Recently in Miscellaneous Category

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


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


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" »

October 31, 2013

The Boston Red Sox are the 2013 World Series Champions!!!

What else did you expect?
(Haters can unsubscribe)

As for the rest of you, considering that I've been serving up one of the best employment law blogs every weekday for the past two-plus years, isn't some Red Sox World Series swag for your guy a fair exchange?

(The answer is yes).

Image credit: @MLB on Twitter

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 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 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

August 2, 2013

Man pays court-ordered settlement in quarters -- 600,000 of them!

Yes, quarter.

Seriously, how pissed off do you need to be to pay out $150,000 of a court-ordered settlement in quarters? Jacob Gershman of The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, writes here that a retired surgeon had a unique way of expressing his displeasure with having to pay out a sizable chunk of court-ordered change.

2006_Quarter_Proof.pngSure he could have gone with the ole flaming-bag-of-doggie-doo trick after hand-delivering a check to the lawyer's office of his adversary. That'd be my move, you know, if I ever lost a case.

Instead Dr. Killjoy went with quarters. Four friggin' tons of 'em, 11 football fields long, delivered in 150 bags of 1000 each from an armored truck that literally snarled traffic outside an attorney's office in suburban St. Louis. It was a "protest against the ruling" from an Illinois appellate court, which had ordered the surgeon to return a significant portion of an insurance overpayment.

So, let me ask you, think back on a situation where it burned you up inside to have to pay an employee. Think of a situation in which you knew the company did nothing wrong but, instead, the company made a "business decision" to pay out. 

Except if you could have done it all over again, you'd have paid the employee in quarters.

Without breaking any confidentiality agreements -- use discretion folks -- tell me about it in the comments below.

Image credit: United States Mint (United States Mint) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons