Tag Archives: Employment

Employers: Are you Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rights?

Jason Shinn of the Michigan Employment Law Advisor had a great post entitled "Is your company making this mistake when it comes to employees and intellectual property?" The post centers on a lawsuit filed by an employee of Marvel Entertainment who claimed he created the Ghost Rider character back in the 1970s. With the recent success of … Continue Reading

Huge Verdicts in Employment Cases

Washington employment lawyer Donald Heyrich details some recent huge verdicts against employers.  The verdicts in his report range all the way up to a whopping $47 million. Looking to avoid big verdicts?  I say treat employees with RESPECT and keep in mind the Golden Rule of Employee Relations:  Fairness.  Unfortunately too many employers forget these basic rules. It … Continue Reading

Employment Law Cheat Sheets are a Gem

Employment law guru Mark Toth has some very helpful "cheat sheets" covering the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Mark says there are more cheat sheets to come.  Also, you would be smart to attend his free Webinar on July 30th for Every Employment Law in 60 Minutes … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Policies & Procedures: Five Common Mistakes

Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual and other forms of harassment in the workplace.  Unfortunately some employers are under the mistaken belief that their sexual harassment policy adequately covers them.  Here are some common mistakes I have noticed while conducting employment compliance reviews: The written policy against harassment doesn’t include an anti-retaliation provision for those employees who report … Continue Reading

Nascar Sexual Harassment Suit Shows Complaints Must Be Taken Seriously

Nascar has been sued by a former technical inspector in the Nationwide series.  The African-American woman seeks at least $225 million in her claims for sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination and wrongful termination.  In the lawsuit, she alleged she was referred to as "Nappy Headed Mo" and "Queen Sheba," by co-workers, was often told she worked … Continue Reading

Deadline for Filing Iowa Civil Rights Complaint Extended

Glad to see my friend Mark Landa blogging over on the Iowa Law Blog.  Mark has an important reminder that the time for filing a civil rights complaint under Iowa law will be extended from 180 days to 300 days in order to conform to the federal timeline. Iowa employment lawyer Victoria Herring points out on … Continue Reading

Iowa’s Legislature to Target Employers: Again?

This past January I posted on an Iowa immigration bill that targeted employers.  The bill sparked significant debate but was not passed. Now in the wake of the raid at the AgriProcessors slaughterhouse and packing plant in Postville, Iowa, Iowa’s legislative leaders are renewing promises to target employers. This time legislative leaders will introduce legislation to … Continue Reading

Love Contracts in the Workplace

Mark Toth of the Manpower Employment Law Blog has an interesting post on "hooking up at work" and whether love contracts are a good idea.  This is where co-workers sign a contract in order to protect the company and the employees involved against sexual harassment or other discrimination charges.  Mark says he doesn’t think the agreements are necessarily a … Continue Reading

Overdocumentation in Employment Cases

In last week’s Tip of Week (yes, I am a little behind), John Phillips of the Word on Employment Law raises the interesting perspective that it is possible to overdocument in employment cases. Some of John’s warnings on overdocumentation include: Documentation on trivial matters. Creating a paper trail right before an employee is terminated. Documenting … Continue Reading

Electronic Workplace: Dangers & Pitfalls

Today I will present at the Central Iowa SHRM monthly meeting located at Copper Creek Golf Course on electronic workplace issues. The electronic workplace is all around us. Computers, voice mail, internet, intranet, e-mail, fax machines, laptops, PDAs, videoconferencing, social media, blogs and more are common features in the American workplace. The development of the … Continue Reading

Pizza Hut: A Tough Employment Situation Any Way You Slice It

The Des Moines Register had an article about how support has poured in for a Pizza Hut Delivery driver that was suspended from work after he shot an alleged armed robber.  The employee had a valid handgun permit but a Pizza Hut human resources representative indicated that employees are not allowed to carry guns "because we (Pizza … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Retaliation Claims

Pennsylvania employment lawyer Michael Moore has an excellent post on Five Things Every HR Generalist Should Know about Retaliation Claims.  Michael notes that the number of retaliation claims rose 18% in 2007 to a record high, doubling since 1992.  His post covers the following areas: What is unlawful retaliation? What is "Adverse Action" by an … Continue Reading

.300 Won’t Get You Into the Employment Law Hall of Fame

A .300 batting average may get you into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame but winning only 30 percent of your employment lawsuits won’t do the trick. See Mark Toth’s Manpower blog for the results of the Question of the Week – What % of employment lawsuits are won by employers?  That’s right, only 30 … Continue Reading

Iowa Immigration Bill Targets Employers

Under a new Iowa immigration bill, employers that repeatedly employ illegal aliens would face civil penalties of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail under legislation being proposed in the legislature.  Employers would be exempt from penalties if they seek verification of a worker’s citizenship status through the Department of Homeland Security’s … Continue Reading

Golden Rule of Employee Relations: Fairness

Employee lawsuits are continually on the rise.  So how do you keep your employees happy and stay out of court? While it is technically not a "legal requirement" I have long suggested that treating employees with respect is the best way to avoid employee lawsuits.  Building on this thought I recently saw a couple of … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Class Actions are Booming

I’ve said it before (and also here) but it bears repeating that wage and hour class actions are booming.  Just this past week Iowa’s Casey’s General Stores was hit with a wage and hour lawsuit with allegedly more than $5 million at stake.  If that isn’t enough to convince you to examine whether your company has vulnerabilities … Continue Reading

Humor in the Workplace is a Gamble

An Iowa man who worked with Catfish Bend Casinos in Burlington was fired for posting a Dilbert cartoon on the office bulletin board.  Apparently the boss didn’t appreciate the comparison to a drunken lemur. Dilbert creater, Scott Adams, offers this advice: If you intend to mock your boss with Dilbert comics, the trick is in knowing … Continue Reading

Knicks’ Sexual Harassment Case Provides Good Lessons

The New York Knicks sexual harassment case provides some great lessons on employment law.  Previously I touched on the Knicks case in explaining how companies could avoid sexual harassment claims.  Now the case has been settled and there are additional lessons to learn. Frank Steinberg of the New Jersey Employment Law Blog explains the importance … Continue Reading

Hiring Problems?

It’s tough to hire good employees these days.  I am not familar with the company but I loved this video from Success With People.  They have an intriguing low-cost mentoring program for hiring better people and engaging them in your business.  The Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog also has a helpful post The Interviewing and Hiring … Continue Reading

Accountability in the Workplace

First with Drew McLellan on marketing, and now with Shirley Poertner on leadership, the IowaBiz.com free breakfast series is off to a fast start.  Shirley spoke yesterday about accountability in the workplace.  A concept that is frequently missing in many organizations. Shirley says we have fallen into a "blame" society.  If you spill hot coffee in … Continue Reading