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Archives for February 2014

Retaliation Remains Most Common Complaint

Randy Freking

The good news for employers is that the overall number of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decreased in fiscal 2013.  The number of charges filed decreased by 5.7%.

However, retaliation charges continued to represent the most frequent allegation, according to a report issued on Wednesday, February 5.  According to the EEOC, 38,539 retaliation charges were brought in fiscal 2013.  This number accounted for 31% of all charges and represented an increase of 1.9% from the year ending September 20, 2012.

The increase in retaliation charges reflects the growing education in workforces.  More often, employees now realize that retaliatory treatment after they have engaged in protected activity is protected by law.

For more information on EEOC charges click here.


Ice and Snow Claims Can Be Slippery

Mark Napier

During the winter months, Freking & Betz receives many calls about slip and falls on ice and snow. The general rule in Ohio is that an owner or occupier of land ordinarily owes no duty to others to remove natural accumulations of ice and snow. The rationale for this rule is that the dangers from natural ice and snow accumulations are ordinarily so obvious and apparent that a person on the premises will discover those dangers and protect himself or herself against them.

But, there are exceptions to this general rule. The premises owner may be liable if the owner negligently causes or permits an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow. An “unnatural accumulation” is one that has been created by causes and factors other than inclement weather conditions. An example is a defective down spout that directs water across a sidewalk. The misdirected water freezes as “black ice,” and is not an open and obvious hazard.

Another exception is when a municipality passes an ordinance that premises owners are required to clear adjacent sidewalks.