Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Do you know what to do and not to do when federal agents arrive with a search warrant?


The front door to your business opens, and in walks a column of federal agents with boxes, computer imaging equipment, and a search warrant.

Do you what to do and what not to do? Does your business have appropriate response procedures in place? Any have you trained the person most likely to receive the agents (a receptionist, for example) on how to appropriately respond?

Here are some suggestions.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Does craft beer have a labor problem?


Does craft beer have a labor problem? Julie Rhodes, writing at PorchDrinking, sure thinks so. 

She cites low wages and labor conditions as the two main drivers of her conclusion. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

WIRTW #636: the “what the heck” edition


Another week, another podcast appearance. This week you can catch me on What the Heck is Happening in HR, discussing all things employee handbooks.

Here's what I read this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Alex Jones trial offers a teachable moment on the issue of "inadvertent disclosure”


Suppose you're sitting in your office and your associate excitedly runs in, yelling, "We got 'em! The other side just sent us the entire contents of their client's cell phone, and oh boy are there some smoking guns!"

This exact issue just played out in an Austin, Texas, courtroom in the defamation trial between online conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the parents of a 6-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting suing him for lying that the attack was a hoax. The parents had requested in discovery that Jones turn over all emails and text messages related to the shooting. Jones claimed that none existed because he doesn't email or text. Then 12 days ago his lawyer accidentally sent the entire contents of Jones's cell phone to the parents' attorneys.

What happened next would seem laughable if it unfolded during a prime-time legal drama. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of these events unfolding in court, a former writer for Law & Order tweeted that they "wouldn't have let a lawyer do something that dumb." And yet it actually happened yesterday in an actual courtroom.


"Your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message you've sent for the past two years. And when informed they did not take any steps to identify it as privileged.… And that is how I know you lied to me about not having any text messages about Sandy Hook."

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

You won’t like OSHA when it’s angry


OSHA has proposed nearly $1.25 million in penalties against two Ohio Dollar Tree stores. 

The specific violations cited include hazards related to obstructed egress, unstable stacks, and inaccessible electrical equipment and fire extinguishers, in addition to trip and fall hazards caused by water leaking through the ceiling, carts, boxes, trash and merchandise spread throughout walking-working surfaces in the retail areas and storerooms.

These two sets of citation, however, only tell part of the story. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Accountability starts at the top, even for the NFL


NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson has suspended Deshaun Watson for six games for his violation of the league's personal conduct policy based on allegations by four masseuses that he solicited prostitution by paying for sex acts.

Some see six games as a slap on the wrist. I don't, at least in the environment that bound Judge Robinson and her ruling.

While I don't in any way condone Watson's misconduct, the NFL would place itself in serious legal jeopardy by imposing a suspension that encourages Watson or his union to litigate.

Don’t be mad at Watson for getting off light; be mad at the NFL for its long history of giving white male owners a free pass for their own sexual misconduct. The league created the legal environment that let Watson (a Black player) off.

Monday, August 1, 2022

NLRB dismisses charges against lawyers for alleged “union busting” against the employees of its client … but let’s not celebrate yet


One law firm has been at the center of most of the recent high-profile anti-union organizing efforts in large multi-state employers such as Starbucks, Apple, and Trader Joe's — Littler Mendelson. The Service Employees International Union filed an unfair labor practice charge against that law firm and its responsible attorneys alleging that they violated the National Labor Relations Act by illegally polling Starbucks' employees about their support for the union. 

Thankfully, the NLRB has now dismissed that charge.