I’ve recently given two different speeches discussing the balance between an employee’s privacy and an employer’s right to know. One of the themes of this talk is that social media has irreparably blurred the line between one’s personal persona and one’s professional persona, and employees best be careful with that they say online, because employers are watching and holding them accountable.
Dan argues that while employment at will is still a valid legal doctrine, if a judge or jury cannot view your termination as “fair”, then they will look for another (illegal) justification for your decision. That examination may not go your way.
Damn, does the Oxford comma have some traction. I can’t recall the last time a case as mundane as O’Connor v. Oakhurt Dairy lit up the internet. But it did. And I got curious—just how do people feel about the l’il ol’ Oxford comma. So I asked. And you responded, by the hundreds. You spoke loud and clear. You don’t just like the Oxford comma, you love it.
There you have it. By a margin of more than nine to one, the Oxford comma wins. As for the other eight percent, please step into the 21st century and start dropping in that comma before the “and” in your serial lists.
Yesterday, however, in NLRB v. SW General, Inc. [pdf], the Supreme Court held that Mr. Solomon’s tenure from January 5, 2011, through October 29, 2013, was unlawful, as it violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA).
Last June, the EEOC issued a comprehensive, bi-partisan report on harassment in the workplace. The report’s stated purpose was to “reboot workplace harassment prevention efforts” by focusing on efforts employers can take “in designing effective anti-harassment policies; developing training curricula; implementing complaint, reporting, and investigation procedures; creating an organizational culture in which harassment is not tolerated; ensuring employees are held accountable; and assessing and responding to workplace “risk factors” for harassment.”
It is no secret that health care costs for employers and their employees are out of control. Many employers have attempted to hold down these rising costs by offering wellness-program incentives. The EEOC has signed off on these programs as legal as long as employee participation remains voluntary, which the agency defines as financial incentives for employee participation at or below 30 percent of the cost of coverage. Thus, employees have a choice—participate in the wellness program, or pay a surcharge of up to 30 percent.
One area that has remained off limits for employers under these wellness programs, however, has been genetic testing and other personal and family medical histories. A new bill moving through the House of Representatives, however, aims to change that.
Who knew that the l’il ol’ Oxford comma was so controversial? I would have never dreamed that yesterday’s post on the importance of its omission in a wage/statute would generate so much feedback, or that people feel so passionately about its use or non-use. In fact, it was my most shared and talked about post since my takedown of Trump’s first immigration ban.
To gauge exactly how you feel about the Oxford comma, I’ve designed a quick, one-question survey. Take a moment, and click “yes” or “no” on whether one should use the Oxford comma when writing.
Vampire Weekend once asked, “Who gives a f__k about an Oxford comma?” The answer, apparently, is the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, a whole lot.
In O’Connor v. Oakhurt Dairy [pdf], that court reversed the dismissal of an overtime lawsuit based on the absence of a Oxford comma in a list of activities that qualify for a certain exemption under Maine’s wage-and-hour law.
Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hosp. [pdf], held that Title VII does not protect sexual-orientation discrimination per se, and that to sufficiently plead such a cause of action under Title VII, one must allege facts sufficient to establish that the employer discriminated based on non-conformity with sex-based stereotypes.