A year of hurricanes, fires, explosions and mass shootings has shown that employers are ill prepared for a new type and volume of catastrophes - and in fact may not even recognize the next big catastrophe coming. It's time to plan, and to be creative.
A recent Law 360 headline described a corporate senior counsel explained providing an erotic book with “playful and provocative” drawings to a fellow manager as an “innocent gift.” He had even written an inscription which read, “a taste of Dharma Bum to remind that the Dharma breathes in and out and is nothing special,” referring, in part, to the Buddhist philosophy of life and the novel by beat writer Jack Kerouac. There are many other allegations and facts associated with the underlying discrimination claim, and I have no idea as to whether unlawful conduct actually occurred.
On September 4, the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) unanimously voted in favor of several revisions to the OSH Act that would expand protection for workers who are retaliated against for raising health and safety concerns at their workplace.
Electronic communications are a mixed blessing. Business is more efficient and new ways of commerce continue to open. However, ubiquitous electronic communications have eroded our personal time and presented near-addicting distractions. From a legal standpoint, electronic communications, and especially e-mails, not only create damaging evidence but may even contribute to legal claims.
The Dallas Buyers Club, just opened in limited cities, it’s the largely true story of a thoroughly unlikeable hard ass Texas oil worker at the beginning of the 80’s AIDS crisis, who learns that he has full blown AIDS (from wild heterosexual behavior). The movie is amazing. It’s not “political.” Rather, it manages to blend tragedy, comedy and true story into a story that puts a face on an incredibly brutal time. Matthew McConaughey’s performance is a possible Oscar winner. My hospital administrator wife and I talked about the movie for hours.
Last week, I hosted the first edition of Fisher Phillips’ new monthly webinar series – “Workplace Safety Wednesdays.” I discussed recent decisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, MSHA's new Miners' Rights Guide, updates to the HazCom standard, and other topics of interest. I hope you were able to attend and enjoyed the webinar as much as I did.
Fran Sepler recently posted an insightful blog, “I’m Sort of Sorry: Coaching the High Level Harasser” discussing coaching a high-level performer regarding harassment, poor behavior or insensitivity. It takes wisdom and experience to deal with an executive who controls valuable business or can fire you if your message is displeasing.
Despite the DOL’s continuous promotion of whistleblower/retaliation claims, I don’t believe that employers appreciate the sheer variety of ways in which disgruntled employees can claim that the employer retaliated against him for complaining or raising issues related to safety, environmental, wage-hour, discrimination, or numerous other subjects.
Kudos to my partner and fellow class of 1984 member, Jim McDonald, on being quoted today in the Wall Street Journal in "Why Company Lawyers Are Reading A Mental-Health Manual."
First of all, yes, I'm telling you that (at least in most cases) suing your former employees may not be the best labor relations strategy, unless of course they are violating a valid non-compete or misappropriating your Company's trade secrets. Recently, a coal company learned that suing a former employee for filing a "fraudulent" discrimination complaint can be a violation of the Mine Act.
In Armstrong Coal Company, Judge Feldman found that the Mine Act ...