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7th Circuit Affirms Jury's Verdict that School District Violated the ADA by Failing to Accommodate Seasonal Affective Disorder, by Barbara Halpin

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

The 7th Circuit recently affirmed a jury's decision that a Wisconsin school district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for not accommodating a teacher's seasonal affective disorder.The teacher, Renae Ekstrand, sued the Somerset Wisconsin school district for failing to accommodate her disability.  Initially, the jury held in favor of Ekstrand and subsequently the district moved for judgment as a matter of law challenging the sufficiency of the evidence.  The district court denied the district’s ...

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Don’t Let Your Harassment Policy Gather Dust on a Shelf, by David McClurg

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

Some employers include a good anti-harassment policy in their Employee Handbook, and feel they’ve done all they need to do to protect themselves against sexual or racial harassment claims. In truth, a good policy is just the first step in a successful program to insulate an employer from harassment claims.In Mann v. Staples, Inc., a female employee received unwelcome comments about her appearance and physique, ...

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NLRB WANTS TO CHANGE BACKPAY AWARDS, by Roger L. Pettit

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

On July 21, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) rendered a decision in Latino Express, Inc. and related cases.  (13-CA-046528, 13-CA-046529 and 13-CA-046634.)  The Board found that Latino Express violated Section 8(a)(1) and 3 of the Act in several ways and as pertinent to this post, the Board found the respondent discriminatorily discharged 2 employees.The Administrative Law Judge that heard the case awarded backpay to the discharged employees.  The ...

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Critical Issues for Employers in the Wake of the Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act, by David A. McClurg

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Business Management / Comments

Now that the dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s decision largely upholding the constitutionality of the “Affordable Care Act,” or “Obamacare” as most Republican candidates are calling it, some of the important factors that employers should keep in mind for the remainder of 2012 and 2013 include:1.         Small businesses with 25 or less employees that pay average annual wages below $50,000 and pay at least 50% of the total ...

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Social Media Policies Part 2 - NLRB Issues Useful Example of Employer Policy

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Business Management, Technology / Comments

Expanding on last week’s post, the NLRB’s memo found the following social media policies to be lawful (in addition to rules prohibiting discrimination or retaliation on social media websites that would also not be permissible in the workplace even if the behavior occurs afterhours on personal computers): First, an employer’s social media policy can require that employees are “respectful” on such sites as long as the employer's rules provide examples ...

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Employers, Take a Good Look at your Social Media Policy

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

As social media participation increases, particularly Facebook and Twitter, it’s becoming more important for employers to have a social media policy in place.  Equally important however, is ensuring that the policy isn’t overbroad and violates the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).  Last month the NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued his third report  detailing seven cases of illegal or overbroad employer social media policies that violated the Act.The ...

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NLRB Continues to Target Non-Union Employers, by David McClurg

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit / Comments

Despite court rulings blocking implementation of NLRB Rules requiring the posting of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act  and “quickie” union elections , Obama appointees on the NLRB continue to boldly push a blatantly pro-employee agenda designed to encourage action by non-union employees. Last week the Board launched a website specifically designed to educate employees about their right to engage in “protected concerted activities” including the ...

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Supreme Court: Pharmaceutical Reps Not Entitled to Overtime Pay under the FLSA

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

In Christopher et. al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. the Supreme Court ruled Monday that pharmaceutical representatives aren’t entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Click on the this link for the opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-204.pdf).  The FLSA overtime requirement does not apply to workers who are considered “outside salesmen” under 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1).  For the discussion of the definition of “outside salesmen”, see page 1 of ...

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Thinking Outside the Box: Can Unusual Pro-Employee Policies Benefit the Workplace? By Roger L. Pettit

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Employer-Employee Relationship, Human Resources, Business Management / Comments

I recently received a blog article entitled “Counter Intuitive Company Policies That Actually Work”.   Please click on the following link to read the article:  http://www.onlinemba.com/blog/20-counterintuitive-company-policies-that-actually-work/.   In this and future posts, I intend to address a number of the twenty (20) unusual workplace policies from my perspective.  I welcome your comments, pro and con, with respect to the viability of the policies.The first “Counter Intuitive” policy is the “No Vacation” policy.  The ...

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NLRB’S QUICKIE ELECTION RULE FOUND INVALID

Posted by in Employer-Employee Relationship, Business Management, Labor Relations / Comments

In a previous post, we discussed the NLRB pushing ahead on the “Quickie Election” rule, despite protests and opposition of Board member Brian Hayes.  At the November 30, 2012 public meeting and voting for the final rule Hayes did not participate in the vote.  The other two members voted to approve the rule and as such on December 22, 2011, the NLRB ...

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