In theory, sexual harassment is an easy concept to understand. Most people get the gist of the law – that you can’t harass a person because of their sex. But one of the reasons that sexual harassment continues to be so prevalent (aside, of course, from the fear of reporting or the straight-up disregard for the law), is that many employers can’t see it for what it is. The truth is that sexual harassment is rarely going to appear in your restaurant the way it’s portrayed in the weird anti-harassment videos from the 80s.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not in the Workplace: What Every Employer Needs to Know About Handling Sexual Harassment Complaints
The #MeToo movement has taken an interesting turn. When Harvey Weinstein was first accused, it’s hard to remember anyone who came to his defense. The collective outrage against him was swift and furious, and the public immediately demanded his job. Weinstein was fired from his own company three days later and has been a pariah ever since. But when Matt Lauer was accused, the reaction was different. By the time the story broke, Lauer had already been fired, and many saw him as the victim of a bandwagon smear campaign. “Allegations ONLY,” one person tweeted. “I guess guilty until proven innocent is the new norm.”
Sorry Taco Bell, I know you’d probably rather sweep this one under the rug. But what happened in Cleveland is an important lesson on the balance of compliance and good ole common sense. And by the way, I think you did the right thing.
Trash Talking the Boss Online: What Employers Need to Know Before Terminating for Social Media Misconduct
Okay, employers - pop quiz:
You own a sports bar and restaurant. One of your employees is mad when she finds out that she owes additional money in taxes. She claims you didn’t withhold enough of her earnings. She posts on Facebook: “Someone should do the owners of (your restaurant) a favor and buy it from them. They can’t even do the tax paperwork correctly.” One of your bartenders comes along and comments on the post, saying that she too owes taxes and calls you (the owner) “such an a**hole.” Then your cook chimes in and “likes” the original comment. (Triple Play Sports Bar & Grille v. NLRB).
Q: Who can you fire and why?
Who Says You Can’t Learn from TV? 5 Employment Law Lessons Courtesy of TV's Rowdiest Restaurant Staff
I’ve written about Vanderpump Rules before; the reality TV show that follows a group of model/actor hopefuls who work together at the Sexy Unique Restaurant (SUR) in LA. In addition to being beautiful, the staff is also wildly unruly. This season’s shenanigans illustrate some excellent employment law lessons about workplace relationships, hostile work environments, discipline, termination and defamation.