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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 30 - Oct. 6, 2018

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 9/30/18 provided confirmation that sleeping on the job is a terminable offense. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well …. The plaintiff was employed by BNSF Railway Co. from 2012 until Aug. 26, 2016, as a border custom clerk. When she complained of exhaustion, she was told to contact the EAP. She did not. What happened after that is in the post. This was not an isolated incident over a period of many months. The court analyzed the facts and gave its reasoning for the outcome – see the post.

TAKEAWAY: Have policies and enforce them – they can save you when an employee doesn't follow them.

The post on Monday 10/1/18 told us that the EDPa says proper forum for collection suit is where plaintiff resides or signed contract. In this federal suit in PA, the question was where a collection lawsuit against a consumer should be filed. Here, Drexel University accepted plaintiff as a student, sending the offer of admission to his residence in Virginia. He e-signed the Tuition Repayment Agreement, important terms of which are in the post. Later log-ins to the system were from PA. When he withdrew from Drexel, he owed tuition. Drexel filed suit in state court in Philadelphia. The post walks us through the procedure after that. The plaintiff then filed this FDCPA case against Drexel’s debt collector in federal court for allegedly failing to comply with the statute by filing the collection action in the wrong state. The court looked to the contractual and statutory language in making its decision as outlined in the post.

TAKEAWAY: the first thing a court will always look at is the document or statute at issue – know what they say and get legal assistance.

In the post on Tuesday 10/2/18, we read about a pain in my butt: UPS manager's comments factor in decision to send ADA case to trial. The employee says she was fired because she is disabled. The federal court said there was enough to let the case go forward. Its rationale is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Training managers on what to say and do – and what NOT to say and do – is more important than ever. Do it.

The post on Wednesday 10/3/18 told us that digitizing Association data is a worthwhile  investment. What types of documents, data and records do community associations have? Policies, proposals, statements, invoices, ballots, contracts, correspondence and more. Most of that is digital now, but what about older stuff? Digitize it. Many of the reasons are in the post, as are the options for accomplishing that. Considerations as to what to save (transfer to digital media) and what to let go are in the post.                          

TAKEAWAY: Digitizing data makes it easier to store, easier to access, and easier to be transparent to members. So why not do it?!

In the post on Thursday 10/4/18 we asked a question about the FMLA: How much time off are employees entitled to? So let's say that an employee takes time off, and then later becomes eligible for FMLA leave. Does that trigger entitlement to an FMLA leave? The post analyzes the example and the law and comes up with the answer.

TAKEAWAY: Know how and when the FMLA is triggered so that you can properly account for leave time.

The post on Friday 10/5/18 gave us a 30-Day warning: Major changes to PA Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act (CASPA). We suggest you know what's coming! The new law applies to construction contracts entered into on or after October 10, 2018. The purpose of the amended CASPA is to provide contractors, subcontractors or suppliers with more robust protections to better ensure prompt payment for completed work. CASPA, as amended, contains 5 new parts. First, there are four key changes to strengthen protections against over-withholding and, most importantly, even against good-faith withholding without timely notice. The post goes through each of the changes, along with contract and project considerations (see the post), Next, the amendments add a framework for contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to stop work if they are not timely paid; the post provides more details. The third and fourth changes are in the post, along with contract and project considerations for each.

TAKEAWAY: Contracts that exist prior to the effective date of the CASPA amendments will be governed by the existing law; new contracts by the amended law. Know that the changes are and how they affect you.

Finally, in the post yesterday 10/6/18, we saw that Infosys was sued by an ex-employee over wage complaint. The plaintiff alleges that the company refused to pay him overtime for hours he worked on nights and weekends under the threat that he would be sent back to his native India if he persisted in seeking payment. How many hours are at issue and more background facts are in the posts; it is not minimal. Infosys denies the allegations. The post specifically mentions what one manager did and said as central to the suit. And as if that isn't enough, Infosys has had similar issues several times in the past – see the post.

TAKEAWAY: Stay on the legal side; pay employees the proper amount for all time worked. Period.

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