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 and requirements. And Continued from page 22 remember: all FMLA-
related documentation, such as above, must be kept for a minimum of three years and be kept
separate from an employee’s personnel file.
Train, train, and train! Train your employees on all things FMLA!
For most companies, managers are the first line of contact. If they are not comfortable with proper FMLA leave procedures now, this may
“Examine all existing forms to ensure they comply with FMLA regu- lations. The DOL loves to examine FMLA forms during an audit.”
create issues later on. You will greatly reduce the risk of a potential FMLA violation in the future by training now.
FMLA audits are not cut and dry and need to be taken seriously to avoid any potential violations. Lastly, do your managers understand how FMLA, PFMLA, and ADA intersect? They should.
Taking the proper steps now can help make a DOL audit go more smoothly. u
Alexander Cerbo is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment-law matters at theRoyal Law Firm LLP, a woman-owned, women-managed corporate law firm that is certified as a women’s business enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office, the National Assoc. of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
Continued from page 23
Caruso engaged in consensual
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touching but did not have intercourse. Lucas was found to be credible and was not disciplined.
Caruso later filed a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment.
The court eventually dismissed Caruso’s lawsuit. This was largely
due to the fact that Delta went above and beyond to investigate Caru- so’s claims, including interviewing Lucas twice, interviewing all Delta employees that socialized with Caruso on the night in question, and attempting to secure the key card swipe record and video footage from the hotel within days of Caruso’s allegations.
Delta followed all investigatory steps that they could, even exhaust- ing its investigation at the hotel when it could not get the video footage and card swipe record. It was these remedial actions that saved Delta from liability, as no negligence could be found in Delta’s investigation. This led the court to grant summary judgment for Delta on Caruso’s sex discrimination claims.
The Caruso case shows that Massachusetts employers can shield themselves even against the most serious of co-worker sexual assault allegations by conducting thorough investigations once a complaint
is made. Sexual harassment and assault claims in Massachusetts are particularly thorny for employers, as Massachusetts courts have shown a tendency to allow a lowered standard for Plaintiffs to win on sexual harassment or sexual assault complaints. Indeed, liability for super- visory sexual harassment is almost automatic. The ruling stresses the importance of interviewing all possible witnesses to an assault, as well as gathering all evidence to the complained of sexual conduct if pos- sible. This type of prompt response to an employee’s complaint of co- worker sexual harassment or assault can reduce an employer’s amount of exposure to these types of claims. u
Trevor Brice, Esq. is an associate with Springfield-based Skoler, Abbott, P.C. He has regularly advised and represented clients in state and federal courts, as well as at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), and other state agencies; [email protected]

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