Friday, July 10, 2009


Welcome to this Michael Jackson-free edition of What I’m Reading This Week.

As an update to my post yesterday on racism at The Valley Swim Club, I recommend two posts by a high school classmate of mine, Adam Bonin, at the Daily Kos, whose done an excellent job covering this story: Valley Swim Club: Day Two, and The Valley Club Is Being Investigated.

If an employee uses her company-issued computer to exchange emails with her attorney before she sues you for discrimination, are you entitled to access and review those emails? According to the Workplace Privacy Counsel, per one New Jersey appellate court the answer is no: “[A]ccording to the court, an employer cannot read an employee’s personal e-mail, even when the employer has a policy stating that the employee has no reasonable expectation of privacy, except when the content of the e-mail needs to be known to determine whether the employee violated company policy or acted unlawfully.”

Jay Shepherd’s Gruntled Employees has two excellent posts from the last couple of weeks: The wrong question, which discusses what to consider when an employee asks for a special accommodation, and Sugarcoated terminations, which talks about what not to say when terminating an employee.

Michael Fox’s Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer has some interesting information on average UK jury verdicts in employment cases.

Molly DiBianca at the Delaware Employment Law Blog lists 3 reasons why employers don’t have a social networking policy. Kris Dunn, The HR Capitalist, shares his thoughts on the same topic. If you are looking to implement one, take a look at my 7 consideration for social networking policies, and then call or email me.

The FMLA Blog reports on a case out of Southern Ohio in which the court found an employer acted unreasonably by only allowing an employee three days to submit a doctor’s note certifying the need for intermittent leave.

Dennis Westlind at World of Work discusses the FOREWARN Act, which would expand the scope of the WARN Act to cover smaller employers.

In what is maybe the least surprising story of the fortnight, reports that it only took newly-minted Senator Al Franken 6 hours to sponsor the EFCA, his first piece of legislation. Meanwhile, The Chamber Post makes the case for why we are better without unions at all.

Darcy Dees at the Compensation Cafe observes that employees will often prefer to be classified as exempt and not receive overtime because they perceive it to be an elevation in status within the organization.

The Warren & Hays Blog comments on the dangers of workplace sexual stereotyping.

David Clark at the EBG Trade Secrets and Noncompete Blog discusses a New York decision refusing to enforce a noncompete agreement against an ex-employee because he had intentionally signed the contract in the wrong place.

The Washington Labor & Employment Wire reports on efforts on Capitol Hill to tie the minimum wage to the federal poverty threshold. Just what American businesses need, a dramatically higher minimum wage.

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