Above the Law

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Fringe benefits

The workplace that we know today is rapidly changing. Competition for highly skilled workers is fierce, employees have become more mobile (due, in part, to alternative work arrangements or outsourcing), and there are often several generations of employees working alongside one another with different workplace approaches and perspectives. Developing employee benefit and compensation programs that are meaningful to a diverse group of workers with varied needs will become increasingly more challenging. This month’s Take 5 discusses the following five high-level issues to consider in shaping your organization’s employee benefit offerings:

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Health care courts

According to recent studies, over 90% of employers offer some type of wellness incentives to their employees. This is a significant jump from 2009 when only a little over half of employers had employee wellness programs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is taking note. In the last two months, the EEOC has filed two lawsuits against employers related to their company wellness programs.

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Ed note: This post originally appeared on CommLawBlog.

Simply imposing Title II won’t work.

[Blogmeister’s Reminder: The views here are those of the author, not necessarily shared by FHH colleagues and clients. Responses are welcome.]

Many of the three million (or so) comments in the net neutrality proceeding, based on our own small sample, urge the FCC to impose net neutrality rules by regulating the Internet “like a utility.”

Sorry. It won’t work.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Regulating the Internet “Like a Utility” Won’t Yield an Open Internet – Unless …”


Social acceptance of gay marriage in the United States is often compared to social acceptance of interracial marriage. However, while interracial marriage was completely legal by 1967, majority approval of interracial marriage did not take hold until the 1990s. How does popular opinion of gay marriage today compare with the current legal status of gay marriage?

The genius at xkcd demonstrates how popular approval and legal status don’t always neatly track one another…

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Ed note: This post originally appeared on InfoLawGroup.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment to California’s data breach notification law on Monday. Although at least one news outlet has reported that the law requires a company to offer credit monitoring services, this interpretation is misguided. Rather, the law only places restrictions on certain companies if they choose to offer identity theft prevention and mitigation services. In addition, the law also prohibits persons from selling (or advertising or offering to sell) any individual’s social security number, subject to certain exceptions.

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Here’s the deal: come out to a bar, play some trivia, win some stuff, hang out with some ATL editors. Sound like a plan? Well, if you’re in Washington, D.C., start marking your calendar.

Many of our D.C.-area law school readers have participated in past Above the Law and Kaplan Bar Review bar trivia nights. For those of you who haven’t, now’s your chance. Come on down and knock those snooty students from your rival schools down a peg. Check out these questions from a prior bar trivia night to see how well you’d have fared. Or just come on down to ask us what it’s like to make fun of people on the Internet for a living. Either way, it’s a good time.

We’ll convene for a night of free food, drinks, and quizzing on Thursday, November 6. Winners get mini iPads for their team (maximum of five per team).

Here are the full details:

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Location: Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St NW)
Doors Open: 6:15 p.m.
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.

Fill out the RSVP form after the jump to attend. We look forward to seeing you!

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Nobody will be shocked that Wachtell Lipton placed on top of our first-ever ATL Power 100 ranking of the best law firms. Yet a full look at ATL’s inaugural law firm rankings does contain some surprises.

How did your firm do? Read on for ATL’s take on the nation’s top law firms.

See the complete ranking (and methodology) here.

Thanks to our advertisers here at Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, please download our media kits or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

Ed note: This post originally appeared on Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog.

Unmanned aerial cameras have been legal in other parts of the world but prohibited for commercial use in the United States until last week, with the limited exception of two commercial-drone operations, which the FAA had previously approved for Alaskan oil operations. On September 25, 2014, the FAA announced that it approved certain uses of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) in the National Airspace System for film and TV productions. This is a breakthrough for the entertainment industry because drones allow filmmakers Superman-like abilities to take images at angles never before captured. Drones are able to cover altitudes lower than helicopters but higher than cranes, and can navigate indoor areas that are otherwise difficult or impossible to get to. However, the FAA’s approval is not without restriction.

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Disabled-worker-post-it-300x199

Imagine for a moment that you are the HR Manager for a company with many physically demanding jobs. One of your employees submits a doctor’s note prohibiting her from lifting anything over 25 pounds. Mindful of your obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you check to see if the lifting restriction will prevent the employee from doing her job. Unfortunately, after checking the employee’s job description and talking with her supervisors, you conclude that lifting is a key part of the employee’s job (in legal terms, an “essential function”), and there is nothing practical that can be done (in legal terms, no “reasonable accommodation”) to allow her to perform her job. When you tell the employee that she cannot return to her job, she asks if there are other positions available within the company that she can be transferred to. You say you’ll look into it, but when you start asking around, things get complicated. There are a handful of open positions in other departments, but the job requirements are different and some of the positions already have applicants who seem better qualified. None of the positions have exactly the same pay as the employee’s warehouse position, so she would either be getting a raise or a demotion. What should you do?

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