Archives: Misconduct

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“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort” – dealing with “attitude” at work, Part 1 (UK)

So said German lithographer Herm Albright in a rare moment’s cynicism, but of course if you really want to get on your colleagues’ nerves, a hostile or negative attitude is far more to be commended. So here is a question arising from a matter on which we were recently instructed. Client’s employee has a persistently … Continue Reading

Private investigations video doesn’t leave employer in dire straits (EU)

In January 2018 we wrote about Ribalda –v- Spain, a European Court of Human Rights case in which a number of supermarket employees were awarded compensation for breach of their privacy rights. They had been stealing quite handsomely from their employer over some months, as they freely admitted, but nonetheless thought it entirely improper that … Continue Reading

Summer Vacation Is Definitely Over At The NLRB (US)

Between August 29 and September 10, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued four decisions that resolve important issues that have been the subject of long-running disputes.  It also issued an invitation to submit briefs in a case that provides an opportunity for the current Board majority members to revise the standard for … Continue Reading

Playback time – the rights and wrongs of covert recordings in the workplace (UK)

Phoenix House Limited -v- Stockman has been kicking round the Employment Tribunal system ever since Ms Stockman was dismissed in 2013.  It has something for all the family – discrimination, some victimisation, a touch of whistleblowing and a light dusting of trust and confidence.  However, on its second trip to the Employment Appeal Tribunal at … Continue Reading

Three New State Laws Legalize Marijuana Use, Sparking More Confusion and Igniting Further Conflict With Federal Law (US)

The mid-term elections are still on people’s minds, as recounts and run-offs for federal congressional and state gubernatorial candidates are finally wrapping up.  Meanwhile, and largely taking a media-coverage backseat to these high-profile races, many new state initiatives became law as a result of the mid-terms, three which involved legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical … Continue Reading

Deadline Extended for Compliance with New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement

As we discussed in our previous posts – see here and here – in April 2018, New York passed legislation intended to combat workplace sexual harassment.  Under this new law, employers are required to implement and distribute to employees a written policy prohibiting sexual harassment by October 9, 2018.  To assist employers in complying, in … Continue Reading

When taking a stand on discrimination becomes misconduct

Rochford – v – WNS Global Services is a small (9 page) but perfectly formed UK Court of Appeal decision around when you can stand on your principles in the face of discrimination by your employer and when it just gets you sacked. Mr Rochford had been absent for an extended time with a bad … Continue Reading

Mission Impossible? – Hospital’s obligations to cure dying relationship

Akinwunmi – v – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is the perfect example of when employment law reaches the limits of its usefulness in HR practice. For a fuller description of the facts, see Chris Lynn’s blog. For our purposes, however, Dr Akinwunmi fell out with five of his neurosurgeon colleagues over alleged … Continue Reading

Federal Court Overturns NLRB, Says Jimmy John’s Employees’ Disloyal Conduct Not Protected 

In a closely-watched case, on July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit refused to enforce a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in which the Board found MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (“MikLin”), owner of 10 Jimmy John’s franchises in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, violated the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading

Whose lie is it anyway? Not for employer to decide if whistleblowing disclosure is protected

For a whistleblower to benefit from the statutory protections, his disclosure must be protected, i.e., be (usually) about the breach of a legal obligation and reasonably believed by him to be true and in the public interest.  If he deliberately lies or makes his disclosure only to advance his own interests or prejudice somebody else’s, … Continue Reading

In the post – FWC delivers mixed messages on dismissal for social media indiscretions

Following recent differing decisions of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) it seems that Australian employers must still tread a fine and uncertain line in determining whether employee misconduct on social media is a valid reason for dismissal. In the recent case of Stephen Campbell v Qube Ports Pty Ltd t/a Qube Ports & Bulk in … Continue Reading

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice… the year’s best misconduct cases

As the Festive Season reaches its peak Down Under, we have taken a look back at the more ‘interesting’ cases of 2016 to help Santa prepare his Naughty or Nice List for Australian employers: First to be considered for Santa’s list is a labourer who, in the midst of a heated discussion, somewhat unchantably called … Continue Reading

Freedom of expression of employees or abuse, all depends on the context in France

In a recent case Cass. Soc. Sté Cegedim v. S, the French Labour Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal that an employee’s dismissal was void, on the ground that his freedom of expression had been violated. The employee had criticised the company’s management in an email sent to all his colleagues … Continue Reading

Workplace mediation in the UK – not at all a pussycat

Proponents of workplace mediation often stress its confidential and voluntary nature and the ability to fail to agree without there necessarily being any adverse consequences.  It is all about listening and rapport and trust, say those commentaries, making the whole process sound as cuddly and unthreatening as your favourite puppy. In fact, there are a … Continue Reading

Procedural leak sinks employer’s reliance on workplace drug tests

Although drug and alcohol testing is generally recognised in Australia as forming part of an employer’s armoury for managing its health and safety obligations, a recent Fair Work Commission decision has provided a salutary reminder that employers in Australia which fail to follow best practice when conducting such tests risk being on the wrong end … Continue Reading

Employees of one company can be whistleblowers at another – agency workers gain new protections

When it comes to explaining the importance of a new Employment Appeal Tribunal decision, there is nothing quite like a good story. However, the facts in McTigue -v- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are rather dry and indeed nothing like a good story, so we shall settle instead for the (potentially really quite important) … Continue Reading
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