Legal Briefs.

Avoid questions about applicant's drug treatment

When the owner of an Illinois dog kennel learned about an employee's past drug use and (successful) treatment, the owner angrily confronted him and asked details about the treatment. The employee complained to the EEOC, which filed a lawsuit on his behalf, saying the owner's questions were not job-related medical inquiries. (EEOC v. Rover's Place, ND IL)

The lesson: Warn managers not to pry into employees' medical histories, including past treatment of drug or alcohol abuse. The ADA and FMLA prohibit it. If there are performance problems, focus on the job.

Can you fire employee for saying, "Let's go, Brandon!"?

Southwest Airlines is investigating a pilot for saying, "Let's go, Brandon!" during an in-flight announcement. The phrase is a euphemism in place of saying, "F**k Joe Biden." (A Google search will explain.) Southwest sent a reminder to staff that "public expressions of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable."

A key issue in this case is how the airline handled other employees' political expressions. Example: Did...

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