Tuesday, September 18, 2018

There's a new sheriff in town at the NLRB

Last week was a big one at the National Labor Relations Board.

First, the Board announced its intent to modify its joint employer standard. This move, while not unexpected, is nevertheless significant. You can read all of the backstory on this issue here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sexual harassment allegations unjustifiably ruin people's lives only if they are false

Yesterday, The Washington Post published Christine Blasey Ford's decades old allegations of sexual abuse she claims to have suffered at the hand of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee. You can read the full letter here.

Friday, September 14, 2018

WIRTW #523 (the “radio radio” edition)

Earlier this week, I guested on , 89.3 KPCC in Los Angeles. I discussed the rights of employers to access information on employees' personal devices. It's an interesting and timely topic, in light of a lawsuit recently filed by an ex-managing director of an investment firm, accusing his former employer of hacking into his home computer to read his personal emails and obtain other stored data.

Where is the line between a personal device and a work device, and does the law make a distinction if the device is used for work?

Click here to listen to our discussion. And a huge thank you to Larry Mantle and his staff for having me on.

In other news, if you find yourself in Cleveland's southwestern suburbs this Saturday at 2:30 pm or next Sunday at 3:30 pm, stop in at Slim & Chubby's, in Strongsville, to experience Norah and Donovan getting their School of Rock punk on. Green Day, Bad Religion, Rancid, The Interrupters, The Distillers, Frank Turner, and more Green Day.

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Do you have employee-theft insurance?

The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, a science museum showcasing one of the largest living arthropod collections in the United States, recently suffered a catastrophic loss. Crooks heisted over 80% of its collection — 7,000 of its rare insects, lizards, and snakes, valued at over $40,000.

According to The New York Times, police believe this to have been an inside job. Three current or former museum employees are the suspects. The evidence? Security-camera footage, plus staff uniforms hung from knives that had been stabbed into a wall.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The 15th nominee for the “worst employer of 2018” is … the tasering torturer

Was this a car dealership or the set of Hostel 4?

Jason Cox worked as a car salesperson for Marietta Motors. According to Cox's lawsuit, for the entirety of his 10 months of employment, the company's owner, Travis Westfall, engaged in a continuous and unrelenting campaign of verbal and physical abuse and harassment.

Cox claims that Westfall:

  • Repeatedly demeaned him based on his large size, with names such as "Tiny," "Fat Ass," and "handicapped."
  • On numerous occasions, pointed at Cox the red laser-sight of the handgun he kept at work.
  • Placed the handgun to Cox's chest while telling him not to make any sudden moves.
  • More than once held knives or other sharp objects to Cox's throat while demanding that he not make any sudden movements.
  • Told Cox that he could "slit [his] throat and sleep just fine at night."
  • Struck Cox with a soda bottle on his surgically repaired leg.
  • Punched Cox repeatedly.
  • Lit fires near Cox.
  • Duck taped Cox's phone to his hand and head while he was talking.
  • Repeatedly shocked Cox with a taser, to the point that his co-workers attempted to hide the weapon from Westfall.

Cox also claims that Westfall captured the abuse on video and shared it on social media

Ultimately, claims Cox, he quit and fled the workplace, but not before he claims to have suffered severe and permanent mental and physical injuries.

If even a portion of this stuff happened, not only will it qualify Marietta Motors and Travis Westfall for a well-deserved nomination for the Worst Employer of 2018, but it will also result in a very large and warranted payday for Jason Cox.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Everything you want to know about employee polygraph tests

Lie detector tests, have been all over the news lately. Reports suggest that Donald Trump wants to administer these examinations to the entire White House staff to identify the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed.

There are no laws prohibiting the White House from using polygraphs in this manner. The federal law that regulates their use in the workplace—the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988—does not apply to the government.

For private-sector employers, however, the EPPA imposes strict prohibitions on the use of any device to render a diagnostic opinion as to the honesty or dishonesty of an individual.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Do you really want to be the employer that bans your employees from wearing Nike products?

Last week, Nike launched its new ad campaign featuring (former) NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He's most famous for being the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem. As a result, he's become a lightning rod around our national conversation about race relations. He claims the NFL has blackballed him because of his outspokenness on the issue.

Friday, September 7, 2018

WIRTW #522 (the “back to school” edition)

If your kids go back to school and you don't post photographic evidence, does it count?

Here's what I read this week:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Compliance-by-carrot trumps compliance-by-stick

Democratic administrations are about enforcement.
Republican administrations are about education.

The endgame is still enforcement, but each side approaches this goal very differently.

This dichotomy might be an oversimplification, but, in at least in contrasting the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration, it is very true.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The FLSA's exemptions are becoming more "fair" for employers

In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, the Supreme Court ruled that overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act "are to be given a 'fair reading,' meaning they are not to be construed too narrowly" (as had historically been the case).

The Court applied this "fair reading" standard to conclude that automobile service advisors are exempt under the FLSA's automobile-service exemption.

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