News & Analysis as of

Offensive Language

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The NLRB Continues to Protect Vulgarity in the Workplace

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Just when employers thought they were safe to restrict offensive speech and restore decorum in the workplace, a recent decision by the Board serves as a stark reminder that offensive workplace speech may...more

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The Fourth Circuit Reiterates that Employers’ Exposure to Vicarious Liability is Not Boundless

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Fourth Circuit has issued a reminder of the boundaries of employer liability for defamation where there is no nexus between the employee’s offensive speech and the individual’s workplace...more

Holland & Knight LLP

California Update: FEHA Regulations Expand Protections Based on National Origin - Also Effective July 1, Minimum Wages Raised for...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

• Regulations issued on July 1, 2018, by California's Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) expand the Fair Employment and Housing Act's (FEHA) protections against national origin discrimination. • California employers...more

Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

The Ability of a School To Punish Lewd Or Profane Speech Disappears Once A Student Exits School Grounds

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

B.L. by Levy v. Mahanoy Area School District (“Levy”), Case No. 3:17-CV-1734, 2017 WL 4418290 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 5, 2017). District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania grants cheerleader’s Motion for Preliminary...more

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.

New Standards for Workplace Rules: The NLRB’s Decision in Boeing Company

Under the National Labor Relations Act, it is an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of” their rights to collectively work with other employees to improve...more

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Does Profanity at Work Create a Hostile Work Environment? (Maybe.)

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Over the last several months, I’ve been asked to do far more sexual harassment prevention trainings than typical and the issue of profanity in the workplace has popped up. No doubt that much of this is due to the recent...more

LeClairRyan

NRLB Rules on Google’s Firing of Outspoken Engineer

by LeClairRyan on

A recently released NLRB memo has concluded that Google did not break any labor laws when they fired James Damore. Damore, a senior software engineer, was fired in August after writing and circulating an internal memo that...more

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Calling African-American 'Boy' and 'You People' Creates Hostile Work Environment

In a recent string of decisions, federal courts have concluded that use of racial epithets even on one occasion is sufficient to constitute a hostile work environment under Title VII. Thus, use of the N-word and other...more

Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part III

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Of course, loyal readers have been eagerly awaiting Part III of the series (see Part I and Part II) focusing on Tam’s intersection of federal trademark registration and the First Amendment....more

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

The NLRB/EEOC Landmine – When Does Offensive Speech Amount to Protected Activity?

Employers need to be on the lookout for instances of offensive employee speech, which may put them between a rock and a hard place as they navigate potential claims under either anti-discrimination laws or federal labor laws....more

Bennett Jones LLP

Going to California—Google Asks U.S. Court to Declare Supreme Court of Canada's Global Injunction Unenforceable

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The Supreme Court of Canada recently confirmed the availability of a novel form of worldwide injunction whereby Google, a non-party to the litigation, was required to block worldwide access to websites operated by a...more

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Second Circuit Holds Pro-Union Sentiment Outweighs Impropriety of Profanity-Laden Rant Against Supervisor, His Mother, and “His...

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Use of profanity by employees, whether in the workplace, outside the workplace, or on social media, presents difficult legal issues for the employer, as highlighted by a recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision...more

Pullman & Comley - Labor, Employment and...

Second Circuit Identifies Outer Limits of NLRA-Protected Speech

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) generally prohibits employers from retaliating against employees based on their union-related activities or for taking concerted action to improve the terms and conditions of their...more

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart,...

Second Circuit Rules on Bounds of Protected Concerted Activity

In a case at the edges of protected employee conduct during a union organizing drive, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week found that an employee’s expletive-laden Facebook post cursing out his boss—and his boss’s...more

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Expletive-Laced Facebook Rant Protected Under Federal Labor Law

Many people have fanaticized about telling their boss what they really think about him or her. Fortunately, most employees have the good sense not to write down what they are thinking about their employer....more

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart,...

!@#$% Vote Yes for the UNION! Facebook Post Protected by the NLRA? Second Circuit Says Yes

In National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty, LLC, No. 15-1841 (April 21, 2017), the Second Circuit upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) finding that an employee’s Facebook post, although “vulgar and...more

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP

Every Manager and Their Mother: Second Circuit Shields Social Media Insults against Supervisor and His Entire Family

On Friday, April 21, 2017 a Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed a National Labor Relations Board ruling that a catering company server was wrongfully terminated for making an obscene and vicious Facebook post that...more

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Is Calling Your Boss “a Nasty Mother******” Protected Activity?

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

My colleague Gary Starr returns today with a decision from the Second Circuit (which covers Connecticut) that may just surprise you. Then again, if you’ve been following this line of reasoning, perhaps not....more

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Fourth Circuit Upholds Termination of Public Employee for Social Media Comments

A politically divided nation can mean a politically divided workplace. While employers generally hesitate to react to employees’ expression of political views, some comments viewed as extreme, threatening or inconsistent with...more

Fisher Phillips

WTF, NLRB? (WTF = “Where’s The Fairness?”)

by Fisher Phillips on

In yet another blow to employers, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge recently upheld the right of employees who regularly work with customers to wear offensive union buttons prominently displaying the...more

FordHarrison

#Fired: Post a Tweet, Lose Your Job

by FordHarrison on

Many people enjoy spouting off what they view as 140-character tidbits of wisdom on the social media platform Twitter. But recently several individuals have found themselves in trouble with their employers (read: former...more

Morrison & Foerster LLP - Social Media

Social Links: Social’s potential to upend the investment industry; online ad fraud; a proposal to fix Twitter

Social media has upended a number of industries. Is Wall Street next? Facebook is getting into the video game live-streaming business....more

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Another Day, Another Violation: Board Targets Hospital’s Work Rules Prohibiting Offensive Conduct

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Board panel finds hospital’s work rule prohibiting employees from engaging in offensive conduct to be unlawful. In Valley Health System, LLC d/b/a Spring Valley Hosp. Med. Ctr., 363 NLRB No. 178 (May...more

Pepper Hamilton LLP

[Webinar] Registration of 'Disparaging' Trademarks After 'The Slants' - January 27, 12:00-1:00pm, EST

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of people, is an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment free speech...more

Allen Matkins

Blasphemous Corporate Names

by Allen Matkins on

Yesterday’s post considered the question of whether the California Secretary of State could refuse to accept offensive corporate names. Blasphemous corporate names constitute a subset of offensive names because they are...more

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