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In a public meeting last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) examined the impact of employers considering only those currently employed for job vacancies.

Do those employers who won’t consider unemployed individuals for vacant positions engage in unlawful discrimination?

Find out, after the jump (or just watch my baby son dunk like Blake Griffin — slow to load, but worth the wait)…

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621px-Full_Ashtray.jpgKeeping with this week’s smoking theme, I see that the The New York Times recently ran a story discussing how some employers are refusing to hire smokers. The article warns, ““Smokers now face another risk from their habit: it could cost them a shot at a job.”

But is this legal? Can an employer really refuse to hire someone who smokes?

To learn the answer, check out a recent post I did at The Legal Intelligencer.

“I know you don’t smoke weed, I know this; but I’m gonna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job… and you ain’t got sh*t to do.” – Smokey from Friday (1995).



Back in 1995, when Smokey was trying to convince his buddy Craig to get high, California had yet to decriminalize marijuana for medical use. Now, a number of states have legalized medical marijuana.

But what happens when medical marijuana use results in a positive drug test at work? Is the company allowed to fire that employee?

Find out, after the jump.

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Natalie Munroe, a Philadelphia-area teacher, was suspended last week after her school learned that Munroe had blogged that she wished she could tell students, among other things, that they were “rude, beligerent, argumentative, and utterly loathsome in all imaginative ways.”

Ms. Munroe has since lawyered up, still blogs, and is now gaining national headlines. More on this developing story and the impact it could have on her employer, after the jump.

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Nothing really. But I needed to combine three topics into one quick blog post.

On Genetics

I will be presenting a webinar tomorrow (2/16) at 1:30 PM EST on how the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act will affect your company. If you had to click on the hyperlink, then you probably should sign up for the webinar. You can learn more about the webinar here.

Earlier this week, the internet was all a buzz with the news that an employer had settled with a former employee it fired for criticizing a supervisor on Facebook.

If you think that this settlement signals that employers are powerless to discipline employees who criticize their employers online, think again. Just ask a Philadelphia-area teacher who got tagged for criticizing her students on her personal blog.

More on this story and what it means for employers, after the jump.

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A company accused of violating federal law for firing an employee for comments she made on Facebook about her supervisor has settled.

How does this settlement affect how your company can control employee engagement in social networking activities? The answer, after the jump.

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Recently, my friend Sharlyn Lauby, owner and sole proprietor of the HR Bartender Blog invited me to weigh in on a reader question about accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The reader, who is completely deaf, began developing neck pain at work because, the way her desk was positioned, she would constantly have to turn her head to hear anything people would say to her. Although she voiced her concerns to her boss, he just ignored her.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation. What should employees and employers do in this situation? Check out this post from the HR Bartender to find out.

Other helpful resources:

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