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New Email, Etc.

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When I did my goodbye post, I didn’t have my new email address or phone number. They are: jphillips@cwrestaurants.com and 423/424-2007. Hope everyone is doing well. I wish all of you an early happy holiday season.


Instead of “Neutrality Agreements,” call them “A Certain Amount of Cooperation Agreements”

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The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued an opinion on December 6, 2010, holding that an employer did not violate Section 8(a)(2) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (i.e., rendering unlawful support to a labor organization) by entering into and maintaining a Letter of Agreement that set forth: (1) ground rules for union organizing; (2) procedures for voluntary recognition upon proof of majority support; and (3) substantive issues that collective bargaining would address if and when the employer recognized the union at the unorganized facility.  While this decision is not surprising, it is still big news (at least in in the labor law world).

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What can we get ya?

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You know how you go to your favorite blog, and your regular blogger isn’t there.  You ask, ”Where’s John?”  “John no longer blogs here, I’m Steve.”  And you’re thinking, “Hey, who’s this idiot? I like John.”  But you still want your blog fix. And even though Steve doesn’t write his blog the same way you’re used to — like John — you still have the blog marked as a favorite, and you don’t want to have to go to a different blog.  And even Steve feels kinda bad, because John trained him.  John showed him how to use WordPress, where to find good links, who provides good reader comments — who doesn’t.  Well, we’re Steve. What can we get ya?

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Be Well, Do Good Work, and Keep in Touch

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Be Well, Do Good Work, and Keep in Touch

I’ve borrowed Garrison Keillor’s sign-off from his Writer’s Almanac as a way of bidding farewell for a while. It’s hard to imagine life without blogging, but I’ll just have to get used to it. I’ve been asked to become General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources of the newly created CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.

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New Employee Perk: Pet Friendly Workplaces and the AEPA

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New Employee Perk: Pet Friendly Workplaces and the AEPA

According to the author of this article, as employers cut perks that cost money, they’re looking for new perks that don’t cost money. Some employers are now allowing employees to bring their  pets to work. There can be problems with such a perk, but a stressed employee will have a friend with him or her everyday to help alleviate the stress. If this becomes a significant trend, employers may decide to further cut costs by replacing employees with animals. And that’s when the Animal Employment Protection Act comes into play.


Veterans Day

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Veterans Day

For the past two years, I’ve had a post commemorating Veterans Day. In 2008, the post gave a history of Veterans Day. In 2009, I wrote of Veterans Day in conjunction with the tragedy at Fort Hood. This year, I’m a day late because of a bit too much travel this week. It’s important every year for all of us — employers, employees, citizens — to remember the fallen and all veterans on this day.

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Performance Review Confidentiality

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Performance Review Confidentiality

A Los Angeles public school teacher killed himself after the Los Angeles Times recently published the database of  “value added analysis” for all LA public school teachers on which the teacher in question didn’t fare well. The “value added analysis” uses improvements in student test scores to evaluate teacher effectiveness. The analysis is designed to replace the tenure system with a performance system. Its critics use the teacher in question as proof of its flaws. This teacher was regarded by his students and colleagues as a good teacher. He tututored students before school started and stayed with them after school if necessary.

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Office Chair Teaches Employees Important Lesson

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Office Chair Teaches Employees Important Lesson

Ever had employees who try to push problems to a co-worker? Ever had employees who make mistakes and try to blame them on a co-worker? Ever had an employee who isn’t much of a team player? Ever had an employee who finally does the right thing? Sure , you have. In the video below, an office chair becomes the teacher with answers to these questions.

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Overtime: It’s the Work, Not the Title That Matters

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Overtime: It’s the Work, Not the Title That Matters

Employers are doing more with fewer employees, which means employees are working more hours. That’s fine as long as nonexempt employees are paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. If they’re misclassified as nonexempt employees, employers will owe overtime for the extra hours being worked. That could amount to big money.

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Erhard on Compromise

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Erhard on Compromise

We hear a lot today about “compromise” in the political world. We also hear about it in the employment world. Ludwig Erhard was Chancellor of West Germany in the mid-1960′s. He’s given much credit for postwar economic reform in Germany. He had to seek compromise to accomplish what he did. Though I’m not sure that American politicians have a clue about what compromise means, Erhard knew what it meant and had a way of explaining it so anyone could understand:

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