Series of Posts on Employer Provided Cell Phones: Tip 1 – Caller ID may not help employers avoid claims of harassment

January 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Posted in discrimination, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, FLSA, harassment, wage & hour | Leave a comment
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Employers who give cell phones to their employees have to carefully craft policies related to the business – and personal use – of those phones.  Even with the best cell phone use policies in place, consistent monitoring for compliance with those policies is the best way to reduce – but not eliminate – risk.

Employers need to be aware that harassment, discrimination and stalking via cell phone must be addressed and investigated.  Federal and Florida laws protect employees from harassment, discrimination and retaliation – but did you know Florida law also protects its residents from stalking? To make employer vigilance against harassment that much more difficult, a new company called SpoofCard allows its subscribers to call someone from any phone but trick their caller ID into displaying a different number.  Your employee picks up the call thinking the call is coming from the office and instead, it’s an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, or even a co-worker who hasn’t learned that “no” means “no”.  Such calls have the potential to expose an employer to risk.

A specific and through harassment, discrimination and retaliation policy in an employee handbook, along with a policy prohibiting violence in the workplace, can aid an employer in reducing exposure to litigation.  Social networking policies should also be in place to reduce risk.

A reader’s review of the above information does not establish an attorney client relationship between the reader and the Sensenig Law Firm, P.A.  The above information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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The world of employment law is continually evolving and changing – but aren’t we all?

January 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Posted in ADA, discrimination, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, FLSA, harassment, I9, Immigration, Legal, New employment laws/amendments, retaliation, Unemployment, union, wage & hour, Workers' Compensation | Leave a comment
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COBRA Subsidy Update:  On Dec. 19, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law an extension of the original COBRA subsidy enacted in February 2009. Under the new extension, individuals are eligible for the subsidy if the involuntary termination occurred during the period that began Sept. 1, 2008 and ends on Feb. 28, 2010 (the loss of coverage does not have to occur by that date). Eligible individuals pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums (the employer must pay the rest) but the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider – usually the employer – through a tax credit.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) recently posted updated materials at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html to help employers, employees and benefits plan administrators to understand the eligibility requirements of the recent extension.

The above is not legal advice nor is this posting the creation of an attorney client relationship between the Sensenig Law Firm and the reader.

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