Labor and Employment Webinar Series

The Ruby Files: Managing the Challenging Employee

Companies may differ in size, industry or business model. One thing that unites all employers, however, is the goal to recruit, train and retain a quality workforce while remaining compliant with all aspects of the law. The "life cycle" of an employee over the course of their tenure with a company includes other milestones beyond simply recruiting and training. What are these identifiable stages in the employee life cycle, and how can employers navigate through common obstacles to avoid the pitfalls of employment litigation?

In this five-part webinar series, we follow Ruby R. Breaker, a fictitious employee whose workplace behavior is based on real life employment situations. This series is a year-long examination of the full range of considerations that employers face at each stage of employee development, and how new legal regulations affect best practices from hiring to termination.

Part One - The Ruby Files: Exempt or Non-Exempt and the DOL Audit? It Really Isn’t a Question | January 13, 2016

Meet Ruby, a 39-year-old, recent re-entrant into the workforce with two school-aged children, trying to conceive her third. 
In her first employment opportunity as she re-enters the workforce, Ruby applies to work at a hospital, is hired as a Unit Manager, and is classified as an exempt manager. Her job description includes duties such as helping the employees she supervises, but Ruby ends up spending most of her time performing clerical duties. Frustrated, Ruby calls the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to complain about not getting paid over-time, and a subsequent DOL investigation of the hospital ensues. Meanwhile, Ruby requests time off from work during the work day to attend in-vitro fertilization appointments, claiming FMLA and ADA coverage. 

Polsinelli’s Labor and Employment and Health Care attorneys will dissect interactions between Ruby and her manager, and provide take-aways that can be applied to your business. 

>> View the webinar here.

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Part Two - The Ruby Files: The Terminator. You Wont be Back | March 8, 2016

Still employed by a major hospital, Ruby has developed carpal tunnel syndrome and persistent migraines, which she claims interfere with her ability to work and requests ADA accommodations as well as FMLA time off. Her employer initiates the accommodation interactive process, but before this process can proceed, Ruby’s supervisors report performance problems and that Ruby is posting on Facebook about her alleged medical conditions. Ruby is terminated for poor performance, after which her attorney sends the hospital a demand letter. The company responds with a notice that her claims are subject to an arbitration agreement.

>> View the webinar here.

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Part Three - The Ruby Files: A Whisper, a Wink, and a 40-Year-Old Aptitude Flunky | May 11, 2016

Ruby finds new employment at a bank, but does not indicate on her application materials that she was previously fired. While the bank considers options to address the misrepresentation, Ruby alleges sexual harassment by a supervisor. An internal investigation addresses the matter, but shortly after her 40th birthday Ruby fails an aptitude test, then alleges disparate impact upon older employees.

>> View the webinar here.

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Part Four - The Ruby Files: The Case of the Disappearing Secrets and an Independent Contractor | August 17, 2016

Ruby joins the tech industry, at a company experiencing challenges in recruiting and hiring. She is hired as an independent contractor, but when her employment doesn’t work out she alleges constructive discharge. When she leaves, she takes client lists and other proprietary materials with her.

>> View the webinar here.

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Part Five - The Ruby Files: Transition and the Fight for Bathroom Equality | October 12, 2016

In the conclusion to the Series, Ruby joins a new company and becomes an active union organizer. She then announces she is transitioning to a male; goodbye Ruby, hello Rudy. The employee bathroom becomes a source of tension in the office, with neither Rudy nor his fellow coworkers happy about the impact of Rudy’s transition on the facilities and their assigned use.

>> View the webinar here.