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

And a Happy New Year to California Employers...

Last week, we talked here about some new challenges for New York employers in the new year, and how New York was in the running to supersede California as the toughest state for employers. Alas, notwithstanding the efforts of the New York legislature, California still retains its crown as the most challenging state for employers.

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  • 14
  • January
  • 2020

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One Promotion Too Far

As employment lawyers, we see all sorts of reasons for businesses deciding to terminate employees, ranging from gross misconduct to plant closures. But there is one scenario that comes up from time to time that always strikes me as a particularly unfortunate loss of talent – when a good employee gets promoted into a role they are simply not suited for.

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  • 07
  • January
  • 2020

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Caught Between a Rock (Labor Law) and a Hard Place (Employment Law)

What would you do if one morning you saw on the overtime volunteer list on your company bulletin board that an employee had handwritten across the top of the list the words “Whore Board?” I think I know: You would fire that employee, assuming you could identify who it was. However, what if this all happened in the context of a dispute over the assignment of overtime between your company, its union, and its employees? Would you still make the same choice?

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  • 27
  • November
  • 2019

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The Problem with Non-Disparagement Clauses

“If I am going to have to pay her a severance, I want to make sure that she doesn’t go around bad mouthing me or my company,” is not an unusual plea from an employer who is parting ways with a difficult employee. The employment lawyer’s most common response to this concern is to add a non-disparagement clause to the separation agreement. While enforcement of non-disparagement clauses can be tricky, most employment lawyers will tell you that they have never had to enforce one, suggesting that the clauses do serve as effective deterrents on disgruntled former employees’ criticisms of their former employer or boss.

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  • 03
  • October
  • 2019

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Don’t Forget WARN Warnings When Reducing Head Count

We have not talked much about the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) in recent years both because unemployment has been low and we have not seen many plant closings or mass layoffs that would trigger WARN. But much like solar eclipses and cicadas, the frequency of WARN events is cyclical, and, during the last couple of months, several of my colleagues and I have found ourselves having more conversations about WARN than we have had in the last few years. So this might be a good time to review the basics of the federal plant closing law that went into effect some 30 years ago.

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  • 04
  • September
  • 2019

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Less Documentation May Sometimes Be Better When Letting People Go

More often than not, when employers make a decision to terminate someone, multiple factors influenced the decision. Yes, the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” may have been the employee’s recent string of unexcused absences, but perhaps the terminated employee had other problems as well. Had the employee been a star performer who worked well with everyone, his immediate supervisors may have overlooked the absences, or opted for a warning as opposed to the ultimate penalty.

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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