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Employment Alert

Our employment blog never says "call your lawyer for an explanation" because each post provides specific solutions. It is never boring; our editorial guidelines forbid the tedious, the boring, and the mundane repetition of what everybody else is saying. Instead, it is clever and concise by design.

You ought to be reading it (which ain't difficult: the typical post is less than one thousand words). Further, each topic is carefully thought-out and edited. That is why a new post is added only once per fortnight. Please read only the ledes to several recent posts that are repeated here and see if you agree. If so, you can subscribe by clicking here.

"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do": But a Good Separation Agreement Can Ease the Pain

Neil Sedaka's 1962 hit song still rings true not only for ex-lovers but also for ex-employees. But, the Employment Relationship Doctor has advice for half of that equation in time for Valentine's Day. Well thought out separation agreements allow employers to survive failed relationships.

Let me repeat the operative phrase: "well thought out." Despite prior warnings on the subject, too many employers have yet to scrap historic provisions in their separation agreements that the SEC, NLRB, or EEOC view as unlawful. Every separation is unique; every month the law is evolving; and – as the SEC continues to assess fines, some into the 7 figures – every use of cookie-cutter forms creates a risk of a truly painful breakup.

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Global RIFs: A Checklist Approach

Global RIFs require careful planning and implementation.

What can be achieved in a day (or a couple of months if WARN applies) in the US can take months (and yes, sometimes years), once taken global. What in the US can be implemented at no cost or with separation payments that can be enshrined in releases is often far more expensive due to statutory obligation internationally.

But, global RIFs are manageable if carefully planned. Here is a checklist to guide that planning.

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Is a Severance Policy More Like an ERISA Plan, a Writing Desk, or a Raven?

… The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" …"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. "No, I give it up," Alice replied. "What's the answer?" "I haven't the slightest idea," said the Hatter. "Nor I," said the March Hare. Alice sighed wearily. " think you might do something better with the time," she said, "than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers."

-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Brave New World: Evolving Protections For Transgender Employees

Aldous Huxley wrote in his novel Brave New World that "If one's different, one's bound to be lonely." With increased visibility (Orange is the New Black's Laverne Cox; Caitlyn Jenner), transgender people are both less different and less lonely.

State anti-sex discrimination laws are expanding to include explicit protections for transgender employees. Currently, nineteen states and Washington, DC explicitly include "gender identity" in their anti-discrimination statutes:

What does this mean for employers in those jurisdictions?

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