The latest from the NLRB on employment-at-will

The news from the Board is generally pro-employer, but it's time to carefully review your handbooks, applications and offer letters.

How far can I go to ban guns at work?

Q. As the owner of a Texas company, I want to institute a policy that strictly forbids employees from bringing guns to work—both into the office building and in the parking lot outside. Can I legally draft such a policy?

Policies can protect you from liability for employee torts

Employers occasionally become dejected over the prospects of defending against tort and other civil claims in state courts. However, a recent case out of Houston reaffirms that employers can and do win these kinds of cases—if they have implemented the appropriate policies.

Can we ban employee appointments during work?

Q. I have an employee who is constantly scheduling appointments during work hours and having to leave. In the past two weeks alone, she missed 27 hours due to appointments. If we cannot restrict appointments outside of work, can I require documentation of appointments?

NLRB: Ban on 'inappropriate' conduct is illegal


You read that right. Soon you will recall the good ol’ days when employee handbooks could prohibit employees from having a “discourteous or inappropriate attitude or behavior.” The NLRB in April ruled that such language was too broad and could possibly deter employees from discussing their pay or working conditions with colleagues.

Setting a smart and legally sound attendance policy: 8 do's and don'ts

You can avoid legally dangerous disciplinary mistakes by ensuring that supervisors understand the following do’s and don’ts.

How your handbook may violate the NLRA

The National Labor Relations Act guarantees employees the right to discuss working conditions and organize. The language contained in your employee handbook can put you on the wrong side of the law.

Employers crack down on social media abuse

More than 70% of employers have disciplined employees for misuse of social media. Daniel Ornstein of the Proskauer law firm outlines ways to stop the headaches before they happen.

What to do when a co-worker dies

It would be futile for ­managers to expect the colleagues of a deceased employee to go about business as usual. Here’s how HR should respond.

What do we need to know before implementing a mandatory dress code?

Q. Are we free to institute any mandatory dress code that we’d like?

Your 'no personal use of email' policy may soon be prohibited

Under the Obama administration, the NLRB has rolled out a series of pro-union, pro-employee decisions that place new limits on employers’ workplace policies. Now comes word that the NLRB is considering another controversial move: banning blanket policies that prohibit workers from using the organization’s email for personal matters.

Can employees moonlight while out on medical leave?

It may seem wrong for an employee who is out on disability leave to work another job. But don’t be so quick to fire her for lying about her medical condition—it could backfire in the form of a disability or retaliation claim.

Who's in charge of implementing corporate diversity initiatives?

HR is responsible for running most American employers’ diversity initiatives, according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

What danger lurks in your (possibly outdated) handbook?

Many companies fail to align their handbooks with the realities of their business. As a result, they end up with a handbook that does more harm than good. Here's what they should include.

Is there a reason not to limit smoking breaks?

Q. Two of our employees go outside to smoke almost every hour for about 10 minutes. Our other employees are starting to complain. Do we have to allow these 10-minute rest periods every hour?
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