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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.

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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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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