Monthly Archives: October 2012

Giving Employees Time Off to Vote? It May Be Required. A State-by-State Guide…

“Regardless of where employers operate, they should not discipline employees for exercising their right to vote or for serving as election workers. Many states prohibit firing or disciplining employees because they took time off to vote or to serve as an election worker.” (Littler) Americans head to the polls next week. Whether they do it… Read more »

Workplace Issues: Latest Need-to-Know Employment Law News

 What’s news? Cost of living adjustments, arbitration, modified workweeks, healthcare deadlines, social media policies, IP and employment issues, EEOC guidance on gender-based violence, wellness programs … for your HR reference, here’s a roundup of recent guidance and analysis by the nation’s leading employment lawyers and law firms. As posted on JD Supra: – Ninth Circuit… Read more »

Riding Out the (Franken)Storm: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Disaster Recovery

Sandy has already been called “the storm of a lifetime,” and at time of writing it hasn’t even fully made landfall yet. As people up and down the East Coast prepare for the onslaught, this is perhaps a good time for all of us to consider the types of preparations that can ease recovery for… Read more »

5 Ways to Protect Your Trade Secrets

Earlier this month, game developer Zynga took the offensive in a dispute over the theft of trade secrets when it sued a former employee for walking out the door with proprietary information: “… Zynga alleges [Alan] Patmore copied over 760 corporate files into his DropBox account (in a folder which he allegedly named ‘Zynga’). The… Read more »

EEOC Targets Discrimination Against Muslim and Arab Employees

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is cracking down on religious discrimination in the workplace, particularly that committed against Muslim and Arab workers, write Robert Meyer and David Woodard of law firm Poyner Spruill: “The EEOC reports that in the initial months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Commission saw a 250% increase in… Read more »

Politics in the Workplace: What Are the Rules?

The presidential election is less than three weeks away, but it could be a looong three weeks for employers and HR managers. Nicole Jeong of law firm Morrison & Foerster explains: “[B]ecause many of the issues at the forefront of these elections can be deeply personal since they deal with race, class, gender, sexual orientation,… Read more »

Are You Doing Your Part to Prevent Workplace Bullying?

“Everyone deserves a safe, healthy workplace.” (Workplace Bullying Institute) October 14 – 21 is National Freedom from Workplace Bullying Week. What does that mean for employers and HR managers? From XpertHR: ““During this week… [e]mployers should demonstrate that they will take all necessary steps aimed at curbing workplace bullying and preventing an abusive workplace by… Read more »

Breastfeeding, Social Media, Wages, Human Trafficking: California Employers Face Mountain of New Labor Laws

On September 30, 2012, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of new employment laws and amendments to existing statutes, most of which go into effect on January 1. Here are some of the highlights: On social media privacy: “Assembly Bill No. 1844 prohibits an employer from ‘requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for… Read more »

New FTC Green Marketing Guidelines Are 100% Eco-Friendly (and Helpful!)

“Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission (‘FTC’) adopted revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. The updated ‘Green Guides’ provide the FTC’s current views on when environmental claims may be deceptive. This includes not only general claims that a product is environmentally friendly, but specific claims that a product is compostable, degradable,… Read more »

Employer Violated NLRA When Terminating Employee for Harassment

The National Labor Relations Board has found the termination of an employee who violated his employer’s harassment policy to be unlawful. Neil Goldsmith and Chris Johlie (from law firm Franczek Radelet) provide background: “… the employer was in the midst of a decertification campaign when several female employees lodged a written complaint over vulgar, harassing… Read more »

Innovative Design Protection Act Targets Fashion Knockoffs

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Innovative Design Protection Act (IDPA), which would provide intellectual property rights to fashion designers for their work. From law firm Morgan Lewis: “IDPA would provide three years of protection for fashion designs that ‘(i) are the result of a designer’s own creative endeavor; and (ii) provide… Read more »