The National Labor Relations Board has issued a new Final Rule requiring most private employers to post a new Notice in the workplace regarding employee rights.   The 11 by 17 inch poster Notice will be provided at no charge by regional NLRB offices or can be downloaded from the Board website.   Notices must be posted on November 14, 2011, calculated as 75 days after the new Rule is published in the Federal Register on August 25.   The Notice must be posted in English and in other languages where at least 20% of the employees are not proficient in English. Employers who use an intranet or an internet site to post employee handbooks and personnel rules must also post the notice on these sites.   Even employers who are non-union must post the Notice if they are subject to the National Labor Relations Act.    The Notice is…       Read More

Although we know it, we are always reminded after a trial of just how much sympathy a jury can conjure up for a Plaintiff who is clearly lying.  We were pleased to receive a defense verdict this week in a sexual harassment case.  The Plaintiff testified to numerous incidents of inappropriate touching by her co-worker/Defendant, and she complained that management would not do anything to stop the harassment.  Although Plaintiff stated in her complaint, and again in her deposition, that the harassment began in 2004, she forgot the fact that she had hired the Defendant to come into her home throughout 2004, 2005, and 2006 to do handyman work.  When she realized the contradiction, she changed her story to state that the harassment began at the end of 2006.  We impeached her with her deposition, but she simply claimed that she was mistaken about the dates. Now, although it was…       Read More

The expressed overall goal of the Governor’s Water Supply Program (GWSP) is to “assist local governments with developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water demands.” One of the goals of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and the GWSP Task Force is to “[enumerate] the key challenges to developing new water supply facilities in the state and to [identify] the most effective solutions to those challenges.”  In my experience one of the primary challenges to developing new or expanding existing water supply facilities is funding the initial cost to plan, permit and design the project. The GWSP has authority and ample opportunity to resolve this challenge. I am providing a suggested course of action for the GWSP to review and consider. Planning, Permitting and Design Expenses Background As clearly expressed by the local government officials at the May 26th meeting of the GWSP subcommittees, the uncertainty…       Read More

Federal and state regulation of health care providers, suppliers, and other industry participants has become increasingly complex in recent years. On top of this, enforcement tactics of government agencies can be both confusing and intimidating for these organizations. Our Health Care Practice Group focuses on guiding clients through the compliance maze, helping all varieties of care companies understand and manage their approach to patient care within government standards. Lawyers in the Health Care Group of Hall Booth Smith & Slover also have extensive experience in business litigation, administrative hearings, and alternative dispute resolution involving health care companies. Because the implementation of regulations and policy are the direct result of federal and state political processes, the Health Care Group also provides legislative strategy, drafting, and interpretation services to its clients.

              A few months ago we sent out a News Alert about a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a group of white firefighters in a reverse discrimination case.  Interestingly, current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had ruled against the white firefighters when she was a Judge in the Court of Appeals.         Well, the damages part of the case was finally resolved with a settlement between the firefighters and the city of New Haven.  The city has agreed to pay a whopping total of about $5 million!  It will pay 20 firefighters about $2 million in damages, and it will also pay the firefighters’ legal bill of about $3 million.  The white firefighters also got the promotions they should have received based on test results back in 2003.         A monetary hit like this underscores the importance of having objective hiring and promotion criteria to the extent possible, sticking…       Read More