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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

27 Sep Politics Aside, Lessons on Sex, Power & the Workplace

When you look beyond the politics, the personalities, and the brouhaha surrounding the nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, there are valuable lessons for employers in their ongoing efforts to quell sexual harassment.   Even today, against the backdrop of #MeToo, harassment often goes unreported. Why?   Even though businesses reinforce anti-harassment policies, conduct training, and regularly investigate misconduct, employees hesitate to report bad behavior. Why?   The events of the last couple weeks offer some explanation. The first woman to make an accusation received death…

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24 Sep Don’t Get Stuck in the Political Bubble

There is a famous quote attributed to New York film critic Pauline Kael about the 1972 presidential election: “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”   That year, Nixon carried 49 states – at the time, it was the largest electoral landslide in U.S. history. Clearly, a lot of people the critic did not know had voted for Nixon. The quote still resonates and often is cited as an example of provincialism and how living in a bubble can…

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11 Sep New Illinois law aims to prevent violence against nurses Act includes training requirements and whistleblower protection, effective January 1.

To address the risks of violence against nurses and other health care workers, Illinois hospitals and other employers of health care workers will be required to comply with workplace violence training and related safety requirements, effective January 1, 2019.   The Illinois Health Care Violence Prevention Act, recently signed into law by the Illinois governor, includes a multi-prong approach to addressing workplace violence against nurses. In particular, health care providers will be required to create a workplace violence prevention program that not only complies with…

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23 Aug Letterhead Policy Not Airtight in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Last month, an Eighth Circuit federal appeals panel reinstated a lawsuit that alleged an athletic director was wrongfully terminated after using district letterhead to write a letter supporting a reduced sentence for his nephew in a child pornography case.   The district received the letter from a relative of the athletic director who was evidently upset after his nephew was granted an early release. The district met with the athletic director and expressed concerns about the use of district letterhead to advocate for early release…

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30 Jul Do You Think Your Harassment Training Is Changing Behavior?

Recently I shared on Currents an article I wrote about a wide variety of topics that have come as remedies to the ongoing harassment problem highlighted by months of #MeToo, where I suggest that new and creative ways of training and of finding unreported harassment will be more significant than some of the initial legislative focuses.  Drilling further, in this article, I ask employers:  Do you think your current annual training or video is really changing behavior?   Specifically, I submit there are two primary…

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