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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.

Your Employees Are BYODing, Whether You Like It or Not

June 6, 2013
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Seventy percent of employees who use personal devices at work are using a smartphone, and of those employees, more than one-third bring them to work either without the knowledge of their IT department, or in spite of an outright corporate ban on personal devices in the workplace. These numbers mean that a bring-your-own-device program is no longer an option, but should be required.
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Controlling the Discrimination Case

June 5, 2013
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How a court frames who is, and who is not, “similarly situated” can be dispositive of the issue of discrimination. For this reason, it is wise to examine any potential similarly situated employees for similar or dissimilar treatment under like circumstances before taking action against a protected employee.
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Facebook Posts as Evidence of Retaliation

June 4, 2013
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Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels can prove to be treasure trove of protected information—information about an employee's personal and family medical issues, religious issues, genetic information, and, like this case, protected complaints about discrimination.
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Lactation Discrimination Equals Pregnancy Discrimination

June 3, 2013
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Because men cannot lactate, it is discriminatory to deny an employee's lactation request, because such a denial would necessarily treat women (or, more specifically, child-bearing women) differently than men.
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Angelina and GINA

May 30, 2013
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Even though GINA has been law for more the four years, it is seldom discussed or understood. Employers need to take this lesson to heart. Genetics -- both an employee's and that of one's family members -- is off limits in employment.
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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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