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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week -- Feb. 22 - 28, 2015

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.

On Sunday 2/22/15 the post was about a suit against McDonald’s alleging race and sexual harassment. Remember a recent NLRB ruling about joint employers in franchise settings? Well that is definitely not helping (the corporate) McDonald’s one bit here.

TAKEAWAY: If an employer doesn’t discriminate against its employees, neither it nor its franchisor will have to worry about who is liable.

The post on Monday 2/23/15 reminded us that yes, the government is subject to anti-discrimination laws (but too bad it did not remember that!). What happened? Social Security Administration employees filed charges with the EEOC in 2005; the EEOC found at least 15 times disabled employees were denied promotions. The matter has now settled by SSA’s payment of $6.6M to 570 current and former employees (and other relief).

TAKEAWAY: Like the federal government, your business is subject to anti-discrimination laws and violations could be expensive to remedy.

In the post on Tuesday 2/24/15, we talked about knowing your (parents’) social media end-of-life wishes.  You (or your parents) may have in place Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Wills (if not, then that should go to the top of the TO DO list!). But what about social media? Think this doesn’t involve you (or your parents)? Wrong! Are your pictures stored in the cloud? Have you posted items, pictures, and the like on social media? Thought so.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure all wishes regarding social media accounts are recorded in legal documents. This is no less important than other estate planning items.

The post on Wednesday 2/25/15 was about Kmart settling an EEOC discrimination suit over a drug urine test. What happened? An employee literally couldn’t provide urine for a pre-hire drug test but Kmart refused to permit him to test any other way. The settlement cost Kmart over $100,000 and a lot of bad PR.

TAKEAWAY: Before you outright refuse a requested accommodation for an applicant or employee, check into possible reasonable alternative accommodations.

In the post on Thursday 2/26/15 we talked about the earnings test for Social Security benefits. For those of you currently receiving SS benefits, or those who will this year, you care about this. The post lists the maximum amount you can earn in 2015 and still collect SS benefits, both before and after “normal retirement age”.

TAKEAWAY: Plan for retirement, including augmenting any SS benefit to which you might be entitled; don’t endanger retirement.

On Friday 2/27/15, the post provided a checklist to keep employee discipline on (a legal) track. What’s on the list? It includes whether or not there is credible evidence to support the disciplinary action to be taken, whether the rule that has been violated is job-related, and whether the employee has been given adequate and appropriate notice of the rule on which the discipline is based. Other items are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t just work off the cuff when dealing with discipline; take the time to do it right before hand to set the stage for any challenges after the discipline is administered.

Finally, in the post yesterday 2/28/15, we suggested you review the beneficiary designations and provisions of your Will. You don’t have one? Well that is the first step then. If you do, you should periodically review what it says to make sure that the law hasn’t changed (so as to affect what you want) and neither have your wishes.

TAKEAWAY: Wills are legal documents that protect you, but they are not once and done; you should periodically review them to make sure they meet your current situation and wishes.

References (3)

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