13176052_sWith the flu going around our office in the last few weeks, I have heard lots of talk in the workplace about sick days.  Not complaints that employees who are sick do not have time available as they have quite a bit of PTO time, more complaints from other employees about why sick employees are coming to work.

Today alone, I was afraid when I came back from lunch that the employees might have risen up with pitchforks and torches against one employee who returned to work after being out sick the last few days with the flu, who for his or her own sake will not be named here.

I know mandatory sick leave laws are a headache for employers.  Complying with multiple sick leave laws in a variety of jurisdictions can be very complicated as well as costly for employers. The current iteration of sick leave laws do not realistically address challenges faced by small employers and add layers of complication to the administration of tracking leaves.  However, having a sick leave policy available definitely helps with employee morale issues.

Also, having a pandemic illness policy, i.e., when do you force employees to remain out of work, would certainly help, regardless of whether it is a flu pandemic or some or insidious zombie virus with which you are dealing. If you feel unprepared for a zombie apocalypse, don’t fret.  The CDC has you covered.  See, for example,  Preparedness 101_Zombie Apocalypse.

You cannot be less prepared for a zombie apocalypse than this poor girl whose brothers played an awful trick on her while she was high on anesthesia:

My assistant, Chrissie, reminded me that we have not done a 5 minute laugh video in a while.  While she was looking for a video, she came across a video of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Adele.

As I was previewing it, I was already thinking of how to tie it to a blog post.  I thought I would try to link it to something employment related, but mileage reimbursement policies seemed boring. There is a short cautionary message about the dangers of excessive drinking that I thought briefly about trying to tie to alcohol policies for company events, but then I got further along in the video.  It’s definitely a funny video and well worth watching, but also maybe not appropriate for work.

Chrissie is always resourceful and found this Carpool Karaoke with Jennifer Hudson.  If you need a ten-minute break from everything, grab some coffee and enjoy.

We talk a lot about providing training to employees, usually in the context of preventing harassment and discrimination.  In addition to this training, hopefully your employees are getting good training on how to perform their job skills.  We have all been in that situation where, despite training and refresher training, an employee is simply not performing the job well.

It can be difficult to terminate an employee both because of the time that you have invested in training them, but also the human component that it is tough to see someone lose his or her job. However, in the long run, keeping a marginally performing employee costs more than terminating them and finding a good performer.  Indeed, the cost to morale is one that is hard to quantify. The fact is that the longer you have an underperforming employee in a position, the more that other employees will have to pick up the slack.  This drains your resources but also creates resentment amongst the staff who are expected to pick up extra duties.

The following shows us that sometimes no matter how much training you provide, some people are just not the right fit for their positions.  After working with the employee, you just have to finally make the decision to part ways.


I hear a lot in my line of work about how difficult it can be to find the right skill sets for jobs.  Perhaps, employers need to be creative in their approaches to filling positions and not go with the “normal” candidate.

Take KLM, for example, who thought way outside the box to try to help passengers recover lost items.


We have spoken frequently about age discrimination cases on this blog.  Whether it be “code words” being used or more direct comments on age, these can all be part of a claim of discrimination.  Before anyone questions this post, I just want you to know that the idea for the post came from my assistant Chrissie as she wanted to celebrate reaching her half-century mark, or as our office managing partner described it, her 30th anniversary of her 20th birthday.

Here’s a little video to show that you are never too old to try a new job.


Happy Birthday, Chrissie!  She’s 50 and she likes to kick.


This week the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that we have previously reported on that was filed against Abercrombie & Fitch.  In that case, a Muslim teenager applied for a job and was denied the job because she wore a head scarf which the hiring manager believed did not coincide with the company’s “look” policy.  It is always dangerous to try to predict how the Supremes are going to rule simply based on the argument.  News outlets have varied in how they believe the Justices’ comments may foreshadow the outcome.  If you want a simple factual retelling of the argument the Christian Science Monitor‘s article is one of your better bets.

The fact that the Supreme Court may rule in the teen’s favor does not necessarily mean that employers cannot have dress codes.  It will likely mean that employers need to follow existing guidance that accommodations may need to be made for religious beliefs.

Indeed, there are lots of things that employees may wear at work that would make an employer cringe and justify the imposition of a dress code.  If you don’t believe me, check out today’s 5 minute laugh video:




Huh?  Did this become a cooking blog?  No, it’s simply time for the Friday 5 minute laugh.  Chrissie has been diligently looking for a Thanksgiving video and has come across a few gems.  I decided to go with this one because I now have “All About the Bass,” I mean, “Baste” stuck in my head.  I thought I would share my pain. Enjoy this clever parody.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Regular readers of the blog know that my assistant, Chrissie, helps me select the videos for the Friday 5-Minute Laugh.  This is her dog, Riley, who is definitely not feeling the Halloween spirit.


Hopefully, you’re having a better Halloween.  If not, maybe this video of dog and cat Halloween costumes will cheer you up.  Enjoy!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYY6YmoHD5Q

Lawyers, judges, and legislators have long been accused of not writing clearly, employing using big words when short ones will do and inventing words not otherwise used in the English language such as aforementioned and hitherto.  We are also not known for having the simplest of grammatically correct sentences, despite the fact that writing well is often the key to being a successful lawyer.

I am sure that I violate some grammar rules everyday, even though I am conscious of trying to write correctly.  (For example, I had to rewrite that sentence three times to avoid ending the sentence with a preposition).

We all have pet peeves when it comes to language mistakes.  Here’s one of mine:

AXE is a tool used to chop down a tree.

ASK is something you do when you want to pose a question.

They do not mean the same thing.

What’s your pet peeve? Maybe it will be in today’s 5-minute laugh video.


I apologize in advance for the fact that this song will be stuck in your head for days, but Al Yankovic’s parody of “Blurred Lines,” which is entitled “Word Crimes”, was too genius not to pass along.  For those of you who think you’re too old to go back to grammar school, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!