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The Practical Employer

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Helping employers navigate the complicated and ever-changing world of employment and labor laws, rules, and regulations, rationally and pragmatically.

With Social Media, All of Your Employees Are Brand Ambassadors

April 29, 2013
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Whether you like it or not, social media has turned each of your employees into a brand ambassador. Can you afford to have your brand sullied by the offensive or racists rants of one of your employees?
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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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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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NLRB Confirms Legality of Most At-Will Employment Disclaimers

April 24, 2013
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The NLRB will examine at-will disclaimers on a case-by-case basis, and I do not expect we will see the Board take the unreasonable position that all at-will disclaimers are unlawful.
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Staged RIFs Qualify for Heightened Protection From Age Discrimination

April 23, 2013
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A reduction in force can occur in stages and over time. An employer can first retain key employees during a layoff and then layoff those key employees later when economic realities dictate their termination.
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NLRB Offers Further Guidance on Confidential Workplace Investigations

April 22, 2013
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I believe that the NLRB fails to understand the importance of confidentiality in workplace investigations, and further fails to understand the realities of how workplace investigations work.
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There Is No Such Thing as a 'License to Harass'

April 18, 2013
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Employees need to understand that some participation in sex-based workplace hijinks does not create a license to harass in perpetuity. No one can tell where someone draws his or her personal line of inappropriateness, and trying to make that decision for someone else can only result in trouble (i.e., a lawsuit) down the road.
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SCOTUS: Picking Off Individual Plaintiffs Moots Wage and Hour Collective Action Claims

April 17, 2013
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The issue the Supreme Court faced in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk was whether a case becomes moot when the lone plaintiff receives an offer from the defendants to satisfy all of the plaintiff’s claims. Last December, I predicted an employer loss in this case. I’m happy to report that my prediction was very wrong.
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Do You Have a Workplace Emergency Action Plan?

April 16, 2013
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Yesterday's tragedy in Boston has left me speechless. Boston seems to have been prepared, and at least by early accounts, the city's early responders helped save many from suffering a worse fate. Employers can learn an important lesson from these ashes and tears—the importance of being prepared.
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A Look at Abercrombie and Fitch's 'Look' Policies

April 15, 2013
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If you hope to claim an undue hardship defense to a religious accommodation claim based on your company's image, you need to have the hard data to back your claim. Hypothetical hardships likely will not carry the day.
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