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Usually, our Week in Review posts are full of examples of what can go wrong when employees use social media. This week, we can report a different kind of story. A group of women are harnessing the power of Twitter to promote positive change in the gaming industry. Using the hashtag #1ReasonWhy, these women are speaking out against what they describe as the pervasive culture of sexism in the gaming industry. The question of "why are there so few lady game creators?" has been answered by hundreds of industry professionals, including game developers, journalists, and others ...

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday in Vance v. Ball State University, a case that could create a more uniform legal standard for determining when an employee is a supervisor under federal harassment law.
 Fourteen years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can be held strictly liable for sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful harassment by a supervisor. When a supervisor engages in unlawful harassment that results in a tangible, adverse action against an employee, an employer is automatically liable for that harassment. In contrast, employers ...
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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you out there are enjoying good food and even better company. But, in case you need a welcome distraction from intense family bonding (or Black Friday strategizing), here's what is new in the world of technology and the workplace:

In an EEOC sexual harassment suit against HoneyBaked Ham, Co., a district court judge has ruled that the plaintiffs must turn over their cellphones and social media passwords to a court-appointed forensic expert. This expert is charged with going through text messages and social media content to determine what is relevant ...

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Three states held votes earlier this month about legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. In two of the three, Washington and Colorado, the measures were approved.  Oregon voters defeated the initiative in their state.  
What does this mean for employers doing business in states where recreational marijuana use is now legal? Its a little too early to tell, it seems, although it appears that at least in Washington, employers can continue to enforce their drug use and drug testing polices as before, at least for the time being.  Our Washington partner in the Employment Law ...
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It seems General Petraeus isn't the only one whose digital footprint has betrayed him. A whole host of other individuals' online antics have landed them in hot water this week. Waffle House Chairman, Joe Rogers, Jr. is also facing a sex scandal. His former housekeeper has come forward with sex tapes which she alleges are proof that she was sexually harassed. Rogers denies the harassment and says that he is being blackmailed. A district court has ordered that the tapes be impounded -- for now.

In Kentucky, a couple of Walmart employees were fired based on an internet video of them throwing ...

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Its hard to watch or read the news without being bombarded with the story of General Petraeus affair and resignation. The story has expanded beyond General Petraeus conduct to include allegations of inappropriate conduct by an FBI agent involved in the investigation (sending a shirtless picture of himself to Jill Kelley) and General John Allen (exchanging thousands of possibly "inappropriate" emails and other documents with Jill Kelley). As an employment lawyer, I'm continually amazed at the personal content that employees will send in emails and text messages, even from ...
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Does an employee who violates an employer's computer use policy also violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? Depends on who you ask. The Fourth Circuit recently held that an employee cannot be held liable under the CFAA for such conduct, even if the employee was improperly using computer access to steal company data. There are a number of circuits that disagree, however. Now, WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, the employer in the Fourth Circuit case, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue. Stayed tuned to see if the Court agrees to get involved.

Other news stories this week ...

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Posted in Labor & Unions
In follow-up to my colleague Abigail Crouses blog post last week about the unsettled law regarding at-will disclaimers, this weeks post will include tips on drafting at-will disclaimers that do not violate the NLRA.  For background, here is the NLRBs advice on several specific at-will disclaimers.
I further agree that the at-will employment relationship cannot be amended, modified or altered in any way.
No representative of the Company has authority to enter into any agreement contrary to the ...
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Election Day is almost upon us. The good news is that election ads and calls will soon be over.  For employers, however, one last challenge remains as they figure out how to deal with the many workplace issues surrounding elections.  For an overview of the potential free speech, labor law, social media, and voting leave implications for the workplace, please read my colleague Angela Ruds post from last month.
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Do you feel like all you ever do is work? Odds are, your personal devices are contributing to that feeling. A recent study by a British tech retailer found that smart devices are adding, on average, an extra two hours of work a day. So while that constant connection may give some peace of mind, it's also likely to bring with it the inability to ever be "off-duty."

Given the large role technology plays in our lives, it is not surprising that governments around the country have been working to figure out how to appropriately balance its risks and benefits. On Friday, the New Jersey Senate passed a ...

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In August, I wrote about NLRB decisions which found that certain at-will disclaimers in employee handbooks were unfair labor practices. In a Halloween surprise, the NLRB has now provided some not-frightening news for employers in the form of guidance on at-will disclaimers that do not violate the NLRA. 
The Board has now advised that the following disclaimer was lawful under the NLRA: 
Employment with [the Company] is employment at-will.  Employment at-will may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the employee or the Company.  Nothing in ...
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