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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.

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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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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