Labor Letter - May 2012

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In This Issue:

- Sharing Passwords With @MyBoss By Tabatha George (New Orleans)

Maryland has become the first state in the country to ban companies from asking employees and applicants for their social media passwords. The bill, which makes the practice entirely illegal, easily passed both houses of the legislature and is awaiting signature by Gov. Martin O’Malley. It will become effective October 1, 2012. Similar bills are being discussed in other states, including California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. In addition, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have announced that they will seek investigations of the practice from the Justice Department and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)...

- A “Love Or Hate” Employment Relationship – How Do Your Employees Feel? By C.R. Wright (Atlanta)

It comes as no surprise that an unhappy employee is more likely to file a complaint or lawsuit. We often tell managers and supervisors that employees file complaints when they “get their feelings hurt.” Sometimes this is because the employee thinks no one is listening, or it may be that the employee does not feel respected. Whatever the underlying reason may be, it’s as true now as it ever was that a little bit of employee relations goes a long way toward preventing employee complaints and legal actions...

- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie: Disparate-Impact Claims Under The ADEA And The RFOA Defense By Matthew Korn (Columbia)

On April 30, 2012, an EEOC Final Rule took effect regarding disparate-impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the defense of “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA). Ostensibly proposed to address issues related to the Supreme Court’s decisions in Smith v. City of Jackson and Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, the Final Rule incorporates the EEOC’s interpretation of the RFOA defense, despite the concerns of several commenters...

- Taking Aim At Workplace Violence By Ted Boehm (Atlanta)

A recent shooting death in Long Beach, California, has placed the issue of workplace violence back on employers’ radar-screens. On February 16, a federal immigration agent was shot and killed by a coworker while at the workplace. The shooting occurred after a counseling session escalated into a physical confrontation and then turned deadly. In addition to the fatality, another agent was shot and wounded....

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