About Sharolyn Whiting-Ralston
Sharolyn Whiting-Ralston is a trial lawyer with the McAfee & Taft law firm. Her practice is primarily focused on labor and employment law and general civil and business litigation. She represents employers in all phases of labor and employment law, including litigation before state and federal courts, regulatory and administrative agencies, and arbitration panels. Her experience includes advising clients on such issues as drug and alcohol testing, employee handbook and policy development, wage and hour matters, workplace safety and reductions in force as well as litigation avoidance and compliance with other federal and state laws. In addition to her representation of employers in labor and employment matters, she represents clients in general civil and business litigation matters including construction disputes and complex commercial litigation.
Sharolyn has been a featured guest speaker at various training events and employment seminars, including a national audio conference, and has been a contributing author to the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter.
Her achievements have earned her inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers' list of "Oklahoma Rising Stars" (employment and labor, business/corporate, environmental litigation), which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys.
Within the last couple of years, we have highlighted a number of cases involving religion in the workplace and, specifically, religious accommodations, such as allowing employees to wear head scarves or other personal religious symbols. Late last year, a federal district court in Kansas was faced with the question of whether an employer properly attempted to accommodate the praying requirements of a Muslim employee.
Many employers run some sort of background or credit check on potential employees. Because Oklahoma law is not very restrictive in this area, some employers have been asking potentially problematic questions and running these checks without spending a lot of time developing a system for use of the information. However, statistics show that without proper […]
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD »
Electronic media use policies must be applied evenly and consistently
As you all know, the National Labor Relations Board has been very active on the issue of electronic media policies and what employers can and cannot prohibit or restrict. While the NLRB has deemed certain restrictive policies to be lawful, it has also taken aim at companies which don’t apply those restrictive policies evenly and […]
As most of you know, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been a bit of a moving target for employers over the last few years with the expansion of the Act and the regulations making it easier to for employees to make a claim. As a result, every new court opinion on the issue helps provide some clarity on the status of the law as it stands today.
On January 3, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for an employer who terminated an employee because he could no longer perform the essential functions of his job. This opinion reemphasizes what an employer’s obligations are — and are not — under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it makes clear an employer should not be penalized for providing any particular temporary accommodations.
My husband frequently makes fun of my innate nature to follow rules. When a sign at the store says don’t carry merchandise into the restroom, I don’t. I go in through the “in” door and out through the “out” door. Boring perhaps, but it keeps me out of trouble (mostly). Well, as one Tulsa business recently found, following rules really can protect your business when you have to terminate someone.
Just in time to finish off the year and get 2013 off to a good start, on December 11, 2012, the Tenth Circuit handed down a ruling clarifying and/or reiterating several rules of employment discrimination law—all in favor of employers. This ruling should not change your daily practices, but it does add some extra armor, if you ever find yourself in a lawsuit.
Remember when you were a little kid and had to go get those shots that made you cry (don’t worry I won’t tell), just so you could go to school in the fall? Well, go get a box of tissues, because you may be required to get a flu shot to keep your job.