Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
title
0 0

15 Jan 2013 Six Low-Cost Steps That Employers Should Consider Taking in 2013

Rather than a year-end list looking backwards, I recently wrote a two-part article for InsideCounsel identifying six low-cost steps that every employer should consider taking in 2013. The 6 steps are: 1. Focus on employee use of social media and policies that affect it.2. Make a plan for beginning to manage business information on privately owned electronic devices.  3. Review your use of background checks.4. Review key policies that leave no room for discretion.5. Understand your insurance coverage for employment claims.6. Schedule more training sessions. You…

READ MORE
0 0

02 Jan 2013 Marital Privilege in Communications on Workplace Computer?

Two or three years ago, employers – and their lawyers – were surprised to find that some courts held that employees had an attorney/client privilege in communications made with their personal lawyers on the company’s computer, even when the employee had signed off on a technology use policy surrendering any expectation of privacy on company technology equipment. The limited body of court decisions on this question continues to be a mixed bag. Now a court has addressed a different evidentiary privilege in the context of workplace…

READ MORE
0 0

26 Nov 2012 When Is Facebook Activity “Solicitation?”

Employers who have restrictive covenants with employees likely are familiar with non-solicitation agreements, where employees agree not to “solicit” the employer’s customers or other business associates after the employment relationship terminates. After an employee leaves and questions are raised about whether the employee is violating his or her contractual obligations to the now-former employer, often there is a question as to when communication and contact with customers becomes prohibited solicitation. A Massachusetts court’s decision in the recent case, Invidia LLC v. DiFonzo 2012 WL 5576406…

READ MORE
0 0

11 Oct 2012 Ohio Supreme Court Reverses Self on Noncompete in Merger Situation

Earlier this year, the Ohio Supreme Court surprised observers in the Acordia of Ohio LLC v. Fishel case by holding that an acquiring company in a statutory merger could not enforce noncompetes entered into with the acquired company by employees who continued to be employed absent clear contractual agreement to that.  Today, the Court in effect reversed itself, coming back into line with the great majority of the states. A summary from the court can be found here.  Historically, in a corporate merger where the acquirer buys…

READ MORE
0 0

29 Aug 2012 Is Employer-Ordered Counseling a Medical Exam Covered By The ADA?

The recent decision of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (covering Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee) reminds employers of the caution that must be exercised when dealing with employee behavioral problems. Specifically in the case of Kroll v. White Lake Ambulance Authority, employer-ordered counseling may constitute a medical exam that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is permissible only if it is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Kroll was an EMT for WLAA, the employer in the case.  A manager requested that she receive psychological counseling…

READ MORE
0 0

16 Jul 2012 Sixth Circuit Expands on “Cat’s Paw” Discrimination

Readers may remember the Staub v Proctor Hospital decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2011, essentially holding under the “cat’s paw” theory that employers may be liable for discrimination if the decision maker relies on input from subordinates with discriminatory intent, even if the decision maker did not have discriminatory motives. In addition to the question, “why is it called ‘cat’s paw’ anyway” (more on that below), employers as with most Supreme Court decisions are waiting to see how the rule evolves as…

READ MORE
0 0

18 Jun 2012 Supreme Court Issues Long-Awaited Decision in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., holding in a 5-4 decision that pharmaceutical sales employees are exempt outside salespeople. The decision may be read here. The case is significant for several reasons.  The most obvious reason is that it represents our highest court interpreting the outside sales exemption, so any business relying on (or thinking of relying on) this exemption should review the decision with counsel to ensure ongoing compliance. The central issue in Christopher was whether the…

READ MORE