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Category Archives: Human Resources (HR) Compliance

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NLRB and the “Purple” Crayon: NLRB Rewrites Its Decision on Employer E-mail

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

The NLRB, right now, is union-friendly. We know it. Employers know it. Politicians know it. The unions know it. It’s stacked 3-2 with Democrat appointees so the NLRB taking its training wheels off and is doing what it has always done. It has shifted its decisions based on the politics. Yesterday represented just the latest… Continue Reading

The “Association” Game: How a Spouse’s Cancer May be Covered by the ADA

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Last week, we talked about an employer’s obligations when it comes to an employee who has cancer. But what about an employee’s spouse? Does the employer have any legal obligations there? Let’s start first with a story: Jake and his supervisor, Alex, have had a great working relationship but lately, things seems to have changed. At least… Continue Reading

Who Needs Santa? All I Want for Christmas is a Visit From OSHA

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

My colleague, Marc Herman, returns today with a holiday-themed post filled with — workplace safety issues? Read on. Holiday season shopping . . . the home to nostalgic tunes, perpetual lines, frenzied bargain hunters, overflowing parking lots, and OSHA. For those who can’t remember your government acronyms, it’s the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and… Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Employees Need Not Be Paid For Post-Shift Security Checks

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Wage & Hour

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules on an issue in a 9-0 fashion — with a decision penned by Justice Thomas, no less — you can fairly conclude that the issue is not all that difficult. Indeed, the SCOTUSBlog summed up the employment law decision today pretty succinctly: Workers who are required to stay after their… Continue Reading

Court: Breach of Anti-Harassment Policy in Company Handbook — Titled “Employee Agreement” — Can Be a Viable Claim Without Disclaimer

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

I’ve talked many times before about the importance of a well-drafted disclaimer in your employee handbook (here and here, for example). This is not a new thing and in Connecticut dates back to an important case back in 1995 . Without such disclaimers, employers can be subject to a breach of contract claim by your employees. Yesterday, a… Continue Reading

Cancer and the Workplace: Tips for Employers

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Last week, I shared my family’s personal story about how cancer has impacted us.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a few tips for employers.  Even if you don’t presently have an issue with an employee, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with some of the… Continue Reading

Three Times a Charm

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Today, my colleague Marc Herman writes a follow up to his post on October 27th regarding wellness programs. Continuing its publically waged war against wellness programs, the EEOC has, once again, dragged another employer into the litigation minefield of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This time, Honeywell, Inc.––a Minnesota-based technology manufacturer––has, excuse the pun, got… Continue Reading

Background Check Settlements Still Costing Employers Big Dollars

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

My colleague Peter Murphy and I have been talking a lot about background checks lately.  It’s easier than ever to run a basic Internet search on someone, but what information do you find? And are there any limts? Today, Peter talks about two recent settlements of background check claims against employers. Both cost the employers… Continue Reading

Willful Misconduct and Unemployment Compensation: The Quiz (Part 2)

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

In yesterday’s post, my colleague Chris Engler discussed the “wilful” misconduct standard and how it applies when your employee is otherwise eligible to receive unemployment compensation. Today, Chris returns and has a quick quiz to review some recent cases of how this standard has been applied. So, you think you know what the “wilful” misconduct… Continue Reading

Your Workplace Is Going Viral #AlexfromTarget

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

For employers, the power of the Internet is pretty scary at times. The latest meme to hit the Internet won’t change that view. Sometime yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, someone tweeted a picture of a worker from a Target store. His name is “Alex”. We know this because of his name tag. And apparently he’s cute and teenagers started… Continue Reading

Guest Post: When “Disruptive” Technology Hits Your Workplace, What Then?

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

Today, I’m pleased to highlight a guest post from Steven Scheinberg, the General Counsel of the Anti-Defamation League. I’ve known Steven for several years and was very happy when he offered to share his thoughts on this important topic.  Steve actually practiced at a prominent plaintiff’s employment law firm in Connecticut many years ago now so… Continue Reading

Watching Over Your Employees

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Social Media

With cameras on every smart phone and computers that can track your every click, it’s hard for employers to know what’s proper in the workplace when it comes to surveillance and monitoring. I’ve talked on the blog before about Connecticut’s Electronic Monitoring Act. But there are several other laws and theories that employers should be… Continue Reading

Your Company’s Wellness Program May Violate The Law, Says the EEOC

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

I’ve talked about wellness programs from time to time here on the blog.  Robin Shea, on her great blog, first brought this up back in August. But since then, there are some new developments from the EEOC that employers should keep an eye out on.  Today, my colleague Marc Herman joins us for the first time to… Continue Reading

Bully For You? Not When It Comes To Workplace Bullying

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Legislative Developments

One of things I try to do on this blog is look through our crystal ball and focus on topic that may be on the horizon. For some time now, workplace bullying has seemed to be one of those issues. I’ve touched on it before, but today my colleague Chris Parkin is back with some… Continue Reading

Four Things To Do Now BEFORE An Employee Data Breach

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

With the headlines coming out seemingly daily about data breaches at companies, there’s a tendency to feel a bit overwhelmed with the problem. And while a data breach regarding your employees is something that may not be as imminent as one involving credit cards, it still represents a major threat to your business. This week,… Continue Reading

Court’s Decision on Severance Agreements Avoids Central Issues

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Just a quick followup today on a post from last month. As I reported then, a District Court judge dismissed a closely-watched EEOC lawsuit against CVS challenging a pretty standard severance agreement.  But the grounds for the dismissal were unknown back then. The wait is over; the written decision was released yesterday.  For those that were hoping that… Continue Reading

Employees Can Break Data Privacy Rules Too

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

When we think about protecting customer and employee data, we often think that the biggest hazards are outside hackers. But a recently publicized incident involving AT&T shows that the threats may also be from within. As The New York Times reported: “[I]t serves as a cautionary tale about the types of information that employees at… Continue Reading

Is “Name, Rank, Serial Number” The Best Policy on Job References?

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance

Your former employee wants a job reference.  Do you provide just the basics to his potential employers — namely, confirming dates of employment and his last position — or something more? And what are the legal risks of doing so? The topic is far from new on this blog (see this post from 2007 here, for example). … Continue Reading

The Five Questions You Can’t Ask At A Job Interview

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Six years ago, posts about layoffs were in vogue.  But it’s been a long while since we focused on posts about hiring. With the economy generally stable (or shall we dare say improving?), it seems appropriate to talk about job interview questions. There are lots of posts about the “best” job interview questions you can pose… Continue Reading

A Decade Later, Breastfeeding in the Workplace Laws See Healthy Adoption

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

Over ten years ago, Connecticut became one of the first states to mandate that employers “make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.” I’ve discussed that law in depth in a prior… Continue Reading

Are You a Joint Employer? It May Depend on the Court’s Test

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Can an employee work for more than one employer at the same time? Under a theory of law called “joint employment”, the answer is yes. But how do you make that determination? Suppose a private bus company provides services all over Connecticut. It’s largest customer happens to be a very large private university in the state. The… Continue Reading

Julia Roberts Would Not Be Impressed: Mystic Pizza Cited for Wage/Hour Violations

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Wage & Hour

Oh, Mystic Pizza! In Connecticut, we all know that Mystic Pizza isn’t the best pizza in the state.  (I’m not even going to get into the argument about Pepe’s, Sally’s, or Modern in New Haven.)  One of my favorites is actually Harry’s Bishops Corner. But Mystic Pizza still has a place in many of our hearts… Continue Reading

Followup: Court Dismisses EEOC Lawsuit Challenging CVS Separation Agreement

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

Back in February, I talked about how a lawsuit brought by the EEOC against CVS challenging the company’s standard separation agreement could be a big deal “if the EEOC prevails”. But I cautioned about drawing any sweeping conclusions just then stating: ”My gut tells me that the courts are not likely to view the government’s arguments with favor…. Continue Reading

56 Million Reasons Why Your HR Department Needs Better Data Security

Posted in Data Privacy, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

Okay, okay.  I realize the headline is a bit misleading.  But it isn’t every day that you hear about a data breach at Home Depot in which 56 MILLION credit cards may have been hacked. To put that into perspective, that’s 16 million MORE than the infamous Target breach! But this is an employment law… Continue Reading