Employee Relations & Management Issues

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:

  1. Coverage:  EPLI policies typically cover claims of wrongful discharge, workplace harassment

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

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.”

Continue Reading President signs Family Leave Provisions for Military Families

A recent federal court of appeals decision in Simple v. Walgreens Company is a case study on two important points. First, how the pressures of marketing in a competitive retail environment can overtake the limits of discrimination laws. Second, how a supervisor’s communication with an employee can create an issue of discrimination.

Like many retailers, Walgreens tracks demographic

The EEOC issued final regulations that create a specific exemption from the Age discrimination laws (ADEA) allowing employers to coordinate (meaning alter, reduce or eliminate) health benefits for retirees who become eligible for Medicare. The EEOC regulations describe the exemption as follows:

Some employee benefit plans provide health benefits for retired participants that are altered, reduced

One December 16, 2007, the Board issued its much anticipated decision in Guard Publishing Company d/b/a Register Guard and Eugene Newspaper Guild, CWA Local 37194 holding an employer did not violate section 7 by maintaining a policy that prohibited employees from using the employer’s e-mail system of any “non-job-related solicitations.”

The NLRB’s 3-2 decision also announced