Friday, May 1, 2009


Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter again dominates the news this week. His defection to the Democratic Party is the second biggest news story of the week. It will almost certainly provide the Democrats with the 60-member supermajority they need to defeat any filibuster for the next two years. What is less clear is whether this change will have any effect on the prospects for the EFCA, since Sen. Specter is already on record that his change is party does not equate to a change in his opposition to this controversial labor bill. For more coverage of this news, read Workplace Horizons. For a succinct but thorough summary of what exactly the EFCA is, check out Tim Eavenson at Current Employment. For news of other potential changes to federal labor laws, read Michael Fox’s Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer on the Arbitration Fairness Act and the Fair Arbitration Now coalition that has formed to support it. And, as Christopher McKinney at the HR Lawyer’s Blog points out, the majority of American oppose forced arbitration.

Which leads us to the big (which coincidentally rhymes with pig) story of the week, the swine flu. I’ve already covered this issue, as have some of my fellow bloggers: Michael Moore at the Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Blog, Catherine Barbieri at the FMLA Blog, Michael Haberman’s HR Observations, HR World, The Word on Employment Law with John Phillips, and Dan Schwartz at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog (who I believe was first in bringing this issue to employers’ attention). CCH also has an excellent resource page covering this issue.

Natalie Beck at the Employeescreen IQ Blog has my favorite story of the week. If you are going to call off from work complaining of a migraine headache, don’t spend your day Facebooking.

Welcome to the Iowa Employment Law Blog, which this week discusses the recent EEOC guidance on caregiver discrimination.

Alaska Employment Law discusses a 9th Circuit case applying a caregiver responsibility theory to a stepmother.

Under the category, “what did you expect,” is this gem from Above the Law, detailing a former HR employee’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the publisher of Penthouse.

The Washington Labor & Employment Wire brings to everyone’s attention the Alert Laid off Employees in Reasonable Time Act, which, if passed, would amend WARN “to require notifications under the Act for mass layoffs that occur at more than one worksite for an employer.”

Frank Roche at the KnowHR Blog makes a compelling case for the softer side of human resources.

The Laconic Law Blog discusses a case dealing with the scope of Employment Practices Liability Insurance coverage.

BLR’s HR Daily Advisor advises that there are legal issues that employers must consider before implementing an employee reward program, specifically discrimination, wage & hour, and tax issues.

Richard Bales at the Workplace Prof Blog summarizes the proposed Restatement of Employment Law.

The Evil HR Lady offers some guidance on how to handle a poor-performing employee who takes FMLA leave. I’ve previously talked about how to layoff the protected.

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