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legal RSS feed Tag: legal

If Your Unpaid Interns Are Productive and Valuable, You Could Be in Trouble

John Zappe
Jun 14, 2013, 1:53 pm ET

Fox searchlightUnpaid internships have been a dicey proposition for employers for almost as long as the Fair Labor Standards Act has been on the books.

For the first several decades since Congress adopted the law in 1938, the disputes were largely about employer training and apprenticeship programs and whether those trainees who weren’t paid were employees. If they were, they had to be paid and they were subject to other wage and hour rules.

These days, the issues almost all are about corporate internship programs, and whether the college students — and recent alums — have to be paid. If your company pays, even if it’s just minimum wage, you have nothing to fear from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

For everyone else — and that’s a fairly significant one-third of all internships – this week’s decision against movie company Fox Searchlight should give you reason to evaluate the nature of your program and how it is actually being administered by supervisors.

It’s all well and good to declare in your internship materials that you provide training, hands-on experience doing real work, regular evaluations, and the like. But if the interns’ direct supervisors turn them into mere gophers, provide little or no training, and have them fill-in for regular employees who leave, you have a potential lawsuit in the works, even if the students say nothing. keep reading…

EEOC’s New Guidance Tackles Cancer, Epilepsy, Diabetes, and Intellectual Disabilities

Todd Raphael
May 15, 2013, 5:49 pm ET

eeocThe U.S. EEOC has some new documents out that help when recruiting and selecting people with disabilities.

The info covers cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. keep reading…

The 4 Biggest Social Media Trends in HR Right Now

Steve Miranda
May 7, 2013, 6:29 am ET

Effectively managing the risks and rewards of social media is one of the biggest challenges faced by HR professionals and recruiters today. Many organizations have found novel ways to use social media to recruit outstanding talent, engage their in-house and virtual workforces, as well as manage their global brands. However, while the upside of using social media is quite large, without the proper policies and safeguards in place this same upside can quickly degenerate into a significant organizational liability. HR and recruiting professionals must stay up to date and in the know about social media.

Below are four of the biggest social media trends I see today. keep reading…

Search Firm Owner Convicted of Hacking, Trade Secrets Theft

John Zappe
Apr 30, 2013, 3:42 pm ET
David Nosal

David Nosal

A former Korn/Ferry regional director who launched his own search business has been convicted of hacking and trade secrets theft. David Nosal was found guilty last week on six federal charges that, in addition to three counts of computer hacking and two trade secrets charges, included one conspiracy count.

What makes this case especially noteworthy is that Nosal did no hacking nor did he download confidential Korn/Ferry files himself. Instead, former colleagues did it on his behalf. They later cooperated with the FBI and testified against him.

The case goes back to 2004 when Nosal, an eight-year veteran of Korn/Ferry, left to start his own search firm. For the first year, federal prosecutors said, Nosal partnered with his former employer, signing an agreement not to compete and not to use its trade secrets. Prosecutors said, he convinced two of his Korn/Ferry colleagues to quit and start their own firms, which he used as cover for independent searches until the non-compete agreement expired and he launched Nosal Partners. keep reading…

U.S. Labor Dept Collates Hiring, Retention, Training Info

Todd Raphael
Mar 25, 2013, 5:42 pm ET

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 2.39.00 PMA new site from the Labor Department in the U.S. bills itself as a one-stop shop for “hiring, training, and retraining a strong workforce.”

There’s a not a ton new here, and some of it’s a bit basic. But it’s also a pretty handy collection of links, on everything from tax credits, as well as on hiring veterans, people with disabilities, foreign nationals, and ex-offenders.

You’ll also find information on the hiring process, like some illegal interview questions, for example.

The main page is here.

TheLadders Sued in Consumer Class Action That Calls Site a “Scam”

John Zappe
Mar 12, 2013, 3:34 pm ET

The LaddersTheLadders is being sued in New York federal court in a class-action consumer lawsuit alleging that for years it falsely claimed it offered only high-paying jobs.

Brought by an Arkansas woman representing perhaps as many as a million customers of the job board, the suit says:

From its inception until September, 2011, TheLadders scammed its customers into paying for its job board service by misrepresenting itself to be ‘a premium job site for only $100k+ jobs, and only $100k+ talent.’ In fact, TheLadders sold access to purported ‘$100k+’ job listings that (1) did not exist, (2) did not pay $100k+, and/or (3) were not authorized to be posted on TheLadders by the employers.

According to the suit, many of the jobs offered on TheLadders were scraped from other sites with no attempt at verifying how much they paid or even if they were current.

The suit, filed yesterday by the New York class action firm of Bursor & Fisher, was reported by recruiting consultant and blogger Nick Corcodilos. He’s posted a copy of the lawsuit here.

TheLadders issued this statement in response to news of the suite:

We just learned about this yesterday afternoon, and have put it in the hands of our counsel to resolve. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the best job-matching service, while serving as the fastest-growing source for professional jobs. In fact, we’re focused on migrating our members to our new online experience, featuring Scout, by April 1, as well as launching our free native iOS app. We continue to be a free resource for recruiters and employers to help them find the right person for the right job.

Five specific counts are alleged in the class action suit: keep reading…

Office Romance Can Lead to the Altar or to HR

John Zappe
Feb 14, 2013, 1:53 am ET

business couple romance - freedigitalLove is all around us today. And not just in the hearts and cupids and balloons that decorate countless offices.

CareerBuilder says there’s a pretty good chance some of your co-workers are dating each other. Four in 10 workers have had — or are having — an office romance, according to the company’s annual survey of 4,216 workers. And 30% of them have married an office mate.

For human resource managers, such news is more heartache than heart throb.

“Relationships between co-workers can, and often do, end in breakups. And these breakups can be nasty,” says Mary Hladio, president of Ember Carriers Leadership Group.  “Worst-case scenario, these breakups lead the rejected partner to file a sexual harassment claim against the employer. Businesses still have to protect themselves and their employees through clearly defined company protocol.” keep reading…

Ban Job Descriptions and Hire Better People

Lou Adler
Feb 13, 2013, 1:37 am ET

For the past 30 years I’ve been on a kick to ban traditional skills- and experience-based job descriptions. The prime reason: they’re anti-talent and anti-diversity, aside from being terrible predictors of future success.

Some naysayers use the legal angle as their excuse for maintaining the status quo. keep reading…

Compliance with New EEOC Guidelines Can Help You Improve Quality of Hires

Will Barada
Jan 21, 2013, 12:18 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 1.53.13 PMIn early 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of Legal Counsel issued updated guidance regarding the handling of criminal history checks in the course of background screening. Furthermore, the EEOC has announced it will aggressively pursue, as class actions, claims of discrimination that arise as a result of criminal history checks. Although the 2012 guidance clarifies long-standing EEOC policies, it is particularly involved — and initially can be confusing for HR professionals and recruiters, alike. keep reading…

What Employers Should Know About the Regulation of Marijuana

Ron Chapman, Jr.
Jan 7, 2013, 4:01 am ET

co-authored by Roger G. Trim, a shareholder in the Denver office of Ogletree Deakins

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 1.01.38 PMAs of January 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books legalizing the use of medical marijuana. A number of additional states have gone even further by passing laws decriminalizing or eliminating jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana was for medical use. Finally, two states — Colorado and Washington — passed laws on November 6, 2012, affirmatively legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Many employers are concerned about what these marijuana laws mean for them and whether they need to make any changes to their drug policies in light of recent developments. keep reading…

Another Recruiting Lawsuit: This Time EBay

Todd Raphael
Nov 16, 2012, 6:09 pm ET

There was that Kixeye-Zynga battle I mentioned this week. Now, the U.S. government is suing Ebay, saying it agreed with Intuit not to hire from each other.

More on that here.

For its part, you may remember Intuit has been part of a legal case like this before.

Kixeye-Zynga Fight Continues

Todd Raphael
Nov 14, 2012, 6:08 pm ET

Remember that cover-your-kids-ears video I mentioned back in August? That was from the gaming company Kixeye, who’s apparently involved in a countersuit against Zynga, involving a Zynga lawsuit against Kixeye.

More about the case where “Kixeye is asking the court to prohibit Zynga from interfering in its right to recruit, among other things” here.

7 Questions to Consider Before Hiring

Ryder Cullison
Oct 9, 2012, 5:01 am ET

You are ready to hire, but before you start slinging out job postings consider these seven questions.

How fast do you want the candidate? Many hiring managers say they need the candidate right away but drag their feet responding to qualified candidates to set up interviews. Lengthy delays in the recruiting process may convey to the candidate your organization is not interested in them and they may take another offer. If you are planning on being on vacation, out of town, or just unavailable, then this should be clear to your recruiters from the start so they can best establish the time frame expectations with your candidates. keep reading…

OFCCP Clarifies Rules to Make Clear It’s All Up to You

John Zappe
Aug 23, 2012, 4:46 pm ET

If your employer does business with the federal government, you already know — or should know — the rules about Internet hiring.

You know the four criteria for defining an Internet applicant are:

  • An expression of interest (as in sending in an application);
  • Meets the basic qualifications (education, years of experience, geography, etc.);
  • You “considered” the individual for a job;
  • The person never withdraws from consideration.

And you know about the recordkeeping requirements.

Now comes clarifications of these rules from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that won’t make life any easier, but which do, at least, make it clearer what records to keep and who is responsible for keeping them. keep reading…

California Poised to Prohibit Employers From Demanding Social Media Access

John Zappe
Aug 21, 2012, 10:39 pm ET

California is about to become the third state to prohibit employers from asking employees or job seekers for access to their social media postings.

Without dissent, the California Senate approved AB1844, the privacy measure, Monday. It now requires an Assembly vote and the Governor’s signature before it takes effect. The Assembly vote is likely this week and is almost perfunctory, since it has already once passed there without dissent.

Backed by some of the state’s largest unions and the California Chamber of Commerce, the bill is similar to those adopted in Illinois and Maryland. Illinois’ bill was approved earlier this month and takes effect with the New Year. Maryland’s takes effect October 1. keep reading…

IT Watchdog Group Says Staffing Firms Discriminate Against Americans

John Zappe
Jul 9, 2012, 8:44 am ET

An IT recruiting watchdog group says some staffing companies are abusing the U.S. visa program, advertising jobs that may not even exist, and limiting applicants to non-citizens.

“The public is led to believe that companies can’t find Americans to fill high-tech jobs when, in fact, they are not searching for Americans — as these ads show,” said Donna Conroy, a founder of Bright Future Jobs and author of “No Americans Need Apply.”

Her report details an analysis of 100 IT ads, posted on tech job board, which all include language referencing various visa programs, and which, Conroy said in an interview, are phrased as “code for foreign workers only.”

The Bright Future Jobs analysis of the ads found 37 percent of them made no mention of IT job terms or skills in the ad title. Instead, they contained only references to visa types, says Conroy’s report. “These 37 ads also repeated these USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) terms in the skills section,” says the report.

The balance of the ads all included visa terms, with many restricting applicants to those with H1-B visas (work visas) or with work permits granted to foreign students attending U.S. colleges and universities. keep reading…

Read Our Roundup or You Might Go to Jail

John Zappe and Todd Raphael
Jun 29, 2012, 5:10 am ET

Did you hear News Corp. may buy Monster? How about how Manpower is pitching webinars to keep HR professionals out of jail? And, if that’s not enough to get you reading this, then try the cliche-riddled video entitled S*** Recruiters Say.

To answer our first question: We hadn’t heard the news about News Corp. and Monster since 2005 or maybe 2006, when we hacked old Rupert’s voicemail. Back then, his password was $$$$, which got us a few messages from Andy McKelvey explaining how you do this thing with the calendar and everybody gets rich off the options.

Now cometh The New York Times to report that in the breakup of News Corp., it might assign things it doesn’t own to a new publishing division. We are not making that up. The Times said: keep reading…

Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Background Checks

Michael Nader
Jun 26, 2012, 2:54 am ET

A recent survey reported that nearly half of all employers conduct social media background checks on job candidates. This practice has included requiring candidates to disclose their usernames, passwords, and other credentials that provide access to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, blogs, e-mail, and other Internet content for the prospective employer’s review.

Federal and state legislators have responded with a flurry of efforts to prohibit employers from requiring candidates to disclose their social network credentials. These efforts have included calling for federal investigations about the practice, introducing bills in Congress that would prohibit the practice, and numerous state legislators introducing and passing legislation that prohibits employers from requiring candidates to disclose their access credentials to the content posted on social media cites.

What should recruiters and hiring managers do? keep reading…

Spokeo Paying $800,000 in Government Settlement

Todd Raphael
Jun 12, 2012, 4:40 pm ET

Spokeo, a website full of data on consumers — job candidates — is paying $800,000 to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges about the way it marketed the profiles to HR people, recruiters, and background-checking companies, allegedly without the proper consumer protections.

A U.S. Justice Department document says, “in its marketing and advertising, the company has promoted the use of its profiles as a factor in deciding whether to interview a job candidate or whether to hire a candidate after a job interview. Spokeo purchased thousands of online advertising keywords including terms targeting employment background checks, applicant screening, and recruiting. Spokeo ran online advertisements with taglines to attract recruiters and encourage HR professionals to use Spokeo to obtain information about job candidates’ online activities.”

What the government’s getting at is that it feels Spokeo is a consumer reporting agency. And with that comes certain responsibilities. And, the feds say, Spokeo didn’t meet those responsibilities: things like making sure the information is accurate, as well as telling recruiters about their consumer-protection obligations (like what you need to know if you’re going to reject someone based on what you see on Spokeo).

More here and below.

Company That Powers College Career Sites Searched by FBI

John Zappe
May 16, 2012, 8:42 pm ET

The company that powers campus recruiting services, including NACElink, is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly attempting to hack into the computer systems of two competitors.

The investigation doesn’t involve NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Nor is there any evidence that NACElink was ever hacked or that any attempt was made to illegally access the system. However, Marilyn Mackes, executive director of the nonprofit association, says the organization is monitoring the situation and has been sending periodic updates to its member schools and employers.

“Is NACE going to be looking out for the interests of its members,” Mackes said rhetorically. “Of course it is.”

At this point, she says, it is “kind of premature” for the organization to make any decisions about the hosting of its career services network.  keep reading…