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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Aug. 10 - 16, 2014

Below is a review of the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week.  You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

The post on Sunday 8/10/14 listed things an attorney can do for a small business that the owner (probably) can't. What 5 items made the list? (1) Represent and externalize. (2) Size up injury suits. (3) Defend the business from harassment and discrimination claims. Go to the post for the other two.

TAKEAWAY: Owners can and should concentrate on their business, but when it comes to legal matters they should consult legal counsel.

          On Monday 8/11/14 we posted about FMLA and pregnancy and the duty to accommodate. The post highlighted a company that did it wrong, discharging the employee one day - ONE DAY - prior to her work anniversary and entitlement to FMLA  leave.  Learn from its mistake. The court found for the employee on both FMLA interference and retaliation claims.

TAKEAWAY: Try to accommodate pregnant women. It will be easier than having to fend off a lawsuit if your company doesn't act properly and legally.

The post on Tuesday 8/12/14 was about how people really don't know the law. Here we highlighted a Best Western location that refused the reservation of a family with a service dog. And to make matters worse, the family included an attorney! 

TAKEAWAY:  Know when animals are allowed regardless of other policies.

The post on Wednesday 8/13/14 reiterated (in case there was confusion) that making an employee wear a nametag with "Gaytard" on it is discriminatory. Lest you think I made this up, read the post. This actually happened at a Taco John’s location in South Dakota.

TAKEAWAY: Employers should train their managerial employees in how to properly treat those under them. Further, if the managers step over the line, they should be disciplined and, if necessary, discharged. It should NEVER be treated as a joke - or the joke will be on the employer when it is forced to write out a hefty check.

On Thursday 8/14/14 the post included 5 legal tips for employees to bring their own devices to work. If you haven't thought about it, then you are already behind the 8 ball. So what are the tips? Don't let them work outside of normal work hours. Enact a policy that allows you to remotely wipe all company data from the device and make sure the employee knows of the policy (in case other data belonging to the employee is also erased). The other tips are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Employers should not permit employees to use their own devices without having in place a policy describing each party's rights and obligations.

Friday 8/15/14 the post was about 3 ways to help your lawyer help you win a collection suit. Of course you want to win the suit (whether you are trying to collect or someone has sued you). So how best to do that?  First, don't wait until the last minute to contact an attorney. Next, communicate with your attorney. The third tip was in the post.

TAKEAWAY:  Lawsuits are daunting to begin with. Make it a bit easier on yourself by having and using a good attorney.

Finally, the post yesterday 8/16/14 was about the new supervisory "broom" sweeping away ADA accommodation. What does this mean? New management is not necessarily entitled to retract an accommodation that has been granted to an employee.

TAKEAWAY: While it is often appropriate for new management to make changes, they must be legal. Absent valid business reason - and without engaging in the interactive process - no change should be made to an accommodation previously granted to an employee.

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