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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 9 posts from October 2012.

Looking at the EEOC’s Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) released a draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). The SEP is intended to, amongst other goals, establish priorities for the EEOC in the coming years. The draft included five broad nationwide priorities, as follows: More >

The Particulars of a Job: Description vs. Requirements

In most cases the quality of the workforce determines the success of any business. As we discussed on Wednesday (10/24/12), there are five essential elements of a job description but there is a compelling need to focus specifically on requirements. A job description defines the duties, tasks and responsibilities of a position, creating a framework for hiring the right candidate. The description is used in marketing and promotion to attract new talent to the company. The requirements set the stage for digging deep into the details of the position and reflect the culture of the company.  They have emerged as the strategic details that can set the candidates apart and make it easier for HR managers to look for an employee to specifically match the employee’s long-term goals. More >

Five Essential Elements of a Good Description

Most companies of any significant size have, and should have, written job descriptions for each of its employment positions.  The process of crafting these descriptions should start before the hiring process begins to fill positions, for good job descriptions are essential to identifying the various employee attributes needed by an employer. However, job descriptions historically are also one of the most widely used pieces of evidence in employment claims by plaintiffs.  For this reason job descriptions need to be well written and carefully crafted to mitigate the risk of creating a document that can be used against an employer later in court. More >

Will a Savings Clause Save Your Social Media Policy?

Could a savings clause salvage an otherwise invalid social media policy? Maybe. There is no definitive answer to this question, as savings clauses have been portrayed as both a potential asset for employment handbooks and a non-factor in acting as a loophole for Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Thus, it is important to view savings clauses as one tool in your arsenal and not as a panacea for an overly-broad social media policy. More >

NLRB and ALJ Decisions Continue to Refine Social Media Policy Parameters

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)  judgments continue to refine the parameters of the social media policies landscape, offering more insight for employers who are developing policies and procedures that attempt to protect both the company and the employees. Two recent decisions by the NLRB illuminate the legality of social media policies or policies addressing any and all electronic communications. These decisions further set expectations of what is acceptable online behavior by employees, and more clearly define what an employer can and cannot restrict in the language of the policy. More >

Social Media: The New Harassment Landscape Continued

A recent government study uncovered that 23% of harassment victims were targeted through text messaging, email or other digital forms. Not so long ago, the only evidence human resources had to investigate in harassment claims were the face-to-face comments of the parties involved, making the truth sometimes difficult to determine.  With a digital trail of comments to follow, the investigation of harassment claims no longer relies on hearsay, recollection and “he said, she said” testimony, because nothing can refute written proof. More >

Social Media: The New Harassment Landscape

Social media is changing the landscape of the internal workplace, providing a new way for employees to socialize and interact with one another.  The online workplace is rooted in conversation which is casual, revealing and often deeply personal.  The direct connection of social media is akin to an invitation into your home. It allows co-workers to share in your personal life with an instant sense of closeness and propels the relationship forward quicker than a traditional office friendship. The boundaries of conduct can become easily blurred and potentially dangerous when this complicated overlapping of private and professional relationships intersect online. Whenever the parameters get ambiguous, the probability of inappropriate behavior occurring increases, creating a growing employer concern for protecting employees from the potential of social media harassment. More >

Workplace Politics: Cooling the Debates... Continued

As discussions about the first Presidential debate swirl, we continue our discussion of politics in the workplace. More >


Terminating an employee is rarely, if ever, a comfortable process. Personal feelings - not to mention the concerns relative to potential legal ramifications of a termination -  often cause employers to retain an employee who should otherwise be terminated. The following guidelines include several of the most important practical tips to assist employers in the termination process and to help ensure that the employer is protected. More >

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