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In the workplace, messing around on Facebook may earn an employee a pink slip. In the political arena, Facebook faux pas can cost a Congressman his seat in Congress — although it could result in a job with Hustler. [SFW].

But, in the courtroom, Facebook shenanigans may lead to hard time in the clink. This is especially true in the UK, where the BBC reports that a juror who contacted a defendant via Facebook, causing a £6m drug mistrial, has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court.



The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace against disabled individuals. By law, if an employer knows that an employee or applicant is disabled, it must reasonably accommodate the known disability, if doing so would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business. There are many types of reasonable accommodations, from modifying facilities to reassignment to a vacant position.

Leave from work may also be a reasonable accommodation. But how much? And how much is too much?

Find out, after the jump…

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Fact or Fiction” a/k/a “Quick Answers to Quick Questions” a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a “I don’t feel like writing a long blog post“.

So, I was recently asked whether a younger employee may have a federal age-discrimination claim against his employer if the company treats a similarly-situated older employee better.

The answer is no. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court in General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) does not forbid discriminatory preference for the old over the young.

Let’s assume that your company — as many do — has a computer-use policy, which underscores that electronic communications sent over your network are not private and the company has the right to monitor all such electronic communications.

Under federal law, communications between the spouses, privately made, are generally assumed to have been intended to be confidential, and hence they are privileged. What if a husband and wife who work for your company email each other over your network? Are these emails subject to the marital privilege, or does the computer-use policy eviscerate it?

Find out after the jump.

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For those of who have yet to check it out or have never heard of the Carnival of HR, shame on you!

The Carnival of HR is dedicated to bringing together the best posts from the HR blogging community. This week, the Women of HR blog is hosting the Carnival. You’ll find links to 23 blog posts on various HR topics from “The Secret to Successful Job On-Boarding” to “The New Black of Benefits.”

So click on on over to this week’s carnival and have a great weekend.

Fueled by the remaining adrenaline from the Bruins 4-0 beating of the Canucks — 2 more wins… just 2 more — I am banging out this blog post just before the clock strikes 12. I have news of a new Twitter firing involving a “social media specialist” and an update on an NLRB action from May condoning the firing of a newspaper reporter for abusing Twitter.

All this, after the jump.

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Thumbnail image for Supreme Court.jpgIn an employment discrimination action asserted under federal law, an employee-plaintiff may recover a reasonable attorney’s fee if the plaintiff prevails. So too may an employer-defendant recover fees if it prevails and the court determines that the plaintiff’s suit is frivolous.

But what happens if an employee-plaintiff asserts multiple claims against an employer-defendant and only some of them are deemed frivolous? What, if anything, may the defendant recover in attorney’s fees?

The answer after the jump…

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“I just want to advise people watching at home, playing that now-popular drinking game of you take a shot whenever the Republicans saying something that’s not true: Please assign a designated driver. This is going to be a long afternoon.” 

— Anthony Weiner (from the House Floor on 1/19/11)

You can’t make this stuff up, yo.

For some employment-law implications and practical tips concerning Anthony Weiner’s gaffes — both online and offline — check out this post from employment attorney and blogger Philip Miles at Lawffice Space.

I’m guessing that social media is not at the top of either side’s list of demands.

However, player tweets like this and, in particular, this one from Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall following the death of Osama bin Laden have some speculating that a new collective bargaining agreement could include restrictions on player use of social media.

What could those restrictions be? And will the players agree to them? 

More after the jump.

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