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 http://www.theemployerhandbook.com is not crazy. Promote that person immediately).

social_media_at_work_btn_dLRG.PNG

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.

Remember, over the Summer, when I blogged about how sending FMLA paperwork to an employee via first class mail is a big mistake.

Why? Because if the employee claims not to have received the paperwork, then you have no proof of delivery, and possible FMLA interference issues if the employee is somehow precluded from taking FMLA leave.

So, I offered three alternatives:

  1. Pick a method of delivery that requires a receipt/other proof of delivery with a signature, such as certified mail, overnight delivery.
  2. Hand-delivery at work (with a signature) is pretty good too.
  3. Or email, with a return email from the recipient acknowledging receipt.

Last week, in this opinion, a federal court in Michigan highlighted the importance of confirming receipt when emailing that FMLA paperwork:

Defendant had the right to require Plaintiff to recertify her FMLA leave….Specifically, the issue is whether Defendant (through FMLASource), by informing Plaintiff of the recertification requirement via email, gave Plaintiff proper notice of that requirement…The transmitting of an email, in the absence of any proof that the email had been opened and actually received, can only amount to proof of constructive notice.

Parenthetically, it’s worth noting that, for FMLA re-certification, even oral notice to the employee would suffice. However, oral notice can often devolve into a “he-said/she-said” situation.

So, I’ll say it again. When it comes to satisfying FMLA notice requirements, consult the list above and have proof that the notice was delivered.

Three nights ago…

Eric: How many bags of Halloween candy do you think we need this year?

Wife: Our neighbors said last year they had ten.

Eric: Ten?!? *** rubs belly of golden goose ***

Wife: Yes, and the kids have your costume all picked out. It’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Eric: What’s that now?

(Wife leaves room and returns with costume and four different-colored headbands)

Wife: You get to pick which Turtle you want to be?

(Eric squints, rubs temples raw, remembers last year’s costume)

@-webkit-keyframes”dkaXkpbBxI”{ 0%{opacity:0.5;} 50%{opacity:1;} 100%{opacity:0.5;} } @keyframes”dkaXkpbBxI”{ 0%{opacity:0.5;} 50%{opacity:1;} 100%{opacity:0.5;} }

Can you believe that I practice law…and get paid for it? 

Anyway, here’s the The Employment Law Blog Carnival: Halloween Edition, with a collection of the best recent employment law blog posts. Special thank you to Mark Toth, Chief Legal Officer at ManpowerGroup, NA, for hosting this month at The Employment Law Blawg.

No, you can’t have my costume.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds were blowing up yesterday with links to articles at NYTimes.com, Huffington Post, and Jezebel about how the sandwich chain, Jimmy John’s, supposedly makes its sandwich makers and delivery drivers sign these non-competition agreements. These agreements purport to preclude employees from working for certain nearby competitors for two years after their employment with Jimmy John’s ends.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

That Meyer has the coolest Facebook and Twitter feeds evah! How can I get with him? (Well, here’s how you can get with me next month, but I digress).

I’m not going to comment specifically on Jimmy John’s and its purported practice other than to say that I work in Philadelphia and it would be sacrilege to let a “sub sandwich” pass between these lips. But, after the jump, I do have a few general pointers from employers about restrictive covenants…

* * *

Continue reading

Coming up during this term, the Supreme Court will decide seven cases relating to HR compliance. To put this into proper perspective, if you were to award a point for every forthcoming Supreme Court decision, that would be seven more points than the entire New York Giants team scored against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.  

[Yep, still basking in the glow].

Anyway, for more on these important cases affecting your workplace, Philip Miles has you covered here at Lawffice Space.

* * *

And speaking of workplace goodies, have I mentioned the free event were are hosting next month entitled, “Social Media @Work, The #BalancingAct between Employer and Employee“? Well, other than the five other times I’ve mentioned it. Ok, indulge me. Mark your calendars for November 12, 2014 from 8:45-10:00 AM. And get over to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. (We’ll even feed you breakfast at 8:00). We’re talking me and three key decisionmakers from the EEOC and NLRB gabbing away about stuff you can use to proactively protect your workplace. 

But you’ll need a ticket, and they are limited.

More details here.