Workplace Investigations

News & Analysis as of

Questions Remain About Social Media Privacy Rights During Workplace Investigations

Employees’ social media activities often play a key role in workplace investigations. For example, an employee may complain that a coworker sent a harassing Facebook message or posted something offensive on Twitter...more

Be Aware of Public Employees Disciplinary Proceedings Protections: Loudermill, Wiengarten and Garrity

This post is primarily for public sector employers such as state agencies, municipalities and districts. By virtue of being employed by the government and quite likely represented by a labor union, public sector employees in...more

Can Employers in the Fifth Circuit Be Liable for Retaliation Under Title VII When the Decision Maker Had No Retaliatory Motive?

In Zamora v. City of Houston, 14-20125 (Aug. 19, 2015), the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits in holding that the “cat’s paw” theory of causation can also be utilized in Title VII retaliation cases,...more

The Employment Law Authority - July/August 2015

A federal appellate court recently reinstated a lawsuit brought by a dining services employee who claimed that she was sexually harassed by a male coworker. According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a reasonable jury...more

That is SO last week - September 2015

Labor Day was the backdrop for a big announcement from President Obama. Beginning in 2017, federal contractors must grant paid sick leave to employees. The new Executive Order requires contractors to provide one hour of...more

The NLRB's Assault on Employee Handbooks: Potentially Illegal Workplace Rules and Policies

Most employers and their legal counsel take pride in rules and policies that have become standard fare in the workplace. Employee Handbooks almost always contain, and certainly should contain, conspicuous provisions that...more

OSHA Updates Emphasis Program on Amputations – Cites Employer and Places It on Severe Violators List

Last week OSHA issued its updated National Emphasis Program on Amputations (NEP). Instruction CPL 03-00-019 (June 30, 2015). Take that juxtaposed against OSHA’s citation in a recent case where on his first day on the job a...more

That is SO last week - August 2015 #3

Last week, The New York Times reported on Amazon’s “bruising workplace” and described Amazon’s theory that “conflict brings about innovation.” According to the article, Amazon employees are encouraged to criticize each other,...more

MSHA Increases Scrutiny

If you operate or work at a metal/nonmetal mine be ready for significant changes on how the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will enforce its workplace examination standards.The MSHA recently issued a policy...more

Think Fast: HR’s Prompt Investigation Key Factor in Sexual Harassment Case Win for Employer

A recent ruling from a Tennessee appeals court reinforces that a prompt and reasonable investigation can help save an employer from liability in response to sexual harassment charges....more

Lessons from Deflategate: 5 Ways to Avoid Workplace Investigation Fumbles

Over the years, the topic of workplace investigations has gained increasing importance in the HR and employment law world. Now, with investigations routinely making headlines, they have become a part of our popular culture as...more

MSHA Workplace Examination “Clarification” Places Enforcement Target Squarely on Operators

Over the years, the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) has tried on two different occasions to overhaul the workplace examination standard at 30 CFR §56/57.18002 by issuing program policy letters. The agency’s primary...more

NLRB Removes Blanket Exemption on Mandatory Disclosure for Witness Statements. What’s an Employer To Do?

The NLRB recently reversed 37 years of precedent in deciding to adopt a new standard for a union’s access to witness statements taken in pre-grievance arbitration employer investigations. For years, under the blanket...more

Need To Investigate Employee Misconduct While the Employee is on FMLA Leave? Follow This Employer's Lead

Even once in awhile an employer has handled an FMLA situation so effectively, you just want to shout out, “You Go Girl!” . . . or let out a fist pump (like you just sank a 70-foot birdie) . . . or initiate a wild chest bump...more

The National Labor Relations Board Expands Union Access to Witness Statements

On June 26, 2015, in a split 3-2 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (Board), overturned the 37-year-old standard protecting the confidentiality of witness statements taken by employers during workplace...more

“Unpredictable and Potentially Messy”?: NLRB Ruling Could Complicate Employers’ Workplace Investigations

In its June 26 split decision in American Baptist Homes of the West d/b/a Piedmont Gardens and Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers- West, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 139 (Case No. 32-CA-063475) (“Piedmont...more

NLRB Overturns 37-Year Precedent Regarding Duty to Provide Witness Statements to Unions

On June 26, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed its 37-year precedent, ruling in American Baptist Homes of the West, d/b/a Piedmont Gardens, that employers must disclose to unions confidential witness...more

Workplace Investigations

If you are an employer or HR professional and have not had to conduct a workplace discrimination investigation, consider yourself lucky, or possibly naïve. At some point every employer will be confronted with the employee...more

Rise of the Video Vigilantes: Handling Secret Workplace Recordings

Video vigilantes are on the rise, and their recordings can quickly go viral. What should employers do to prepare for, handle and prevent covert recordings made in the workplace? Just a few short years ago HR and...more

Be Global - March 2015

Brazil: Limit on Employer Obligation to Deduct Union Dues - The Brazilian Supreme Court has recently enacted Binding Precedent no. 40, which states that union support contributions are only payable by those who are...more

Workplace Harassment Prevention: Are You Doing Enough?

Do you have a comprehensive workplace harassment prevention program in place? During our recent webinar, “Workplace Harassment is Evolving: Is Your Prevention Program Keeping Pace?,” we asked attendees whether they had a...more

NLRB Division of Advice Finds No Weingarten Rights in Vehicle Search

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice issued a Memorandum finding that an employer’s search of a company vehicle regularly driven by an employee did not trigger the employee’s Weingarten rights....more

2015 Trends: #3 Culture (Still) Trumps Compliance

We asked industry experts, colleagues and compliance officers what they believe will be the top issues impacting workplace ethics and corporate compliance programs in 2015. We gathered their best thinking and prepared our...more

Disciplinary Proceedings and the Duty of Care

In Coventry University v Mian [2014] EWCA Civ 1275, the Court of Appeal considered whether an employer had breached its duty of care by commencing disciplinary action against an employee on the basis of a preliminary, rather...more

The Liability Risks of Temporary Employees

I understand from my conversations with manufacturing executives that many companies need to use staffing agencies in order to locate skilled workers. In most cases, companies will hire the temps that work out after a trial...more

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