What Not To Talk About At Work
D. Albert Brannen-December 1, 2014-Link to original article
Managers have a special role for employers because they are your legal agents. What they say, do, and know can be attributed to you as their employer. Depending on the issue, you can even be strictly liable for the conduct of managers, meaning that your good intentions are not a defense.Several laws come into play here but there are certain things that managers should absolutely not talk about with employees or anyone else at work. This article lists the most significant of these topics, but by no means is this an exhaustive list. Read More
Top Ten Ways To Hold A Company Party – Without Getting Sued
By Michael Mitchell-December 1, 2014-Link to original article
With the Holiday Season in full swing, many employers ask us about the wisdom of holding company parties where alcohol will be served. They generally want to know about the risk involved if an employee drinks too much at the party and misbehaves, or worse, injures or kills someone on the way home. It’s become something of a tradition for us to run this article annually in December. So with the usual tip of the hat to David Letterman, here is our “holiday party top ten” list.
There is always a risk involved in holding any company-sponsored function. Serving alcohol compounds the problems. According to one study, 36% of employers reported behavioral problems at their most recent company party. These problems involved everything from excessive drinking to off-color jokes to sexual advances to fist fights. As a result, more and more employers now hold alcohol-free parties.Read More
“You Can’t Fire Me For That – I Was Off Duty!”
By Jeffrey Dretler-December 1, 2014-Link to original article
Employers learned long ago that it’s wise to establish written policies which set forth the standards of conduct expected of their employees. These employers also know that the policies may not simply sit on a shelf (or on an intranet), but must be monitored and enforced in order to remain effective tools for encouraging or prohibiting certain behavior. But can you rely on your policies to discipline or terminate employees for engaging in legal conduct which occurred off-duty, especially if the conduct also occurred off-premises, and did not negatively impact the employee’s performance of his or her duties or your business?
While you are probably familiar with laws which protect an employee’s right to engage in what is sometimes referred to as “protected conduct” (e.g., making a charge of discrimination, complaining of wage and hour violations, whistleblowing, filing a workers’ compensation claim, requesting reasonable accommodation of a disability, engaging in concerted union activity as defined in the NLRA) without fear of retaliation, other lawful activities may also be deemed “protected” by certain statutes, although not always without limitation. The following, which is by no means an exhaustive list, are some examples of off-duty conduct which may or may not be grounds for discipline or termination, depending on the state and the circumstances.Read More