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The Importance of Regularly Reviewing and Updating Your Company’s Restrictive Covenant Agreements

Restrictive covenants restrain what would otherwise be lawful competition by current and/or former employees. They serve to protect, among other legitimate business interests, a company’s trade secrets, confidential and/or proprietary information and documents, customers and the goodwill the company has developed with said customers, and employees and the intellectual capital they possess. If a company’s…

How to Handle Requests for Special Ed Evaluations When Expulsion Proceedings Are Pending

We have noticed a seemingly greater number of due process hearings around the country related to student discipline and manifestation determinations. This Legal Update will address the “11th hour referral,” a common but complex scenario which triggers several intertwined sets of procedural requirements related to student discipline and manifestation determinations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education…

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student study group

DPI Upholds Expulsions Based on “Threats” Outside of School

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), issued two groundbreaking decisions upholding expulsions based on threats of shootings. The DPI’s decisions find that, under certain circumstances, threats occurring outside of school, including during the summer break or even while a student is enrolled in a private school, may still serve as a basis for…

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Seventh Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of Prompt, Effective Remedial Action as a Defense to Harassment Claims

On December 26, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming summary judgment and dismissing claims of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation against an employer, in Swyear v. Fare Foods Corporation. The Seventh Circuit reiterated that single or isolated incidents of inappropriate conduct in the workplace may not always rise to…

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Federal Commission on School Safety Issues Final Report

On December 18, 2018, the Federal Commission on School Safety issued its much-anticipated final report. The Commission, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was created by President Trump following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was tasked with “producing a report of policy recommendations in an effort to help prevent future tragedies.” The report…

NLRB Shifts to Employer-Friendly View of Workplace Rules

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb recently issued a new Guidance Memorandum detailing how NLRB Regional Offices receiving claims of improper employment policies are to interpret employer workplace rules. The Memo is good news for employers because it establishes a new, and much more employer-friendly standard for lawfulness of employee work rules. The…

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Matt Flanary

Employee Benefits Update: IRS Benefit Plan Limitations

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service issued the various retirement plan limitations for 2019. There are changes to some of the most important numbers from 2018: Elective Deferral Limit: $19,000 Catch-Up Contributions: $6,000 415 (Total) Plan Limit: $56,000 Compensation Limit: $280,000 See an up-to-date chart that shows the historical limits from 2015 through 2019,…

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5 Tips for Responding to Reports of Bullying

As National Bullying Prevention Month draws to a close, it is important to reflect on the legal requirements and best practices for addressing reports of bullying and harassment. Effectively responding to reports of bullying and harassment is critical, not only for protecting the safety and wellbeing of the students, but also for protecting the school…

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Brian Waterman

Employee Termination: Sending Mixed Messages Can Leave You Exposed

Most employers understand the importance of having legitimate business reasons for terminating an employee. However, it is also critical for all decision makers involved in the termination to have the same understanding of both the reasons for, and the facts leading to, the termination. Failure to ensure a consistent understanding of all the facts can…

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Legal Tips to Prevent Harassment in the Workplace

In this #MeToo era, preventing harassment in the workplace is necessary to retain good employees, protect your entities’ reputation and avoid liability for the employer, as well as individual employees. It is a reason to proactively review harassment policies, complaint procedures and training on harassment – and to do so now before it’s too late…

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