Labor Letter - December 2011


In This Issue:

- Year-End Look Back – The Lowlights By Michael S. Mitchell (New Orleans)

Every year at this time it’s traditional to look back and review the year’s highlights. Our list is a bit of a twist, however. If there is anything that sets labor and employment law apart from other areas practiced by our legal brethren, it seems to be the high percentage of odd fact situations that crop up. Here are a few that we’ll reminisce about for a long time.

Some of these cases are “golden oldies” that occurred quite awhile back. Others are as recent as a few weeks ago. Here they are in no particular order...

- Tips For Protecting Your Workers From The Cold By Edwin Foulke (Washington, D.C.)

Recent temperatures in the northeast were near record lows, meaning employees working in cold temperatures could face serious health risks. Cold weather is particularly dangerous to employees spending long hours outside, such as construction workers. Prolonged exposure to freezing or cold temperatures can result in serious health problems like trench foot, frostbite, hypothermia, and in extreme cases death. With winter bearing down upon us, it is a good time to familiarize yourself and your employees with the danger signs and important tips to protect them from the cold weather and potentially serious health threats....

- Pros and Cons of Severance Agreements By Rich Meneghello (Portland, OR)

Employers who pay out severance to their employees run certain risks that need to be considered beforehand. Some employers have learned the hard way that severance agreements aren’t always the best course of action. Last year, the University of Oregon received bad press when it was discovered that former head coach Mike Bellotti received a substantial payout upon his departure.

- Top Ten Ways To Hold A Company Party – Without Getting Sued By Michael S. Mitchell (New Orleans)

With the Holiday Season in full swing, many employers ask us about the wisdom of holding company parties where alcohol will be served. They generally want to know about the risk involved if an employee drinks too much at the party and misbehaves, or worse, injures or kills someone on the way home. In the interest of answering these questions generally, and with apologies to David Letterman, we are re-running here an article which has appeared in our newsletters several times over the years....

Please see full update below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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