Employee Issues

Post image for No Porn at Work.  Can I Make It Any Clearer?

Like this is news? But it seems that some employees just don’t get it (no pun intended). A recent 2nd Circuit case, Patane v. Clark and Fordham University, held that even viewing porn in one’s office (a somewhat private place) is a no-no. In Patane, Professor Clark watched hard-core S/M tapes on the VCR in his […]


If you haven’t figured it out by now, you’ll learn that there’s no way a busy small business owner can accomplish everything you need to in a given day.  So you have two choices: leave things unfinished, or expand your capacity by developing a team. But creating a team–one that works effectively–is both art and […]


“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” said my colleague, Joe Harris, Esq. of White Harris PLLC. “That’s what small businesses need to understand about interns.” Joe reaches for the check (“Ironic,” I think, “… seems I am getting a free lunch!”) as we chat about the trends and challenges we’re seeing for small […]


Post image for Why Not to Download Your Employee Handbook from the Internet

Because “one size does not fit all.” And because “you get what you pay for.” In “a whopper of a sexual harrassment claim” (thanks to blog author Jon Hyman for the turn of phrase I couldn’t resist), the case of EEOC v. V & J Foods, Inc., a Burger King franchise had an employee manual that […]


Post image for Can You Dock an Employee for Damages?

Well, employees are people, too. And they may have some of your company equipment at home (laptop, cell phone, etc.).If they damage the equipment, do they have to pay for it? Can you dock their paycheck? The answer, generally, is no. Many states prohibit companies from making deductions from an employee’s paycheck, other than those required […]


Post image for ‘Permission to Hug?’

Those who are NCIS fans may recognize the line from the episode “Driven,” where an AI-operated car supposedly kills one of its inventors.  The criminal shenanigans are only tangential to why I mention the issue.   The episode opens with the NCIS team sitting through sexual harassment awareness training. Like a lovingly dysfunctional family, the team […]


Post image for Difficult Conversations: The Underperforming Employee

Talking to an underperforming employee ranks right up there with telling a boyfriend he’s not pulling his weight in a relationship. Blecch. Not something you really look forward to. But if you don’t nip the situation in the bud early, it will fester until it reaches ugly proportions. You need to handle the situation directly, […]


Post image for Introducing: The Employee WiFi Use Policy

As if there weren’t enough issues to put into our employee manuals, the internet and Web 2.0 have made them proliferate.Each time there’s a new technology, lawyers have to evaluate: “Is it covered under our current policies?” And, not being the one to say “sure!”–and be wrong –voila! A new policy is born. The latest […]


Post image for Economic Alternatives to Slashing Employee Payroll

In tough economic times, it’s tempting to look at payroll and ask, “Who can we cut?” It’s like looking in the mirror, realizing that you’re overweight and immediately choosing liposuction as a fat-reduction measure. There are alternatives to drastically cutting your work force–especially as these are the very people you will need to rebound when […]


Post image for A Practical Guide to Non-Compete Agreements

From my colleague Stephen Furnari comes this intelligent article on how to make employment non-compete agreements “stick.”  Courts are generally loathe to enforce an agreement that would keep someone out of gainful employment; companies are loathe to employ people who will walk away with their customer base and trade secrets. So a delicate balance needs […]