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Until a few years ago, if an employer wanted to pursue a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets, it probably had to do so in state court under state law. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 changed all that. The DTSA is a federal law that created a private federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. So, now, if an employee takes your precious trade secrets, you can sue under federal law in federal court. And, in certain circumstances, you can collect your attorney’s fees if you prevail. The DTSA has real teeth!

But, what if you learn that an employee misappropriated your trade secrets before the DTSA took effect on May 11, 2016. Are you stuck in state court? Continue reading

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If you’re new to the field, you’ll have to take our word on it. But, HR-compliance professionals know that drafting an employee handbook that is 100% compliant got a lot tougher over the past several years.

Let’s forget about paid-sick-leave laws, ban-the-box, and other state/local law matters. I’m just talking about how strict the National Labor Relations Board had become in interpreting employee handbook policies for union and non-union employers. (Remember that the National Labor Relations Act is not limited to unionized employers.)

Fortunately, relief is on the way. And I have nine ways in which you can now update your handbook with the blessing of the Board’s General Counsel. Continue reading

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Yesterday morning, I read my friend Jon Hyman’s post on LinkedIn about a lawsuit in which a person of color alleged that various supervisors and managers:

  • Frequently called him the “n-word”;
  • Told him to “reach his black hands out” while handing him a box; and
  • Offered him a banana while saying, “Monkeys like bananas.”

Allegedly, a group of white employees also hung a sign in the workplace that said, “WHITE ONLY.” Continue reading

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Is that really a thing? A citizen’s arrest?

Tell ’em Big Bird. (I think that’s from the same episode where Elmo tried to effect a citizen’s arrest on Oscar The Grouch by sitting on top of his trash can until the Sesame Street PD arrived. But, I may be mistaken.) Continue reading

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After a two year hiatus, the EEOC reconvened its Select Task Force on Harassment yesterday to hear from an array of scholars, attorneys, other stakeholders about ways to promote a harassment-free workplace. Continue reading

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Now, don’t say that I haven’t warned you.

A few years ago, I offered 112,500 ADA reasons not to force an employee to stay home until 100% healed. The following year, I told you to 86 the “100% cured” policy for employees returning from FMLA leave, with a reminder a few months later that a 100% healed policy = 100% violation of the ADA.

Some folks just don’t learn. Continue reading

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My thorough rundown of all things Bryan Colangelo will have to wait until next week when I serve as a guest contributor to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Today, however, I’ve got your hook up! Continue reading

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You know that Seinfeld episode.

The one where George gets a customized office desk for taking naps during the day?

I love that episode.

My favorite part is when “George Steinbrenner” calls in the bomb squad (after Jerry calls in a bomb threat) only to discover George’s  “empty calories and male curiosity.” Continue reading

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”