Recently in Miscellaneous Category

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!"
January 3, 2014

"Rise before The Employer Handbook; kneel before The Employer Handbook!"

And I say this with the fervor of 100 General Zods, such that Zod himself (especially, the crappy one from Man Of Steel, I'm a Terence Stamp man) would have no choice but to rise and kneel.

But I put down the moonshine funnel digress.

Today, The Employer Handbook celebrates its 3rd birthday. And what did The Employer Handbook get for its 3rd birthday? I mean, in addition to the strawberry edible underwear that one of my readers sent me anonymously. (Next year, go large. Medium, is a bit snug). Well, you guys voted The Employer Handbook ABA Journal's 2013 Top Labor & Employment Law Blog!

It's a humbling honor that leaves me nearly speechless. Nearly.

You see, frankly, I started this blog three years ago because I enjoy writing about employment law, and you can only be so snarky in 140 characters on Twitter. And, with the encouragement of some other great employment-law bloggers (and a lot of patience from my wife and family), so began The Employer Handbook.

And lucky for me, y'all slugged through the typos, grammar mistakes, obscure wrestling references, hip-hop, and other assorted nonsense. Ultimately, the readers recognized this site as a pretty decent source of practical labor and employment law news and insight.

(But, not legal advice, check the disclaimer).

For that, in all seriousness, I am grateful. It means a lot to know that you enjoy this site.

So, let's make a deal. If you keep reading my posts about long-shot FMLA legislation, wacky hostile work environments (24 sniffs?!?), and teachers getting fired over Facebook shenanigans, then I'll keep publishing.

But, now, if you'll excuse me, for Monday's column, I have to finish reading about a recent EEOC settlement involving a company that allegedly forced its employees to scream at ashtrays -- desk calendars, sure, but ashtrays? -- and practice other forms of Scientology.

You just can't make this stuff up.

December 20, 2013

Last day to vote for The Employer Handbook as a top employment-law blog

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Today is the final day to vote in ABA Journal's Blawg 100 Amici contest. The polls close at 5 pm. If you have yet to vote for my blog, and would like to do so, 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 The Employer Handbook.

The whole process takes 20 seconds.

I appreciate all of your support. Thank you.

December 10, 2013

Camouflage toilet paper and 9 of the other most unusual coworker holiday gifts

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Leave it to Career Builder to run a survey seeking the most unusual co-worker holiday gifts. Camouflage toilet paper made the list.

(Well, at least it wasn't used, amirite?)

The complete list follows after the jump...

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Continue reading "Camouflage toilet paper and 9 of the other most unusual coworker holiday gifts" »

November 26, 2013

ABA Journal names The Employer Handbook a top law blog (again)! #TeamHandbook

2013_Blawg100Honoree_150x150.jpgNotice anything new at The Employer Handbook? 

Maybe the image on the right.

Your other right. Yeah, there it is.

The Employer Handbook is officially the Grover Cleveland of the interwebz, proudly nominated twice -- in non-consecutive years -- by the American Bar Association in its Blawg 100 Amici as one of the top employment-law blogs in the galaxy. 



Hey, yo. Gratuitous posts aside, my workplace insights really flatulate -- err, resonate.

So, don't call it comeback; I've been here for years.

Indeed, Your Blogness has been on quite a run recently. Have you seen the updated Speaking Engagements section of the blog recently? No? Well, go ahead, click and scroll down to check out my June 2014 gigs. I'll wait. Oh, that's no typo. That's speaking gigs <plural> at SHRM's 2014 Annual Conference and Expo.

Quick, someone fetch my scepter!

The rest of you, here's the drill:

For the next month, the ABA has requested that you winnow down the group of deserving employment-law blog nominees to a grand champion. You can do that by voting for The Employer Handbook here, clicking the banner below, or tweeting your support.

Vote in the Blawg100

Seriously though, thank you to everyone who reads and supports this blog. We wouldn't be here without you.

Now, Vote Handbook!

November 4, 2013

"My fake eye was falling out of its socket," and 12 other wild missed-work excuses

nickfoles.jpgHonestly, I was ready to call in sick and use "Bunkered in for the Apocalypse" as my excuse.

I had no other explanation after Nick Foles passed for seven touchdowns yesterday. Seriously, weren't you at least a bit concerned?

Yep, CareerBuilder's annual list of "Most Outrageous Excuses Workers Have Given When Calling in Sick" is back. "Employee's sobriety tool wouldn't allow the car to start" topped last year's list.

Find out what made the Top 13 this year, after the jump...

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Continue reading ""My fake eye was falling out of its socket," and 12 other wild missed-work excuses" »