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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.

SCOTUS: Picking Off Individual Plaintiffs Moots Wage and Hour Collective Action Claims

April 17, 2013
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The issue the Supreme Court faced in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk was whether a case becomes moot when the lone plaintiff receives an offer from the defendants to satisfy all of the plaintiff’s claims. Last December, I predicted an employer loss in this case. I’m happy to report that my prediction was very wrong.
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Do You Have a Workplace Emergency Action Plan?

April 16, 2013
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Yesterday's tragedy in Boston has left me speechless. Boston seems to have been prepared, and at least by early accounts, the city's early responders helped save many from suffering a worse fate. Employers can learn an important lesson from these ashes and tears—the importance of being prepared.
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A Look at Abercrombie and Fitch's 'Look' Policies

April 15, 2013
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If you hope to claim an undue hardship defense to a religious accommodation claim based on your company's image, you need to have the hard data to back your claim. Hypothetical hardships likely will not carry the day.
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New Bill Seeks to Extend Comp Time to Private Employers

April 11, 2013
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The Fair Labor Standards Act already provides similar rights to public sector employers. It's about time that the law is changed to provide the same rights to those in the private sector.
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Bald Is Beautiful … Unless You're a Hooters Waitress After Brain Surgery

April 10, 2013
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The insensitivity of Hooters's reaction to this situation is easy to spot. Just because Hooters acted insensitively, however, does not mean that it acted illegally. Indeed, whether the wig requirement discriminated against Sandra Lupo is a tricky question.
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28 Days Later? Passage of Time May Allow Employers to Recertify FMLA Claims

April 9, 2013
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Managing FMLA leave, and particularly managing intermittent FMLA leave, is one of the most challenging tasks for employers. What qualifies as “significantly changed circumstances” will vary from case to case. Do not mistake this case as carte blanche to demand a recertification after every prolonged period of absence.
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Can You Hear Me Now? Unilateral Deafness Is Not an ADA Disability

April 3, 2013
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This case is significant because it proves the exception—that a subset of diagnosed medical conditions exists that does not qualify as an ADA-protected disability.
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Deploy the Girl Scout Cookie Offensive to Ward Off Labor Unions

April 2, 2013
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Consider whether permitting your employees to sell cookies or engage in other innocent solicitations is worth the risk that if a union organization drive rears its head, you will be left powerless to engage one of your key weapons—the no-solicitation policy.
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A Cautionary Tale on What Happens When You Botch a Litigation Hold

April 1, 2013
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As soon as you reasonably anticipate litigation, you have an absolute duty to implement a written litigation hold that both instructs employees to preserve paper and electronic records relevant to the case, and suspends any automated processes that otherwise might result in the destruction of such records.
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