Welcome Pennsylvania and New Jersey employers.

Settle in and read on for easy-to-navigate, clear and concise summaries of the employment-law landscape in PA and NJ. Plus, we highlight the latest legal trends and changes in the law. You can even improve the way you and your employees conduct business with our featured guest commentary and insights from other management-side employment lawyers and human resources professionals.

This isn't your average blog; this is The Employer Handbook. Read it cover to cover.

August 28, 2013

FACT OR FICTION: Permanent light duty is an ADA reasonable accommodation

Thumbnail image for ffiction.pngThat's right folks. It's time for another edition of "Fact or Fiction" a/k/a "Quick Answers to Quick Questions" a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a "I don't feel like writing a long blog post."

Today, I'm speaking at the EEOC EXCEL Conference in Denver, CO. It's an incredible honor, given that this is the first year that the conference has not only catered to public sector employers, but also those in the private sector.

(Well, at least, that's what someone at yesterday's networking reception, so I'm going with it).

My topic is the so-called "Bermuda Triangle of Leave": ADA, FMLA and Workers Compensation. One of the topics I'll discuss is light duty. So, for those of you who cannot attend, let's make this post a topical two-part QATQQ.

  1. May an employer force an employee taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for his own serious health condition to work light duty in lieu? Nope. The FMLA permits eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of leave. Leave is leave. Period. There is no such thing as light duty under the FMLA. Even if an employee is voluntarily performing a light duty assignment, the employee is not on FMLA leave.

  2. Can an employer be stuck providing permanent light duty as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA? Well, probably not. This is best addressed with an example. Let's say that an employee's job is to stack heavy boxes. A year into his employment, the employee suffers a devastating wrist injury. If the employee is offered temporary light duty work as a reasonable accommodation, and the employer has made it known that permanent light duty is not an option, then the employee cannot keep that light-duty job permanently. However, if the employer knows that the wrist injury is permanent and the employer places the employee into what could reasonably be viewed as a permanent light-duty position, then the employee may have effectively changed the essential functions of the employee's position (lifting boxes) to light duty (something other than lifting boxes). Consequently, the employer may have to keep that employee in the light duty position.

August 27, 2013

That's what they said: Solving your Labor Day employee-pay issues

theysaid.jpgMonday is Labor Day, the day I plan to break the Guinness World Record for twerking and eating BLTs -- they call it BLTwerking a tribute to the American Worker.

If you give your employees the day off on Labor Day, a national holiday, do you have to pay them?

My buds Jon Hyman and Mike Haberman have your answers here and here.


August 26, 2013

Paula Deen discrimination lawsuit dismissed after parties settle

Thumbnail image for PaulaDeen.jpg

On Friday, a federal court in Georgia dismissed all of the remaining discrimination counts against Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba, after the parties reported to the court that the two sides had settled.

The settlement terms are undisclosed.

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, Ms. Deen's publicist wrote:

We are pleased with the court's ruling today that Lisa Jackson's claims of race discrimination have been dismissed. As Ms. Deen has stated before, she is confident that those who truly know how she lives her life know that she believes in equal opportunity, kindness and fairness for everyone.

Somebody tell that to Ms. Deen's sponsors -- err, former sponsors. Just start typing the words "list of sponsors" (without the quotes) into the Google search bar and see how it autofills in the most popular searches once who put a space after the word "sponsors."

(I'll give you a hint, it's not "list of sponsors dying to empty the coffers on TheEmployerHandbook.com click-thru banner ads" ... yet)

But for Ms. Deen, at least she still has her loyal fans at -- wait, this can't be right, can it? -- sure enough: ButterForPaula.org.

August 23, 2013

DOL offers the definitive word on FMLA and same-sex marriage. Kinda sorta.

fmla.jpegDo you have 50 or more employees working with 75 miles of one another?

If not, see ya Monday.

But if you do, check out the United States Department of Labor's revised "Fact Sheet #28F: Qualifying Reasons for Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act."

In light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on same-sex marriage, the DOL updated the definition of spouse:

Spouse: Spouse means a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides, including "common law" marriage and same-sex marriage.

As you know the FMLA permits eligible employees time off to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition. So, the new definition of "spouse" matters in states that recognize same-sex marriage.

For example, if an employee and his husband both live and work in Delaware, a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, if the employee is eligible to take FMLA leave for his own serious health condition, he can do the same if his husband suffers from a serious health condition.

No surprise there.

But let's re-work the previous example: The employee and his husband were legally married in Delaware, but later move to Pennsylvania, a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage. If the employee continues to work in Delaware, does the Delaware employer have to afford FMLA leave to the employee should his husband suffer from a serious health condition? The DOL Fact Sheet does not address this situation.

And then, of course, you have New Jersey, which recognizes civil unions, but not same-sex marriage...and you get the point.

Sounds like some employment lawyers somewhere are going to ring up a lot of billable hours litigating these issues. 

Hey! I'm an employment lawyer somewhere.

August 22, 2013

Four easy ways to break the law by viewing an employee's Facebook posts

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There are 11 states with social media workplace privacy laws making it illegal for an employer to require that an employee or applicant fork over a social media login and password.

But, if a company in the other 39 states assumes that it has the green light to engage in these shenanigans, then chiggity check yo self before you wreck yo self, according to this recent NJ federal court decision.

The legal risks of accessing an employee's Facebook account

The case involved a situation where the plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, alleged that a member of upper management required that another employee access the plaintiff's Facebook account. While these allegations didn't bear fruit, the court warned that certain employer behavior could amount to "invasion of privacy."

Specifically, the court indicated that had the employer directly logged into the plaintiff's Facebook account, logged into another employee's account to view the plaintiff's Facebook page, or asked another employee to log into Facebook in order to access the plaintiff's Facebook page, then the employer would have violated the law.

Additionally, the court noted that non-public Facebook wall posts are covered by the Stored Communications Act. (However, in this particular case, the employer avoid SCA liability because it never solicited one of its employee to access the plaintiff's Facebook page. Rather, one of the plaintiff's Facebook friends, an employee of the defendant, provided content from the plaintiff's Facebook page to the employer all on his own).

A major lesson for both employers and lawyers.

Employers: Beware of nosing around on any portions of an employee's Facebook page that aren't otherwise publicly accessible. This would seem to include doing any of the no-no's described above -- even if part of a workplace investigation.

Lawyers: Have you ever tried doing a little Facebook due diligence on a plaintiff/defendant only to be stymied by his/her privacy restrictions? Have you then ever considered asking a Facebook friend of the party to access that information for you? Yeah, about that...

August 21, 2013

Employment Law Blog Carnival: The Back-to-School Edition

Thomas_School_Bus_Bus.jpgWelcome everyone to the latest edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival. What Target and Wal-Mart are to back-to-school shopping, this is your one-stop-shop for the hottest trends in employment law.

Your original carnival hosts for this month, my good pal Ari Rosenstein and the great folks at CPEhr.com asked me to step in. So, consider me the hot substitute teacher. [Hey! Eyes up here!] Glad to help out my friends.

Credit to Ari and the team for all of the hard work in putting this month's edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival together. I'll take credit for all of the grammar errors, typos, and the inappropriate carnival soundtrack (you'll see...).

Click through and enjoy!

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Continue reading "Employment Law Blog Carnival: The Back-to-School Edition" »

August 20, 2013

New PA bill would ban sexual orientation, gender identity discrimination

LGBT_flag_map_of_Pennsylvania.svg.png

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws banning workplace discrimination in the private sector on the basis of sexual orientation. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which currently bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in public employment, may soon become the latest state to ban it in the private sector as well. 

(The term "gender identity or expression" means actual or perceived gender identity, appearance, behavior, expression or physical characteristics whether or not associated with an individual's assigned sex at birth).

A bill to amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to add these workplace protections was introduced last week in the PA Senate with some bipartisan (but most Democratic) support. The same bill was introduced in the PA House the week before. Each measure would also carry the same restrictions in housing, credit and public accommodations.

While prior attempts to get similar legislation passed in PA have failed, a recent poll indicates support for this measure throughout the Commonwealth. Plus, many large cities, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, have LGBT workplace laws. And, even without a law on the books statewide, many large employers have led by example. According to the Human Rights Campaign, as of April 2013, 434 (88 percent) of the Fortune 500 companies had implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 282 (57 percent) had policies that include gender identity.

Governor Corbett's position on these bills is unclear.

Image Credit: By File:Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County.svg: Gay_flag.svg: derivative work: Fry1989 eh? 01:04, 12 January 2012 (UTC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

August 19, 2013

Breaking Bad: The Lost Episode (the one about Jesse's ADA lawsuit)

breakingbad.jpg

A few years back, I sent in a Breaking Bad script to Vince Gilligan. At the time, I was concerned that the show was becoming too one-dimensional. High school teacher becomes meth kingpin. Yeah, I guess that could make for some good television -- if you like taut, well-written, well-acted drama. But, every good series needs an episode or two to break from the formula.

Take Diff'rent Strokes, for example. That's the 80's comedy about the rich white Park Avenue man who adopts the two sons of his African American cleaning lady. That Arnold was always getting into it. Funny stuff! But there's one episode that went against the comedic grain and stands out for just about every Strokes fan. Yep, the one where Gordon Jump played the bicycle shop owner. Very special? Very creepy. But, nonetheless memorable.

Jesse gets a job at Walt's car wash, but things go south quickly.

So, getting back to Breaking Bad, I came up with the idea to have Jesse Pinkman get a job at Walter White's car wash. You, know, to get the FBI of their scent with some legitimate work. 

Things are good at first, but a weekend meth bender with Skinny Pete and Badger leaves Jesse strung out on Monday and in desperately need of help. So, he comes clean with Walt who tells Jesse to get some treatment. Under the car wash employee handbook, the one Saul Goodman drafted, an employee "who rejects treatment or who leaves a treatment program prior to being properly discharged will be terminated."

Consistent with the policy, Jesse promptly enters treatment and goes through detox. Unfortunately, however, he insists on checking out of the program before its completion. Upon returning to work, Jesse brings Walt up to speed on his progress. And Walt's all like, "Say my name," which convinces Jesse that either his boss is an egotistical wacko, or maybe he should go back to rehab, lest he find himself in the desert for the vultures to pick at.

Well, it's back to rehab, but only for one day in the program, when Jesse quits again. Jesse then returns to work with a discharge note indicating that he did not complete the drug treatment program. So, Walt fires him.

Jesse then sues for ADA discrimination.

With the help of a brilliant legal mind, Walt wins the lawsuit!

(Work with me, here...)

Because here's the best part. Saul Goodman, who would otherwise represent Walt and the car wash, realizes that he has a conflict, because Jesse is also his client. You see, Saul takes the New Mexico rules of professional ethics quite seriously -- well, at least for this episode he does. So, Saul refers the defense of the car wash to this dashing, brilliant attorney named Erick Meyers, played by Ashton Kutcher, who ends up winning the case on summary judgment. Attorney Meyers successfully argues that Jesse is not a "qualified individual" under the ADA because of his illegal drug use and does not not fall into the safe harbor provision in Section 12114(b) of the ADA, which makes the drug-use exclusion inapplicable to an otherwise qualified individual.

Years later, last week to be exact, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals coincidentally addressed a similar case and reached a similar result. So, you know, that Meyers is one bright bulb.

Anyway, I was told that this episode was supposed to be part of the Director's Cut on the Season 4 DVD. But, I checked. Didn't make it, I guess.

Maybe, the writers will work it into the final season. I smell an Emmy. 

Or maybe that's just burnt toast...

August 16, 2013

What could possibly go wrong with a sham workplace investigation?

Magnifying_Glass.gif

Well, if it means that the employee diagnosed with anxiety and depression -- the one who requested a reasonable accommodation to perform her job -- gets fired. Well, then, a lot.

That's basically what happened in this recent federal court case out of Kentucky.

You see, normally, a court won't second guess an employer's decision to terminate an alleged sexual harasser, following a complaint and investigation. And when the alleged sexual harasser later sues the employer for retaliation, well, I don't care if she belongs to every protected class on the EEOC's checklist, court's tend not to sympathize with sexual harassers.

But, as the Kentucky court noted, it's a different story when the decision to terminate the alleged sexual harasser -- the one with the disability -- is made before the workplace investigation commences:

The Plaintiff has produced evidence that the Defendant's investigation regarding the sexual-harassment complaint against the Plaintiff was a cursory one...The fact that Smallwood drew up the paperwork necessary to terminate the Plaintiff prior to meeting with her and that she terminated the Plaintiff without further investigation even though the Plaintiff denied making the comment could lead a reasonable juror to conclude that the Defendant did not actually fire the Plaintiff because it found that she sexually harassed a co-employee.

So take it from your old buddy, Eric. If an employees come to you complaining that so-and-so sexually harasser her, please take the complaint seriously. However, don't just assume that the complaint against so-and-so is the gospel. Conduct a fair and impartial investigation to determine whether the complaint has merit.

Image credit: By Dan Pelleg (own work (based on Windows "Webdings" font)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

August 15, 2013

When it comes to ADA accommodations, reasonable is good enough

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an individual unless the employer can show that doing so how cause it undue hardship.

Generally, an employee will initiate the process by advising her employer that she is disabled and needs an accommodation to perform the essential functions of her job. What then ensues is an interactive dialogue in which both sides work together in good faith to decide on what that accommodation may be.

But here's the rub:

The accommodation need only be reasonable; not the employee's first choice.

patrialmask.jpgHere's an example from a recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals:

A chemist had a disability that manifested itself when she became exposed to certain solvents. So, the employer offered her a full-mask respirator. It didn't work because she was claustrophobic and it caused her to suffer a panic attack. The employer then offered a partial-mask respirator, which the employee refused without explanation. But, she never suggested that the partial-mask was unreasonable. Instead, she preferred a transfer. Ultimately, she took sick leave and was terminated after she failed to return to work upon exhausting FMLA and her bank of paid time off. So, she sued under the ADA for a failure to accommodation and lost.

Reject the reasonable accommodation at your own risk.

Relying upon an ADA regulation, the Third Circuit reasoned that an individual who rejects a reasonable accommodation "to perform the essential functions of the position held or desired, and cannot, as a result of that rejection, perform the essential functions of the position, the individual will not be considered qualified" for the job.

Have a good faith, interactive dialogue.

So, when an employee comes to you requesting an accommodation for a disability, I'm not suggesting that you should wax and twirl your handlebar mustache before offering her an "accommodation." But you don't have to accept her preference either. Instead, truly have an interactive dialogue with the employee to arrive at an accommodation that both sides can live with.

August 14, 2013

A woman sharing topless photos at work prolly isn't an invitation to grope her

sexboard.jpg[Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click]

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Dear Google User Who Got Five Words Into The Lede And Clicked:

Sorry, this is an employment-law blog. From time to time we have some prurient (look it up) content. Like, this one time, I blogged about a former prostitute who sued for sexual harassment. Sure, I've also discussed Playboy-posing cheerleaders, and a place called the Wild Beaver Saloon. And then there was that post about the strip club. Make that posts (plural).

Hey, did I mention that my blog was once named a top Labor and Employment Law Blog by the ABA Journal?

Anyway, to those who got here looking for topless photos, again, I'm sorry. I cannot accommodate (look it up) you. Instead, what I plan to discuss today is this recent PA federal court decision, in which the court shot down another lame attempt by an employer to assert the "she was asking for it" defense in a sexual harassment case.

(Sorry, the court's opinion has no pictures and I've checked the case docket five times -- you know, to be thorough and stuff. No pix there either).

Everyone here engages in inappropriate workplace behavior.

The facts here are fairly straightforward. The defendants claimed that the plaintiff, a former employee, brought topless photographs of herself and others to the workplace, initiated sexual conduct by sharing those photos, sent sexually explicit text messages, and made sexually suggestive comments to male coworkers. For her part, the plaintiff admitted having shown co-workers a photograph of a topless woman who had participated in a "wet t-shirt contest" at a motorcycle rally known as "Mountainfest," but denied showing those employees inappropriate photos of herself.

(Go ahead. I'll pause while you Google.)

However, the plaintiff denied that she welcomed the subsequent groping and vulgar language that followed from her male co-workers. The defendants did not deny that employees behaved inappropriately. Instead, without citing any supporting case law, they argued that the plaintiff invited this reaction by voluntarily showing her co-workers a photograph of a topless woman.

The "she was asking for it" argument never works in defending a sexual harassment case.

Trust me. It ranks right up there with the "exotic dancer" defense and the "plaintiffs listen to rap music and rappers say 'n---a' a lot" defense in a race discrimination case. But some folks have to learn the hard way. And this time was no different, as the court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

Takeaway

When conducting anti-harassment training -- you're doing that, right? -- please emphasize that behavior that your mother wouldn't tolerate is no good for the workplace either. It doesn't matter if the "harasser" didn't mean anything by that ass-grab. It only matters whether the "victim" is offended. And even if it appears that the "victim" is not offended, trust me, he or she will be once that lawsuit is filed. 

August 13, 2013

Paula Deen beats the race-discrimination claims that crushed her

Paula Deen with my dishtowelsSomewhere, I picture the folks at Merriam Webster franticly revising the definition of "Pyrrhic" to cross-reference a stick of butter Paula Deen.

Yesterday at The Employer Handbook, I discussed the EEOC losing a major battle in its war against background checks

Today, it's all about winning the battle, but losing the war. 

A federal court, in this decision, has dismissed race discrimination claims against Ms. Deen and the other defendants. (The remaining non-race-discrimination claims survive).

The court determined that, "at best, Plaintiff is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination." Specifically, it held that the Plaintiff, who is white, lacks standing to assert claims that her fellow African Americans co-workers were discriminated against on the basis of their race. This notwithstanding Plaintiff's allegations that the hostile work environment that Ms. Deen and the other defendants created for black co-workers created rancor in the workplace overall, which detrimentally affected the Plaintiff. To that end, the Court remarked that "workplace harmony is not an interest sought to be protected" under anti-discrimination laws.

So, victory for Ms. Deen on the race claims. But, that sound you hear is not Team Deen popping bottles of champagne.

August 12, 2013

In its war on background checks, the EEOC loses a major early battle

Late last year, in this post, I highlighted the six issues that the United States Equal Employment Commission prioritized in its Strategic Enforcement Plan.  Numero uno is eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring. 

Even before it released its Strategic Enforcement Plan, earlier in 2012, the EEOC telegraphed that it would closely scrutinize criminal background checks employers run on job applicants to determine whether they may disparately impact minorities.

crimback.jpg

But even before that, in 2009, the EEOC came out guns blazing, when it announced a lawsuit against Freeman (also known as the Freeman Companies), a nationwide convention, exhibition and corporate events marketing company. In it's lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that Freeman unlawfully "rejected job applicants based on their credit history and if they have had one or more of various types of criminal charges or convictions."

Well, on Friday, in this opinion, a Maryland federal court dismissed the EEOC's action against Freeman. While the court conceded that "some specific uses of criminal and credit background checks may be discriminatory and violate the provision of Title VII," the EEOC could not meet its burden of "supplying reliable expert testimony and statistical analysis that demonstrates disparate impact stemming from a specific employment practice."

And what, you may ask, did the court find so unreliable about the EEOC's expert analysis in this case? Here are a few choice selections from the Court's opinion:

  • The judge noted what "appear to be such a plethora of errors and analytical fallacies" in an EEOC expert's conclusions to render them "completely unreliable, and insufficient to support a finding of disparate impact."

  • He then underscored that the "mind-boggling number of errors" contained in the EEOC expert's database "could alone render his disparate impact conclusions worthless."

  • To add insult to injury, the judge piled on the EEOC expert by noting that he further "managed to introduce fresh errors into his new analysis, including many additional duplicates, material coding errors, and more double-counting."

  • And when the EEOC tried to introduce another report from a second corroborating expert, the judge shot that report down as "likewise unreliable and inadmissible."

  • Finally, the judge turned his attention away from the EEOC's experts, and blasted the EEOC itself for trying to "make a mockery of procedural standards."

But where the EEOC really fell down here was with its failure to isolate a specific employment practice that allegedly caused a disparate impact. That is, Freeman had a variety of background screens in effect. Instead of tackling them individually, the EEOC lumped them all together and claimed that, collectively, they had a disparate impact on minorities. According to the court, what the EEOC should have done is "demonstrate that each particular challenged employment practice causes a disparate impact," unless doing so proves unfeasible, which was not the case here.

The court concluded its opinion by offering a stern warning to the EEOC, which could carry over to other similar actions now pending against other employers:

By bringing actions of this nature, the EEOC has placed many employers in the "Hobson's choice" of ignoring criminal history and credit background, thus exposing themselves to potential liability for criminal and fraudulent acts committed by employees, on the one hand, or incurring the wrath of the EEOC for having utilized information deemed fundamental by most employers. Something more, far more, than what is relied upon by the EEOC in this case must be utilized to justify a disparate impact claim based upon criminal history and credit checks. To require less, would be to condemn the use of common sense, and this is simply not what the discrimination laws of this country require.

Let's call a spade a spade: this is a major setback for the EEOC. However, employers must recognize that facially neutral background checks may have a disparate impact on certain protected classes. While the EEOC's "individualized assessment" strikes me as impracticable, I do agree with the EEOC that employers are well served to consider the nature of the position to be filled, as well as whether a background check exclusion is actually job-related and consistent with the needs of the business. Doing so, helps strike a reasonable balance to protect the business, while not excluding viable candidates.

Disclaimer: I am a pro bono mediator for the EEOC.

August 9, 2013

Hiring managers share 10 awesome job pitches, and 10 epic fails!

Fine lineThere's a fine line between genius and insanity. 

    • Voting for this blog for the ABA Journal Blawg100 (today is the last day to nominate blogs, so, please, please, please): genius;

    • Boston Red Sox Chardonnay: nutbars.

When applying for a new job, you need more than just a resume to stand out from the crowd. But, go too far, and you crash, burn, and become that person whom hiring managers discuss when sharing their worst interview stories.

Speaking of which, yesterday, CareerBuilder published the results of a study in which it asked 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide to share the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd, and whether their creativity got them hired.

Here are ten standout techniques that worked.

    1. Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer's office.
    2. Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar.
    3. Candidate showed up in a suit with a red T-shirt underneath a white shirt. The red T-shirt had a message - "Hire me, I work hard."
    4. Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.
    5. Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation).
    6. Candidate climbed on a roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job.
    7. Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate.
    8. Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer's assistant was getting frazzled.
    9. Candidate repaired a piece of company's equipment during the first interview.
    10. Candidate sent a message in a bottle.

And these ten moves, not so much...

    1. Candidate back-flipped into the room.
    2. Candidate brought items from interviewer's online shopping wish list.
    3. Candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer's home address, which the interviewer had not given her.
    4. Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.
    5. Candidate dressed as a clown.
    6. Candidate sent interviewer some beef stew with a note saying "Eat hearty and hire me J."
    7. Candidate placed a timer on interviewer's desk, started it, and told interviewer he would explain in 3 minutes why he was the perfect candidate.
    8. Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.
    9. Candidate wore a florescent suit.
    10. Candidate sent in a shoe to "get their foot in the door."

Me? I'm easy like Sunday morning. I would hire anyone on the spot who did this

What about you? What is the single best, original way a job candidate won you over? Let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know the one that had you calling security.

(h/t @Chaimbook)
August 8, 2013

Few courts award w/c to the drunk, pot-smoker, who falls on his head while peeing

This is the story of a longshoreman who, on January 8, 2006, drank two beers before going to work at 8:00 a.m. Between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., he knocked back another three cold ones. At lunch, he washed down his liquid breakfast and snack with another four to five more beers. Between the end of lunch and the end of the day (approximately 4:00 p.m.), the longshoreman ignored the old "beer then liquor, never sicker" refrain and downed a pint of whiskey.

longshoreman.wmv.jpgNow, if you're keeping score at home, his blood alcohol level right about 4:30 was .25. For those of you teetotalers who may be wondering, how bad is .25? Three sheets to the wind, at a minimum; possibly more drunk than John Daly was that time at Hooters.

But I digress, all that booze from dawn to dusk warrants a bathroom break and the longshoreman decided to relieve himself at quittin' time near the bull rail of the dock. Unfortunately, while urinating, the longshoreman fell over the bull rail onto a concrete and steel ledge (approximately six feet below the rail). At the hospital, the docs diagnosed the longshoreman with acute alcohol intoxication -- ya think? --, cannabis ingestion, and a severe scalp laceration to his right temple.

So, naturally, after the longshoreman sobered up, he made a workers' compensation claim.

Now, I don't know much about workers' compensation. Frankly, I hardly know anything. But, my gut tells me that the drunk, pot-smoking, urinator rarely collects.

True dat, said the Ninth Circuit (here). 

You see, apparently, when your drunkenness is the cause of your injury, you can't collect workers' compensation.

Fat, drunk, and stupid is now way to go through life.

[cue music]

(h/t Betty Wang)

Image credit: Longshoreman