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The Modern Workplace

Posts from June 2012.
Its been a big week at the Supreme Court. The health care ruling (available here) is grabbing most of the headlines. While more analysis will be pouring out over the next several weeks, several sources are beginning to provide helpful information for employers:
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You can run, but you can't hide--not from technology anyway. Just ask the eight TSA agents who lost their jobs this week because a video camera caught them sleeping at work, or the Houston journalist who was fired after a rival newspaper exposed her secret stripping gig, or the Dallas police officer under investigation after his aggressive arrest was recorded by a motorcyclist's helmet camera. I guess if you can't fight the technological takeover, you might as well embrace it. Ready to give in? Check out the links below, including latest apps, which claim to save your life in times of ...
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Yesterday I wrote a post reminding readers about the EEOC litigation focus on inflexible leave policies, which raises the question: what should employers be doing to avoid liability in this area?

To answer this question, I think it helps to take a step back.  As most employers know, a leave of absence or an extension of a leave of absence are two types of reasonable accommodations that employers covered by the ADA (i.e. employers with 15 or more employees) must consider to accommodate a disabled employee.   When a disabled employee needs an accommodation, employers are required to engage in ...
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According to a recent statement by an attorney for the EEOC, [O]ne of the hottest areas of EEOC litigation right now involves the agency's efforts to root out inflexible leave policies. Although this statement is hardly news to anyone who closely follows EEOC enforcement efforts, it is a good reminder to employers that inflexible leave policies are an invitation to costly litigation. The type of inflexible leave policies the EEOC has challenged include no-fault attendance policies, policies that provide a maximum limit to the length of leave that may be available, and policies that ...

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This Father's Day, dads might have more to worry about than how to enthusiastically thank their children for yet another tie. News stories this week highlight the increasing vulnerability of today's youth in a technology-filled world. From cyberbullying to predator apps to camera phones in the locker room, parents around the country are wondering how to keep their children safe. Luckily, they're not alone. The law--and tech companies--are stepping in. The New York Legislature is working on a bill to fight cyberbullying, a Minnesota prosecutor is making an example of  teens who ...

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Posted in Immigration
Here at the Modern Workplace, we encourage employers to adopt the Scout Motto when it comes to immigration paperwork: Be Prepared.  Immigration enforcement through silent raids, or workplace audits of Forms I-9 and other documents, continues apace and doesn't look like its going to slow down anytime soon. Just last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) informally confirmed that it has issued audit notices to another 500 employers. 
ICE has issued thousands of Notices of Inspection since 2009. The Notices often request not only I-9 documentation, but also payroll ...
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While the powers of technology often spell trouble for employers and employees, they sure do make for interesting Weeks in Review. And this week is no different. Drag-queen Facebook photos, surreptitious surveillance, and anonymous emails all led to employee terminations this week. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the Oklahoma publisher who fired 25 employees over an anonymous, company-wide email that spoke of alleged outsourcing and mass layoffs. Not knowing the exact source of the email, the owner fired those he thought might be involved. To make matters more ...

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Employers these days have a lot of obligations. They have bills to pay, workers to manage, customers to satisfy, and laws to follow. But what happens when two obligations conflict? What is an employer to do?   When in doubt, follow the law right?  But one Minnesota employer recently discovered things aren't that simple, especially when the law may be telling the employer to do two different things.

A company in southeast Minnesota had approximately 30 Somali workers walk off the job on Monday morning to protest the companys new dress code policy. The policy, which prohibits women from ...

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As technology continues to change, so too do employers' efforts to keep up. With new laws preventing employers from using passwords to access employees' Facebook pages, employers are finding other ways to monitor employees' online activities.  A new Gartner report predicts that by 2015, 60% of businesses will be using Internet-monitoring technologies to monitor employees' social media use. However, employers must be careful in their quest to control online employee expression. This week, the NLRB issued a social media report cautioning all employers (even those ...

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