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The Modern Workplace

Posts from March 2011.

As I wrote about earlier this week, Campbell Mithun made waves last week when the Minneapolis-based advertising agency <a "="" href="http://www.fastcompany.com/1742560/tweeting-your-way-to-a-summer-internship?partner=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fastcompany/headlines+(Fast+Company+Headlines)" title="http://www.fastcompany.com/1742560/tweeting-your-way-to-a-summer-internship?partner=" utm_campaign="Feed:+fastcompany/headlines+(Fast+Company+Headlines ...
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On Monday, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear yet another significant employment law case in its 2010-2011 term.  The case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, addresses the controversial ministerial exception to discrimination laws.


According to the school's petition (via SCOTUS blog), the question presented to the Supreme Court is:
[w]hether the ministerial exception applies to a teacher at a religious elementary school who teaches the full secular curriculum, but also teaches ...
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After a week out of the office, I am returning for duty at The Modern Workplace. And why not start the week off right with a Week in Review summary?

Given the material covered by this expanded summary, I wont add my own spin on the news in the world of technology and labor and employment law. However, watch for an article later this week on hiring for technology jobs, one of the hot topics discussed below. This is an area where there seems to be a perfect storm of an expanding industry and increasing government interest.

Without further ado, your week in review!

Technology in the Workplace
  • Silicon ...
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Posted in Immigration

In an era of increasing worksite enforcement, many employers are turning to technology to assist in their compliance with immigration laws. For example, in recent years, new technology has emerged that allows employers to electronically store their Forms I-9. An electronic I-9 retention system may allow quicker completion, fewer mistakes, easier retrieval and a more accurate way to flag documents.

In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized a regulation intended to provide more flexibility for employers to electronically sign and store I-9 forms. Until ...

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It was another busy week in the world of technology and employment and labor law.  Mercifully, the Charlie Sheen uproar seems to have tapered off for the time being (although you can now watch his online rants on Ustream).  Perhaps even more shocking, Eric Meyer at The Employer Handbook reported on a sexting case that turned out surprisingly well for an unprepared employer (dont expect to be so lucky if you repeat their mistakes).  Other stories from the week include a great summary of some of the wage and hour issues associated with telecommuting, updates in the WikiLeaks/Bank of America ...
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The news this week in the world of labor and employment law and technology can be summed up in two words:  Charlie Sheen.  (I would have also accepted Tiger Blood.)  Our own Megan Anderson wrote about the fiasco and its lessons for employers about responding to negative statements on the Internet.  One day later, Sheen filed suit in California state court, alleging a variety of claims includingas Jon Hyman predicteddisability discrimination!
 
Although the news coverage (and, lets be honest, your Facebook news feed) made it seem like Charlie Sheen was the only big news story this week, there ...
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We increasingly live in an electronic world where entertainment news articles about movie and TV stars are featured adjacent to articles about important technology, political, legal, and world events. No star is in the limelight these days like Charlie Sheen, and his recent antics have the mainstream media telling us that Sheen can teach us a thing or two about how to conduct ourselves in the workplace in this increasingly electronic age.

This week, Charlie Sheen was fired from his hit TV show, and CNN.com posted an article stating that Sheens conduct demonstrates the perils of ...

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You may be wondering what cats have to do with employment law. Well, last week the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the cats paw theory of employment discrimination for the first time, making it easier for employees to prove discrimination and for employers to get burned by legal liability. The phrase cats paw stems from an Aesop fable in which a monkey uses flattery to induce a cat to retrieve roasting chestnuts from a hot fire and then absconds with the chestnuts after the cat has burned its paws. Based on the fable, cats paw refers to a person who is unwittingly used to accomplish another's ...

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In my last post, I cautioned employers about using information that it learns about its employees through social networking sites. A few more thoughts on that. With employees posting running accounts of their daily activities on social networking sites, its quite tempting for employers to want to take a peek at what employees are saying about how they are spending their work day or what theyre doing on a day when they are supposedly missing work because of an illness or injury. Its even more tempting for employers to want access to this information when the employee in question has been a ...

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This week, the technology world was abuzz with the announcement (and, of course, pre-announcement rumors) of the iPad 2. Apples newest contribution to the tablet market promises to provide further steam to the mobile computing movement.

Fittingly, a number of blogs and articles this week discussed the impact of mobile computing devices on the workplace. Sexting, of course, remains a serious problem. In an amazing turnaround, many employers and even the U.S. Army are now encouraging employees to blog. One article even talks about online tools for women to report harassment they ...
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Posted in Health Care, Leave

One can hardly turn on the news without seeing coverage of the stand-off in Madison, Wisconsin between Governor Walker and union protesters over the Governors proposal to require government workers to contribute more to their health care and pension costs and to largely eliminate their collective bargaining rights. Many protesters who called in sick to attend the protest rallies were allegedly able to obtain sick notes from doctors who were providing sick notes at the protest rallies without any medical examination. This raises an interesting questionwhat is an employer to do when ...

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