X

Reset Password

Username:

Change Password

Old Password:
New Password:
We have completed your request.

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

  • 25
  • July
  • 2019

Author:

Share on:

Political Animals in the Workplace

All of us are, by nature, political animals, according toAristotle’s essay on “Politics.” And it’s politics season again, even despite the distance to the next presidential election. For HR Managers, it won’t come as a surprise that employees have political opinions and that they vocalize them on social media. Many companies today have also taken public positions on political issues. The perennial question arises: What if an employee posts something on social media that does not accord with the company? What if an American-based (nonunion) nonpublic company takes a public stance on ICE’s immigration raids, and one of its managerial employees disagrees with the company’s position in a Facebook post? Can the company fire this employee or ask them to stop speaking against its official position? 

Read More

Know the Facts Before Making a Decision

I recently coached a law student working at Vinson & Elkins for the summer that when she writes a legal memorandum, she should always start with a statement of the facts of the matter as she knows them. The reason for doing this is that if she makes a conclusion on the facts, but does not tell the reader what she believes the facts to be, there could be a misunderstanding. Sometimes associates are not provided all of the facts needed for their memorandum. We will catch that if the associate repeats back the facts in their memorandum. This is also good advice for a young lawyer when they first start writing opinions for clients, because clients may forget some important facts.

Read More
  • 16
  • July
  • 2019

Author:

Share on:

California Outlaws (Some) Hair Discrimination

A couple of months ago, I discussed whether a company could terminate an employee who had dyed her hair pink. My conclusion was that employers could legally — at least for now — prohibit employees from having pink hair although I noted that employers were increasingly reconsidering prohibitions on hair color, tattoos and certain piercings which might have the effect of eliminating talented younger candidates from the applicant pool.

Read More
  • 11
  • July
  • 2019

Share on:

How Emojis Can Cause Trouble in the Workplace

As emojis have morphed from a cute novelty into a staple element of business communication, they have begun to pose liability risks to companies. Many of these risks stem from the fact that emojis lack universal definitions, can have multiple — often subjective — meanings, and look different on different messaging platforms. This means that emoji use can easily lead to misunderstandings between sender and recipient, which in a business setting can have consequences ranging from contract claims to allegations of harassment and discrimination. Business litigation in which emojis are key evidence has increased significantly in recent years, and shows no sign of abating.  Employees’ use of emojis to supplement text or provide an emotional valence can also enhance liability risk. This occurred memorably in Apatoff v. Munich Re America Services, where the use of emojis by managers led to denial of a company’s motion for summary judgment against a claim of wrongful termination under the Family Medical Leave Act.  2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106665 (D.N.J. Aug. 1, 2014).

Read More

Pink Hair in the Workplace

A few months ago, I was having lunch with a good friend who — although she is not an employment lawyer — likes to get my thoughts on current workplace issues. As we ate our pizzas, my friend wanted to talk about the Millennial receptionist at her office who had showed up earlier that morning having dyed her hair bright pink.

Read More

Sign Up for Updates

Receive e-mail news and alerts from the V&E Employment, Labor & OSHA team

Follow Us On Linkedin

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