IN THE NEWS

I was a federal prosecutor. Here’s why President Trump is so wrong about our “archaic” political system

In an attempt to deflect from the failures and delays of his first 100 days, President Donald Trump over the weekend called the rules governing Congress “a very, very bureaucratic system” that is “unbelievably archaic and slow-moving.” It was the latest signal from Trump that he does not respect our constitutional system of checks and balances. In previous interviews, he’s also blasted the news media, the peaceable assembly of protesters and independent judges.

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The District’s paid-leave program is necessary bold action

As an attorney who represents pregnant women and caregivers, I know that private-sector solutions often fall far short of the mark. Is the District’s law perfect? Certainly not. Will it be difficult to implement? Probably. But difficult issues such as paid leave will be solved only through bold actions such as the one enacted by the D.C. Council.

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Huffington Post - I Used to Be a Federal Prosecutor. Now, I’m Helping Immigrants at the Airport

For the past week, many lawyers, including myself, organized by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and International Refugee Assistance Project, descended in significant numbers to airports like Washington Dulles International and John F. Kennedy International to help those detained pursuant to Trump’s un-American immigration ban...

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Tricky Moves: Changing regulations and confusing compliance metrics have HR managers tied up in knots

Did you know that California law AB 2886 extends the appeal time for disability benefits from 20 to 30 days, effective March 1, 2018? (Plan accordingly.) Or did you know that, as the California Chamber of Commerce explains, “AB 908 increases the amount of paid family leave (PFL) benefits an employee can receive from 55 percent of earnings to either 60 percent or 70 percent of earnings, depending on the employee’s income,” effective Jan. 1, 2018? (Mark your calendars.)

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7 Myths About National Origin Discrimination

Myths about national origin discrimination in the workplace abound, and it can fall to HR professionals to dispel the misconceptions, which can lead to costly legal claims. A recent national origin discrimination case before the California Court of Appeal resulted in $150,000 in compensatory damages, $719,528 in attorney fees and $20,085 in costs against the city of Burbank.

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7 Questions for President Trump on His Controversial Paid Family Leave Plan

Paid family leave was one of the few policy areas where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agreed during the campaign, so there’s a good chance that Congress will consider paid family leave proposals under President Trump. Here are seven questions everyone should be asking. How much — and what kind of — paid leave is provided? Under the Family Medical Leave Act, covered employees receive 12 weeks of leave — but it’s unpaid. Trump’s proposal includes six weeks of paid leave for mothers. Under the FMLA, covered employees can take leave to care for a child or parent suffering from a “serious health condition,” or for his or her own recovery. Trump’s plan currently allows for leave for the birth of a child, but other types of leave are not covered.

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Analyzing the new rule for salaried workers' overtime pay

Millions of additional Americans will qualify for overtime pay under a major change in federal labor law unveiled recently by the Obama administration. The change under the Fair Labor Standards Act doubles the annual salary threshold — to $47,476 from the current $23,660 — that generally determines who qualifies for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. That means salaried workers who earn less than $47,476 will now be eligible for overtime pay. The change takes effect Dec. 1.

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North Carolina’s New Anti-LGBT Law is Senseless — And Sinister

It’s easy to ridicule North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, but it’s actually very disturbing. The idea that Tar Heel politicians felt such an urgent need to start policing bathrooms that they held an emergency session inspires mockery, not fear. But the law, passed with little review late last month, has a sinister side as well. As a native of North Carolina, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a lawyer with a license to practice in the Tar Heel state, I’ve watched this debate unfold with feelings ranging from dark humor to serious concern.

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Work Advice: When you see your married boss’s profile on a dating site

Reader: I am a divorced mid-career professional. I have an online dating profile. A few months after starting a job, I found out that my married boss also had an online dating profile — because he viewed my profile. The way online dating sites work, he must have known that I knew he was on the site, but we did not discuss it. After that, my boss refused to meet with me, refused to communicate with me on projects and started giving me bad reviews. I ended up leaving. I am now a finalist for a new job. I found out that this former boss knows the recruiter leading the search and has been bad-mouthing me to the recruiter. Any suggestions on what to do now, or what I should have done at the time?

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State, Local Labor Rules May Rise To Counter Pro-Biz Trump

On Tuesday, Washington, D.C., became the latest municipality to institute a generous paid family leave policy, with eight weeks' child-care leave and six weeks to look after sick relatives, continuing a trend of employee-friendly local and state regulations that management-side attorneys believe could accelerate as the incoming Trump administration effects a more pro-business mindset. Even prior to President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising electoral victory, states and local municipalities had become more aggressive in recent years in pursuing initiatives like Washington's paid leave program to regulate how employers behave toward their workers.

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More Employees Are Suing Over Family-Leave Discrimination. Here’s What You Need to Know.

After facing discrimination over taking family leave, more men and women are choosing to sue their bosses—and in some cases, winning substantial amounts. That’s the main takeaway from the Center for Worklife Law at the University of California’s Hastings law school, which recently released an analysis of litigation trends. The lawsuits are stemming from discrimination for being pregnant, having children or facing caregiver responsibilities for a sick relative. And unlike typical employment cases, where about 10 percent of employees win, the aggregate win rate is over 50 percent.

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How to Handle Sexual Harassment at Law Firms

Sexual harassment is a problem in the legal community, so what can we do to combat it? While lawyers are the ones who battle out these scandalous claims in court, attorneys are also susceptible to being harassed at work. It makes sense based on the statistics. According to Forbes, a new survey conducted by Morning Consult found that 45% of female respondents said they experienced unwanted touching and 60% said they’ve been the recipient of unwelcome sexual jokes.

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Washington Is Leading The Way On Paid Family Leave

The Washington, D.C., City Council just voted on a paid leave bill that would be one of the most generous in the nation. Thanks to the city’s demographics and its unique position as the nation’s capital, this vote could be a major turning point for the country. Called the Universal Paid Leave Act, the bill would allow full-time and part-time D.C. employees to take up to eight weeks of paid leave at 90 percent of their salary in order to take care of a new child and up to eight weeks to care for an ailing parent or grandparent.

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Parental Leave Predictions Under the Trump Administration

The United States is the only developed country not to offer paid leave to mothers and fathers of newborn children. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the issue of paid leave was very prominent in Hillary Clinton’s platform, and President-elect Donald Trump eventually proposed a paid-leave plan as well. Based on his rhetoric on the topic, his paid leave plan originally included six weeks of leave, offered to married women giving birth. This eventually was expanded to single women giving birth as well after criticism but still excludes parties like fathers, adoptive parents, and certain same-sex couples.

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If Hillary Clinton Faced This Kind Of Discrimination Applying For Any Other Job, It Would Be Illegal, Literally

Our nation passed a historic milestone when Hillary Clinton formally accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party for president. Americans disagree about how much her gender has helped or hurt her so far in this campaign and we will continue to debate this very important topic through November and beyond. But there is an easy way to test some of these disputes: By looking at how they would be treated in a legal case involving employment discrimination.

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Obama's Biggest Employment Policy Hits And Misses

When President Barack Obama exits the Oval Office for the last time, he will leave behind a pro-employee legacy that includes greater workplace inclusion and notable progress in fighting wage discrimination, but his administration didn't accomplish all of its goals. Because many of Obama’s signature workplace initiatives, including enhanced overtime protections for white collar workers and numerous guidelines for federal contractors, were enacted through executive orders and agency actions without congressional approval, attorneys say they could easily become casualties of a more business-friendly philosophy that is likely to follow President-elect Donald Trump into the White House.

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Airbnb and Discrimination: Why It’s All So Confusing

Airbnb has a discrimination problem on its hands. Last month, in an ugly, racist exchange, an Airbnb host in North Carolina said he canceled a guest’s booking because she was black. Another customer hit the company with a lawsuit, claiming he was rejected for a booking in 2015 when a host saw that he was black, and then accepted by that same host when he made a fake profile as a white person. And those are just the recent instances. Online, stories of discrimination have crept up across social media, many under the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.

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How the Motherhood Penalty Hurts Everyone

America has a complicated relationship with motherhood. Our country constantly talks about how important moms are, but at the same time it rarely follows it up with actual help. In fact, we tend to penalize mothers in the workplace. And now there’s evidence that the so-called “motherhood penalty” can even hurt women who aren’t mothers and never intend to be.

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What To Do If You've Been Sexually Harassed In The Workplace

In recent weeks and months, we’ve read disturbing headlines with all sorts of arguments from alleged sexual abusers sharing that the women claiming they were touched inappropriately or abused were either lying, too ugly to be harassed, or planted by another group or faction. For women all around the world, sexual misconduct and harassment is something we're all too familiar with, and we know that something powerful has to be done.

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Zika Virus Could Bite Employers, Too, Attorney Says

Zika is in the news, the mosquito-borne illness that is linked to birth defects in children born to infected women, and so is this week’s missive from employment attorney Tom Spiggle of Spiggle Law Firm. “Employers are in a tough spot when dealing with the Zika virus and pregnant workers,” he writes. “They can get sued for sending employees to Zika-infected areas and they can get sued for not sending employees to Zika-infected areas,” the Arlington, Virginia-based attorney writes.

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