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What is the Proper Role for Dispositive Motions in Arbitration?

To achieve speedy resolutions, and to resolve matters as cost-effectively as possible, arbitrators should be careful in allowing the filing of dispositive motions. They make sense for gateway issues, but not for issues going to the substance of the merits. Allowing such motions generally would lengthen the time required to resolve cases, and multiply discovery to the magnitude needed in Federal courts. When trials are held on affidavits, the parties need a lot of depositions because that may be their only opportunity to examine the other sides’ witnesses. Ruling out trials by affidavits in the bulk of cases allows the promise of arbitration–faster, cheaper and fair resolutions–to be realized. Parties need to know at the outset what will and will not be allowed, so they that can cut their discovery needs. Continue reading

Is Your Employer Cheating You On The Time Clock? Clue #3: Changing Time Records

Please read Clue #1 first.  This clue does not repeat the situations illustrating the differences that arise because of pay rates close to the minimum wage, or the differences between overtime/and no-overtime claims. Clue #3.  You punch a time clock, and your time is captured by a computer that calculates your hours and your pay.  However, you think you worked longer hours than the company’s time records show. One Important Fact:  It is a crime under Federal law, and under many State laws, to alter an employee’s time records to deprive the employee of the pay to which he or she is entitled. Another Important Fact: It is perfectly legal for employers to “round up” and “round down” time on time clocks if they do so in a neutral manner, benefiting the employee sometimes and the employer sometimes, and by similar but small amounts. Example 1: Helen routinely clocks in…
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Do You Have a “For Cause” Employment Contract?

Employees usually have the most rights under an employment contract that either says the employee will be employed for a specific period of time, or says the employer is restricting its ability to fire the employee to specific circumstances, such as “for cause,” with a definition of the term. Employers trying to recruit high-level managers, or persons with hard-to-find skills, find “for cause” agreements a powerful tool in persuading the desired prospects to leave what they were doing and sign up with the employer.

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Common-Sense Suggestions to the EEOC

The EEOC has extremely important tasks in receiving and handling charges of employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, but is following self-defeating procedures and failing to solve longstanding problems. Some common-sense changes would work far better for the Commission, the charging parties, and employers, and would make the Commission’s limited resources more productive. Here are my ideas. Continue reading