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Showing 59 posts from 2012.

Internet Defamation—What Can You Do When You Are the Target?

We’ve all seen them.  Anonymous spewing hate-filled, defamatory statements on Facebook and Twitter, as well as in the comment pages of news stories on both local and national news.  The commenters have a certain entertainment value, until you or your business are in their sights.  So what do you do?  The answer is not always so simple, especially when you don’t even know who is speaking. More >

Employment Screening: Medical Inquiries and Examinations

A number of federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination and prohibit the employer’s use of discriminatory tests and procedures to select such employees. These laws are imperative to ensure that the rights and interests of citizens are protected. What happens, however, when an employer has no discriminatory intent, but simply needs to determine whether an applicant is physically able to perform the job duties necessary for a particular position? More >

Kentucky’s Municipal Employers Achieve Major Victory in 2012

For many, December is a time for reminiscing on the events that shaped the previous year. In our professional lives, this time affords many of us the opportunity to note those developments throughout the year that will shape and impact the year to come, or with a recent major victory for municipalities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, years to come.  Thanks in part to the vigilant efforts of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC, municipal employers in Kentucky scored a resounding victory in 2012 concerning interpretation of Kentucky’s Whistleblower Act. For these municipal employers, reduced exposure to liability awaits them in 2013 and beyond. More >

Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc.- Forcing Employers to Navigate the crossroads of workplace harassment & the NLRA

Properly navigating workplace harassment laws is a tricky endeavor for any company.  A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc. (September 19, 2012) makes employers’ obligations in this arena even more uncertain. More >

Inclement Weather and Time Off Issues: To Pay or Not to Pay

With winter closing in, the possibility of bad weather brings potential attendance issues to the forefront of our minds. Icy roads and snow storms in Kentucky often cause delays and closings of not only schools but also businesses. Of course safety is the primary concern for everyone in extreme weather conditions, but employers must think beyond the logistics of employees getting to work or staying home. Absences due to bad weather impact the productivity of a business, and raise questions regarding the calculation of pay and how an employee’s time should be tracked. These issues are further complicated when dealing with a mix of exempt and non-exempt employees, however the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) does offer some guidelines to assist an employer in determining their rights and responsibilities when bad weather impacts employee attendance.

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EEOC’s Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

Earlier this week, we gave you an overview of the issues that, according to a recent draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”), the EEOC is likely to target in the coming years.  One of the emerging issues highlighted in that draft relates to pregnancy discrimination, specifically, situations which force women into unpaid pregnancy leave after being denied accommodations routinely provided to similarly situated employees.  In lock step with the EEOC’s express priorities, the following relevant cases have emerged over just the last few months: More >

Looking at the EEOC’s Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) released a draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). The SEP is intended to, amongst other goals, establish priorities for the EEOC in the coming years. The draft included five broad nationwide priorities, as follows: More >

The Particulars of a Job: Description vs. Requirements

In most cases the quality of the workforce determines the success of any business. As we discussed on Wednesday (10/24/12), there are five essential elements of a job description but there is a compelling need to focus specifically on requirements. A job description defines the duties, tasks and responsibilities of a position, creating a framework for hiring the right candidate. The description is used in marketing and promotion to attract new talent to the company. The requirements set the stage for digging deep into the details of the position and reflect the culture of the company.  They have emerged as the strategic details that can set the candidates apart and make it easier for HR managers to look for an employee to specifically match the employee’s long-term goals. More >

Five Essential Elements of a Good Description

Most companies of any significant size have, and should have, written job descriptions for each of its employment positions.  The process of crafting these descriptions should start before the hiring process begins to fill positions, for good job descriptions are essential to identifying the various employee attributes needed by an employer. However, job descriptions historically are also one of the most widely used pieces of evidence in employment claims by plaintiffs.  For this reason job descriptions need to be well written and carefully crafted to mitigate the risk of creating a document that can be used against an employer later in court. More >

Will a Savings Clause Save Your Social Media Policy?

Could a savings clause salvage an otherwise invalid social media policy? Maybe. There is no definitive answer to this question, as savings clauses have been portrayed as both a potential asset for employment handbooks and a non-factor in acting as a loophole for Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Thus, it is important to view savings clauses as one tool in your arsenal and not as a panacea for an overly-broad social media policy. More >

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