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Facebook Sued by Two Employees for Race Discrimination

According to a complaint filed against Facebook, a manager called employees "n****r" and "monkey." He also referred to one African-American as a "lazy n****r who wanted everything handed to him," the suit alleges. Robert Baron Duffy and Robert Louis Gary responded by filing racial discrimination claims against the company.

Duffy, a former operations manager at the company's North Carolina facility, and Gary, a night shift manager there, also claim they were paid less than their Caucasian colleagues. They allege the company failed to adequately address their discrimination and retaliation claims after they made internal complaints.

On December 1st, the Department of Labor was set to implement the largest expansion of overtime pay in decades. The DOL's new "white collar overtime" rule would more than double the income threshold for overtime pay, raising the exemption line from $23,660 a year to $47,892, with automatic increases every three years. The expansion would entitle millions of new workers to overtime.

But, it might not be happening. Last week, a federal district court in Texas enjoined the implementation of the rules nationwide, following a challenge from Nevada and 20 other states, along with a host of business interests. What does that mean for you?

As a Trump administration gets ready to take over the federal government, there are plenty of questions about what existing laws and regulations will remain intact and which will be jettisoned. For example, Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act are likely to be trimmed back, if not fully eliminated. The future of the Paris climate agreement is in doubt. Even Broadway musicals are facing a more contentious future.

President-elect Trump has vowed to repeal many of President Obama's signature laws and has committed his administration to a regulatory reform agenda based on "canceling overarching executive orders and a thorough review to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations." Which ones are most likely to go? Corporate Counsel's Rebekah Mintzer recently rounded up the five labor and employment laws that are likely to be repealed under a Trump administration. Here's a quick roundup.

Microsoft's Lawyer Diversity Program Is a Success

As the first black president, who is also a lawyer, exits the White House, another leader is working to ensure that minorities continue to move up the ranks in law firms across the nation.

Microsoft, which created a program to increase diversity in the law firms it retains, has announced measurable success at the end of the program's inaugural year. According to the company, its law firms have increased diversity representation in management committees by more than three percent and partnership composition by more than one percent.

Do In-House Lawyers Still Get Bonuses?

In-house counsel have seen their fortunes rise and fall with American business, almost as predictably as the stock market. Right. Right?

Obviously, it is hard to predict or even monitor the ups-and-downs of the economy, especially in terms of the pay of in-house counsel. They are bound by ethics and law not to reveal certain aspects of their clients' businesses, and they are often unwilling to share information about their compensation. Yet they are inherently curious about how much others are making, and so anonymous surveys can give some insights into trends in their compensation.

A Trump presidency won't be the only major change to emerge from last Tuesday's election. In California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and possibly Maine, a majority of voters pulled the lever for legalized, recreational marijuana. Now, more than 20 percent of the country lives in a state that allows, or will soon allow, recreational marijuana. (This probably isn't what Michelle Obama meant when she declared "When they go low, we go high.")

What do these new laws mean for your company's drug policy?

A former in-house attorney at Apple sued the tech company this spring, alleging age discrimination, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination. The attorney, who worked at Apple for two years, says her male coworkers were regularly given preferential treatment and that she was fired after complaining about an environment of "fear and intimidation."

But she sued under the name of "Jane Doe." If she wants to pursue her claims against Apple, she'll have refile her suit under her real name, a Los Angeles judge ruled this week, the Recorder reports.

As the election draws ever closer, can corporate leaders round up their workforce and attempt to influence their employees' votes? The answer is, like so many others: maybe.

Federal election law generally restricts companies from communicating with rank-and-file workers about political candidates. But for a special "restricted class" of employees, corporate electoral advocacy and political fundraising is fair game.

Employers accused of discriminating on the basis of age in hiring just got some good news from the Eleventh Circuit. Earlier this month, the circuit ruled that only employees, and not job applicants, may bring disparate impact age discrimination claims.

The split en banc decision is a significant blow to applicants (and the plaintiff's bar), limiting the reach of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act protections to current employees only.

The election cycle is in its final throws and things are getting more heated (and more nasty) than ever. There are leaked tapes and hacked emails, old tax returns and Ken Bone, Facebook rants and in-your-face rants. The Lincoln-Douglas debates this election cycle is not.

It's possible that political discussions in your workplace have moved beyond friendly water cooler talk and into more heated territory. What, if anything, should an employer (and their in-house legal team) do?