Parks Chesin & Walbert | Employment Law
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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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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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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 New York’s Family Leave Policy Means for the US

New York has led the way in promoting social rights in the United States. The passing of the Family Leave policy in April 2016 is the latest evidence of this. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Family Leave program into law so that both men and women who have worked for any New York employer for 26 consecutive weeks, regardless of the size of the business, will be entitled to take eight weeks of paid leave at 50% of their usual weekly pay. They can use this leave to care for a new child, a family member with a health condition, or to help family when one member is called up to military service. The establishment of paid family leave is viewed as a landmark act. It will help workers to enjoy financial benefits and job protection while they take necessary time off work.

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Facebook & Following the Law

Facebook is inescapable. We have it on our phones and our computers. We’re constantly sent notifications for incessant friend requests. We need to face it, Facebook has become omniscient.

Until a few years ago, this might have been merely distracting. Facebook was seen as a social diversion or as just another website employers might need to prohibit access to. Now, however, Facebook’s creeping power has extended to news. When users log in, their News Feed shows them bulletin highlights. On a surface level, this might appear perfectly reasonable and convenient for users. Look closely, however, and we discover that the company has been cherry picking media and manipulating what users see in their News Feeds.

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Uber: Blind to the Disabled?

Uber: It’s a brand name that has become renowned across the world. The company is known for offering cheap and convenient rides across major cities.

But is that what it really does?

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