Highlighted for business oriented minds.

Stephanie Wilkins

Fox News Sexual Harassment Case Highlights the Need for Effective Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures in the Workplace

Workplace sexual harassment has been grabbing headlines lately, thanks to charges filed by former “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Carlson has alleged that Ailes fired her for rebuffing his sexual advances and standing up to a sexist culture in the Fox newsroom. The Allegations The complaint, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, contends that Ailes explicitly asked Carlson for a sexual relationship during a meeting in his office. Carlson allegedly met with Ailes to discuss concerns she had about persistent harassment in the Fox newsroom. In that meeting, he reportedly told her: “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.” According to the lawsuit, when Carlson refused Ailes’s advances, he retaliated by reducing her salary, cutting back her air… Read More

Jeremy Masys

Alcoholic Employees: What are an Employers’ Rights and Responsibilities?

If Mad Men taught us anything, it’s that corporate America has come a long way since the 1960’s with regard to its treatment of alcohol in the workplace. Some viewers of the show may envy that previous generation’s celebration of the drinking life, where, if the show is to be believed, the martinis flowed throughout the workday like water, lunch wasn’t complete without a couple cocktails, and every executive had a bar in his or her office, replenished on the company dime. But one character in particular – Freddy Rumsen – exemplified the sad manner in which alcohol can sink a good worker’s promise and productivity, and also how effective treatment of alcoholism can turn that same worker into a more productive and happier employee than ever. Freddy Rumsen and the Pre-ADA Era For those of you who can’t keep your Freddy Rumsens straight from your Paul Kinseys – or heaven… Read More

Nasir Pasha & Matt Staub

Can An Employer Be Held Liable For An Employee’s Facebook Post? [e259]

The guys kick off the week by discussing the lawsuit in Hawaii where an employee posted a defamatory remark about a customer and tried to hold the employer liable. They also discuss the new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy posting requirements for California. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, today, we are covering… actually, I don’t think we’ve had a case out of Hawaii yet – except maybe that time we covered that surfer that was eaten by a shark. MATT: We’ve done so many episodes, I don’t even know if that was even… I would believe that that’s something we’ve talked about but I really have no idea. NASIR: I don’t know. I just made that up. I don’t know if it sounds like I have something… Read More

Nasir Pasha & Matt Staub

Employee Monitoring and Wearable Technology [e258]

Nasir and Matt discuss the new iPhone update that employees should pay attention to. They also talk about the pitfalls of employers issuing wearable technology to their employees. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Welcome to our podcast. MATT: Let’s first talk about… NASIR: I had another sip of this Red Bull. MATT: Yeah, that’s what I wanted to talk about. This is an update. We finally both got our class action Red Bulls. NASIR: I mean, it’s literally like cough syrup. It’s possible there might be another class action settlement because it might be considered poison. I’ve been drinking this thing for the last – I don’t know – almost an hour I’ve been sipping it. MATT: You don’t have to. It’s not… Read More

Jeremy Masys

Erotic Data on Employee Smartphones: What Can an Employer Do?

The topic of teachers getting into trouble over sex-related matters has become almost a sub-genre of American journalism for several decades now. In the late 1990’s, Washington schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau became a tabloid feature and served six years in prison after it was discovered she had engaged in sexual relations with her 12-year old student (who she later married), and, since then, the media have picked up on what feels like a never-ending exposure of similar stories, so much so that SNL spoofed the phenomenon last year (which some thought was in extremely poor taste). In more recent years, however, the predominant narrative played out in the media has been teachers being penalized for racy images of non-school related activities becoming known via the internet. Just a sampling of these include: A Florida high school English teacher was fired when photos of her posing as a lingerie and swimsuit model were brought… Read More

Ashley Shaw

How to Protect Trade Secrets

Coca-Cola’s recipe for its soda is supposed to be one of the best kept secrets ever. The original recipe is said to be kept in a vault in the company’s Atlanta home where visitors to the World of Coca-Cola can see it (the vault – not the recipe). Coca-Cola goes above and beyond to protect its trade secret because that is how the company separates itself from its competitors. Trade secret theft is a big deal, and it is more common than you might think. While hiding your trade secrets in a vault is probably not a step you need to take, there are plenty of things that people need to do in order to make sure that any and all trade secrets are protected. Defining Trade Secrets Let’s discuss exactly what constitutes a trade secret anyway. The basic definition used by the World Intellectual Property Organization is that a… Read More

Mike Wood

How Ambassadors Can Ruin Your Brand and How to Deal With Disasters

The name brand ambassador says it all. Similar to an ambassador for a foreign country, the goal of that person is to represent the brand in a positive light and bring consumers closer to the product or service that it sells. However, just like in politics, some ambassadors can do more harm than good. Brand ambassadors can come in various forms. There are inherent brand ambassadors who represent a company because their name is on the product. Some are celebrity ambassadors who are paid to advertise the product. Others are employees from within the company – paid or not. It is important to understand the various forms of ambassadors in order to know how they best represent your brand. Failing to recognize disasters they may cause can lead to damage to your brand. “Forewarned is forearmed” is also a statement to keep in mind. You should always have a plan… Read More

Ashley Shaw

Is PTO Enough When Paid Sick Leave Is Required?

Look around your office. Is anyone out sick today? (Alternatively, is someone who is in the office clearly too sick to be there?) According to Bloomberg BNA, sick leave will be a big issue for HR departments across the country in 2016. The Potential Problem with Sick Leave Law Why? Well, because cities and states across the country are changing laws and regulations around this topic that could end up making it harder on businesses. Let’s look at why. In today’s business world, a popular method to handling leave is to offer paid time off (PTO) in lieu of branches of various leaves. You know what I mean, right? Instead of offering 10 vacation days and 10 sick days, you simply offer 20 PTO days and employees can do what they want with them. That sounds alright. I mean, there is an argument around this that some employees will come… Read More

Nasir Pasha & Matt Staub

How Businesses Can Fight Back Against Negative Social Media [e246]

Nasir and Matt kick off 2016 by discussing how one Indianapolis bar responded to a negative post on its Facebook page. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, please, forgive Matt because he just informed me that he’s rearranging his room. I’m not sure what that has to do with the podcast but, for some reason, it was important to tell me about it so I thought I’d share that with you as well. MATT: Well, just in case, I thought you’d have more excitement for, well, none of the episodes ran in 2016 yet, I don’t think. NASIR: Oh, yeah, we’re back! 2016. I think every year we talk about, you know, when it’s not okay to say “Happy New Year” but, I think, yeah, at… Read More