Quirky Questions

Real Life Employment Law

Quirky Question #269: Like it or Not – Facebook Post Protected Under the NLRA

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Question: I own a small manufacturing company that employs 25-35 employees, depending on our workload.  Over the years, a number of my customers and my employees have “friended” me on Facebook.  Last week, I saw that one of our employees had posted a comment that I don’t pay enough overtime and that I’m, “f—ing cheap,” because I don’t give enough paid vacation.  Almost worse, I saw that three other employees “liked” the post.  I work hard to treat my employees fairly, and to ensure that I staff adequately so that employees do not need to work overtime.  I’m afraid this post is going to hurt employee morale, and I’d like to fire the employee who posted and the ones who liked the post.  Is there anything I should consider?


Quirky Question #268: E-Sign Away!


Question: We have our electronic handbook and arbitration agreement online, and all employees sign both electronically.  I saw a news blurb that a California court last year refused to enforce an arbitration agreement that was electronically signed.  Can’t we use electronic signatures in California?


Quirky Question #267: An Equine Accommodation?


Question: Our employee regularly uses a service dog in our office, which helps him with stability and maintaining balance around the office, which can be challenging for him due to several medical conditions he has. However, yesterday he came in and said he would like to use a miniature horse as a service animal instead of the dog, because it is preferable given his tall stature, among other reasons. We were fine with the dog – who doesn’t love an office dog? But a horse, really? Do we have to accommodate this?


Quirky Question #266: What’s up with Pregnancy Discrimination?


Question: Over the summer, we heard a lot about new guidance on pregnancy discrimination. What do we need to know to ensure we are complying with local, state, and federal laws on pregnancy discrimination?


Quirky Question #264, Oregon Employers: Beware!


Question: I am an employer in Oregon, and I understand Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a whole slew of bills into law on Monday which will directly impact Oregon employers. What do I need to know?


A New Question Every Week

Nearly every day, executives and managers, and the in-house counsel and Human Resources professionals who work with them, are confronted with unanticipated questions regarding the workforce. Just when they think they have "seen it all," along comes a new and often stranger scenario involving an odd twist to an area they thought they fully understood. These individuals often find themselves back at square one when trying to construct an appropriate response and devise a creative solution to the problem presented. Sometimes these "Quirky Questions" can be resolved easily; other times, they implicate practical and legal issues that are not immediately apparent. This Quirky Questions blog addresses these unanticipated employment questions.

We encourage you to submit your thoughts and reactions to the questions presented. We also encourage you to submit questions that you would like to see addressed, subject to these guidelines.