Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Employment Law Blog Carnival (#ELBC) Freaky February Holiday Edition

February isn't just Valentine's Day, despite what the greeting card and flower industries would like you to believe. February ought to be designated National Weird Holiday Month, because it is filled with odd and different holiday celebrations. Since I'm honored to be hosting the Employment Law Blog Carnival this month, featuring the best employment law blogs around in one handy place, I get to share some of these unusual holidays with you.

February 2: Groundhog Day

In honor of the holiday that has large rodents predict the weather while we deny scientific evidence of global warming, Michael D. Haberman at Omega HR Solutions gives us If Lily Ledbetter sees her shadow does that mean more government regulation?

February 8: Laugh and Get Rich Day

Okay, so you won't get rich on unemployment. But Philip Miles at Lawoffice Space explains in The Unemployment Compensation Retaliation Exception to "At Will" Employment how the law protects you from being fired for claiming unemployment benefits. Which seems like it would be impossible, since you have to be unemployed to get unemployment, right? But read this post for an interesting and rare situation. Then collect your benefits and laugh all the way to the bank.

February 9: Toothache Day

I question why we need to honor toothaches, but there you have it. Eric Meyer's post in The Employer Handbook, The 24/7 world of social media can bite your employees when they least expect it reminds us that employees who aren't careful with their social media posts may get bitten by their posts. So I guess it's social media that will get the toothache? Okay, it's a stretch, but how can I resist a day honoring tooth pain?

February 11: Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

When an employee reports discrimination or something else illegal, the temptation is to retaliate. But maybe employers should remember their mother's caution: don't cry over spilled milk. Once the cat's out of the bag, you can't retaliate, at least not legally. Check out William Goren's Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues from the EEOC: the ADA Version at the Understanding the Americans With Disabilities Act blog before you even think about retaliating against an employee.

February 12: National Lost Penny Day

This is the day you are supposed to gather up all your pennies and cash them in. Which you may have to do if your employer isn't handling your 401K correctly. Check out Jewell Lim Esposito at Benefits Law Advisor's More Permissible Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices to find out if your employer's plan is up to snuff. (If you don't understand the photo, ask a nerd.)

February 14: Valentine's Day

We can't forget the most hyped February holiday of them all. For lovers (at least lovers of employees), Robert Fitzpatrick in Fitzpatrick on Employment Law offers The 4th Circuit Loves Plaintiff's Lawyers.

February 16: National Do A Grouch A Favor Day

Independent contractor issues can make most employers grouchy. Before you take your crankiness out on your staff, let me do you a favor and tell you to read William Goren's Does § 504 Apply to Independent Contractors? at the Understanding the Americans With Disabilities Act blog.

February 20: Hoodie Hoo Day 

Dealing with pension issues makes me need a break, for sure. Hoodie Hoo day is described as, I kid you not, "On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant 'Hoodie-Hoo'." Jewell Lim Esposito at Benefits Law Advisor's post Trying to Sort Through Retirement Plan Operational Issues? February 1: IRS Offers Discounts on Some Fees for Employer’s Voluntary Compliance Submissions may help you sort through some sticky retirement plan issues. But you can always go outside and chant.

February 20: Love Your Pet Day 

In a great example of people who are ruining things for everyone, Mike McClory in Bullard's Employment Law posts Employment Law Prop Bets ~ EEOC, OFCCP, Minimum Wage, and Flying Turkeys, in which he discusses, among other headier issues, an emotional support turkey allowed on a flight, with its own seat.

February 22: Be Humble Day

Employers might want to be a little more humble when dealing with employee religious accommodations. Janette Levey Frisch at the Employerologist can help employers with when they have to (and don't have to) grant religious accommodations in Do You Have to Allow Your Employees Unscheduled Prayer Breaks?

February 25: National Chocolate-Covered Nuts Day

Mike McClory in Bullard's Employment Law talks about whether you have to accommodate nutty religious beliefs in his post Fictional Mailbag: Religious Accommodation And Request For Relief From “Park To The East” Policy

February 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Employers tell all kinds of fairy tales about why they can't or won't pay wages. If you're tired of excuses and are ready to take action (at least in California), check out Andrea Paris's Wage Claim Process In California.

February 27: No Brainer Day 

My post, Grow Up! Florida Legislators Need To Get Over Potty Issues discusses an issue that should be a no-brainer but which is too complex for potty-obsessed legislators: LGBT discrimination.

And now my work is done. So I'll celebrate February 28: National Public Sleeping Day, a little early and take a nap. 

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.