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That was my KitKat! Spit it out! Spit it out, dammit! Hey, hey, turn off that camera!

Over the weekend, after the Hershey’s Chocolate World shenanigans, I read a Fifth Circuit FMLA retaliation opinion that, unfortunately, read like so many prior employment legal skirmishes.

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You know, being a client of the Blogger King has its perks. (That’s me. I’m the Blogger King). When I’m not litigating and counseling on employment-related issues, I’m taking blog post requests and emailing weekly updates of HR goodies that don’t make it onto the blog.

But, with my DropBox and Pocket chock full of recent cases, I’ll summarize the recent biggies.

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Yesterday, I had one of those moments. You know the ones.

For me, it was when a client asked me when I was going to blog about the Muslim workers in Colorado who were denied prayer breaks and, then, allegedly fired for protesting.

So, I did what any self respecting employment-lawyer-blogger would do: I Googled “Muslim Prayer Employee Protest Colorado Fired,” and I promised a client-inspired Wednesday post.

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Macaca nigra self-portrait large.jpgLast year, I discussed (here) a case in which the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued an employer for retaliation under Title VII. Now, retaliation is the most common claim employment discrimination claim. But, what made this particular claim unusual was the EEOC’s attack on the employer’s use of knife-wielding monkeys to coerce settlement fairly common settlement provisions that you guys probably use in your severance agreements (e.g., a general release, a non-disparagement obligation, a confidentiality provision, a covenant not to sue, and a cooperation clause).

Late last year, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in. And it didn’t end well for the EEOC.

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RadioShack-ctr-119.jpgBack when the Lamborghini Countach poster was in your bedroom, spinach and artichoke dip was on the menu, and it was hip to be square, this image would have been fitting for this blog — what’s a blog?!?! — post.

Yes, there was a time when a secret recording in the workplace implied an expectation of privacy in whatever conversation was recorded. But, now, everyone has a smartphone and, with a few quick thumb taps, an easy way to audio or video record anything and everything.

So, who among us has a reasonable expectation of privacy at work?

According to the National Labor Relations Board, practically no one who works for the company.

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Last week, I highlighted an often overlooked EEOC enforcement effort: protecting vulnerable workers. Shortly after my post, the EEOC continued its efforts to support vulnerable workers by issuing this statement to address workplace discrimination against individuals who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.

Good on ya, EEOC.

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1963 Rambler Ambassador 880 sedan gold-white K-j.jpgWell, I suppose you can claim just about anything.

For example ***takes big dose of medication*** I claim god status on the third sun for Rondor. My fourth place finish on the unaired celebrity-blogger episode of Chopped really raised by Rondor grass cred. (No streets on Rondor; only luscious purple grass).

But, when you’re a married school superintendent. And you sneak off during school hours. And you’re sneaking with a female para-educator. Well, sneaking and having sex with the female para-educator in her parked car. You can imagine how this ended.

Well, the former school superintendent — see what I did there? — claimed that his marital status (as opposed to his sexual relationship with a female co-worker who was not his wife) was the reason for his termination.

Thoughts…

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Christmas presents under the tree (11483648553)

Or late Hanukkah presents. Or early Kwanzaa presents. Or timely Festivus presents. Or, you get the idea.

My first present is a re-gift. Over at Win-WinHR, Lorene F. Schaefer, Esq. hosts this month’s edition of the Employment Law Blog Carnival: A Festival of Lessons Edition. If you need to get caught up on all the latest HR-compliance news and view from top bloggers across the country, then, go no further.

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