Posts by Philip Bruce

Employer successfully fights EEOC subpoena

Any employer that has gone through an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation knows one thing is certain: you will have to provide mountains of documents. Normally, the EEOC will informally request documents, and the employer voluntarily complies. Other times, the EEOC will request too much information, and the employer refuses to comply. The EEOC…

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Don’t bet the farm on March (legal) Madness

March is upon us, which means spring is near and the sweet smell of tournament brackets will soon fill the air. For many, the month is synonymous with March Madness, the NCAA’s annual tournament that crown’s college basketball’s next national champion. What will that mean for businesses? If history is any indication, it is a…

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Attack on waivers of class action claims

Some companies ask their employees to sign arbitration agreements requiring them to arbitrate any disputes about their employment, rather than filing a lawsuit against the employer in a state or federal court. A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that waivers of class action claims in non-employment settings were enforceable. That led to…

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The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Implications for business, employers and employees

On April 27, 2016, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which President Obama promises to sign soon.  This proposed legislation, which is designed to be an expansion of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, would authorize a private civil action in federal court for the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related…

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Combatting FMLA Abuse

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides laudable protections to employees and their families. But FMLA leave is sometimes abused. That abuse drives up costs for employers and creates red tape and administrative hassles for HR managers. Fortunately, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (which handles Oklahoma cases) recently provided reassurances and lessons to employers…

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Employee investigation tips

Employers investigate all sorts of odd or disturbing claims. Knowing how to properly investigate these claims is critical. A recent case from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals put this on full display. Student teacher fired Carlos Bassatt was a student teacher at West High School in Denver, Colorado. One day a co-worker, Maria Iams,…

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Five tips on preventing workplace violence

Acts of workplace violence have, unfortunately, become all too common. Workplace violence can include anything from minor physical altercations and threats to tragic and brutal attacks or shootings. For employers, preventing workplace violence can often seem like walking a tightrope between protecting people and avoiding (or defending) a lawsuit.

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OKLAHOMA LAW ALERT » Employers prohibited from requiring access to social media accounts

Employers are increasingly vetting applicants or keeping tabs on current employees by monitoring their personal online social media accounts, such as Facebook. Part of this trend is that employers are requesting or requiring applicants and employees to turn over their user names and passwords for employers to gain complete access. Several states have started combatting…

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