VOL. 110 | NO. 35 | Tuesday, February 20, 1996
2/20 jts employee relations
Can you fire a man with a gun?
Local firm offers seminar on employment relations issues
By JAMES SNYDER
An employee comes to work with a gun. Packing heat violates company policy. So the company cans the guy with the gun.
The employee sues the company for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. Whats up with that?
Apparently quite a bit, and its part of the "Beyond the Basics 1996" employment relations workshop that will be held Friday by the Weintraub Institute for Leadership in Management.
"During the year, we generally cover all of the statutes at various levels," said Jeff Weintraub, managing partner in the law firm Weintraub, Robinson, Weintraub, Stock, Bennett, Ettinghoff & Grisham. WIL is the training division of the firm.
"But with this particular seminar, we try to go beyond that and deal with some of the most current developments, trends, issues and controversies."
The case of the piece-packing employee centered on this: if the workers "quick temper" was a symptom of mental disability, was the firing discriminatory?
So-called "salting" and "stripping" is of particular interest to construction contractors. A "salt" is someone sent by a union to a company to organize in that company. Some salts "strip" by recruiting workers for a closed shop.
Questions arose over whether salts were covered by national labor laws and therefore could not be discriminated against as union sympathizers. The Supreme Court recently said they were.
The seminar covers other developments in labor laws and regulations, including conflicts over the Family Medical Leave Act, workers compensation, health care, "substantial limitations" imposed on workers with disabilities, affirmative action and reverse discrimination.
Other issues that will be addressed at the seminar include drug testing and employees privacy rights, tort claims, charges of defamation after firing and the dismissal of whistle-blowers.
Another hot-button topic for discussion is sexual harassment, which has grown as an issue and a source of litigation, Weintraub said.
"Sexual harassment is the easiest type of litigation to prevent, but it seems to happen anyway," he said.
WIL also will address trends in alternative dispute resolution, which shies away from traditional litigation and advocates the use of mediators and arbitrators.
Most of the presenters work at Weintraub, Robinson, et. al. The annual half-day workshop usually attracts between 60 and 100 management professionals, human resources directors and business owners, Weintraub said.
Admission is $50 per person and $45 per person for groups of three or more. For more information, call Debbie Darby at 526-0431.