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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.

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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EEOC Sues Company for Forced Practice of Scientology

May 13, 2013
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If any of the EEOC's allegations in the lawsuit are true, the agency is going to have an easy time winning this case, which serves a good reminder that an employer cannot force its employees to conform to, follow, or practice, the employer's chosen religious practices and beliefs.
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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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You'd Think We'd All Know the Dangers of 'Reply All' by Now

May 8, 2013
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Is there any more helpless feeling in today's business world than sending an email, and then immediately realizing that you made a mistake?
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Taking Issue With the Term 'Wage Theft'

May 7, 2013
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Yes, we have a wage-and-hour problem in this country. Wage-and-hour non-compliance, however, is a sin of omission, not a sin of commission. Employers aren't intentionally stealing; they just don't know any better.
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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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There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

May 2, 2013
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Silicon Valley's tech companies are famous for the perks they offer to lure the best and brightest employees. One such perk—elaborately gourmet free meals. Never one to leave money on the table, the IRS is reportedly examining the taxability of these meals.
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The Legal and Ethical Issues of the Class Action “Pick Off”

April 30, 2013
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There are significant strategic decisions that companies and their attorneys must make when defending class action lawsuits. Pre-certification communications with potential class members carry a big upside, albeit with the potential of significant risk.
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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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