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Employment Law/Ethical question about men and women working together


My husband is the store manager at our families business. His father is the owner of the store. Today my father in law called my husband to tell him that he is not allowed to have a male and a female employee work alone at the store together. He will not allow my husband to have 3 employees on the clock working if only 2 are needed so he wants my husband to take the female employees off the schedule on days when only one employee and manager are needed (both managers are male). My father in law said having 3 employees on the clock for a slow day would increase payroll too much. He wants him to have a male employee replace them. He said its to protect the store from possible sexual harassment issues. My husband and I feel like this is unethical. I understand he wants the female employees to be safe at work but they shouldn't have their hours cut in order to do so. That seems like the store is favoring male employees which I think would be an even bigger law suit. What are we suppose to do? Do what the boss says and cut female hours to have them only work on busy days? Is it even legal for him to do this?

If this were pushed by someone with the EEOC and Department of labor it would be a gender discrimination case and could result in a large lawsuit.  Men and women work together all the time in convenience stores with no problems. If he has a problem with an employee he should address that employee and that problem not punish all the workers of the female gender.

One way to solve this would be to hire older females that are less likely to be involved in a sexual harrassment lawsuit.

Another way would be to install cameras in the store. This way you would also catch shoplifters as well as any illegal activity which could be nipped in the bud before a lawsuit. It takes a lot for a sexual harassment lawsuit, not so much for a discrimination lawsuit which is much worse and easier to prove.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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