operations, striving for consistency and uniformity in their drug policies. Continue reading

Facebook Threats Constitute Legitimate Grounds for Termination

Earlier this week, I wrote about the issue of threats made via Facebook constitute constitutionally protected speech.  Today’s post also is about threats made via Facebook but in the context of the workplace.  The case, decided by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, is timed perfectly for my road trip tomorrow to Ohio. social media letterpress_3

In Ames v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, an employee, a Senior Parole Officer, was sent for an independent medical exam after she posted a Facebook comment that her employer believed to be a threat.  The comment was in reference to shooting parolees.  The employee claimed that the comment was a joke.  The psychologist who conducted the exam cleared her to return to work, finding no evidence of depression, anxiety, or mood disturbance. Continue reading