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

HR Checklist for the New Year

As labor lawyers, we tend to think of our professional years as starting and ending on Labor Day. In order to celebrate the new Labor year, I intended to send this post early last week, but a storm called Harvey got in the way. So in belated celebration of the new Labor year, I now provide to you a checklist for the coming year as our New Year gift.

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Which Law Applies to International Employees Really Does Matter

When a company has workers around the world, be they employees or independent contractors, the company needs to give some thought to which country’s laws will apply to the company’s relationship with those workers. Choice of law issues are not easy. These issues need to be carefully considered at the outset of the relationship because there may be steps the company can take to select a favorable jurisdiction (or at least avoid a bad jurisdiction) and to make that selection stick.

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Is My Employee Recording Me?

It is not unusual for supervisors today to wonder whether they are being recorded by employees during meetings when performance issues or discipline are being discussed. “Can they do that?” I am often asked. Interestingly, while an employee may not have a legal right to demand that a disciplinary meeting be recorded, in most states, it is not illegal for an employee to surreptitiously record their supervisor or manager during meetings where performance issues or discipline are being discussed. And, in fact, employment lawyers are increasingly seeing recordings used as evidence in employment lawsuits.

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It’s Complicated — Structuring a Bankruptcy Settlement to Avoid Employment Claims

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court limited the use of “structured dismissals” in chapter 11 cases, overturning a ruling of the Third Circuit that would have wiped out employee WARN Act claims while paying out lower-priority, general unsecured creditors. It stressed that any distribution scheme in connection with a proposed chapter 11 structured dismissal must follow the basic priority rules of the Bankruptcy Code absent consent of the affected parties. Notably, the Supreme Court avoided determining that interim modifications of the priority scheme cannot be permitted at any time during a case.

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  • 10
  • November
  • 2016

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The Simple Truth Might Set You Free

One of the most difficult tasks that a Human Resources Manager or a supervisor will ever have to do is terminate an employee. Because of how difficult it can be, there is often a temptation not to address the real reason for the termination and claim that the position is simply being eliminated. Such a statement could set a company up for a lawsuit. To avoid this risk, Chris Bacon identifies three steps employers should take in any termination meeting.

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  • 25
  • August
  • 2016

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Being Quiet as a Mouse Keeps the Cat’s Paw Away

When a company is going through the process of identifying employees who may be included in a reduction in force, upper management should think twice about letting front line supervisors know about the reduction in force, especially if those supervisors’ performance evaluations may be used to determine which employees will be terminated. In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that a plaintiff could not rely on a “cat’s paw” theory of discrimination when his immediate supervisor did not know that the company was conducting a reduction in force, even though that supervisor’s evaluations were the basis for the employee being selected for termination and there was evidence that he may have borne some discriminatory animus against the employee.

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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 Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel

Jacob D. Ecker

Jacob D. Ecker Associate

Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard Associate