Blog - Parks Chesin & Walbert
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Political Speech & the Workplace

If you think that work is going to be your reprieve from the incessant political pontification of your friends on Facebook and social media, think again. No one could have predicted the 2016 Election’s trajectory. Most in the media and the public thought Trump’s candidacy was a joke and that he would drop out. They were wrong. His inflammatory rhetoric has sparked a highly charged debate with deep passions raging on both sides. People who normally stay silent or ignore politics are weighing in on social media and at work. High emotions and strong divergent opinions can result in heated discord between employees and decreased productivity. An employer’s obligation to manage political speech at work depends on whether the employer is a public employer or a private employer. Here is the law:

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Bitcoin Payments: Are the Risks Worth the Rewards?

You may have heard the term Bitcoin and wondered what it means. Bitcoin is the most well-known form of digital currency. It came about in 2009 seemingly as backlash to the financial crisis created by big banks and their unscrupulous lending practices. “Satoshi Nakamoto” created it. However, it is unknown who Nakamoto is (or if he or she is a person). For example, Nakamoto could potentially represent a group of people.

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Employment Contracts and Termination

Being out of work is awful. However, having to worry about losing your current job is also extremely stressful. If your employment is like most others’, it falls under the category of at-will employment. This means you can quit for any reason or no reason, and your employer can terminate you for any reason or no reason—as long as the reason is not discriminatory. In addition, the promise of future employment is not enforceable.

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Do Workplace Laws Protect New Parents?

One minute, you’re in the park lifting your recently fed, marvelously happy four-month old in the air, and the next the baby is screaming and has made her way into your spouse’s arms. Your spouse is stressed, you’re frustrated and life is unlike it ever was before.

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NFL Players Sue Attorneys Who Allegedly Got Them a $1 Billion Settlement

The National Football League (NFL) has been under intense scrutiny over the safety of the game, the debilitating head trauma current and retired players suffer, and what can be done to improve safety and to take care of injured players both past and present. Former NFL players, including Junior Seau and Frank Gifford, even donated their brains for the cause. Many players have been diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) — a disease linked to repetitive head injuries. Will Smith’s recent movie Concussion dealt with the topic. In addition, a huge lawsuit involving retired NFL players resulted in a $1 billion dollar settlement. The settlement covers around 20,000 former players.

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When Can Your Employer Fire You Over Your Driving Record

Unless you work under an employment contract or are a member of a union, an employer in almost every state can fire you at-will. “At-will” employment means employees can be fired for any reason (or for no reason) as long as the reason is not discriminatory. However, an employee is unlikely to be fired for his or her driving record unless their job requires them to have a valid license (commercial or standard) or to drive a company car or rental car obtained by the company. That said, employers’ insurance companies may refuse to insure an employee based on their risk as a driver.

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Can Employers Discriminate Based on Weight?

What is fattism and why is it an issue? A recent academic argument, written by professors Philip Rostant and Tamara Hervey defines the term. According to them, fattism is the prejudicial mistreatment of a person because of his or her size. The study suggests that obese employees are being subjected to fattism in the workplace through unfair treatment and limited opportunities. The law experts advocate that anti-discrimination laws should recognize “overweight” employees as a protected class.

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A Diverse Court for a Diverse Citizenry

Some of our country’s greatest legal minds sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. When a nominee for our nation’s highest court is announced (as was the case in March of this year) much time is spent discussing the background of the nominee, including which school he or she went to or what publications she has authored. What sometimes gets lost in the conversation is the nominee’s core background and why that matters.

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Can Employers Spy on Workers?

Can employers spy on their employees? It is legal? Today, almost all employees use some type of electronic device as a part of their work. Whether its a time clock, company car, mobile phone, tabet or a computer? Whether we know it or not, our personal information and travel informatoin is being captured and in some cases stored. Can your employer collect data about how you live your life, who you call, when you see people, what you do online, and what goes on in your house (if you work from home)?

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What You Should Know About Georgia’s Voter Lawsuit

Last November, unauthorized Georgia voter information was released. The twelve recipients of the information spanned from the media to GunOwner magazine. Needless to say, this created a frenzy at Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. Due to the released information, Georgia is now involved in a class action lawsuit. Among the sensitive data are driver’s license numbers, birth dates, and other demographic information.

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