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Workplace harassment in Germany (Part 2): a checklist for your workplace investigations

“We conduct investigations in line with all applicable laws and regulations.” Easy for you to say, but what does that mean in practice?  In part one, Laura Sparschuh discussed the options available to employees in Germany when reporting cases of workplace harassment. In this second article, Anna-Maria Hesse and Laura highlight what employers need to … Continue Reading

Belgium – the synergy between pension contributions and the severance indemnity

If you terminate an employee in Belgium you will often need to pay a severance indemnity.  This is calculated in part by reference to the employee’s pay for his notice period.  It is calculated on the “full salary”, including not just base salary, 13th month and vacation pay, but also all other benefits enjoyed by … Continue Reading

You Can’t Fire Me For A Facebook Post! I Have A Right To Free Speech! (US)

Ohio Court of Appeals Disagrees, Confirming That Employees Cannot Succeed on Free Speech Violation Claims Against Private Employers (US) Rita Hall worked for Kosei St. Marys Corporation (“KSM”) as a line supervisor. In June 2020, Ms. Hall posted an offensive image on her public Facebook page comparing a group of monkeys to a group of … Continue Reading

A Deep-Dive Analysis of Lion Elastomers – the NLRB’s Recent Pronouncement on Offensive Workplace Conduct (US)

Here’s the situation: You own a small business that employs 15 employees. You do your best to provide good pay and benefits, but, like many companies, your business has been adversely impacted by lingering effects of the pandemic and the overall sluggishness of the economy. You call an all-hands meeting and reluctantly inform your employees … Continue Reading

Dismissal without prejudice – fact or fiction? (UK)

It’s not generally too difficult to know when you’ve been dismissed.  Your P45 arrives, colleagues avoid eye contact and your entry pass stops working.  But sometimes it’s not so clear and where your statutory or contractual rights may hang upon it, you cannot afford not to be sure. In Meaker – v – Cyxtera Technology … Continue Reading

Don’t Say We Didn’t WARN You: New Jersey Mini-WARN Act Amendments Go Into Effect On April 10, 2023 (US)

The global economic downturn means that we are likely to see more restructuring and reorganization measures during 2023. Employers need to be aware of compliance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the federal “WARN” Act), which requires advance notification in the case of plant closings and mass layoffs. Some states have also … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule Prohibiting Nearly All Non-Competition Agreements Between Employers and Workers (US)

On January 4, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued complaints against three employers alleging that they unlawfully imposed non-competition restrictions on employees, including low-wage workers, that barred the employees from seeking or accepting post-termination employment with a competing business. The complaints allege that the employers’ requirement that employees enter into these non-competition agreements … Continue Reading

A step into the unknown – waiving future claims by settlement agreements (UK)

You would think that in the twenty-plus years since they were first introduced as an alternative to the Acas COT3, all that could be said about the law relating to settlement agreements would have been said.  However, along now comes the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bathgate –v- Technip UK Limited and Others with a … Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 1 of 2: California through New York (US)

Now that we’re almost half-way through 2022, it’s time again to cover all of the development in state and local labor and employment laws. It’s been a busy time in the state legislatures and city councils, with lots of new laws and amendments to existing laws. In fact, due to the large number of updates, … Continue Reading

New code of practice on employers’ failure to consult – policy or politics? (UK)

An interesting development on the old employment relations front this week with the announcement of a new statutory code of practice concerning, well, that strictly remains to be seen.  Scarcely able to stand up under the weight of politically-charged invective and hyperbole, the government’s statement refers to “clamping down” on “unscrupulous employers” which fail to … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 5 – are they at risk under the away goals rule?

Here is another good question from our What Next webinar a couple of weeks ago. More to follow soon. If someone whose role involves International travel has a medical condition which makes that travel undesirable in a post-pandemic World, would the capability dismissal process be applicable? Probably so, but we need to look at the … Continue Reading

Legal Developments Webinar 23rd February – your follow-up questions answered, Part 3 (UK)

As attention turns increasingly to the practicalities of the physical return to the workplace in what may be little over 3 months, questions of employers’ rights and obligations in relation to testing and vaccination are becoming more common.  These are vexed areas which can easily put common interest into conflict with civil liberties.  Just how … Continue Reading

Unwinding termination agreements – looking behind the without prejudice curtain (UK)

All the smart money is on 2021 to see an increased number of grievances and Employment Tribunal claims as the pandemic support regime winds down.  Therefore this is probably a good moment to look at the practical lessons to be taken from Cole – v – Elders Voice in the Employment Appeal Tribunal last month … Continue Reading

A Timely Redux: Walking The Tightrope: Dealing With Employees’ Different Viewpoints On COVID-19, Racial Justice, and Partisan Politics (US)

In June 2020, we added a post to Employment Law Worldview addressing the complicated situation employers are in when employees express – sometime respectfully, sometimes not – different, and indeed, opposite views on COVID-19 issues (e.g., legitimate public health emergency versus hoax or “plandemic”), racial justice (“Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”), and politics … Continue Reading

All zeros and ones – EAT sums up burden of proof for disciplinary decisions (UK)

Back in March we posted here a piece about dismissing to protect the employer’s corporate reputation. In that case the employer made a very difficult choice between the claimed (ultimately, actual) innocence of the employee and the harm which continuing to employ him might do if he turned out to be guilty. On the facts, … Continue Reading

Procedure-free dismissal found fair – don’t try this at home (UK)

“Loss of trust and confidence” is often pleaded as a basis for a fair dismissal, but rarely successfully.  Employment Tribunals are astute to employers using it as a short cut to address performance or conduct issues without going through a proper procedure.  After all, a dismissal without a fair procedure is going to be unfair … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 5 – doing your homework (UK)

The logical extension from the discovery that all or most or your staff can work from home without anything catastrophic happening is to ask yourself whether you actually need an office in the first place.  Obviously it has potential advantages in terms of staff cohesion and corporate identity, but decisions are being made across the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of the “Ministerial Exception,” Protecting Religious Schools Against Employment Discrimination Claims (US)

The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission. Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 4 – whistleblowing for beginners (UK)

On top of the flexible working rules (see Parts 1-3), another piece of existing law likely to get a pandemic-related dusting-off in the months to come is our old friend whistleblowing. If you face what is otherwise a fairly clear redundancy situation because Covid-19 has gutted your employer’s market, what better way of upping the … Continue Reading

“I Am Not Wearing That!” – What Can An Employer Do When An Employee Refuses To Comply With COVID-19 Workplace Requirements? (US)

With the reopening process well underway in all 50 states, employers are implementing a variety of plans, policies, and protocols to minimize the potential for employee transmission of the coronavirus in the workplace. These plans – discussed in our Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues – include making physical changes to the workplace, rearranging employee schedules, … Continue Reading

Dealing with health and safety fears of returning to the workplace (UK)

So now that the slow movement back to workplaces has started, the next hot question will be this: “If I don’t want to go back in because I fear infection if I do, can my employer make me?” The short and absolutely definitively answer to this is no.  And yes. It cannot compel you to … Continue Reading
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