Friday, March 27, 2009


I’ve never been a huge fan of Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania’s senior Senator. When I was a junior in high school, I participated Presidential Classroom, a week-long educational program in D.C. all about the federal government. One of the perks of the program was special meet-and-greets with our Congressman and Senators. Growing up in Philly, I was very excited to meet Sen. Specter, especially since his dad and my granddad somehow knew each other from their old neighborhood. When he blew off our scheduled appointment (the only one of three to do so), he made my list.

This week, however, the Senator took a huge step towards redemption by publicly stating that he will not support the Employee Free Choice Act. Because he’s previously supported the EFCA, and because he’s a Republican, his vote is critical for supporters to reach the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. The following blogs have extensive coverage of Sen. Specter’s big announcement: Michael Moore at the Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Blog, the EFCA Report, Michael Fox at Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer, EFCA Updates, and Dan Schwartz at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, who has the video and transcript of Specter’s speech.

In other EFCA news this week, a group comprised of the CEO’s of Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Costco have come up with their own compromise on the controversial labor bill. For the details, jump over to the EFCA Report and The Word on Employment Law with John Phillips.

In some local news, Above the Law reports on a gender discrimination lawsuit filed in Summit County. According to the complaint, the alleged harasser is of foreign dissent, and HR cited “cultural differences” to explain why he referred to the plaintiffs as a “Bunch of B*tches,” “Hormonal Messes,” and a “F*cking Lesbian.”

Meanwhile, Molly DiBianca at the Delaware Employment Law Blog shares her thoughts on cursing in the workplace.

Kara Maciel at the EBG Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog reports on what happens when one gentlemen’s club tries to poach dancers from another.

OnPoint has the details of a Florida case in which a Virginia jury rejected the sex discrimination claim of a female dock worker caught relieving herself outdoors.

Anthony Zaller at the California Employment Law Report writes on a topic I covered earlier this week, the DOL’s intent to step up wage and hour enforcement.

Ross Runkel’s LawMemo details a case in which an employer snooped on an employee’s private AOL email account that the employee accessed from a work computer. Workplace Privacy Counsel suggests that employers draft policies covering employees’ use of personal Internet-based email accounts using company computers.

Point of Law, on the hidden costs associated with layoffs – litigation costs.

Jason Morris at Employeescreen IQ Blog, on whether former bankers wear a scarlet letter in their current job searches.

Rob Radcliff’s Smooth Transitions has 9 pointers on hiring employees covered by non-compete agreements.

Mark Toth at the Manpower Employment Blawg gives his thoughts on a report about the high incidents of employee data theft.

Corporate Voices for Working Families suggests that family-friendly work benefits might take a big hit during the recession.

David Yamada’s Minding the Workplace reports that Massachusetts has introduced a workplace bullying bill in its legislature. For my thoughts on workplace bullying laws, see Sticks and stones may break my bones...

Carl Bosland at The FMLA Blog reminds us that every lawsuit boils down to two key issues, liability and damages, and winning on the latter is just as important for employers as the former.

Ted Moss at COSE Mindspring, on shield laws for job references. For my thoughts on this misunderstood issue, take a look at Do you know? Ohio law protects employers that give negative job references.

Finally, some gallows humor to end the week – Frank Roche at KnowHR links to an online game called “Layoff.”