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Use and Abuse of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine in E-Discovery

Two  federal courts recently dealt with thorny issues stemming from defendant employers’ use of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. These rulings should be heeded by those of us who develop or revise electronic data review protocols, particularly any  guidance for determining when to withhold documents under the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine.

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Federal Government May Follow States By Raising Minimum Wage

On March 5, 2013, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., introduced legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage.  If enacted, the recently-proposed Fair Minimum Wage Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years.  The increase would be accomplished by establishing a minimum wage of $8.20 per hour on the first day of the third month after enactment - an increase of 95 cents over the current federal minimum wage - followed by a minimum wage of $9.15 per hour one year after the initial bump and then $10.10 per hour a year later.

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Security of Employees' Personal Information Focus of New Ninth Circuit Case

I have been following a case concerning an employer’s obligation to protect employee data that has now come to a conclusion with two Ninth Circuit decisions.  Krottner et al. v. Starbucks arose from the 2008 theft of a laptop that contained the unencrypted names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers of approximately 97,000 Starbucks employees.   

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TAGS: Employment Law, Litigation

A Lesson from the Sixth Circuit's New ADA Decision

This week the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion in Jakubowski v. The Christ Hosp., Inc. affirming a district court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the employer.  The plaintiff, Dr. Martin Jakubowski, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that severely impeded his ability to communicate with patients and co-workers. 

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Significant New Sixth Circuit Decision on Drug Testing and the ADA? Not so much.

Today, the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in Bates v. Dura Automotive Systems, Inc. that may appear to be of interest to employers who have or want to implement drug testing programs.  Unfortunately, the decision is of limited use in predicting future outcomes because, among other things, it is extremely narrow and was decided without reference to the ADAAA, having arisen before the amendments took effect.  Regardless, it is worth a look as it will be touted as a win for employers and some may be misled about its significance.

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TAGS: Employment Law, Litigation

The (Possible) Future of Arbitration

In my last post, I discussed the pros and cons of arbitration of employment disputes, concluding that the pros outweigh the cons. I also noted that the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would ban forced arbitration in employment disputes, is looming on the horizon. I ended with the question: What should you do if the Arbitration Fairness Act passes? As promised, here are a few suggestions.

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Arbitration Pros and Cons

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge proponent of arbitration of employment disputes as beneficial to employers. Frankly, I do not understand why more employers do not use arbitration. After some internet research on the topic, I have identified the following commonly stated pros and cons of arbitration.

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A Valuable Reminder About the Scope of the NLRA

The NLRB announced today that the Texas Dental Association has distributed $900,000 in back pay awards to two former employees who were fired in relation to a petition complaining of poor management and unfair treatment.

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Non-solicit suit based on LinkedIn communication is good news for employers

Have you heard about the non-solicit suit involving communications on LinkedIn? Well, it seems that an employer in Minnesota is suing former employees and their new employer over violations of the employees’ non-solicitation agreements. The twist is that one of the employees allegedly did her solicitation through her LinkedIn page, communicating with several former colleagues after going to work for a competitor.

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Self-inflicted wounds: indecisiveness... or hesitation

Here is a scenario I’ve seen too many times to count.  An employee is terminated and files a lawsuit.  The employer had a good reason but there are counter arguments. 

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TAGS: Labor & Employment Law, Litigation

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