Before You Fire That Political Extremist . . .

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 18, 2017
If you’re a private sector employer, you can generally fire an at-will employee for his or her political beliefs or expression. The First Amendment, as we discussed last week, does not limit you. Depending on where you are, there may be state or local laws protecting employees from discrimination based on their political beliefs or activities, but those jurisdictions are the exception, not the rule. View Full Post
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NC “employee Classification” Law Warrants Caution but Doesn’t Change Substantive Law

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 16, 2017
On August 11, Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law the North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act. The portion of the legislation that deals with worker classifications will take effect December 31. The legislation does not change existing definitions of “employee” and “independent contractor” under state law but creates an Employee Classification Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which will be empowered to receive and investigate reports of worker misclassification, and to provide for information sharing among various state agencies, including the Department of Labor, the Division of Employment Security, the Department of Revenue, and the Industrial Commission. View Full Post
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Q and a On the Recent Controversy

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 11, 2017
On the recent uproar involving a major, major employer and its recently-terminated employee: No. 1. Is it a good idea to provide an “open forum” to employees if there are certain topics that are off limits? No. If you want to provide a forum for employees to speak up, but only “within reason,” then it’s a good idea to establish and communicate your limits in advance.  View Full Post
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Weekly Catch-up

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 11, 2017
President Trump endorses the RAISE Act, which would clamp down on legal immigration. The RAISE Act legislation, among other things, would give immigration priority according to a skills-based “points” system and to individuals who speak English. If enacted in its current form, it would be expected to reduce legal immigration to the United States by about 50 percent. View Full Post
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Employer Loses Defense to EEOC Suit Because It Didn’t Preserve Records

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 9, 2017
Just a quick reminder to employers to PRESERVE THEIR RECORDS when litigation is not only pending but also threatened. If you wait until the sheriff serves you with a summons and complaint, you may have waited too long. “Threatened” includes getting a demand letter from an attorney, or receiving an administrative charge or complaint, or any reasonably objective indication that legal action may be coming. View Full Post
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Employer Beware: Bad “optics” Create Hostile Work Environment?

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 9, 2017
Yesterday, I posted about a disability discrimination case that the employer did not really screw up. Even so, a few less-than-optimal moves resulted in an adverse jury verdict that was upheld on appeal. In Chapter 2 of our series on “employers who didn’t really screw up but still lost” is a sexual harassment case that bothers me, involving the Idaho Department of Corrections. View Full Post
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Bummer. NLRB Chairman Miscimarra is Leaving in December

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 8, 2017
Bloomberg BNA reported last night that Philip Miscimarra, Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board and a voice of reason, will be leaving when his term expires on December 16 of this year. Chairman Miscimarra said that he had been asked to stay for another term but decided not to because he had three kids going to college. View Full Post
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Employer Beware: When “good” Isn’t Good Enough (disability Bias)

By | Employment & Labor Insider | August 8, 2017
Two court decisions came out last week that ought to scare the heck out of employers. Both involved employers who seem to have been aware of their legal obligations and tried to comply. The employers lost their cases because they either didn’t go far enough, or didn’t pay enough attention to “optics.” I’d like to talk about each of these cases in two separate blog posts. View Full Post
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