Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 21
  • March
  • 2017

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Risk Discussions That Satisfy Engineers and Lawyers

Lawyers get nervous when clients talk about safety risks — especially when clients start writing these discussions down. We worry that the client will write something that will be used against the client in the future. At the same time, engineers know that risk must be considered in any discussion involving operations including decisions about staffing, maintenance schedules, and capital budgets. While these concerns may appear difficult to reconcile, there are ways to discuss risk that can satisfy both the lawyers and the engineers.

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A French Revolution in the World of Human Rights Law

Over the last several years, several countries have taken steps to encourage and, to a lesser degree, compel businesses to deal with human rights and environmental issues within their own organizations and in their supply chains. The UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a good example, requiring companies to report their efforts to prevent slavery and human rights trafficking in their supply chains. What started out as non-binding guidance from the United Nations has been made into directly effective “hard law” in an increasing number of countries. The most recent example comes from France, which has imposed on large French companies a new “duty of vigilance” with significant fines for noncompliance. While the law will not go into effect until after review by the country’s Constitutional Council, the new measure signals that the movement toward codification of principles derived from non-binding international guidance is not stopping anytime soon and that enforcement provisions are beginning to get serious.

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Texas Supreme Court Gives Employers New Tool to Slap Down Defamation Claims

When a company does an investigation, it needs honest answers from its supervisors. But how does that happen if the supervisors are worried about being sued for defamation by the employees involved? Travis Coleman, for example, was fired by Exxon for failing to gauge storage tanks at a facility where he worked as a terminal technician. Coleman then sued Exxon and his supervisors, alleging that he had been defamed by statements made by the supervisors to the company’s safety investigators.

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  • 02
  • March
  • 2017

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Privilege and the Internal Investigation

When a company does an internal investigation, what does it need to do to ensure that the investigation is protected by the attorney-client privilege? Many companies erroneously believe that cc’ing the in-house counsel on the emails about the investigation is all that it takes to ensure that the investigation will be protected. It will not. However, a Texas court recently offered some helpful guidance on the steps that a company can take – at least in Texas – to ensure that an internal investigation remains protected by the attorney-client privilege.

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  • 23
  • February
  • 2017

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Everything Crazy Can Be Sane Again

We can hope that new appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and its General Counsel will eventually return some sanity to American labor law. Until such time, we can only hope that the federal courts of appeals will continue to scrutinize the NLRB’s decisions. 

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Counsel

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Senior Associate

Jacob D. Ecker

Jacob D. Ecker Associate