By William W. Bowser
In my practice, drug and alcohol issues came to the forefront in the 90’s. There was a lot of publicity then about transit workers and big rig drivers causing accidents when they were high.
The Department of Transportation (“DOT”) responded by adopting regulations requiring CDL drivers to be tested for drugs under various scenarios. These scenarios included pre-employment, post-accident, and at random. Every employer with at least one CDL driver had to adopt a pretty comprehensive drug and alcohol policy. I drafted a lot of them.
Once the CDL drivers were covered, employers started expanding the scope of these policies to cover other employees. The stated purpose was to have an efficient and productive workplace and to protect the public. Continue reading
By Michael P. Stafford
Marijuana is back in the news here in Delaware. Our state’s first Compassion Center is set to open later this month and legislation decriminalizing the sacred herb has been signed into law by Governor Jack Markell.
Delaware is by no means unique-it is part of a national trend towards decriminalization and even legalization occurring at the state level across the nation. However, as far as the federal government is concerned, marijuana remains illegal. Essentially, America is becoming a veritable patchwork quilt of differing, and inconsistent approaches-a situation that is creating headaches for employers, particularly those with national or multi-state operations, striving for consistency and uniformity in their drug policies. Continue reading
Earlier this week, I wrote about the issue of threats made via Facebook constitute constitutionally protected speech. Today’s post also is about threats made via Facebook but in the context of the workplace. The case, decided by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, is timed perfectly for my road trip tomorrow to Ohio.
In Ames v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, an employee, a Senior Parole Officer, was sent for an independent medical exam after she posted a Facebook comment that her employer believed to be a threat. The comment was in reference to shooting parolees. The employee claimed that the comment was a joke. The psychologist who conducted the exam cleared her to return to work, finding no evidence of depression, anxiety, or mood disturbance. Continue reading
Employers face a serious challenge when trying to prevent employees from taking confidential and proprietary information with them when they leave to join a new employer-particularly when the new employer is a competitor. When an employer becomes suspicious about an ex-employee’s activities prior to his or her last day of work, there are a limited number of safe avenues for the employer to pursue.
Generally, an employer should not review the employee’s personal emails or text messages if they were sent or received outside the employer’s network. But what if the employee turns over his personal emails or text messages without realizing it? The answer is, as always, “it depends.” A recent case from a federal court in California addresses the issue in a limited context. Continue reading
“Risks and Rewards of a BYOD Workplace” was the subject of one of my presentations at our annual employment-law seminar last week. [FN1] More and more employers are adopting BYOD policies. BYOD, which stands for “Bring Your Own Device,” eliminates the need for employers to give employees a smartphone or tablet for work-related purposes. Instead, the employee brings his or her own device and uses it for both work and personal purposes.
The State of Delaware was an early adopter in the BYOD arena. Continue reading
Delaware Chief Medical Examiner Richard T. Callery has made news headlines for his off-duty conduct. According to The News Journal, Callery is the subject of a criminal investigation relating to his testimony as an expert witness in cases outside of Delaware. Continue reading
The Wall Street Journal recently reported some eye-opening results of a survey regarding information theft by employees. Here are some of the most disturbing (though not surprising) findings from the survey: Continue reading