The United State Supreme Court issued its decision limiting the role of so called “me too” evidence in discrimination cases. In Sprint/United Management v. Mendelsohn, the Court ruled that an employee does not have an automatic right to introduce testimony by nonparties alleging discrimination at the hands of the company where the alleged discriminatory actions
Employee Cell Phone Use: Adopt a Policy on Talking, Texting, and E-mailing while Driving
We have all witnessed dangerous driving maneuvers by individuals talking on cell phones. What if this driver is one of your employees? What if the employee causes an accident while conducting company business on a cell phone?
Employers may be liable for accidents where an employee’s job-related cell phone use contributed to the accident. Whether the cell phone…
Will the Supreme Court’s Decision in LaRue Result in a “Slew of Meritless Litigation?”
The United State Supreme Court ruled that ERISA allows individual claims by plan participants for breach of fiduciary duty that result in losses to an individual account rather than only to the entire plan. In LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg, & Assoc., Inc., an employee brought an ERISA claim against his employer who was the plan administrator…
Romance in the Workplace: Happy Valentine’s Day
I consulted the on line Encarta Encyclopedia for the origins of Valentine’s Day and found the following description:
The holiday probably derives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis (February 15), also called the Lupercalia. In an annual rite of fertility, eligible young men and women would be paired as couples through a town lottery.
Employment Practice Liability Insurance: Five Things every HR Generalist should Know.*
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) may be a relative bargain in the continued “soft” insurance market and employers should consider adding or increasing insurance coverage to protect against employment claims. EPLI insurance is somewhat quirky and the following are some considerations when evaluating policies:
- Coverage: EPLI policies typically cover claims of wrongful discharge, workplace harassment
New Proposed FMLA Regulations published by DOL.
The Department of Labor released the new proposed FMLA regulations on Monday, February 11, 2008. I am in the process of digesting the new regs and will post a summary shortly. Thanks to Michael Fox at Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer for the early release tip.
Blogosphere version of a Chain Letter or Building Block of Cultural Evolution
Rush Nigut of Rush on Business tagged me. The rules of “tag” are simple:
- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
I wondered if this “tag” is a blogosphere version of a chain letter. I quickly did some research and discovered that it’s a meme. A meme (pronounced /mi:m/), as defined by memetic theory, constitutes a theoretical unit of cultural information, the building block of culture or cultural evolution which spreads through diffusion propagating from one mind to another analogously to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information and of biological evolution. To avoid the bad luck that will befall me if I don’t send this “meme” on to seven other bloggers, I will dutifully comply.…
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Risk Management in Employee Terminations: Sometimes the How is as Important as the Why.
What motivates a terminated employee to sue his or her employer is a complex issue. In my experience, the manner in which an employee is “fired” is at least as likely to lead to a lawsuit as the “reason” given for his or her termination. Many lawyers spend all their time on justifying the reasons for why…
Retention Bonuses: Talent Management Tool for Businesses in Transition
Microsoft Corp. tendered an unsolicited takeover offer of $44.6 billion for Yahoo, Inc. As with any acquisition/merger, both businesses need to calm the troops by making assurance of job security. In today’s world, every employee knows that the buzz words like “business synergies” and “market overlap” mean layoffs for employees whose jobs are “redundant”. As reported by …
President signs Family Leave Provisions for Military Families
The White House announced that President Bush signed of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4986) which includes additional FMLA leave for military families. Section 585 (full text set forth below) of the bill (similar to the one vetoed in December) adds two new FMLA-qualifying events, expanding FMLA to include employees caring for an injured service member as well as family members who have a family member called to active duty.
The DOL has summarized the provisions and indicated that the caregiver provisions of the law are effective immediately while the other provisions aren’t effective until DOL issued final regulations. The DOL is “working quickly” to prepare comprehensive guidance, and will require employers to act in good faith until guidance is issued. Employers should immediately adopt FMLA-type procedures for substitution of paid leave and notice as it applies to the new legislation.
Under the new law, FMLA-eligible employees will now be entitled to the following:
Caregiver Leave for an Injured Servicemember: This benefit permits a “spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin” to take up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a “member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness.”
Family Leave Due to a Call to Active Duty: This benefit provides 12 weeks of FMLA leave for “any qualifying exigency (as the Secretary [of Labor] shall, by regulation, determine) arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency operation.”…
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