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A few workplace-related things we can be thankful for

From a labor and employment law standpoint, I’m not sure we have a lot to be thankful for this year. But ’tis the season, so here are a paltry few:

Australia: What Employers with Australian Operations Should Know about Extension of Australia's Employment Laws Outside its Exclusive Economic Zone

At one time or another, many companies with international operations may look to transfer employees between the company’s offices. There are many reasons why companies do so.

EEOC promises guidance on wellness programs in February

Good news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced in its 2015 regulatory agenda that it will be issuing proposed regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act on wellness programs. The proposed regs are expected in February.

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part III: Five Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

It’s that time of year once again! Retailers are gearing up for the holidays and hiring seasonal workers in droves. Unfortunately, the flurry of activity and the common misperception that seasonal workers have a different employment status because they are “temporary” workers can often result in employers cutting corners when it comes to onboarding. To ensure that you have a happy holiday season, keep in mind the following important tips on hiring seasonal workers.

5th Circuit Takes Expansive View of SOX

While I was starting a week long trial in the Southern District of Texas, the 5th Circuit was taking a wide, pro-employee view of Sarbanes Oxley. In Halliburton v. Administrative Review Board (5th Cir. 11.12.14) the Court was faced with an unusual factual case.

FAA Lifts Age Restrictions for Airline Pilot Crew Pairings on International Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it will no longer enforce its requirement that airline pilots aged 60 and over, who are the pilot in command on international flights operated by scheduled air carriers (commercial airlines), be paired with a co-pilot under age 60. Pilot Age Limit Crew Pairing Requirement, FAA Notice of Policy, 79 Fed. Reg. 67346 (Nov. 13, 2014). The agency will publish a final rule in 2015 to make conforming changes to applicable relevant regulations (e.g., 14 CFR 61.3(j), 61.77(g) and 121.383(d)(2) and (e)(2)).

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part II: Conducting Background Checks on Seasonal Workers

During the upcoming holiday season, many companies—especially those with retail operations—will be looking to expand their available workforce by hiring seasonal workers. Unfortunately, many of these temporary workers will be hired without much scrutiny. Although this approach is understandable given the frenzied pace of the holiday season, it is a risky proposition. Seasonal employees often have more direct customer contact and less supervision than regular employees have during the rest of the year. The wrong hire with a problematic background can create major liability. In short, short-term seasonal employees can have long-term implications. For this reason, many forward-thinking retailers have begun implementing a more robust background check process for seasonal hires.

“Weakest link” is no way to run your workplace

If news reports are true (and perhaps they are not), then the ex-General Manager of NBC’s Today show provides a good example of how not to treat employees.

Whistleblower Claims and Awards on the Rise, According to SEC Report

In its Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the Securities and Exchange Commission reports that both the number of whistleblower claims and the magnitude of the financial awards stemming from those claims "were record-breaking" in FY 2014. Under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower incentive program, individuals who report original information that leads the SEC to recover monetary sanctions of $1 million or more are eligible to receive awards of 10 to 30% of that financial recovery. Notable findings of the report include:

Piercings and Employers: Enforcing Appearance Policies

Charles Caulkin’s article “Piercings and Employers: Enforcing Appearance Policies” was featured in the Daily Business Review on November 19, 2014.
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