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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.

There Are No Magic Words to Invoke the FMLA

May 29, 2013
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When there exists any doubt over whether an employee is seeking time off for a reason that could qualify under the FMLA, there is no harm in treating the request as one for FMLA leave.
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Reality Bites: Fox Debuts New Workplace Reality Show

May 24, 2013
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Fox debuted its new reality show, 'Does Someone Have To Go?', which Entertainment Weekly bills as 'Survivor' meets 'The Office.' I was glued to the TV, and will be through this show's run.
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When State Law Conflicts With the EEOC on Criminal Background Checks, Who Wins?

May 23, 2013
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Talk about a tough position in which to place an employer. Does the employer violate state law or violate Title VII? Ultimately, I think the correct answer should be neither.
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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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Fired for Suing an Ex-Employer? Court Rejects Public Policy Claim

May 20, 2013
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Employers should treat all employees complaining about anything in the workplace as ticking time bombs, as if their complaints are protected by some law or another. If a court later rejects a public policy claim, all the better.
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Patriots Cutting Diabetic Player Raises Serious ADA Issues

May 16, 2013
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It is an understatement to characterize this termination—undertaken without any apparent consideration of whether the team could accommodate the diabetes—as high risk. It would not surprise me in the least if, given the high profile nature of this employment decision, the EEOC takes up Kyle Love's cause to further its mission of disability-rights awareness.
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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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