WEBINAR NOTICE:  The Central Station series  
Why you should use our central station
see schedule below for presentations
NEXT WEBINAR - October 28, 2014  - SentryNet 
Register Now:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6448324896921683457

    Besides our daily alarm email newsletter our office circulates an Employment and Labor law newsletter once a week or so.  You can sign up for that newsletter on our web site at https://www.kirschenbaumesq.com/page/employment
    Here is an interesting article by Judge Ruth Kraft, Chair or the Employment and Labor Law Department at Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, that I thought would be of interest to our alarm clients.  You can reach Judge Kraft at (516) 747-6700 x. 326 or RKraft@Kirschenbaumesq.com 

The same comment can be taken two ways.  Take, for example, the remark “you are so pretty that I can’t think straight”.  Flirtatious or egregious?   Or, “you’re so emotional!”  Harassment or instructive?   It all comes down to two things: context and frequency.

I do not believe that an isolated comment that is not clearly derogatory or racially based rises to the level of actionable harassment.  However, the same comment, when repeated, can create a hostile work environment.  Compliments about appearance and attire simply do not reach this standard.  However, recently, I had occasion to review the pleadings in a case in which a female supervisor told third parties to look for the subordinate with the “big boobs”.  That well-endowed worker was discharged and ran straight to a lawyer, resulting in an extremely time-consuming, drawn out litigation.  

Employers have a legitimate interest in insuring that appropriate workplace behavior and their handbooks should make clear that overly intrusive behavior is unacceptable.  Some employers include non-fraternization clauses for this reason, although these are difficult to enforce or, historically, have been enforced to the detriment of only the female half of the equation.  

I regularly find that, when an employee complains, whether as a consequence of hypersensitivity , a pretext for something else, a desire to “win the lottery” or a truly legitimate distress, employers simply mishandle the matter.  This may be based on pure discomfort with the scenario, a misguided attempt to defend managers accused of inappropriate behavior, or ignorance as to how to conduct a proper workplace investigation.  

Here is what employers should NOT do:
•    Don’t look at complaints in isolation. Patterns are important.
•    Don’t provide only one access point for complainants.  
•    Don’t dismiss a complaint because the same thing happened to another worker who laughed it off.
•    Don’t require independent corroboration.  Many incidents of harassment occur precisely when there are no witnesses around.
•    Don’t credit managers over line workers automatically.  
•    Don’t make a decision without investigating.
•    Don’t delay.  Claims of harassment must be addressed before the situation escalates.
•    Fail to document complaints, a plan of action and resolution.
•    Think that they can go it alone, without the support of employment counsel.  
•    Wait to reach out to counsel such that the situation is not contained or documentation preserved.

Questions or comments from personal experience?  Please contact Judge Ruth Kraft, Chair of the Employment Law Group at Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C at (516) 747-6700 ext. 326 or RKraft@Kirschenbaumesq.com.
correction:  Yesterday I referred to the former National Burglar and Fire Alarm Assoc as ESX.  It should have been ESA.  Thanks to those who caught that


                                          WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENTS
                                             The Central Station Series
                                         Why you should use our central station
                                            Sign up for each presentation

Each Webinar will cover:

  • territory covered by cs 
  • types of alarms cs equipped to handle or specializes in 
  • description of cs facilities and equipment; redundancy of more than one location 
  • general policies on handling alarms 
  • what makes your cs stand apart from others 
  • pricing - why your cs charges what it does and special deals if any 
  • contracts the cs requires

                   Sign up for each presentation.  All Start at 12 noon EST to 1 PM
October 28, 2014  - SentryNet 
October 29, 2014 – Rapid Response Monitoring https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4898797453548148993
October 30, 2012 – COPS Monitoring https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6318369219588363265

November 5, 2014 – Metrodial           https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5743009078427617281
November 6, 2014 - United Central Control   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2612275062661797378

November 12, 2014 -   Statewide Monitoring https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/339270067719231489
November 13, 2014 - Centra-Larm Monitoring https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3930780819384477185


                                                 Speaking Engagements

If you would like to schedule a free live video/webinar presentation for your association meeting or event contact Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312.