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2012 Year in Review

As promised, here is a look at some of our most interesting
blog posts from the past year. The posts highlight important developments  in employment law, interesting changes in
labor laws around the country, and sometimes eye-catching or just plain bizarre
cases and claims. I hope the posts have been informative and entertaining, and I
look forward to writing about new legal issues in the coming year.

One of the most important themes of 2012 was (in my opinion)
the changes in how states deal with unions. Our post on union developments looks
at Michigan’s important “right to work” legislation, as well as some other
interesting union activities around the country, including Camden, New Jersey
firing its police force.

The EEOC released its Fiscal Year 2012 Performance and
Accountability Report, which we analyzed in a three-part segment found here in
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The Report is especially useful for practitioners
looking to analyze how the EEOC values various cases and how that valuation
translates into a litigation strategy.

In a case that is both relevant and bizarre, the NLRB upheld
the firing of an employee based on information posted to his Facebook page
.
This case is only one of many that looked at the intersection of social media
and employment law- an area that certainly going to grow in importance in
coming years.

The EEOC issued guidance on the use of arrest records by
employers
, which resulted in legislatures attempting to interpret that guidance
into laws that appropriately protected the rights of those with conviction
records.

Finally, courts have struggled to look at aspects of the
ADA. Here, our post analyzed what length of leave is a reasonable accommodation
under the ADA
. Check out our blog site for additional posts that look at various
aspects of the ADA.

As far as predictions for next year, I think
there are a few things that look likely. First, state and local governments are
going to continue to struggle to define the role of unions as budgets are
tightened and entitlement programs become more costly. Courts are going to be
asked to continually evaluate the role of social media in employment law disputes,
and will be forced to examine how much privacy to afford employees. Finally,
the FMLA is going to be ripe for numerous challenges following this ruling that
opened the door for employees to take leave to care for sick relatives on
vacation
.