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It's quickly approaching summertime, and there's nothing more fun than to throw off the shackles of the office for a day and enjoy the outdoors at the company picnic. (Attendance is mandatory; fun is negotiable.)

Of course, when you bring people into the great outdoors, things will happen. Poison ivy will happen. Injuries will happen. And if there's going to be alcohol at the picnic, well ... look out. Here are some tips for ensuring that your company outing has the least amount of drama possible.

While employers have to offer health coverage to full time employees under Obamacare, could it be better to steer them towards Medicaid instead? That's what at least one corporate advisor, writing in Forbes, is arguing.

To be fair, that article's author runs a company which advises employers on how to get public benefits for their workers, so he might not be the most objective. But, he is correct -- certain low-wage workers can qualify for Medicaid in some states, and if they chose it over employer-sponsored health insurance, that could save companies money -- at the public's expense.

Companies that use commissions as a significant part of employees' pay may be able to take advantage of the Fair Labor Standards Act's commission-based employees exemption. Under this exemption, employers aren't required to pay overtime to certain commission-based workers. That can mean big savings.

Of course, an in-house lawyer knows that employment regulations are never simple or straight-forward. Rather, they're full of pitfalls that can leave an employer exposed to costly litigation and penalties if they don't do things properly. A good GC needs to know how to take advantage of the exemption while avoiding its hidden traps.

Here are three of the most common ways employers trip up when dealing with commission-based employees:

Every time employees leave, there's a risk that they take some valuable trade secrets along with them. The case of Sergey Aleynikov serves as a good reminder of this. Aleynikov was a programmer for Goldman Sachs before he left to start up his own trading firm -- using trading algorithms purloined from the Wall Street firm. He was convicted of stealing "secret scientific material" last Friday.

Aleynikov's much publicized case serves as an important reminder that one of the jobs of in-house counsel is to zealously guard the proprietary information of the company. This means acting when theft of trade secrets is expected, as well as taking steps to prevent such theft in the first place.

You don't have to go to Austin or Portland to hear about the importance of "keeping it weird." In many companies, cultivating an office culture of "weirdness" is seen as a way of fostering creativity and increasing employee satisfaction. Apparently having a foosball table and bean bags isn't enough these days.

Of course, like many other office culture issues, there are legal risks that any good GC should address before clearing out everyone in khaki. Here's some thoughts on staying weird while staying on the right side of the law.

It's bad enough when low-level employees open the company up to litigation through thoughtless behavior. It's even worse when it's an executive. AT&T got a reminder of just how embarrassing, and potentially expensive that can be. The telecom company is facing a $100 million employee discrimination suit over racist texts and images allegedly sent by Aaron Slator, the company's (now former) president of content and advertising sales.

AT&T isn't the only company to have suffered from an high level employee's poor behavior. Is there anything, besides triage, that can be done to stop executives behaving badly before the lawsuits come in?

In the frenzied environment of the Silicon Valley startup, employees join the company even though they're not sure when their paychecks will arrive, if ever. Many startups aren't even financially viable for a while (if ever).

But how do you explain not paying wages at the company's inception? If you're Pandora, you just don't pay them, and later claim you didn't know that was illegal.

Models won't be the only ones working for minimum wage at Abercrombie and Fitch this summer. The clothing retailer has announced that it will no longer consider "body type or physical attractiveness" in hiring decisions -- it's even considering letting employees wear shirts to work.

O brave new world.

Abercrombie's "hunks only" policy had caused the company plenty of legal troubles over the years, including lawsuits over claims of legal and religious discrimination, one of which is before the Supreme Court right now. The change in the brand's hiring policy comes just a few months after its longtime CEO Mike Jeffries stepped down, a sign, no doubt, of how quickly common sense can be regained after a change of leadership.

Employers want to make sure that the employee they've selected for a job is the right fit, which includes verifying some parts of the employee's story. This is what references are for, but companies also use references to assess a prospective employee's qualifications and ask for the referee's opinion.

That can create trouble in the form of lawsuits if the employee doesn't get the job. For this reason, companies need to have reference policies in place, governing what supervisors can -- and can't -- tell a former employee's prospective boss.

KBR Inc., a Texas tech and engineering company, has settled the first SEC "pretaliation" enforcement action under Dodd-Frank, Inside Counsel reported yesterday. KBR's standard confidentiality agreement, used in internal investigations, forbids employees from "discussing any particulars" about the investigation without prior authorization from the law department. That's illegal pretaliation, according to the SEC.

In-house counsel, get ready to spend your weekend reviewing your company's confidentiality policies!