Week in Review - November 11, 2013


From communication methods to office space, technology continues to affect workplace norms. During the week of November 4th, for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving the line between technological gear and clothing in the workplace. In the case, steelworkers are seeking to be paid for the time spent putting on flame-retardant jackets and pants, protective leggings, Kevlar sleeves, gloves, steel-toed boots, hard hats, safety glasses, earplugs, and hoods. Under the federal wage and hour law, an employer must pay employees when they engage in a principal activity, including putting on safety gear. However, an employer does not have to compensate the employee for changing clothes. As such, the Supreme Court must resolve whether everything being worn by the steelworkers is clothing or if it is technology-enhanced work gear. Elsewhere this week, Facebook announced a makeover of the “like” button and a French court ordered Google to remove certain graphic images of a Formula One car racing chief from its search results.

Technology and the Workplace
Oops! My Bad! Facebook Firing Based on Mistake (Delaware Employment Blog)
When The Workspace Is Mobile, On-Demand And All About Networking (Forbes)
Did we just witness our first firing over Healthcare.gov? (WashPost)
10 Incredibly Simple Things You Can Do To Protect Your Privacy (Forbes)
U.K. retailer to scan faces for targeted marketing (CBS)

Technology and the Law
'What Are Clothes?' Asks Most Delightful Supreme Court Argument in History (Atlantic)
New Patent Lets Apple Build Fingerprint Scanners in More Devices (Mashable)
Google Is Ordered to Block Images in Privacy Case (NYTimes)
Apple discloses government data requests -- what little it can (LATimes)
Google engineer accuses NSA and GCHQ of subverting 'judicial process' (Guardian)

There's an App for That
The Thumb Is Gone: Facebook Like Button Gets a Makeover (Mashable)
Google unveils Helpouts, new how-to live video chat service (LATimes)
Google Maps Update Brings Street View Enhancements and Pegman (Mashable)
It was inevitable: Instagram begins displaying ads, more on the way (LATimes)
Twitter news junkies skew young, educated (CNN)

Topics:  Facebook, Google, Safety Precautions, SCOTUS, Technology, Wage and Hour, Workplace Attire

Published In: Labor & Employment Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates

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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