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Keeping You Posted

Recent developments in employment and labor law


Howard Kastrinsky


Chris Barrett

Keeping You Posted provides you with the latest updates in employment and labor law. As a supplement to Employment Law Comment, Keeping You Posted supplies you with a review of current federal and state cases, as well as legislative and regulatory changes, from your perspective as an employer.

Some of the many topics we discuss in Keeping You Posted include federal discrimination laws, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Occupation Safety and Health act. Other topics include immigration and workplace privacy, including emerging trends in social media in the workplace. Add the RSS feed above to your favorites, and stay up-to-date on the issues that affect your Company.
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Open, Undeleted E-mails Not Protected by Stored Communications Act

Friday, 03 January 2014 14:45


A U.S. district court in Ohio has deepened the divide among courts recently analyzing the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in the employment context.  The SCA makes it unlawful for anyone to “(1) intentionally access without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided, or (2) intentionally exceed an authorization to access that facility; and thereby obtain . . . access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such system.”  The statute was designed to impose criminal penalties for individuals accessing electronically store information without authorization, such as hackers.  Plaintiffs, however, have attempted to stretch the purpose of the SCA to cover other situations.


Sex in the workplace – a “no-no”

Friday, 29 November 2013 08:53


Married doctor falls for his nurse - it’s the classic adulterous love affair.  In this particular affair, as is often the case, the lovers got caught – at work – in the office – in flagrante delicto!  The culprits were offered two options: resign or be terminated.  According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, termination of employees based on a consensual, albeit inappropriate, sexual relationship that ended in turmoil is not a valid basis for Title VII retaliation or hostile work environment claims.


Employers potentially threatened by “micro-unions”

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 10:33


A recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) allowing the practice of forming so-called “micro-unions.”  A micro-union is a significantly smaller subsection of employees who are granted the right to unionize based on their classification in specific jobs, sections, units, or departments.  This differs sharply from traditional unionization, which generally requires the consent of the majority of employees in a given location.


Tenth Circuit Rules that To Receive a Religious Accommodation, You Must Request One

Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:02


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a win for employers when it granted summary judgment in favor of a nationwide clothing retailer on a potential applicant’s claim of religious discrimination in hiring. The clothing retailer was charged with workplace discrimination by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for Abercombie’s allegedly denying an 18-year old Muslim’s employment application when she appeared for her employment interview wearing a hijab, which is a traditional Muslim headscarf.  The EEOC alleged the clothing retailer denied her employment application because, while it was required by her religious beliefs, the hijab was at odds with the retailer’s “Look Policy.” This policy required employees as a prerequisite to and condition of employment to maintain a “classic East Coast collegiate style of clothing.”  The “Look Policy” specifically prohibited employees from wearing head-coverings such as the hijab worn by the Muslim applicant.


Arbitration Clauses in Employee Manuals May Not be Binding

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:00


Many employers find employment arbitration agreements are useful in cutting down litigation costs if an employment relationship ends badly and the employee seeks some form of monetary damages. In a nutshell, the arbitration agreement allows an employer to dismiss a case filed in court in order to compel the employee to have the grievance heard by a neutral arbitrator. This often reduces the exposure of risk for the employer because a jury is not involved.


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