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Dealing with employees who have alcohol or drug issues

  Employees who have drug or alcohol issues provide employers with some of their trickiest HR problems.  Attorney Carmen Couden of Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee has published a very helpful article  on dealing with such employees.  Among her recommendations:    1) Establish a policy that provides for severe consequences for employees who report to work under the [...]

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You can never be too thin?

  A study published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that thin women are paid more than their overweight colleagues, while thin men actually make less.  According to  ”When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women,” being thin earned women about $16,000 more a year, on [...]

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Sick Leave Conundrum

  Interesting article from MSNBC about the pressures that employees face when their employers ask them to return to work from Family and Medical Leave before they are ready: “Many workers . . . have  faced this conundrum [of being pressured to return to work early from leave], and it’s only gotten worse during this economic [...]

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Plaintiffs face long odds in employment discrimination suits

  A new study by the American Bar Foundation shows that plaintiff’s chances of winning in federal court are actually quite slim.    The article, “Individual Justice or Collective Legal Mobilization? Employment Discrimination Litigation in the Post Civil Rights United States,” published in the June 2010 issue of the  Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, studies employment [...]

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Non-competes and health care professionals

  Madeleine Baran at Minnesota Public Radio has an interesting story about the use of non-competes in the health care profession.  (Disclosure: I was interviewed for the piece).  A mother has two children with severe mental health problems.  For the past year, her 8-year-old and 10-year-old daughters had been receiving services from a mental health worker who [...]

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Was she fired for being “too hot”?

Debrahlee Lorenzana is suing Citibank, alleging that she was fired not because her work was inadequate, as the bank claims, but because she is “too hot”.  Really.  She says that her bosses told her they couldn’t concentrate on their work because her appearance was too distracting. They ordered her to stop wearing turtlenecks. She was also [...]

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Are male lawyers overconfident?

  When asked to predict the outcome of their cases, lawyers are often too optimistic, according to a survey published this month in the American Psychological Association’s Psychology, Public Policy & Law. Shockingly, male attorneys were generally more overconfident than their female peers, and the more confident the lawyer, the more likely he would fall [...]

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News from across the pond: a no staff, paperless law office

  It seems British lawyers are jumping on the “virtual law firm” bandwagon.  They seek to develop “a fresh way of working,” using technology ”to give a streamlined service without the traditional law firm infrastructure” and offering ” greater value for money and certainty on fees.” Sounds familiar!

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Minority Shareholder Employees Have Additional Rights

Courtesy of MinnLawyer Blog, word of a decision from Texas that serves as a reminder that minority shareholders in closely-held corporations have more rights than one might expect. In Texas, plaintiff Balkrishna Shagrithaya claimed his partner/fellow entrepreneur, who was also the majority shareholder of the company, squeezed him out of the multi-million-dollar software company they [...]

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Succession Planning for Family Businesses

  This isn’t an employment law issue per se, but I have represented enough family business over the years that I have seen first-hand the critical importance of succession planning.  Here is an excellent summary from today’s New York Times on what to consider to avoid a “succession disaster”, including some obvious and some not-so-obvious [...]

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