Content about attorney

June 10, 2014

An employer can look at its employees’ posts on social networking sites, but it needs to be careful in how it responds -- or does not -- to what it sees there.

In testimony before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on March 12, 2014, employment law attorney Jonathan Segal, speaking on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), said: “To ignore social media today is like ignoring e-mail 20 years ago. Social media is no longer cutting-edge; it is now mainstream.”

April 8, 2014

A quick fix can go a long way to solving a problem, particularly when that problem is a payroll error.

“Payroll errors unfortunately occur from time to time even at the best employers,” said Chuck McDonald, an attorney in the Greenville, S.C., office of Ogletree Deakins, in an interview with SHRM Online.

January 30, 2014

Companies that make their open-and-closed policies clear for inclement-weather seasons -- such as snowy winters and falls full of hurricanes -- can keep employees informed, instead of in the dark.

“An employer does not have to have a policy and can simply tell employees that they must report to work when the business is open, regardless of what other businesses choose to do and are reported on the news,” Richele Taylor, an attorney in Fisher & Philips’ Columbia, S.C., office, told SHRM Online.

December 19, 2013

“Would it be hard working for a boss younger than you?”

“Do you think our technology demands might be too much?”

“Why would you want this job, given all your experience?”

“People here work long hours; that probably doesn’t interest you.”

Such are the remarks interviewers make that, unwittingly or not, convey the message that an over-55 applicant is “too old” for a job.

December 16, 2013

Jared S. Littmann, a co-owner of K&B True Value in Annapolis, Md., was recently appointed to the board of directors for True Value Co. 

Formerly an associate county attorney, Littmann brings a wealth of experience to the board of directors, including his service on the Annapolis City Council as an alderman, chair of the Environmental Matters Committee, and member of the Housing and Human Welfare Committee.

October 9, 2013

Sears, Roebuck & Company, together with Whirlpool Corporation, filed petitions for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court Oct. 7, according to global law firm and Whirlpool representative Mayer Brown.

The retailers are asking the Court to review class certifications related to Sears v. Butler and Whirlpool v. Glazer, two similar class action suits that allegedly cast a large umbrella over varied defects involving Whirlpool washing machines. Each certification involved complaints of musty-smelling front-loading washing machines.

October 4, 2013

The number of romances blooming at work may not have increased much in the past eight years, but company policies addressing them sure have, according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Moreover, those policies are a lot stricter today than they were in 2005, the last time SHRM conducted its Workplace Romance survey of HR professionals.

September 10, 2013

At a cost capped at $8.25 million plus attorney’s fees, Trex Co. is settling a California lawsuit connected to mold in an early version of its decking product.

Trex, the largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, said the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement that will resolve a nationwide class action lawsuit filed in California alleging problems in Trex’s first-generation composite products relating to mold growth and color issues.

September 9, 2013

A little-noticed Aug. 15, 2013, decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may make big waves, enabling unions to organize tiny bargaining units called microunits, according to Jonathan Segal, an attorney at Duane Morris in Philadelphia.

The decision looks innocuous enough at first glance, but Segal said it may be the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “Trojan horse.” 

Deferential Decision

August 29, 2013

It’s important for employers to understand and prepare for a slew of new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reporting requirements, according to Sidney Blumling, an attorney at Fisher & Phillips in Irvine, Calif. 

August 22, 2013

At a cost capped at $8.25 million plus attorney's fees, Trex Co. is settling a California lawsuit  connected to mold in an early version of its decking product. 

August 16, 2013

Having a social media policy -- and training employees to follow it -- are critical practices for every organization. Even if your company is not using social media, you still need a policy because your employees are using it in their private lives and they need guidelines to protect your interests and your organization’s reputation.

Before creating a social media policy, employers should decide what they want to get out of social media, advises Eric Meyer, a partner in the labor employment law group of Dilworth Paxson LLP.

August 8, 2013

The Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for employers to provide employees with written notice about new health care exchanges should trigger employers’ efforts to help their workers understand a wide range of pending health care changes, benefits experts say.

June 12, 2013

NEW ORLEANS -- Employers should make sure that any background check they perform is job-related and consistent with business necessity, Stephen Woods, an attorney in Ogletree Deakins’ Greenville, S.C., office, told attendees at the firm’s 2013 Workplace Strategies seminar May 9-10. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), worker advocacy groups and plaintiffs’ attorneys are now giving employee and applicant credit and criminal background checks particularly intense scrutiny, he said.

May 9, 2013

Employers must execute many tasks when employees leave the company by choice or are terminated. One of the most important items to get right is final payments to departing employees.

Employers must execute many tasks when employees leave the company by choice or are terminated. One of the most important items to get right is final payments to departing employees.

 

Be big in small things

March 28, 2013

March Madness is pounding its way down basketball courts with a second weekend of big games commencing today, and while some employers embrace it as an engagement tool and way to build company camaraderie, labor lawyer D. Albert Brannen warns that -- much like the round-ballers playing defense -- employers shouldn’t let their guard down.

March 26, 2013

On Feb. 28, 2013, approximately 286 businesses and municipal employers filed an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Feb. 28, 2013, approximately 286 businesses and municipal employers filed an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

February 14, 2013

Nobody thought intermittent leave would be a problem when the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted 20 years ago, on Feb. 5, 1993.

Nobody thought intermittent leave would be a problem when the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted 20 years ago, on Feb. 5, 1993.

“The intent behind the law is very good,” noted John Bauer, an employment attorney in Littler Mendelson’s Melville, N.Y., office. But it’s become employers’ No. 1 headache, particularly for small employers, he told SHRM Online on Feb. 1, 2013.

February 13, 2013

"Employers -- under a variety of different laws -- can’t ask an employee’s doctor any questions that they can’t ask the employee,” said Robert Dustin, an employment and disability law attorney with Saul Ewing LLP in Washington, D.C.

Can an employer call an employee’s doctor to ask about the documentation for an employee’s request for intermittent leave? Can the employer email the employee’s doctor with questions about the accommodation a disabled employee has requested?

February 11, 2013

Accuracy of background-check-report information and greater scrutiny of the screening industry are the No. 1 trend for 2013, said attorney and background-check expert Lester Rosen.

The background-screening industry is facing greater scrutiny over the accuracy of its reports, according to industry experts. In 2012 some job seekers claimed that inaccurate criminal background checks prevented them from finding employment.

Accuracy of background-check-report information and greater scrutiny of the screening industry are the No. 1 trend for 2013, said attorney and background-check expert Lester Rosen.

December 7, 2012

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance is difficult and annoying, said Mark Oberti, an attorney with Oberti Sullivan LLP in Houston, at the National Employment Law Institute’s Annual Employment Law Conference in Arlington, Va., Nov. 16, 2012.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s FMLA regulations often aren’t much help, as they rarely make it clear when an employer may fire someone, he added.

Oberti outlined 12 compliance strategies for employers:

December 6, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to struggle over the question of who qualifies as a supervisor under federal nondiscrimination laws. Hearing oral arguments in a case from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 26, 2012, the high court addressed the issue, left unanswered in previous Supreme Court decisions, of when a “supervisor” includes an employee who oversees and directs other workers’ daily tasks, but has no authority over their formal employment status, (Vance v. Ball State Univ., No. 11-556).

November 30, 2012

Most employers are reluctant to talk about unions and haven’t done it.

They should switch gears, however, and start encouraging supervisors to discuss unions to prevent their workforces from becoming unionized, as long as supervisors are trained on what they should and should not say, said Robert Brody, an attorney with Brody and Associates in New York and Westport, Conn., in a Nov. 8, 2012, firm webcast.

November 12, 2012

Unusually severe storms like Hurricane Sandy can result in unusual working arrangements that raise out-of-the-ordinary wage and hour questions.

Suppose employees volunteer to perform recovery services for employers. That may sound nice, but “the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not permit employees to volunteer unpaid time to the employer under any but the narrowest of circumstances,” Lawrence McGoldrick, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips in Atlanta, told SHRM Online.

November 2, 2012

E-Verify has found a champion in presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who would make the federal electronic employee verification system mandatory nationwide so that U.S. employment would become less of a magnet for illegal immigration.

But while E-Verify has become less error-ridden and more popular among employers than it used to be, it remains easy to fool, costly and widely ignored in states where it is required, according to a Sept. 25, 2012, report.

Hodgepodge of state laws