Disney Cruise Line: In The NewsLast week, Disney officially announced the Star Wars and Marvel sailings for 2019!Star Wars cruises will take place on nine different sailings of the Disney Fantasy from January 5 through March 2, 2019. Each sailing will have a Star Wars Day at Sea with a deck party, fireworks, characters, unique food and drinks, and meet and greets galore.By the way, if you’re interested in a Star Wars cruise and don’t want to wait until next year, check out the chart below for specials on some of the 2018 Star Wars cruises!Marvel cruises will take place on ten different Disney Magic sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas. Theses cruises will depart from Miami on five night itineraries beginning January 6, 2019 and ending with the March 8, 2019 sailing.Marvel Day at Sea sailings will feature super heroes (and their foes), a deck show, merchandise, special food and drinks, youth activities, and more!And finally, this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel. There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book. These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week: Share This!The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.Ports of Call Upcoming Entertainment The following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:Beauty and the BeastGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesCars 3Doctor StrangeStar Wars: The Force AwakensThor: RagnarokCocoMoanaStar Wars: The Last JediFor future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.Captain’s Log: Important Tips and Information Antigua Just Last Week!The Disney Wonder is finishing up another season in the Southern Caribbean next week. If you haven’t tried a Southern Caribbean itinerary, you are missing out! Disney doesn’t sail to Southern ports all the time, so these are cruises you need to watch for and jump on when they happen. In 2019 the Wonder only has three Southern Caribbean sailings scheduled so far. The Wonder is sailing to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico. You may be interested to know that flights to San Juan are often very reasonable. Southwest flies to San Juan.You’ve also got one chance to visit on the Fantasy in 2018. The Fantasy will be sailing an 11 night Southern Caribbean itinerary in June from Port Canaveral. These ports, like Antigua shown here, are beautiful! Just go!Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time picking which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!Special thanks Scott Sanders of The DCL Blog for assistance on this article.Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!!
This blog is not legal advice and should not be construed as applying to specific factual situations.Follow me on Twitter at: @Jonathan_HR_Law. For the past two years, I have told you the story about the “Jewish Guy Who Wears a Chai.” I am retelling the final version of the story this year, but with some additional information. Here we go!You walk into your building, and you see that holiday decorations are everywhere. You pass by a beautiful pine Christmas tree elegantly decorated. A co-worker responds: “The tree is inappropriate to the workplace.”Segal: WRONG. It is beautiful; Christmas can and should be acknowledged (says the Jewish guy who wears his grandmother’s Chai). By the way, Chai means “life” in Hebrew. Don’t remove Christmas from the holiday season. But recognize other holidays, too. A Hanukkah menorah and a Kwanzaa harvest basket would be nice additions.So the employer diversifies its holiday decorations. But a Buddhist employee correctly notes there is no recognition of Bodhi Day on December 8, a holiday observed by Buddhists to commemorate Gautama’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, India.Segal: It is hard to estimate how many religions are celebrated in the United States. In part, that is because, for employment purposes, religion is defined very broadly. So make the complicated simple. Ask for input on recognition of and decorations for the holidays. Consider the input you receive, and those who fail to provide input but complain later should be told their input will be considered next year.You head to the elevator, and you hear employees complaining about the holiday party. What’s the carping? “I don’t want to go, but feel pressure from my boss to attend.” Others in the elevator are thinking: “do you think I really want to go, either?” You take your medication because you can feel early signs of a major migraine. You also wonder whether HR professionals in the mile high city have it easier. And, when I say mile high, I mean it in more ways than one. Segal: Wouldn’t you just love to say: “Please, if you don’t want to go, by all means, we don’t want you either. Your present to me would be the absence of your presence.” Okay to think it, but please don’t say it (unless you are retiring at the end of the year!) In fact, unless the holiday party is during working hours, be careful not to require or encourage too strongly that employees attend, or you may ring in the New Year with a wage and hour claim. Yes, an employee may claim it is work.According to one plaintiff’s lawyer in California, so is unconscious dreaming about work that must get done before the holidays. Not really, but sad that it could be true, no? Let’s put an end to this painful ambiguity. Let’s pass the Unconscious Work-Related Dreaming Payment Act first thing next year. There really are not enough FLSA claims diverting money from employees to lawyers (on both sides of the litigation aisle).In the elevator, one of the employees mentions that he is upset that it is called a Holiday party rather than a Christmas party. Another employee, who does not observe any holidays because of her religious beliefs, is upset that there is a party. You immediately push the button so you can get off on another floor. You walk into a holiday party that appears to have been planned by former friends of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. Your life will never be the same, so you quickly get on the elevator and head to your party.Segal: Usually, best to call it a holiday party or seasonal celebration to maximize inclusion, but it is more than okay to mention the various holidays celebrated, including Christmas. In fact, please do. Inclusion does not mean eliminating anything which is not universally shared. That’s called exclusion (brilliant, huh?).So, you open the elevator door, and you see a very large, lit Menorah. Your receptionist thought it would add meaning to the season.Segal: First, let’s deal with the fire and blow out the candles (but don’t make a wish, please). Second, you may want to make it clear that employees cannot put up whatever they want, wherever they want. Sincerest holiday greeting to the NLRB: management rights is not an oxymoron. I will refrain from further comment on the NLRB, or I risk a rabid diversion from which there is no return.So, you go to your office, and there are three (3) people waiting for you. One of the employees is appropriately upset that he was given, as a holiday gift, a thong. Another employee is not thrilled with her gift from Victoria’s Secret. The third employee is upset because temporary employees were not invited.Segal: Let employees know that gifts must be appropriate and that excludes anything sexual or suggestive or that would otherwise be inconsistent with your EEO policy. The inappropriateness of the Victoria’s Secret negligee, for example, is clear to all, except the guy who was too busy shaving his knuckles to think about it (that is, assuming, for this blog only, that he does, in fact, think).But what about a supervisor giving a subordinate perfume or cologne? Have you seen Calvin’s new perfume and cologne collection: Intellectual? Since the scents are designed to be sexual rather than cerebral, perhaps, and by that I mean absolutely, we should consider a safer alternative. As for temporary employees employed by an agency (as well as independent contractors), they can be included without unreasonable risk so long as you make clear that the invitation is to “employees and other valued guests.” They are your “valued guests.” Would you prefer “second most valuable resource?” Note: this could include vendors, suppliers, customers, etc, too.Consider also how you will deal with gifts of alcohol. What if you prohibit possession on your premises? Segal: Now, here comes my keen legal prowess. Send this as an e-mail to employees: if you receive alcohol as a gift, do not open or consume at work; take it home the day of receipt. You go to the holiday party, and you run right to the bar. Note to file: file workers’ compensation claims for the employees whom you knocked down, walked over or tackled on the way.You know you need to be professional so you have only one drink: a gallon of vodka. Of course, vodka does not smell. Well, actually it does. You can smell the vodka, but not the gas from the original container.Segal: Control the amount of alcohol provided (and how much you drink). Do not allow self-service. Ensure you serve plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and food, too. Yes, food, and by food, I mean egg rolls. Inside joke. Of course, no alcohol to minors. Vouchers for cabs. Etc.Consider charging for drinks and donating all of the money, plus more, to a charity. Minimize legal risk, and help those who need it!Please do not forget this holiday season those who are less fortunate. We need to open up our wallets along with our hearts.Of course, that starts with people. But my annual reminder: remember our four-legged friends in shelters waiting to be adopted. They ask only for love and give only unconditional love in return. Ignore this suggestion if you have too much unconditional love in your life. Okay, back to our story.You finish talking with your CEO, and you notice two employees are dancing very tightly. And when I say tightly, I mean it looks like a passionate embrace. Nope. Worse than that. They are dry humping, and the dry is questionable. And, there also is a love train with employees’ hands in the pockets of the employees in front of them. And some employees are not wearing pants. I know, you are probably thinking: don’t the pants come off only at the after-party? Yes, and that’s why you should never go to or sponsor one! Never!Segal: Every year there is a marathon by plaintiffs’ lawyers: “Were you groped at your holiday party? Witness employees grinding on the dance floor? Call: 1‑800-RETIRE.” Remind employees that your EEO Policy applies to social events, and respond proactively to inappropriate behavior.If music is being played, focus on what it is. At the risk of showing my age, Rod Steward’s “Do ya think I am sexy?” would not be my first choice. Expect employees to ask their colleagues the same. There is no good answer to this question! “Yes” is heard as “sleep with me”; “no,” “you repulse me.”And, Snoop Dogg’s Sensual Seduction isn’t much better. Only two problems with it: both words.Think about the music you play. Somewhere between sexual lyrics and elevator music is an appropriate middle ground.You leave the party with a massive headache, and you see that the holiday cards have arrived, but there is no message inside. Why are they blank? Because no one knows what to say. If you say Happy Holidays, are you declaring war on Christmas? If you say Merry Christmas, are you disrespecting your Muslim colleagues?Segal: I got this one covered, I think. Cards ordinarily should be general—Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. But if you know the faith of the recipient, it is more than okay to customize. I always wish my Christian friends Merry Christmas. And I like it when people wish me Happy Hanukkah if they know I am Jewish. I am less happy if they do so because they think I look Jewish. By the way, I found more than one Aaron Greenberg. Remember him? We call raw fish sushi because raw fish would have about the same cachet as ordering raw cow. We don’t need to come up with a euphemism for Christmas. It is a magnificent and spiritual holiday that should be acknowledged and respected, just not to the exclusion of others.After the party, the Senior Leadership Team meets with their lawyers and decides there will be no more holiday parties. Just too many risks! I know, hard to imagine: a lawyer focusing only on the risks. Segal: Yes, there are legal risks, but the risks can be mitigated with careful planning and monitoring. Plus, there are risks in taking no risks. Employees who do not feel connected to or cared for by their employer are less likely to be engaged and all the risks associated with the lack of engagement.So how do I end this tale, at least for now?Segal: If you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Bodhi day, I wish you a peaceful and meaningful holiday that corresponds with your faith. If you celebrate another holiday, I apologize for not referencing it by name, but I wish you a peaceful and meaningful holiday, too. If you celebrate no holidays or a holiday at another time of year, I wish you well just the same.Personal note: Two years ago, I dedicated the first version of the tale to my beloved grandparents. I wear not only my grandmother’s Chai but also my grandfather’s ring. Last year, I dedicated it to my parents, two of my closest friends. Earlier this year, I lost my dad to Parkinson’s; I miss that man more than words can describe. So, this year, I will light the Menorah candles with my cherished mom in the wonderful house in which I grew up and hope together we feel the spirit of my dad and of my grandparents. I know I am not alone in a club that no one wants to join, but, with longevity, membership is inevitable. For those who have lost loved ones too, whenever that may have been, I hope you too can remember the special times you shared together. May peace be with you.
Separate bills in the House and Senate would cover Coast Guard payroll costs even if the partial government shutdown continues, but there has been little progress.More than 40,000 Coast Guard members have been working without pay since the end of the year, along with 10,000 other Coast Guard personnel. The next scheduled pay date is Jan. 30.Some Coast Guard families lobbied lawmakers Tuesday to find a fix.“I have full faith in the Coast Guard,” Petty Officer First Class Ryan Mleziva told Military Times. “I just hope our elected representatives show faith in us too.”Senate leaders blocked an attempt by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to temporarily re-fund the Department of Homeland Security, including Coast Guard payroll, according to The Hill.About 50,000 Coast Guard retirees could also miss out on their next benefits check at the beginning of the month, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association President Jon Ostrowski told Military Times.“People are starting to get worried,” he said.Coast Guard photo by Lt. J.G. Kiana Kekoa ADC AUTHOR
A man, who was allegedly put on fire by some drug traders over a drug-related dispute in Fatullah, Narayanganj succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) on Saturday–reports UNB.The victim is Suman, 38, son of Abdul Jalil of Mahasadair Pakapul area in Fatullah of sadar upazila.Victim’s wife Sumi said a local resident who was known to them, Sohel Mandal, younger brother of Aslam Mandal, former Enayetnagar Union member called her husband out around 9:00pm on Friday night.A few minutes later she rushed to the spot and after hearing the screaming of her husband on the road, found him with burn injuries.Severely injured Suman was rushed to local hospital and later shifted to DMCH as his condition deteriorated.Before losing his battle for life, Suman told his relatives that he had an argument with local drug dealer Biplab, his wife Sahela Begum and accomplice Sohel Mandal, over a payment which he gave Biplab earlier as a loan.At one stage, Biplab and his associates attacked him and poured kerosene on him and set him on fire.Officer-in-charge of Fatullah police station Shah Manjur Kader said they were investigating the matter.Meanwhile, Biplab denied the allegation and said Suman immolated himself as he was a drug addict.
The late Marion Barry served as District mayor and on the D.C. Council. The “Marion S. Barry Jr. University of the District of Columbia Redesignation Act of 2015” would rename the UDC.The death of former four-time mayor and D.C. Council member Marion S. Barry Jr. last year has generated discussion on how his legacy should be honored. D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) has an idea for remembering the political icon.On Feb. 3 Orange, with D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), introduced the “Marion S. Barry Jr. University of the District of Columbia Redesignation Act of 2015,” which would rename the UDC as the Marion S. Barry Jr. University of the District of Columbia (MDUDC). “We named the new convention center the Walter E. Washington Convention Center after the city’s first mayor and I think Marion Barry deserves an honor that is equal to that,” he said.Earlier this year, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) changed the name of the city’s youth employment program to Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said a commission would be set up to honor Barry. Michael Rogers, the vice president for institutional advancement for UDC, said university officials are studying Orange’s legislation.Ron Moten, a political activist in Ward 7, said, “I think Marion Barry deserves UDC being named after him. He did so much for the school and so much for the residents of the District of Columbia, whether they were Black or White.”Kevin B. Chavous, a 2012 Ward 7 D.C. Council candidate. “While I like where Vincent Orange is coming from,” said Chavous, “I don’t think re-naming UDC with Mayor Barry’s name is the best way to honor his legacy. Outside of Washington, D.C., there are a lot of negative feelings about Marion Barry. People outside of Washington tend to remember him for the arrest and things like that instead of focusing on the great things that he did. That might hurt UDC students when they try to go to other parts of the country to study and they present their transcripts as ‘Marion Barry University’. Marion Barry was a man of the people and I think we need something more public to honor him.”Chavous, and his brother Eric, have started a Change.org petition to rename one of the city’s major thoroughfares as “Marion Barry Avenue.” While Chavous brothers would prefer the H Street-Benning Road., N.E. corridor carry Barry’s name, they are open to other avenues.“We would definitely be open to Good Hope Road., S.E. to be renamed in honor of Barry, but we want a street that will be heavily trafficked,” he said.