Tag: Mark I. Schickman

Was Perry White an Abusive Boss?

If I asked whether a manager can demand solid job performance from an employee who reported or witnessed alleged acts of harassment, we would all say yes. If I asked whether a manager could threaten or retaliate against that employee, we’d all reply with an emphatic no. We’ve all been presented with scenarios that lead […]

Just the Icing on the Cake

The U.S. Supreme Court was widely expected to decide between religious rights and LGBTQ rights when it issued its ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case involving a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. But—in the tradition of the Supreme Court—the justices ducked the main […]

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Bay Area Hosts 3 of Nation’s 6 Hardest-Working Cities, So, Congratulations

I am reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, in which Yuval Noah Harari posits, among other things, that the “Agricultural Revolution,” which created the first stable, large civilized communities, was a disaster, with the successful farmer working much longer and harder than her nomadic hunter-gatherer tribal ancestors, a day spent running through woods replaced by plowing, […]

When Is a Discrimination Complaint against a Manager an Act of Harassment?

What if a manager accused of unlawful discrimination based on employees’ religion asserts that the complaint itself is an act of harassment? You owe duties all around, and you may not be able to perform one duty without risking a violation of the other. See how one employer successfully avoided that minefield.

In search of the win-win solution

by Mark I. Schickman Too often, the workplace is viewed as a zero-sum game ― a win for an employee or loss for the boss, every savings for the company obtained from an employee concession. The political parties are playing it the same way; either employers pay more or workers get less ― nobody suggests […]

Space: the final frontier

by Mark I. Schickman There have been many lawsuits limiting the introduction of religion into the workforce. Employees who insist on a God-given right to bash gays at the workplace are subject to termination ― despite their right to express their religious beliefs. An employee whose religion opposes taking orders from women will lose his […]

California Supreme Court Issues Meal and Rest Break Ruling

By Mark I. Schickman California employers have been waiting since October 2008 for the California Supreme Court to issue its ruling in the Brinker Restaurant case, clarifying whether employers must “ensure” that employees take meal and rest breaks or simply “provide” those breaks. Today, the court unanimously served up a major victory to California employers […]

Beauty and the Best

By Mark I. Schickman We have eliminated many forms of workplace discrimination and made great strides toward erasing others. Nonetheless, one form of discrimination ― “Beauty Bias,” as coined by Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode ― remains alive, well, and possibly inherent in the human condition. When babies are shown pictures of adults, they usually […]

Power Corrupts

by Mark I. Schickman At its heart, the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) football scandal is a criminal matter. But it’s also the ultimate example of sexual harassment being permitted to recur openly, continuously, and notoriously in a workplace. It’s a sober reminder of what can happen if any person or group believes they are bigger […]

Full Faith and Credit: Lessons from the Shirley Sherrod Snafu

By Mark I. Schickman Imagine a horrible accusation made against one of your managers — maybe harassment, maybe violence, maybe theft, maybe drugs. This is an outspoken employee who has sued you before — and won — and with whom you have to be careful. But under heavy pressure from top executives, you immediately fire […]