In today’s internet-driven world, employers have never had more options from which to recruit new hires. Sites like Zip Recruiter,, and Career Builder specialize in talent acquisition, serving as stand-alone classified pages of sorts. Employers also can utilize ever-present social media channels, like Facebook and LinkedIn, to find the best candidate for a position.

Last March, I wrote about a lawsuit the EEOC filed against a department store that allegedly refused to hire a woman because she was pregnant.  In the post Thoughtless Comments Make For Easy Pickings,” I noted some interesting accusations contained in the case — including that the pregnant woman claimed she was told that the hiring manager “had not had much luck hiring pregnant women” and that she should re-apply “after giving birth.”
Continue Reading The Actual Cost of Thoughtless Comments

The horrific Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre has brought the gun control debate front and center.  But gun violence is not just in our schools.  In August, a former employee shot and killed a co-worker near the Empire State Building before being shot by police himself, and eight bystanders were injured in the shoot-out.  A 30-person Minneapolis sign company was decimated in September when an employee who was discharged shot and killed six people, including the company’s founder and a UPS delivery driver, and wounded two others before taking his own life.  In November, an Apple Valley Farms employee shot four co-workers at a chicken processing plant in Fresno, California, killing two of them, before turning the gun on himself.  Not long after, a ConAgra Foods employee in Indianapolis fatally shot his co-worker outside a break room, then killed himself.  Two other workplace violence incidents, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (an employee fatally shot her co-worker) and Manteno, Illinois (an employee shot and wounded his co-worker), took place in July, 2012.
Continue Reading Workplace Violence: Navigating the Minefield of Workplace Gun Laws

Using a cell phone while driving is dangerous – we all know that.  Texting while driving is (or will soon be) illegal in 39 states and the District of Columbia.  But are your company’s employees using their cell phones to call or text while driving?  Are they doing it in a company car, with a company phone?  Even if your employees are only handling company business on a personal phone in a personal vehicle, you may still be at risk for a distracted driving lawsuit should they be involved in an accident. 
Continue Reading Distracted Driving Lawsuits – Are Your Employees Making You A Target?

We have all heard the phrase “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  There are many different reactions to that phrase:  some are appreciative, some are cynical, and some are not appropriate to be repeated in this blog.  One recent effort to help by our federal government is sure to receive those varied reactions – and is also certain to bolster lawsuits against employers that are not meticulous about recording their employees’ hours and correctly paying their wages. 
Continue Reading Want To Be Sued For Wage & Hour Violations? Yes, There’s An App For That Too.

Who in HR can say they have not been tempted to “spy” on an employee on Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave to make sure that they are not faking it?  Wouldn’t it be great to catch that employee you are sure is lying as he is playing golf when he should be home recovering from his back surgery? Or catching the employee on leave supposedly recovering from a hysterectomy right after she returned from a week-long vacation in Mexico?

Surely, under these circumstances you could safely terminate the offending employee…couldn’t you? 
Continue Reading Can You Force Your Sick Employees to Stay Home?