Recently in Miscellaneous Category

November 25, 2014

Apparently, the ABA Journal received my large, white bag with the $ on it

Or maybe it's the good karma from yesterday's Social Media @ Work giveaway.

Whatever it may be, I'll just smile and say thank you to the ABA Journal for honoring The Employer Handbook (again) as one of the top blogs in America.

Special props also go out to the other blogs honored in the Labor and Employment Category:

Eight great honorees. But, there can be only one. That's right, through December 19, you can cast your vote for the best Labor and Employment law blog of them all. Here's how...

  1. Click here.
  2. Register.
  3. Scroll down the page to the "Labor and Employment" category, and click on it.
  4. Click "Vote Now!" for your favorite blog.

The whole process takes 20 seconds.


And who's the reigning, defending, ABA Blawg 100 Champion of the World, you ask?

[Cue music]

[Let's try that again]

November 11, 2014

Five great resources for HR about employing veterans

In honor of Veterans Day...

October 24, 2014

Think an employee is faking sick? Check social media.

It's that time of year again. Open enrollment, flu shots, and CareerBuilder.com's list of the most creative excuses for missing work.

But before I get to that, how about some missed-work statistics based on responses from 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals, and 3,103 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government).

  • 28% of employees have called in to work sick when they were feeling well
  • 59% of those fakers either didn't feel like going to work or just wanted to relax
  • 24% of employer have caught some one faking sick by using social media
  • 22% of those fakers sleuthed out on social were fired

I, for one, narrowly escaped termination when confronted with the Instagram shots of my navel piercing at the mall kiosk. If you attend my event with top officials from the EEOC and NLRB next month in Philly (details here), maybe I'll show it to you.

(That sound year hear is part vomit, and part clamor for refunds on the free tickets would-be attendees are now returning, thanks to me).

Maybe, I better make with the Career Builder Top 10 excuses for missing work:

  1. Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  2. Employee's plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some "tweaking" to get it just right.
  3. Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  4. Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  5. Employee woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it.
  6. Employee had a "lucky night" and didn't know where he was.
  7. Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn't get out.
  8. Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
  9. Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
  10. Employee accidentally got on a plane.

As always when I post this list, I love to hear back from you about the most cray-cray excuses your employees have offered for missing work.

(And no, binge-reading TheEmployerHandbook.com is not crazy. Promote that person immediately).

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October 21, 2014

Is it legal for the EEOC to send 1,330 emails to your employees at work?

Back in 2013, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating Case New Holland, Inc. for age discrimination, or so a complaint that Case New Holland recently filed in federal court alleges.

So, how is this news? Let alone blog news, which is hardly news at all. I should know. I publish this drivel. And I don't get paid for it. Which makes this the worst kind of drivel.

Anyway, apparently, the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to Case New Holland email addresses trolling for potential class-action plaintiffs -- or so the Case New Holland complaint alleges. And by sending those emails, the EEOC violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution -- or so Case New Holland alleges.

So, if the the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to your workplace, would that rub you the wrong way? Well, probably so, unless your workplace is the EEOC. But, would 1,330 emails actually break the law?

Well, if the concern is that the emails could potentially be used to gin a up a class-action lawsuit against your company, then according to a federal court, in this opinion, the answer is probably not:

Plaintiffs "cannot manufacture standing by choosing to make expenditures based on hypothetical future harm that is not certainly impending....Nothing in the Complaint or the plaintiffs' opposition suggests that class-action litigation is "certainly impending," and thus, this alleged injury is also speculative and insufficient to establish standing.

So, the clear takeaway here is that if the EEOC sends 1,330 emails to your business, wait until your employees form a class and sue you before filing against the EEOC.

Yeah, that must be the takeaway.

August 20, 2014

The Employment Law Blog Carnival: Instagram Edition #ELBC

If a picture says a thousand words, then my editors are going to be hella-mad at me.

After the jump, it's the best of the employment law blogosphere told through the eyes of Instagram.

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Continue reading "The Employment Law Blog Carnival: Instagram Edition #ELBC" »

July 24, 2014

#TBT The Employer Handbook seeks your feedback

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Back when I was a young aspiring blogger -- as opposed to the blog king I am now -- I asked my audience (here) for some feedback to improve this jawn.

Well, you gave it, I improved it, and I've been turning down multi-million dollar offers to sell this piece ever since.

I won't sell out -- yes, I will -- because I love you all and no one could handle The Employer Handbook with the grace and dignity it deserves.

***scratches butt ***

Could we use some find tuning? 

Probably not. But, I'm sure you folks have some good ideas to improve the blog. Maybe TMI is an issue, I dunno.

So, holler at me in the comments below or via email.

Thank you!

June 26, 2014

Score? US Men's Soccer's permission slip so your employees can miss work today

I remember a high school classmate of mine who had his mom send in a permission slip to excuse him from missing school for the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener. Mom's note indicated that her son was suffering from "Vernal Flu." 

Get it? Vernal Flu = Spring Fever.

Pretty creative, huh?

The US Men's Soccer team is not impressed.

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Image Credit: @USSoccer on Twitter

UPDATE: Daniel Schwartz scooped me on this last night with "A Note from the U.S. Coach is a Great Idea, But Not a Good Excuse." NEWMAN!

May 27, 2014

The Employment Law Blog Carnival: Small Business Edition #ELBC

I hope that you guys had a nice Memorial Day. Nothing like a good three-day weekend. Although, three of my four children didn't seem to appreciate that most American businesses were closed for the holiday:

Sorry, kids. 

Maybe, starting the workweek off with the Employment Law Blog Carnival: Small Business Edition over at the Employer's Corner Blog will cheer them up.

April 18, 2014

#HelpShaneFightCancer

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This is going to be a tough one, folks.

Today, I'm setting aside workplace issues to focus on a little boy named Shane.

Shane was born on July 11, 2013. The youngest of three, by all accounts, Shane was a happy and healthy newborn. His parents are truly blessed and his siblings adore him. Now, Shane is eight months old. And, as you can tell from the picture, he's got a toothy grin that lights up a room. 

But, then came the news that no parent ever wants to hear: Shane has cancer.

I still have trouble reading those words: Shane has cancer. I remember reading them for the first time a few weeks ago when Shane's dad emailed me with the news. As a father of four young children, my heart immediately broke. I know what it's like to have a young child who is suffering through illness. But, one of my children with cancer would be unimaginable.

Just associating the word "cancer" -- even the most treatable forms -- with a son or daughter is nightmarish. So, you can imagine how Shane's mom and dad are living through hell; Baby Shane has been diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. He now faces over 40 arduous weeks of chemotherapy to battle a form of cancer which kills 9 out of 10 children afflicted. 

With the deck clearly stacked against this little eight-month-old baby, Shane's family is grounded in hope and resilience:

"He's an 8 month old baby fighting stage 4 cancer. How does this happen? There are things in life that will never be explained. We have no idea why we were chosen, but we were. So, we must move forward and fight for baby Shane."

This kid is a fighter too. I'm told he crushed the 1st two chemo treatments. 

My money is on the cutie-pie underdog. 

 I don't know about you guys, but I like to back a winner. Sure, it's easy to bet on the favorite, but --- Shane, can you earmuff it for me? --- Fuck cancer! This horrific disease is no one's favorite.

And even though cancer may have the upper hand right now, none of us are focused on 90% mortality odds. All of us know that Shane is going to get through his chemotherapy like a champ. And we remain positive that he's going to beat this disease.

Indeed, I can't imagine a more satisfying payoff and sweeter ending.

Please help Shane fight cancer.

Yes, there is hope for Shane. And you can help. If you too would like to back a winner, consider making a donation for Shane, which you can do here

Your donations will cover any out-of-pocket expenses that insurance does not cover. Any leftover funds will go to the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania's Oncology Department and to THON, Penn State University's childhood cancer fundraiser.

And, if you can't donate, please show your support by going to Shane's page and sharing his story on social media with the hashtag #HelpShaneFightCancer.

One day, we'll change that hashtag to #ShaneBeatCancer.

Thank you.

April 7, 2014

Announcing The Employer Handbook LinkedIn Group

linkedinlogo.jpegDrums, please.

[Eh. Let's try that again...]

Drums, please!

We've finally got ourselves a LinkedIn Group.

You can join here.

March 20, 2014

The March Edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival is LIVE!!!

Carnivalphoto © 2010 Paul Newtron | more info (via: Wylio)Last night, after I arrived home, put my jacket away, and walked into the kitchen, something immediately caught my eye. On the kitchen table was a "Country Sweets Gourmet Cookie Dough" fundraising flyer from my son's school. 

My choice of five different flavors of raw cookie dough in a 48-ounce tub. And since it's all in the name of fundraising...

Easily the highlight of my day. Except.

Then, I remembered that email I received from Heather Bussing at HR Examiner informing me that she had just posted this month's edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival: ELBC Walks Into a Bar. It's 1 collection of 17 recent employment-law posts from bloggers across the country, dotted with "[insert here] walks into a bar" jokes. We have a winner!

You can view it here.

Totally unrelated, but, I'm just curious. If it's you in the bar with a jukebox and one play left near last call, what's your go-to. 

Let me know in the comments below.

(Unquestionably, here's mine).

March 11, 2014

VIDEO: Justin Bieber is a smug and very arrogant deponent

Last week, Justin Bieber was deposed in an action stemming from an alleged attack by his bodyguard on a member of the paparazzi. Here and pasted below is the video that's been making the rounds on the internet:

So, how does this impact your workplace? Don't let your employee witnesses ever channel their inner Bieber if deposed in a workplace lawsuit.

Now, Lil Wayne on the other hand...

February 11, 2014

An employee sued her employer for involuntary servitude. Yep, slavery.

publcienemy.jpgYesterday, I read a post over at Business Management Daily about an employee who sued for involuntary servitude.

Yes, folks. The plaintiff claimed that her former employer had treated her like a slave. 

Specifically, the plaintiff, a trainee of some sort, alleged that she was never provided with a job description or adequately trained.

(Stop me if this sounds familiar)

The plaintiff next alleged that her supervisor specifically told her that normal working hours were Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

(I don't know about you, but I just stepped away for five minutes to update my resume to submit to the defendant)

The plaintiff further alleged that she worked in less than ideal working conditions, where she wasn't compensated for any work performed in excess of forty hours per week, including the work she was required to take home with her and perform on the weekend.

(Ok, maybe not resume worthy, and a possible FLSA violation to boot. But slavery?)

No slavery according to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (opinion here):

In the present case, plaintiff alleges challenging working conditions. Plaintiff's work environment, however, does not evoke in the court's mind the burdens endured by the African slaves in the cotton fields or kitchens of the antebellum south. Moreover, the general defense against oppressive hours, pay, working conditions or treatment is the right to change employers. Plaintiff never claimed that the defendants physically restrained her or prevented her from leaving work. Rather, she always maintained the right to walk away from defendants' employment. In short, plaintiff has not alleged that her employment with defendants rose to the level of involuntary servitude.

What's the takeaway here? Oh, I dunno. Don't violate the 13th Amendment.

January 15, 2014

GUEST POST: HR Department of One

guestblogger.jpgToday we have a guest blogger at The Employer Handbook. It's Holly DePalma. Holly is Director, HR Services at MidAtlantic Employers' Association, a single source for HR services, delivering responsive, practical solutions to its members.

(Want to guest blog on an employment-law topic at The Employer Handbook? Email me).

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Continue reading "GUEST POST: HR Department of One" »

January 13, 2014

Joely Caroline Meyer

Joely Caroline Meyer
Born January 10, 2014 (7 lbs., 3 oz.)
Joely.jpg"Dad, give me at least 24 hours out here before asking me to guest blog, would ya? Yeesh..."


MeyerFamily.jpg"Last time, we gave you 200 words on Sesame Street, and you paid us in Cap'n Crunch. We're calling the DOL. And organizing!"