The Connecticut Employment Law Blog
The Ohio Employer Lawyer Law Blog
Spring is just around the corner and your company may soon be gearing up to hire unpaid interns for the summer. Hiring unpaid interns seems at first blush to be an attractive, symbiotic arrangement – the intern gets the proverbial “foot in the door” and the chance to obtain real-world work experience, and the hiring organization gets additional “free” labor for the summer. Sounds like it might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, doesn’t it? Not so fast, cautions the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which advises that most for-profit employers must pay their interns in accordance with wage and hour laws, except in certain narrow circumstances.
February 4, 2013 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Right around that time, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the following important developments:
I recently spoke at a Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) event on Social Media, but before I spoke, I had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speakers. One was a smart employee side lawyer and the other a veteran member of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Wage & Hour enforcement group. Even though I have been doing this kind of work since before the cell phone, when these guys talk, I listen. The sharp lawyer, representing employees, brings private lawsuits against employers for wage and hour violations. He prefers to bring class actions and the law allows him to collect three times the unpaid wages owed, plus get his attorney's fees paid by the employer. At the Attorney General’s Office, the other speaker gets calls from all over the state from employees who don’t think they have been paid properly.
This year a client recommended that I read, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, by Robert I. Sutton.
It is that time of year again – time to start planning for the H-1B visa cap!
I’d heard the phrase “cat’s paw” before, but I confess I really didn’t know what it meant. It conjured up in my mind something cute and cuddly, a kitten batting around a ball of yarn. But that’s not what it means at all. When I started to see references to “cat’s paw” in employment discrimination cases, most notably in the Supreme Court’s decision in Staub v. Proctor Hosp. (2011), I wanted to understand where this phrase came from and what it meant. Turns out “cat’s paw” derives from an Aesop fable in which a monkey uses flattery to persuade a cat to pull hot chestnuts from the fire. “I would gladly get the chestnuts from the fire,” says the cunning monkey, “but you are much more skillful at such things than I am, and if you pull them out, I’ll divide them between us.” When the cat does so, it burns its paw, and the monkey takes all of the chestnuts for itself. See en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cat’s-paw. (I can’t resist one example quoted in Wiktionary, from Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel The Big Sleep (Penguin 2011, p. 243): “Eddie Mars was behind Geiger, protecting him and using him for a cat’s-paw.”)
The following fact pattern is a fictional account of a common question/concern for clients considering U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency (“green cards”).
As we noted in our recent Legal Alert, most of the key provisions of the new CORI Reform law go into effect on May 4, 2012. May 4 is just days away, but the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) (formerly the Criminal History Systems Board) still has not formally adopted its proposed CORI regulations nor updated the model policy on its website. Yesterday, I spoke with one of the attorneys at the DCJIS to find out where things stand and whether employers can expect more guidance before the deadline.
Picture this: you are in charge of interviewing candidates for a new position at your company. You have asked the applicant all of the basic background questions and you did your due diligence before she arrived by Googling her and seeing what information you could find about her on the internet. When you were searching her name on the internet, you came across her Facebook page, but the information on her profile was not publicly available. You want to look at her Facebook profile and ask her for her username and password during the interview so that you can properly vet her as a candidate. Can you do this? Can she say no? Does it matter what type of job she is applying for?
© 2013 Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP