With the new year upon us, chances are that your employees are making those age old resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and exercise more. And, if you sponsor or offer an employee wellness program, your employees might be looking to use the program to help them stick to their resolutions. But what happens if an employee exerts himself too much, pushes herself a little too far, and hurts him or herself in the process? Are you, the employer, on the hook for such injury? Is the employee covered by workers’ compensation? Maybe.
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Has your Company conducted training on the prevention of discriminatory harassment in your workforce recently? Does the Company regularly train supervisors and managers on how to recognize important employee issues and to promptly (and effectively) address them? For example, do your supervisors and managers understand the importance of wage and hour issues? Do they understand how to recognize medical leave and accommodation-related issues? Do they appreciate the necessity of candid performance evaluations, timely and concise recordkeeping, and consistent policy enforcement? Do they know when and how to get Human Resources and/or management involved? The answer to all of these questions should be “YES!”
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Jennifer E. Will, a Member in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was recently featured on WGAL News Channel 8 in a feature regarding employers’ rights to discipline employees testing positive for marijuana. Ms. Will commented on, among other things, an employer’s right to take action against an employee, even if marijuana use was legal. such as legal recreational use in states like Colorado.
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So, have you implemented a Bring Your Own Device policy yet? If not (and your employees are using their personal devices for business purposes), your organization may be at risk.

The governor’s aide at the heart of the New Jersey bridge debacle used her personal Yahoo! email account to send the infamous emails which led to the closure of three lanes of the George Washington Bridge in September. Those emails were not initially provided in response to an open records request from a New Jersey newspaper. Should they have been disclosed?
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A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) recently concluded that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (Act) by implementing a "no gossip policy" and by firing an employee who violated the policy. The case, Laurus Technical Institute, involved a non-union employer. As we have reported before, the NLRB’s jurisdiction

In just a few short years, electronic-cigarettes (also known as “e-cigarettes” or “vapes”) have become a burgeoning industry in the United States. In case you are like me and are always last to know about the latest trends, e-cigarettes are essentially battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution until it turns into a vapor mist that can be inhaled by users. They are available in a variety of exotic flavors, including Apple Pie, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, and Mint Chocolate Chip, and are used by young and old alike. Though few studies have been conducted yet on the long-term health risks or benefits of e-cigarettes, proponents of the product argue that they are a better alternative to traditional cigarettes because users inhale fewer harmful chemicals, there is no open flame involved, and the vapor cloud created from using the product does not have a distinctive odor and dissipates rather quickly.
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In the last several years, there has been an explosion in the number of workers who use their own personal mobile devices to perform work functions (commonly referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD”). In fact, according to a study conducted last year by tech giant Cisco, approximately 90% of all workers say they use their own personal smartphones, tablets or laptops in some work-related capacity, whether the practice is officially endorsed by their employers or not.

Whether or not you believe that the benefits outweigh the risks, it does not appear BYOD is going anywhere in the near future. Accordingly, employers should adopt comprehensive BYOD plans to mitigate potential security risks and legal liability that naturally comes along with employees utilizing personal mobile devices to perform work tasks. At a minimum, every BYOD plan should address three core components.
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