Monthly Archives: December 2010

STUPID E-MAIL TRICKS

An excellent article in the October 2010 Corporate Counsel magazine discussed mistakes executives continue to make using e-mail. The author offered these common-sense guidelines. Use company email accounts appropriately. Don’t e-mail inside jokes or nicknames for clients or employees. Don’t e-mail when angry. Don’t e-mail potential ammunition for opposing counsel. Avoid using such phrases as… Read more »

RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION AND WORKPLACE HARASSMENT

In Mitchell v. University Medical Center, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky addressed a sensitive issue: The tension between an employer’s need to maintain a professional, harassment-free workplace and an employee’s right to voice her personal religious conviction on the job. The plaintiff, a staff nurse at the University Medical… Read more »

MINI-MEDICAL PLANS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION FROM HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW

Employers offering limited health benefit plans (“mini-med” plans) can do so without modifying them to comply with the Affordable Care Act, provided they obtain a waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Many of the companies who offer mini-med plans are applying for these exemptions on behalf of their customers. The mini-med… Read more »

CRIMINAL RECORDS: NO EMPLOYER POLICY, NO EMPLOYEE CLAIM

The case of EEOC v. Con-way Express, Inc. (8th Cir. September 26, 2010) involved an employer’s use of conviction records as a practice, but not a written policy. The EEOC sued on behalf of the charging party, Roberta Hollins, who claimed she was not hired based on her race. Hollins applied for a part-time position… Read more »

ALLIANCES THAT MAKE EMPLOYERS NERVOUS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is holding a series of discussions with the National People’s Action Network (NPA). The goal is to explain worker rights and how to file a complaint against rights violations with the Labor Department. At a recent discussion in Rhode Island with the Fuerza Laboral organization, more… Read more »

FIVE YEAR PLAN FOR THE WORKPLACE

The Secretary of Labor has issued “The Strategic Plan” for fiscal years through 2016. As you can see in the diagram, the essence of this plan consists of work-life balance, health care, income security, and advocacy – all noble goals. The challenge: Defining a context or meaning for these terms. Here’s what The Plan states:… Read more »

AARP HELPS EMPLOYERS WITH OLDER WORKERS

The changing demographics of the workforce have gathered much attention. The AARP has done an excellent job of providing insight and tools for employers to help manage the older-than-50 workforce. Click here to view this information. The older workforce will be with us for some time. The proper “retirement age” has been a source of… Read more »

OPPOSING UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS: MANAGERS, BEWARE

Many employers misunderstand the standard unemployment claims. The bottom line: Even a claimant who has performed horribly on the job is eligible for unemployment benefits, unless they leave under these circumstances: Voluntary departure without good cause. Discharge for misconduct connected with their work. An irresistible compulsion to use or consume drugs, including alcoholic beverages. Return… Read more »

EDITOR’S COLUMN: SUICIDE NETS

I read an interesting but disturbing article in Business Week magazine that talked about Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components. What was startling was the picture of suicide nets hung outside its company dormitories. Apparently, 12 workers have leapt to their deaths within the past year. When we see pictures of assembly factories… Read more »