Last month, the National Labor Relations Board issued an important decision (McLaren Macomb, 372 NLRB No. 58 (2023) regarding the inclusion of certain common provisions in severance and separation agreements. You can read the 02/21/23 decision on the NLRB’s site here.
Discipline & Discharge
Quiet Quitting and What Employers Can Do About It
“Quiet quitting” is the newest coined phrase that has burst onto the workplace scene. Not to be confused with the “great resignation,” quiet quitting is commonly understood to mean employees intentionally prioritizing the minimum requirements of their job and nothing more.
Employee Arrests Outside of Work Hours: 4 Key Questions and Answers for Employers
When employees are arrested during their off-duty time and away from work, employers may need to make difficult choices balancing their various obligations. Among these are respecting the rights of arrested employees, ensuring the safety of workforces and workplaces, maintaining the continuity of business operations, and preserving brand integrity and
Dear Littler: Our Wandering Workers Have Wandered Off With Our Equipment
Dear Littler: We are a multi-state employer that allowed a large percentage of our employees to work remotely during the pandemic. To help facilitate the transition to home offices, we provided our remote workers with office equipment, cell phones, laptops, monitors—you name it. Some of these employees have now
How to Have a Smooth Separation of Employment—Unlike Tom Brady
On February 1, 2022, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady officially announced his retirement via Instagram. The word “officially” is key here, as news of Brady’s retirement initially leaked to the media a few days before, apparently causing Brady, the second-best quarterback of all time, much consternation. Suffice it
Investigating Employee Misconduct In The Age of “Cancel Culture”
By: Investigating Employee Misconduct In The Age of “Cancel Culture”
What is “cancel culture”?
During the last few years, there has been a groundswell of cultural movements seeking to rectify transgressions against traditionally marginalized groups, including women, Black people, members of the LBGTQ community, and Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders. These movements have largely
Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Employee Who Advocated Violence in a Social Media Post
In a recent employee termination case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the dismissal of race discrimination claims by a bank employee who was terminated due to a social media post.
Plaintiff, a Caucasian woman, was employed as a project manager in her employer’s wealth management department. In
Discipline of Exempt Employees for Face Mask Violations
While employers are beginning the process of returning administrative staff to offices, COVID-19 workplace safety precautions remain a priority. Many administrative employees are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which prompts employer concerns about whether or not they may issue disciplinary suspensions to exempt employees
Can Employers Fire Rioters? Employers’ Rights in Policing Employee Off-Duty Conduct and Employment Law Consequences of the Capitol Riots
Within days of the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, employees who were observed as part of the mob entering the Capitol were discharged by their employers. Some of the individuals involved in the events at the Capitol were knowingly filmed as part of the insurrection (and many
The First Amendment: Where it is Implicated, and Where it is Not
Executive Summary: In the wake of the January 6, 2021, unrest at the United States Capitol Building and several social media outlets suspending President Trump’s accounts, free speech is a hot topic. Although the right to free speech is ingrained into American life, free speech is not absolute. The Constitutional right to free speech is not implicated by the actions of these private social media platforms because they are private entities, not arms of the government. Moreover, the First Amendment does not protect certain speech intended to incite or produce violence and lawless action.
One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for a Tailored Code of Conduct
Codes of Conduct are designed to set forth an organization’s values and principles, while detailing expectations for employees. In many ways, it is one of the most important documents an organization can develop. At times, when an employer decides it needs to develop a Code, it often asks counsel whether there is a sample Code or boilerplate language the company can adopt. But is an “off-the-shelf” Code of Conduct really of any value to an organization? The answer should be apparent – sufficient consideration should be devoted to a task that the organization will say this is the standard by which our business will operate!
Dear Littler: Can We Discipline An Employee Who “Took a Knee” During the Anthem?
Dear Littler: I work for a prominent company in a small city here in the Hoosier State, and we are very involved in our local community. We sponsor a corporate softball team, and last night one of our team members “took a knee” during the national anthem before a game. His supervisor asked if the player can be disciplined for this conduct or at least transferred out of the supervisor’s department. I understand the supervisor’s frustration, but I don’t know how to react. Can we do that? I just can’t believe we have to deal with this situation.
Can You Fire an Employee Involved in Racist Protests? Should You?
Following recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia involving a “Unite the Right” rally organized by multiple white nationalist groups protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, which turned violent and ended in the tragic deaths of a counter-protestor and two police officers monitoring the situation, a large social media campaign has been undertaken in order to identify the protestors and encourage their employers to terminate their employment. Groups identified as having ties to the Unite the Right rally include members of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as other white supremacist and white nationalist groups, neo-Nazis, skinheads, and the “alt-right.”
Legal Alert: Public University Lawfully Terminated HR Vice President Who Published Op-Ed Insensitive To Homosexuals
Executive Summary: The University of Toledo terminated an Associate Vice President for Human Resources after she wrote an op-ed column arguing that homosexuals could choose their sexual orientation and thus were not entitled to the same protections as persons of color. This view ran contrary to the University’s diversity and equal opportunity policies. The Sixth Circuit upheld the employee’s termination. The court held that the employee’s speech was not protected by the First Amendment because she held a policymaking position and was speaking to a policy issue.