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Labor Relations

Controlling the Discrimination Case

June 5, 2013
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How a court frames who is, and who is not, “similarly situated” can be dispositive of the issue of discrimination. For this reason, it is wise to examine any potential similarly situated employees for similar or dissimilar treatment under like circumstances before taking action against a protected employee.
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Email Surveillance as Evidence of Retaliation

May 22, 2013
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If you are going to enforce a policy or exercise some employer right (like surveillance of corporate email or computer systems), do it consistently, not selectively and only after an employee complains about discrimination. Otherwise, you could change a legal and reasonable act into evidence of unlawful retaliation.
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Social Media is the Digital Water Cooler

May 21, 2013
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Employees still might gather around the lunch table or coffee machine to gossip about work, but they are also just as likely, if not more likely, to carry over those conversations outside of the workplace through their personal social media accounts.
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Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Do You Know the Difference?

May 15, 2013
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Employers owe contractors far fewer obligations than employees. Employers take a risk when they classify someone performing services for them as an independent contractor instead of an employee.
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How Much Does it Cost to Defend an Employment Lawsuit?

May 14, 2013
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Defending a case through discovery and a ruling on a motion for summary judgment can cost an employer between $75,000 and $125,000. If an employer loses summary judgment (which, much more often than not, is the case), the employer can expect to spend a total of $175,000 to $250,000 to take a case to a jury verdict at trial.
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Debunking Myths of a Pro-Business Supreme Court

May 9, 2013
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There are still two key employment cases pending this term. These two rulings will help determine this Supreme Court's developing legacy as either pro-individual or pro-business in deciding employment cases.
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EEOC Lands Its Largest Settlement Ever

May 6, 2013
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I never thought I'd read about a case in which I could say to myself, “A $240 million jury verdict doesn't seem all that out of whack.” Then I read about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent $240 million jury verdict against Henry's Turkey Service. The agency alleged that the farm subjected its 32 mentally disabled workers to decades of abuse.
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NLRB Confirms Legality of Most At-Will Employment Disclaimers

April 25, 2013
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The National Labor Relations Board has confused me with its apparent reasonableness. Last week, the NLRB published an advice memorandum from its Office of General Counsel,
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Beware Bans on Pay Discussions Among Employees

April 25, 2013
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Does your handbook have a policy that prohibits employees from discussing how much you pay them? If so, get rid of it.
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