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Okay, I couldn't resist the headline. The Star-Tribune recently ran an article with the headline: "Pedestrians distracted by electronic devices stumble into danger, raising safety concerns." As a lifelong klutz, I just had to read the article. Sure enough, statistics show a rise in the number of injuries sustained by those walking while using a cellphone or other electronic device. People are running into telephone poles, falling off subway platforms, falling into ditches, falling off curbs, and being clipped by cars while focusing on their electronic devices.  Some of the ...
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While reading a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, I was reminded how important it is for companies to be sure that the right people within their organization are informed of new and ongoing litigation and of the company's obligation to preserve potential evidence. When a lawsuit commences, your attorney should send you a litigation hold letter, informing your company of its obligation to preserve documents that may be relevant to the lawsuit. Most people understand that this means that they cant go shred a bunch of documents that might be relevant. What not everyone ...
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Reason number 999 why employers don't want their employees texting at work: it may lead to a very large fire. That is what happened when a New Hampshire civilian worker got an upsetting text from his ex-girlfriend while at work. He wanted to leave early, so he decided to set the dock of a nuclear-powered Navy submarine on fire. No one was injured, and no damage was done to the submarine -- this time. But, because he admitted to setting an earlier $400-million-submarine fire, he is now facing two counts of arson and the possibility of life in prison. Looks like he may be getting more time off from ...

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Posted in Health Care
You've heard a lot of buzz about the individual mandate, the tax, and the expansion of Medicaid. (If somehow you haven't heard enough, you can read the Supreme Court opinion here.) And you'll be hearing plenty more about the political battle over the future of the health care reform law. We have no predictions about that. But whatever you hope will happen to health care reform politically, you know there are a lot of deadlines for the beginning of 2014. And you're wise enough to know you need to gear up for the laws requirements.
The constitutionality of the individual mandate ...
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I remember being told as a child that two wrongs do not make a right. This was the common response I got if I tried to justify bad behavior by saying that Id been provoked or that others had done the same thing. I imagine that, like me, parents all over the world still commonly use the phrase two wrongs don't make a right in encouraging children to do the right thing. The lawsuit filed earlier this week by former Minnesota Senate aide Michael Brodkorb should, however, serve as a reminder to employers that this childhood lesson doesn't always apply in the employment discrimination context.
In the ...
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What do you get when you combine leaked photos, disgruntled employees, and a judge who is alleged to be watching porn? The answer: one heck of a Week in Review and a tale of multiple firings.

The leaked photo, which captured an employee of a Burger King restaurant standing in the restaurant's lettuce bins, appeared on the internet with the caption: "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King." The employees involved were quickly fired once the franchisee that owned the restaurant was identified and contacted.

Two disgruntled Texas EMTs were also fired because they were involved in a ...

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For as long as I can remember, I have advised employers that they have a right to monitor employee electronic communications, including emails, if the emails are sent or received on company equipment or company time. I ask the client about whether or not they have a clear policy putting employees on notice that they have no expectation of privacy in emails or other online activity done at work or on work equipment. If such a policy is in place, the employer is generally free to monitor employee activities, with or without other advance notice. This can be important when ...
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This week, it's all about Facebook again. Except for the news about the Yahoo hack, you'll be hard pressed to find a technological tale that doesn't involve the social media giant. So here it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly of Facebook, all in one convenient location.

The good: the site continues to create useful apps. There is an anti-bullying tool tailored to help teens report harassing behavior, a price alert app that notifies you when items you Like go on sale, and a plan to launch a job posting board. With apps like these, who says time on Facebook is unproductive?

The bad: a yoga ...

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Yesterday investigators, led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, published their independent report concerning Penn States response to reports of suspected child abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was arrested in 2011 and convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a 15-year period. 
Freehs 267-page report is scathing in its criticism of the University and its leaders. Freeh said in a statement that [t]he most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs ...
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As America turns another year older this week, the government, just like its citizens, struggle to keep up with technological change. While the Executive branch and its agencies are embracing the crime-fighting advantages technology has to offer, the other two branches are pushing back. Legislatures in Delaware and Pennsylvania are working to protect the privacy rights of their citizens by enacting new social media laws. In New York, a judge showed that social media sites are not above the law by ordering Twitter to turn over subpoenaed Tweets of an Occupy Wall Street protester. With ...

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A new provision of the Minnesota unemployment statute became effective July 1. Enacted by the 2012 legislature, the new language could have an impact on Minnesota employers and employees, but just what that effect might be is not -- to be charitable -- entirely clear.

It is not unusual for an employer to enter into an agreement with the departing employee under which the employee releases potential claims against the employer. To make such an agreement enforceable in a court of law, the employer must provide the departing employee something of value that, without the agreement, the ...

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