Friday, July 29, 2016

WIRTW #423 (the “final frontier” edition)

The Icarus Craft (with gold record)
As you can tell from reading this weekly column, I’m a bit of a music fan. I’ve also always been fascinated by outer space. In another life (one in which I’m actually good at science) I’d like to think I was an astrophysicist instead of a lawyer.

Thus, this bit of news, c/o Jack White’s Third Man Records, is particularly cool:
On July 30th, in celebration of our 7th anniversary, Third Man Records will reveal our attempt to play the first phonographic record in space — a gold-plated 12” master of Carl Sagan’s “A Glorious Dawn” (a moving arrangement of Sagan’s sagacious words culled from his magnificent Cosmos series, previously pressed and distributed as a 7” in their first year of operation, 2009). This record marks our 3 MILLIONTH RECORD PRESSED! The vessel tasked with the mission —The ICARUS CRAFT — is a custom-built “space-proof” turntable attached to a high-altitude balloon.
Here’s the rest of what I read this week:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

OSHA says “negative” to post-accident testing

Buried in OSHA’s impending final rule on electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses is this little nugget. OSHA believes that you violate the law if you require an employee to take a post-accident drug test. Let me repeat. According to OSHA, you violate the law if you automatically drug test any employee after an on-the-job accident.

Allow me to pause while this sinks in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

EEOC offers guidance for Youth@Work

Do you employee minors? If so, you should be aware of the wage-and-hour laws for child labor. The Department of Labor, however, isn’t the only federal agency taking a look at your under-18 employees. Recently, the EEOC launched an entire portal devoted to the issue.

The microsite, entitled Youth@Work, is the agency’s education and outreach campaign to promote equal employment opportunity for teenage workers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

For God’s sake, think before you email

I have lots of readers. Thousands upon thousands. Do you know who doesn’t read my blog, however? Former DNC Chair (and Congresswoman) Debbie Wasserman Schultz. How do I know? Because, if she does, she would have read this:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ohio Supreme Court sides with workers’ comp fraud

Ohio has a specific statute that protects injured workers from retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim. O.R.C. 4123.90 states:
No employer shall discharge, demote, reassign, or take any punitive action against any employee because the employee filed a claim or instituted, pursued or testified in any proceedings under the workers’ compensation act for an injury or occupational disease which occurred in the course of and arising out of his employment with that employer. 
It would seem that for this statute to protect an employee, the employee’s alleged injury must be an actual workplace injury.

Not so fast.

Friday, July 22, 2016

WIRTW #422 (the “Pikachu” edition)

The story of the week? Not the RNC, but Pokémon GO!, something about which I (happily) know very little. What does the blogosphere have to say about this phenomenon?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of public Wi-Fi?

According to Politico, an IT company set up various fake Wi-Fi networks around the RNC with names such as “Google Starbucks”, “I vote Trump! free Internet”, and “I vote Hillary! free Internet”. The goal was to see how many people would join the unsecured networks. The answer: 1,200, with 68 percent compromising the information on their devices.

“I use public Wi-Fi all the time,” you say. “After all, wireless data is expensive. What’s the harm in using a public network?”

Watch this video, and then let’s chat about how to discuss this important security issue with your employees.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Don’t forget your b.s. meter when conducting workplace investigations

By now, you’ve likely heard about the plagiarism flap that has embroiled the GOP following Melania Trump’s Monday-night convention speech.

In case you missed it, Melania Trump (or her speechwriter) is accused of copying parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech for Mrs. Trump’s 2016 oration.

Decide for yourself:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ohio appellate decision sends working moms back to the 1950s

Employee claims her supervisor advised her not to apply for an open position because, “she is a single mother with kids and if [she] had to take time off work, it would jam [us] up for getting someone to cover the scheduling.”

Employee sues for gender discrimination. She wins in a landslide, right?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Court permits use of employee’s own racist Facebook posts in race-discrimination case

I read with interest this morning’s post on Eric Meyer’s Employer Handbook Blog, entitled, Court says employee’s Facebook page on race stereotypes is fair game at trial. The post discusses a recent federal court decision which permitted an employer to impeach at trial a race-discrimination plaintiff with her own racial Facebook posts.

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