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Case In Point

Mindy Chapman Esq. is the founder of the nationally acclaimed “Workplace
Training that Clicks & Sticks™” and co-author of the American Bar
Association’s best seller and authority on civil rights training, “Case
Dismissed! Taking Your Harassment Prevention Training to Trial.” Case In Point is an entertaining look at the employment law cases impacting you today, plus practical ways to protect yourself and your company.

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We are all constantly trying to figure out the limits of employees’ rights when it comes to their social media postings. But what about employers’ rights? Those rights seem to be less and less these days. But a new case involving LinkedIn helps employers draw a new line in the sand …
Sure, a birthday party may lift your spirits. But Congress probably didn’t have party attendance in mind as “covered treatment” when it gave employees the right to take FMLA medical leave. Still, should you instantly fire a worker for attending a party while on FMLA leave? As this ruling shows, you better think twice about blowing out those candles …

Many HR professionals and attorneys think the term "reasonable accommodation" in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is really a conflict of concepts. Accommodating an employee's disability often affects schedules, duties and staffing. So when is a request unreasonable? Last week, one court finally drew a line with an emplooyee who demanded "indefinite" leave ...

Are you scratching your head over all the new Facebook litigation? Who knows which employee comments are considered “protected concerted activity” or when you can legally fire workers who socially slam your company. Well, here’s a new Facebook case that involves hot dogs. The courts are on a roll, so relish these new lessons …
Really, it’s not too bad, right? You’re facing a discrimination lawsuit. Morale and company image may suffer. But at least your organization carries employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) to cover the “hard costs” of defense and settlement. Or do you? As Cracker Barrel recently learned, your EPLI umbrella policy may actually let some rain in ... $2.7 million worth, in this case.
"I’m pregnant!" … Two words that can make an employer cringe on the inside but smile on the outside. And, as this employer found out, while the baby might not be kicking yet, you can be assured the pregnancy laws have officially kicked in.
Wonder what employees are really doing on those computers all day? A new court ruling shows that if they’re engaging in illegal cyber activities, you can show them the door. Just make sure you’ve shown them your cyber rulebook first …
At termination time, too many managers take a “more is better” approach to stating grounds for a firing. But courts won’t give you extra points for extra justification. In fact, as this new case shows, piling on the termination reasons—or shifting those reasons—will smell mighty fishy in court …
When you grant an employee FMLA leave to care for a sick relative, do you wonder what type of “care” they must really be giving to qualify for time off under the FMLA? This new court ruling defines care as being in physical proximity to the relative. Cutting the lawn in a different time zone doesn’t cut it under the law …
If you’re an HR professional, manager or executive, you wear a lot of hats. Right? One of those hats is as a performance management coach. Coaching is always well intended … at least it’s supposed to be. But, as one court recently noted, be very careful when coaching—you might just end up wearing a defendant’s hat in a discrimination lawsuit ...
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