Screen Name: 
Allen Smith


Member for
11 years 11 months

Articles by Allen Smith

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continued on its quest to knock overbroad language out of employee handbooks in an April 2, 2014, decision involving a transit company. The board found that a personal conduct handbook policy was worded too broadly and impinged on employees’ right to protected concerted activity.
The personal conduct rule prohibited “discourteous or inappropriate attitude or behavior to passengers, other employees or members of the public, as well as disorderly conduct during working hours.”
News Updates
April 16, 2014

The reasonable-accommodation process can seem endless, requiring “patience and ongoing attention,” according to Peter Petesch, an attorney at Littler in Washington, D.C.

News Updates
April 3, 2014
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to prove systemic, nationwide claims of discriminatory pay and promotion policies because it didn’t really conduct a nationwide investigation of the claims, even though it told a court it had, according to Gerald Maatman Jr., an attorney in Seyfarth Shaw’s Chicago and New York City offices.
March 25, 2014

Some of managers’ worst job-interview slip-ups happen as the interviewers are innocently trying to break the ice and get applicants to relax, according to Barbara Hoey, an attorney at Kelley Drye in New York City.


News Updates
March 14, 2014
Bitcoin has appeared to be on the ropes since the Feb. 28, 2014, collapse of Mt. Gox, an exchange for the digital currency that is not issued by any government. But suppose bitcoin survives—and even thrives—as the launch of the first bitcoin exchange in New York suggests. Could employees asking to be paid in bitcoin be that far behind? In some cases it’s already happening.
Bitcoin Compensation
News Updates
March 10, 2014

In another delay of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requirements, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) extended for two years a transitional policy that provides insurers the option, if allowed by their states, to renew their policies for current enrollees without adopting all of the 2014 market rule changes.

News Updates
March 7, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) once again is proposing “quickie election” rules to streamline the union campaign period, the board announced Feb. 5, 2014.

A court struck down previous quickie-election rules because the board did not have a quorum when it originally proposed such rules, three years ago. But now it does.

Identical Proposal

News Updates
March 5, 2014

Expectations, preferably set out in agreements or policies or both, can make all the difference when determining who owns a Twitter handle when an employee leaves a company.

News Updates
March 4, 2014

Employers curious about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is likely to be enforced might look at how enforcement agencies in Massachusetts went after companies when its employer mandate was in place.

News Updates
February 17, 2014

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provisions that took effect Jan. 1, 2014, require health care coverage for individual- and small-group markets on one of four levels—referred to as an essential health benefits package—bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

News Updates
January 14, 2014

A $14 million award to a whistle-blower who went straight to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) without first bringing the complaint to the attention of the worker’s employer may be a sign of things to come, according to Steve Pearlman, an attorney who is co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group at Proskauer in Chicago.

News Updates
October 18, 2013

Just when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seemed to have been resuscitated by the appointment of five members, along comes the government shutdown, shuttering the board.

The shutdown will result in the:

News Updates
October 2, 2013

“It already is hard to reconcile race and gender data; I suspect adding veteran status to that reconciliation process will not be seamless,” Alissa Horvitz, an attorney at Littler in Washington, D.C., told SHRM Online.

News Updates
September 30, 2013

Those who remember The Andy Griffith Show wouldn’t ordinarily picture a sheriff’s office as a place swarming with back-stabbing and gossip. Enter the sheriff’s office of the city of Hampton, Va.

How Dare You Like Someone Else

News Updates
September 24, 2013

The DOL is coming! The DOL is coming! So tighten up your Family and Medical Leave Act compliance efforts.

U.S. Department of Labor branch chief Diane Dawson has announced the agency’s intent to do more onsite FMLA investigations “to increase its investigators’ access to information and save time by reviewing documents and interviewing employees onsite,” Anne Larson, an attorney at Ogletree Deakins in Chicago, told SHRM Online.

A DOL spokesperson mentioned these common FMLA violations:

News Updates
September 19, 2013

Though they are much less frequently used than H-1B visas, and in spite of calls by employers to make visas more readily available, the Department of Homeland Security recommended curtailing availability of L-1 visas in an August 2013 report.

News Updates
September 16, 2013
It’s important for HR to understand, coordinate with payroll on and prepare for a slew of new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reporting requirements, according to Sidney Blumling, an attorney at Fisher & Phillips in Irvine, Calif.
News Updates
September 11, 2013

The most common misconception among employers about the reinstatement requirement of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is that it is an absolute requirement, Joseph Lynett, an attorney at Jackson Lewis in White Plains, N.Y., told SHRM Online.

“Many employers believe that there are no limitations on the employee’s reinstatement right under the FMLA when, in fact, there are several,” he said.

News Updates
September 9, 2013

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued its final rules to improve job opportunities with federal contractors for people with disabilities and for protected veterans. Its final rule for people with disabilities, more controversial than the one for veterans, eliminated or made more flexible several of the proposed rule’s requirements. The OFCCP issued the final rules on Aug. 27, 2013.

News Updates
September 4, 2013
Fifty years after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, in 1963, women still earn less than men. “Ultimately, no matter how you look at the data, a persistent pay gap remains,” according to a June 2013 report from the National Equal Pay Task Force, which blamed the wage gap partially on men dominating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and a so-called motherhood penalty.
News Updates
June 24, 2013