Category Archives: Employee Handbooks & Policies

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Employer’s Honest Mistake Bests FMLA Retaliation Claim

We all know that honesty is the best policy but what about an honest mistake?  Can an honest mistake save you from liability in a retaliation lawsuit under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Just last month, federal appeals court in Pennsylvania said – Yes. In Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, the federal 3rd … Continue Reading

Employee Smart Phones: Smile, Your Meeting is Streaming Live and in Color

Ver la versión en español aquí Let’s go back to happier times … for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, that is. On January 15, 2017, the Steelers won the AFC Divisional playoff, moving the team to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots the following Sunday. (Cue the “Boos”).  The players were elated.  The post-game … Continue Reading

Super Bowl 51: A Time to Review Attendance and Tardiness Policies

Ver la versión en español aquí The stage is set. Super Bowl 51 will arrive in less than two weeks.  But will your employees? In January 2016, the Workforce Institute conducted a survey to assess the impact of the Super Bowl on worker productivity the next day. According to the study, 77% of Americans planned … Continue Reading

Warnings for Your Company Holiday Party

Ver la versión en español aquí It is that time of year again – Holiday Party Season!  What’s a party without alcohol, and what’s a law blog without a curmudgeon preaching moderation and reasonableness? (Paramount Pictures’ 2016 trailer for Office Christmas Party shows just how out of control these parties can get!) We all know the … Continue Reading

Employees Behaving Badly III: Now What?

Ver la versión en español aquí This is the second time my post discusses Donald Trump, except now he is President-elect Donald Trump.  Much has been written in the week since his election regarding how his presidency may impact employers.  Overall, the consensus seems to be that established laws such as Title VII and the … Continue Reading

Non-Compete Agreements Under Fire by the White House?

Ver la versión en español aquí Not really. On October 25, 2016, the White House issued a call to action urging states to reform their non-compete laws.  The call to action acknowledges that non-compete agreements are appropriate in certain circumstances, (for example, to protect trade secrets), but expressed the view that employers are, in many instances, … Continue Reading

Halloween Costumes at Work Could be “Tricky”

Ver la versión en español aquí At the risk of reinforcing the notion of lawyers and human resources professionals as being the “no fun” bunch, we offer some practical tips to avoiding the unsuspecting tricks employers may experience after treating employees to Halloween cheer.  First, while many will revel in the opportunity to wear a … Continue Reading

Non-Compete Agreements Under Attack

Ver la versión en español aquí “I‘m in Competition with Myself and Losing.” – Roger Waters Agreements restricting employees’ ability to compete against their employers are commonplace in the American workplace.  They serve as an effective means by which employers can protect their legitimate business interests in, among other things, their customer relationships, their trade … Continue Reading

When You Really Have to Go, Do You Ever Think About It?

Ver la versión en español aquí Transgender Status and the Bathroom Question With North Carolina recently passing a state law which requires a transgender person to use the restroom that matches their sex at birth, the question many Floridians are asking now is: If a person is transgender, or has a gender identity or expression different … Continue Reading

Have an Election Season Free from Tax Penalties!

Ver la versión en español aquí It’s hard to turn on a TV, read the news, or walk into a social setting without hearing about the election. As we head into the full-blown campaign season, we want to remind you that federal tax law specifically prohibits political campaign activity by employers that are tax exempt … Continue Reading

Employees Behaving Badly II: Did He Really Say That?

Ver la versión en español aquí I am not a fan of reality TV. However, in this reality TV election season, it is hard to tear my eyes (and ears) away from the barbs being exchanged primarily between the Republican candidates. Whether you support him or not, you have to admit that Donald Trump says things … Continue Reading

Law Would Ban Florida Employers from “E-Stalking”

Ver la versión en español aquí Not long ago, we blogged about social media as a blessing and a curse for employers.  On the one hand, social media helps businesses market products and services; on the other, social media provides employees with an easily-accessible platform to draw negative attention to the business. To prevent (or minimize) … Continue Reading

Telecommuting: Perk or Problem?

Ver la versión en español aquí As we become increasingly more mobile, telecommuting programs are among the fastest growing benefit for employees. While the term “work from home” may trigger visions of a 24-year-old with a laptop at a Starbucks, the typical telecommuter is actually a 49-year old college graduate. Having an endless supply of … Continue Reading

My Top Ten Ways to Avoid Being Sued in 2016

I love this time of year. For some magical reason, everyone’s mood changes and smiles appear. Perhaps it’s their pending vacation or the chance to spend quality time with friends and family. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here is my gift to all our readers.   Drum rolls please . . .  TEN WAYS TO AVOID GETTING … Continue Reading

Granting Non-Exempt Workers After-Hour Access to Company’s E-mail System: Are You E-mailing Your Way to a Wage and Hour Lawsuit?

Ver la versión en español aquí Betty’s at the dinner table with family, talking about her day, savoring her mashed potatoes when . . . flash—the phone lights up. Work e-mail. She reads it, steps away from the table, and starts drafting a response. Fifteen minutes later, she fires it off and returns to the … Continue Reading

Facebook “Unfriending” – A Form of Workplace Bullying?

Employers in Australia may be scrambling to update their social media and anti-bullying policies in light of a finding by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal, that Facebook “unfriending” may constitute workplace bullying. The FWC was tasked with analyzing whether Rachael Roberts — a real estate agent sales administrator — was … Continue Reading

The Pros and Khans of Good Workplace Management

Ver la versión en español aquí Recently, I had occasion to watch Season 1 of the Netflix series, Marco Polo. The plot is based on the 13th century Mongolian Empire. However, to an employment lawyer, it all seems like a page out of an employment law primer. The main protagonist (read, disgruntled employee), Marco Polo, … Continue Reading

Why Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Wasn’t Fired

Ver la versión en español aquí For the past several weeks, the country has been enthralled by the controversy surrounding Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, who spent five days in jail after she refused to comply with a federal court’s directive to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis, an Apostolic Christian, says that … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Takes No Prisoners: Rebukes NLRB Decision Declaring “Common Sense Sometimes Matters”

Ver la versión en español aquí “Common sense sometimes matters in resolving legal disputes.” That’s how the D.C. Circuit began its opinion reversing a widely publicized 2011 decision by the NLRB finding that AT&T Connecticut had committed an unfair labor practice when it banned AT&T employees from wearing “Prisoner” shirts to the homes of customers. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Time to Update Your FMLA Policy (Again!)

Ver la versión en español aquí On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution “requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex … Continue Reading

OMG! Your Policy Says What?

Ver la versión en español aquí Title VII, through the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), has expressly prohibited pregnancy discrimination since 1978. Thirteen years later, the Supreme Court, in Johnson Controls, told us that even well-intentioned, but facially discriminatory, gender and pregnancy based employment policies — like Johnson Control’s policy of prohibiting fertile women from working … Continue Reading
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