Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Mining company pays
Price for accommodating
Two workers but not third

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took Consol Energy, Inc. to court claiming discrimination against an employee who feared a hand scanner would place the “Mark of the Beast” on him.

The EEOC won initially and on appeal to the Court Of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit.

ACCORDING TO Employment Law Lookout, the EEOC claimed the West Virginia mining company failed to accommodate a worker’s request to use an alternative method to clock in and out.

The employee offered two alternate options, neither of which the company found acceptable. The company offered on option the employee rejected.

AT THE SAME TIME, the company DID accommodate two employees who had injured hands and were not physically able to place their hand on the scanner; it allowed them to key in their personnel numbers using a keypad attached to the system.

The Lesson

The lesson for Enterprise Risk Management practitioners and the organizations for which they work is simple: If an employee objects to a specific practice (e.g., hand scanners for checking in and logging out) yet provides options for others that would be acceptable to the offended employee , the company best find a way to offer the reluctant employee the same option(s).

Thinking about HR

As I was developing a risk list for a shipping company I wandered into the HR area. I asked the HR manager if he could identify any risks to the operation.

“The neighbors,” he said. Why neighbors? Turns out this company’s neighbor was a national insurance company with a great many retired military on its payroll. When the military is in disfavor, people picket such places — sometimes the picketing leads to violence than can spread to my then client.

Besides, picketing ties up traffic to and from my client’s facility.

That’s all, I asked. Yes, the HR manager answered.

About this his “assistant” walked in. The “assistant” was a lady with substantially more experience than the HR manager.

“What about I-9s,” she innocently asked the HR manager.

I-9s are the “proof of eligibility to work in the U.S.” forms; forms that any number of federal agencies can swoop down and demand to see.

Failure to have an I-9 for every employee — president to intern — can prove costly. How costly? According to , as of August 1, 2016
First offender fines ranged between $375 and $3,200 per individual; now they will extend from $539 to $4,313.
Repeat offender fines were previously between $4,300 and $16,000; they may now be anywhere from $6,469 to $21,563.

Just like Disk Martin of Laugh-in fame, I had to admit until then, "I didn't know that." (See 1:57 of linked video for sample.)

Good practitioners always are learning.

If the links fail to work, see to learn how to find/access them. It's a Google problem.


PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

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