September 2011 Archives

Blog #9 (Avoiding A Constructive Termination Claim; Reggie Jackson)

September 28, 2011


I have seen on multiple occasions through the years employers making the big mistake of acting defensively and not terminating someone for whom they have cause when they should. Instead, they keep that person around either because they feel bad, don't like confrontation, are afraid of litigation, or to develop more cause. Or they try to get the employee to leave on his or her own. Then, in order to help the employee decide on his or her own to leave, the employers do things like reassigning the employee's good customers or accounts if the employee is on commission, giving the employee a smaller office on a different floor or in another out of the way location, imposing more rigorous reporting or administrative obligations on the employee or just making the employment experience for the employee more unpleasant in general. None of these things are good ideas and I have seen more than once these types of actions by an employer result in viable constructive termination or retaliation claims.

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Blog #8 (Workplace Privacy and Monitoring Policies: How Far Should Employers Go?; Ron Darling)

September 21, 2011


I want to thank my colleague, Kim Talley, for this week's legal portion.

Everyone would frown upon a co-worker using the company's email system to send racist emails to another co-worker and would equally grimace at the company's executive utilizing her company-issued blackberry to send unwelcomed, sexually explicit text messages to her assistant. Indeed, there are probably well-drafted policies in place which prohibit the use of company-issued equipment in this manner, imposing swift disciplinary action for such offenses. Should these same company policies prohibit a co-worker from going on the company's Internet system to pay his student loan bill or order a birthday present for his wife or allow the company to monitor all personal text messages on a company issued blackberry including the one that was sent by a work professional to her husband while she was away on a business trip? As employees begin to spend more time at work or bring their work into their homes with the use of company-issued equipment such as laptops, computer tablets and smart phones, companies must decide whether they are going to have more strict or permissive workplace policies in effect that address these issues.

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Blog #7 (Baseball Arbitration; Fernando Viña)

September 14, 2011

I want to thank my colleague Erich Luschei for the legal section of this week's blog, which actually does have a connection to the second part of the blog.

"Baseball arbitration" provides a unique means by which disputes between parties that involve issues of valuation may be resolved in an expeditious manner. It derives its name from the method used to negotiate salaries for major league baseball players eligible for salary negotiation. Baseball arbitration relies for its success on the reasonableness of parties to a dispute in valuing of their cases. In contrast to traditional litigation or arbitration in which all issues are presented for disposition to a trier of fact (whether judge, jury or arbitrator), baseball arbitration constrains the range of options presented for determination. In baseball arbitration, each side to a dispute proposes an outcome to the arbitrator and the arbitrator selects one or the other.

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Blog #6 (You may not know it, but you've just issued a security; Tony Gwynn)

September 7, 2011

Thanks to my colleague Howard Unterberger for this week's legal portion.

You're a doctor forming a medical practice which you'll manage and which you'll own jointly with several of your colleagues. You and several friends are forming a partnership to purchase a rental property. You've obtained a loan for your business which you've agreed to repay, in part, with a percentage of your profits.

What do these and countless other similar situations have in common? In each case, you are issuing a security. Many people believe that the securities laws just cover stock issued by corporations, and they're quite surprised to learn that many seemingly routine business transactions are covered as well. A security, under both state and federal securities law, can include any investment made with the expectation of making a profit from the efforts of other people.

Continue Reading Legal Post and Opening Day Memory