Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

Legalese is not spoken here

Tag Archives: “First Amendment”

Courts uphold law enforcement officer’s discharge for racially insensitive posts

Posted in First Amendment, Public Sector Employment, Social media
The freedom of speech afforded by the First Amendment is remarkably broad. Several categories of speech, including even “hate speech,” are afforded varying degrees of protection. However, the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment is not without limits, even for public sector employees. Governmental employees who voice their opinions — even on matters of… Continue Reading

Q and A on the recent controversy

Posted in Affirmative Action, Corporate Culture, First Amendment, HR, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation
On the recent uproar involving a major, major employer and its recently-terminated employee: No. 1. Is it a good idea to provide an “open forum” to employees if there are certain topics that are off limits? No. If you want to provide a forum for employees to speak up, but only “within reason,” then it’s a… Continue Reading

Are you a harassment “daredevil”? Here are 5 behaviors that put you at risk.

Posted in Harassment, Social media
Not every obnoxious workplace behavior is unlawful harassment. To violate federal law, the harassment has to be unwelcome, based on a “protected category” (for example, sex or race), and “severe or pervasive.” But most employers aren’t satisfied with banning only “illegal” behavior, and rightfully not. The law does a fairly good job of keeping us from each other’s… Continue Reading

There’s a new Sheriff in town: The politics and pitfalls of patronage dismissals (Part 2 of 2)

Posted in First Amendment, Public Sector Employment
NOTE FROM ROBIN: This is the second and final installment in a series on the law regarding patronage dismissals in public sector employment by Damon Kitchen, head of our public sector industry group. In last week’s installment, I provided an introduction to the issue of patronage dismissals in the public sector, and a discussion of the Supreme… Continue Reading

There’s a new Sheriff in town: The politics and pitfalls of patronage dismissals (Part 1 of 2)

Posted in First Amendment, Public Sector Employment
NOTE FROM ROBIN: This is the first in a two-part series on the law regarding patronage dismissals in public sector employment by Damon Kitchen, head of our public sector industry group. Damon, welcome to the blog!  It’s election season, and each year, like the dead leaves that fall from the trees, many loyal and long-term… Continue Reading

As the rotunda turns . . . affair, coverup, retaliation — and lawsuit against state House

Posted in Defamation, Employment at Will, Retaliation
Holy Toledo! (Or should I say, Lansing?) Here is our next celebrity employment lawsuit soap opera . . . You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats… Continue Reading

This week in employment law, with a lick and a promise

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, Retaliation, Same-sex marriage, Social media, Telecommuting
It’s been a hectic week for me (I have a trial coming up), and so here are some links to employment law blog posts and workplace news items that I hope will entertain and edify. 5 Things Your Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know. By the great Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. (Just to whet your appetite,… Continue Reading

What’s your workplace retaliation IQ?

Posted in Retaliation
It’s been a while since we’ve had an employment law quiz, so let’s do it! This one is on retaliation. As always, the answers will be provided after each question — you have our “no-pressure” guarantee. 1. What is retaliation? A. Getting even with somebody because he did something you don’t like. B. Denying somebody a… Continue Reading

One word on political discussions at work: Shhh.

Posted in Uncategorized
Political discussions are great (in theory), and we learn from them (in theory). But it's just as true that a lot of people have their minds not only made up but also deeply entrenched. And they're emotional about it. For all of these reasons, and probably a lot more, it's prudent to keep your political views to yourself while you're at work.… Continue Reading

This week in labor and employment law – Marx Brothers Edition

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Procedure, Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Social media, Wage-Hour
It's been another zany week or so in the world of labor and employment law, rivalling Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. Pepsi bottling pays $3.13 MM for race discrimination, "garden variety emotional distress," NLRB two-man panel nixes arbitration agreement, Obama and GOP outmaneuver each other on "recess" appointments, Lutherans win big, un-"PC" librarian loses.… Continue Reading