10 Sins of Termination (#1 Time to Prevent Lawsuits)

Sin #1. Terminating Rashly in a Fit of Anger Boss: That’s the last straw, you’re out of here—and I mean now! There are at least three things wrong with an on-the-spot termination: People don’t make good decisions this way. There are many factors to considered before terminating. Being disrespectful encourages people to sue. Bottom line, […]

No Hostile Workplace Claim If Victims Oblivious: 11th Circ.

By Daniel Siegal The Eleventh Circuit issued a precedential ruling Tuesday in an appeal by Austal USA LLC workers who saw their racial discrimination claims against the shipbuilder defeated by a lower court, holding that employees alleging an objectively hostile work environment cannot complain about conduct to which they were “oblivious.” The appeal came after […]

4 Tips To Avoid Landing In Trade Secrets Hot Water

By Bill Donahue Law360, New York (July 09, 2014, 7:09 PM ET) – Companies are getting smarter about protecting their trade secrets alongside the rest of their intellectual property, but they also need to be equally wary about accidentally stealing somebody else’s. With high-profile criminal cases, dramatic overseas accusations and the talk of new federal […]

5 Ways to Avoid Trouble When Using Background Checks

While the rules of the road for employers that use criminal background checks in the hiring process remain uncertain, it’s clear that using past brushes with the law as a screening tool can incur the wrath of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, lawyers say. The EEOC has proven its willingness to go after employers on […]

Employers, Beware of Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act’s “Knowing and Voluntary” Requirements!

Employers need to be very mindful of the Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act’s “knowing and voluntary” requirements in drafting severance agreements, particularly in connection with a reduction in force. Consider a federal court’s invalidation of the release of an age discrimination claim in a recent case in Colorado – see article below. Courtesy of George […]

The NLRB Is At It Again…Striking Down Hospital’s Anti-Gossip Policy

In a case involving Hills and Dales General Hospital in Michigan, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) struck down the hospital’s policy prohibiting employees from participating in or listening to gossip, concluding that such policy could prevent employees from discussing legitimate work issues. According to the NLRB’s order issued on April 1st, “[t]his is the […]

Employee Misclassification

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a huge concern for the Labor Department, and they are getting serious about fixing it. During the past two years, the DOL has collected $18.2 million in back wages for more than 19,000 workers who were misclassified. Now they are teaming up with state agencies to target even more […]

Two Courts of Appeals to Consider Legality of Paying Incentive Compensation to Fluctuating Workweek Employees

Courtesy of Robert W. Pritchard – March 11, 2014 In a pair of appeals that will have significant implications for employers that utilize the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method of calculating overtime compensation, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits are considering whether the payment of incentive compensation (in addition to fixed […]

Top Twelve Things Employers Must Do To Throw A Holiday Party Free of Legal Hassles!

Holiday Parties – A legal minefield for Employers! By Nancy Castor Sprattlin, Esq. September is here, thus the holidays are right around the corner!  It is that time again when employers must grapple with the dilemma as to whether to hold a holiday party for their employees.  Holiday parties are a legal minefield for employers!  It […]

Can An Indefinite Leave Of Absence Be A Reasonable Accommodation?

One of the most difficult issues an HR professional or in-house employment counsel faces is how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave required?  What law applies and what are the obligations for an employer in this situation? Despite the uncertainty of what additional leave […]