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Here's what's not interesting about this case brought by the EEOC: An employee was forced to retire because of his religious beliefs. A West Virginia jury found in favor of the employee, Beverly R. Butcher Jr., and awarded him $150,000.

Here's what is interesting about this case: Butcher's employer, Consol Energy, wanted to implement biometric hand scanning for time and attendance tracking. Butcher, an evangelical Christian, said such hand scanning would assign "the Mark of the Beast" referenced in the Bible.

Canadian Lawyer magazine suggested last month that lawyers should have emotional intelligence -- and especially corporate counsel. There's quite a debate going on about whether lawyers should even use their emotions (unrelated to a separate debate about whether lawyers have emotions).

Well, it's either a bunch of granola-and-Birkenstocks nonsense or it's something that we should have been paying attention to all along.

Back in 2011, we learned that several Silicon Valley companies agreed not to poach each other's employees, resulting in suppressed wages. The class ended up in federal court and looked close to a settlement by April of last year.

Judge Lucy Koh, however, rejected the proposed $324 million settlement, which would have resulted in $5,000 per employee in the class. Koh said the settlement wasn't reasonable, given that each employee would walk away with $3,750 after attorneys' fees and that an expert for the plaintiffs calculated damages in the billions.

Almost a year later, we have another proposed settlement.

With the National Labor Relations Board trying to push the envelope in making corporations jointly liable for labor violations of their franchisees, California has quietly pushed the envelope across the desk and into a mailbox. (Is that how that metaphor works?)

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1897 into law. It took effect January 1, along with about 900 other new laws, but it promises to have a huge impact on how business is done.

It's no secret that America's workforce is getting older. The Baby Boomer generation is currently approaching the age where they qualify for the senior discount at Denny's.

While that's great for workers 65 and older who love cheap breakfast, it's not so good for companies that are losing employees to retirement. About a quarter of HR professionals who responded to a Society for Human Resource Management survey about older workers said the loss of talent due to retirement will be a problem within the next 10 years.

And with aging workers comes new legal challenges for your company that go beyond just losing people to retirement.

In December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a controversial new set of regulations governing union elections. Well, they're controversial if you're a business that doesn't want unions and takes advantage of a longer election timeline in order to disseminate anti-union propaganda.

Tired of being pushed around by the clearly immensely powerful labor unions, business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have filed a lawsuit to stop the new regulations from going into effect.

As they like to say, lawyers are risk-averse. And no lawyers are perhaps more risk-averse than inside counsel. Every time someone in the company comes to you, your answer is probably going to be "no."

And that's why GCs should steer clear of the holiday party, where liability abounds. This is the story of one such holiday party that sent one worker to the hospital.

NLRB Names McDonald's, Franchisees as Joint Employers in 13 Complaints

In a batch of cases that could become indescribably dangerous precedent for any business that operates on a franchise model, the National Labor Relations Board has filed 78 charges across 13 complaints against McDonald's USA, LLP, as well as its franchisees, as joint employers of allegedly aggrieved fast-food workers.

Why could the outcome of these cases be so monumental? Because the NLRB is trying to hold the big McCorporation liable for the alleged actions of arguably independent franchisees.

Just in time for the new year, the National Labor Relations Board has announced changes to its representation case procedures. That's just a fancy, lawyer-talkin' way of referring to union elections conducted by the NLRB at the union's or employer's request.

The thrust of the new rules is to streamline the election process by making it easier, faster, and by reserving collateral issues for after the election. The point is just to get the election to happen without delay.

From Zillow's Orange County Office: Another Employee Lawsuit

Zillow might be better off burning down this office.

First opened in 2012 as an office for selling ads to real estate agents, Zillow's Irvine, California, office has become a hotbed for employee lawsuits. There was the sexual harassment lawsuit that we blogged about earlier this month. And this week, Geragos & Geragos, the law firm of famed attorney Mark Geragos, dropped another off another lawsuit at the clerk's office -- the sixth such lawsuit in three weeks.

Among the allegations: Sexual harassment. Unpaid overtime. Race, religion, and age discrimination. They say that where there is smoke, there is fire. Fire doesn't sound too bad right now, especially if these lawsuits end up costing more than the office brings in.