Employment & Personnel Issues

The iPhone 5s debuted with a list of new features designed to enhance its users’ experience.[1]  Among the list is Touch ID, a form of biometric security that allows users to lock and unlock their iPhone with their fingerprint.[2]  It was not long before a crowd-funded competition was initiated with $16,000 in cash

 The term Intellectual Capital means different things to different people even in the technology space.  For business planning purposes, intellectual capital should be recognized as more than patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property, extending broadly to employee skills, knowledge, and problem solving abilities.  This is sometimes referred to as a company’s or its

Lawsuits against employees and contractors, including consultants, for unauthorized use of a company’s confidential and proprietary information are common. For instance, on July 29, Abunassar Impact Basketball LLC filed suit against a former employee and a company he founded alleging that he “gathered Abunassar’s confidential and proprietary information in order to help start a new

According to a recent press release by Gartner, Inc., a global technology research and advisory company, half of all employers are expected to require their employees to supply their own devices for work by 2017.  A well-implemented and maintained mobile initiative, like a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplace, has its benefits, such as driving innovation, creating new

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced this month that they will be engaging with stakeholders through public comments and roundtables to study a variety of policy issues highlighted in the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF or Task Force) Green Paper, titled “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.”

As more and more social media websites like Facebook strive to hit one billion active users, employers will continue to update their internal social media policies and seek new ways to monitor and discourage their employees from posting disparaging online remarks about their company and other employees.  Employers need to be aware of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) regarding the termination of non-union employees based on their online postings.

In Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc., Case 03-CA-027872, 359 NLRB 37 (Dec. 14, 2012), the employer discharged five non-union employees for responding to a co-worker’s criticisms of their job performance on Facebook.  The dispute began when, one employee, Cruz, known for criticizing other employees, sent a text message to another employee, Cole, in which she questioned the timeliness and adequacy of the assistance her co-workers were providing to their clients, victims of domestic violence.  From her personal home computer, Cole sent a message to the other four employees on her Facebook page stating “[Cruz], a co-worker feels that we don’t help our clients enough . . . I about had it!  My fellow co-workers how do u feel?”
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