Mary Race

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Deluged with an unprecedented amount of information available for analysis, companies in just about every industry are discovering increasingly sophisticated ways to make market observations, predictions and evaluations. Big Data can help companies make decisions ranging from which candidates to hire to which consumers should receive a special promotional offer. As a powerful tool for social good, Big Data can bring new opportunities for advancement to underserved populations, increase productivity and make markets more efficient.…
A few months ago, we noted that a Yelp employee’s online “negative review” of her employer might be protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), given that the National Relations Labor Board (NLRB) has become increasingly aggressive in protecting an employee’s right to discuss working conditions in a public forum, even when that discussion involves obscenities or disparaging the employer. This trend has prompted us to report previously on the…
Yelp, Inc. is more accustomed to being on the giving—rather than the receiving—end of a negative review. That changed recently when a Yelp customer service employee, Talia Ben-Ora, posted an open letter to Yelp’s CEO on her blog, lamenting her daily struggle to survive in the Bay Area on low pay. Ben-Ora spent much of the letter discussing wages, benefits, and the financial challenges faced by her co-workers: Every single one of my co-workers is…
In a new report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declines to call for new laws but makes clear that it will continue to use its existing tools it to aggressively police unfair, deceptive—or otherwise illegal—uses of big data. Businesses that conduct big data analytics, or that use the results of such analysis, should familiarize themselves with the report to help ensure that their practices do not raise issues. The report, titled “Big Data: A Tool…
In a new report, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declines to call for new laws but makes clear that it will continue to use its existing tools it to aggressively police unfair, deceptive—or otherwise illegal—uses of big data. Businesses that conduct big data analytics, or that use the results of such analysis, should familiarize themselves with the report to help ensure that their practices do not raise issues. The report, titled “Big Data: A Tool…
Employers took note last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that “liking” a Facebook post can qualify as protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB held that the owner of a sports bar violated Section 7 of the NLRA by firing employees for a protected Facebook discussion criticizing the owner’s tax-withholding practices. An employee who referred to the owner as an “asshole” and another employee who merely “liked”…
If an employee calls his supervisor a “nasty motherf[**]ker” on Facebook, would the employee lose the protection that he would otherwise enjoy under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?  Probably not, according to National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) decisions like Pier Sixty LLC. In Pier Sixty, an employee reacted to a labor dispute by posting the following message about his supervisor on Facebook: “Bob is such a NASTY MOTHER F[**]KER don’t know how to talk…