As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since the UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game. When the Huskies last tasted defeat (in an overtime thriller to Stanford on November 17, 2014), football players at Northwestern University were pursuing their rights to collectively bargain after a ruling by the NLRB regional director in Chicago held they were statutory employees.  While the undefeated nature of women’s basketball in Storrs, CT has been a constant, the NLRB changed the game for Northwestern football players by declining to assert jurisdiction.  However, there remains a feeling in certain quarters of college sports that some form of pay to student-athletes is inevitable.

Continue Reading March Inevitableness? Considering the Legal Consequences of Pay to Student-Athletes

This time of year usually marks the sports netherworld between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is better known as March Madness. This lull provides employers with an excellent opportunity to contemplate the issues that March Madness creates in their workplace. We explore some of those issues below.

Continue Reading Does March Madness = Workplace Madness? Some Thoughts on the Legality of NCAA Bracket Pools, the Tournament’s Effect on the Workplace, and of course, a Rendition of One Shining Moment (UPDATED)

Being connected to not just your friends, but their friends and their friends’ friends (it’s all six degrees of separation, right?) means that it’s become increasingly hard to stay anonymous when using an online dating platform.  Just ask one recent male user of OkCupid who made vulgar and inappropriate comments to a female user.  Her response?  Post the conversation and the man’s profile picture to her Facebook account.  He insulted her, she publicized him.  So far, there are no legal implications.

Her friend, an independent recruiter for tech startups, saw the post and recognized the man’s profile picture.  As it turns out, it was also his LinkedIn profile picture, and he had just applied for a position with one of her clients.  Her response?  Withdraw his application from consideration and tell him to treat women better online.  He insulted her friend, she withdrew his application for employment.  Here is where the criticism started.

The question: Can a recruiter reject a potential applicant based on inappropriate comments made on a dating site?

Continue Reading Inappropriate Social Media Activity Dooms Job Applicant’s Prospects

By Audrey Nguyen and Michael Arnold

California’s governor has signed into law a bill aimed at discouraging discriminatory age hiring practices in the entertainment industry.  The law focuses on internet websites identifying ages, but critics question whether the law is constitutional and if it will have any real impact.

Continue Reading New California Law Will Require Online Entertainment Database Sites to Remove Age-Based Information

Did you know that the world is now inhabited by creatures called Pokémon?  (Or maybe they’ve always been there?)  Some run across the plains; others fly through the skies; and some live in the mountains….and some, yes, some, are located right in your workplace.  Pokeman WorkplaceThrough the magic of downloading Pokémon Go to your smartphone, you too can see these creatures and catch them for some apparently critical scientific testing.

Employers not familiar with Pikachu, Charizard, and Lucario can rest assured – your employees are.  In less than one week, Pokémon Go became the most downloaded smartphone videogame ever, and employers are clamoring for advice on how to deal with a workforce that already seems sufficiently and consistently distracted.

Continue Reading Pokémon Go in the Workplace: Oh Look There’s a Pikachu!

My colleague Mitch Danzig, was quoted in a SHRM article entitled, Keep Employees on the Ball During March Madness, in which he provides strategies for employers to avoid legal claims when monitoring employees’ computer use. The article outlines ways employers can both manage “cyberslacking” and boost morale in the workplace during March Madness.

 

In Howard v. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., a Hawaiian Federal Court found that Hertz Rent-a-Car could not be held responsible for its employee’s Facebook comments about one of its customers.  While employers should welcome the outcome, it did turn on the facts, and could have produced a different result under different circumstances.  Employers therefore, should consider installing safeguards to ensure proper social media use by their employees.

Continue Reading Employer Not Responsible for Employee Defaming Customer on Facebook

In a sign of the growing trend of states enacting statutes protecting employee privacy, Maine became the latest state to prohibit employers from requiring employees and job applicants to provide passwords to their personal Facebook and other social media accounts.  Since 2012, nearly half of the states have passed such laws.  Indeed, since February alone, when we discussed this issue in our employment privacy webinar, three states enacted social media privacy laws, including Connecticut.  We briefly outline Maine’s new law below.

Continue Reading Maine Social Media Employee Privacy Law Goes Into Effect October 15, 2015

Where, when, and how we work has changed profoundly since I started practicing law but employment and privacy laws have not evolved to keep up with technological change and the reality of the “everywhere” workplace.

I would like to think that employment lawyers can provide some practical solutions to addressing policies that help draw the line between personal and business and yet protect valuable business assets.  Continue Reading It’s 2015: Do You Know Where Your Workplace Is? [VIDEO]

Written by David Cohen with Michael Arnold

Since 2012, many states have enacted laws that restrict an employer’s capacity to access employees’ personal email and social media accounts.  Last month, Connecticut joined the party and became the 21st state to enact an employer-employee social media privacy law.

Continue Reading Add Connecticut to Your List of States with a Social Media Privacy Policy Law Favoring Employees