What could possibly go wrong with firing employees for having “bad energy” or not being “a good fit?” Join Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs as they sit down with Fulton Bank Director of Organizational Effectiveness Allison Snyder to talk about the Apple TV+ series WeCrashed and the perils of these types of firings — including what happens when there’s a lack of professionalism and ethics in the workplace. Hear all this and more in Episode 11 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast!

Continue Reading Crashing and Burning: What Companies Can Learn From the Apple TV+ Series WeCrashed

Q: Can a private employer terminate an employee for social media posts that violate internal policies?

A: The Third Circuit, in a nonprecedential opinion, recently determined that a major airline acted permissibly in firing an employee for sharing offensive social media posts, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment grant on all counts.

Continue Reading Employer Justified in Terminating Employee Over Inappropriate Social Media Posts

Published in Law360 on January 20, 2023. © Copyright 2023, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed into law the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act,[1] which aims to protect U.S. intellectual property by imposing sanctions on companies and individuals involved in trade secrets theft.

Continue Reading Water Cooler Talk: Trade Secret Lessons From ‘Severance’

Q: Does the Speak Out Act affect employer nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements?

A: Nearly five months after Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) first introduced the bipartisan Speak Out Act, President Joe Biden signed it into law on December 7, 2022. The Speak Out Act bars judicial enforcement of nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses concerning sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations if entered into “before the dispute arises.” This ensures that “victims and survivors have the freedom to report and publicly disclose their abuse,” while still allowing employers to use nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses in resolving a dispute once it has arisen.

Continue Reading Biden’s “Speak Out Act” Bars Use of Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Agreements to Restrict Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Allegations

On January 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 3-1 to publish its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing a new rule that, if implemented, would bar employers from entering into noncompete agreements with their workers, and require employers to rescind existing noncompete restrictions with current and former workers. The proposed rule supersedes state laws that are less protective of employees, but keeps the state law that provides employees greater protection. The proposed rule excludes franchisees from the definition of “worker” and has a single, limited exception that applies to the sale of a business.

Continue Reading FTC Proposes Rule to Ban Noncompete Clauses With Very Limited Exceptions

How does a company keep its trade secrets secret? What can companies do to protect their confidential information? In Episode 10 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sat down with Tangibly CEO Tim Londergan and Troutman Pepper Partner Will Taylor to discuss the hit TV show Severance and how it relates to best practices in dealing with trade secret theft and protecting confidential information. Tune in for a lively discussion!

Continue Reading What Can the Show Severance Teach Us About Trade Secrets?

Should you be friends with your coworkers outside of work? What should employers consider when they learn about a relationship outside of the workplace? In Episode 9 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Matt Leeth, executive vice president of legal affairs at Jushi Holdings, Inc., to discuss an episode of the TV series The Office, and best practices in dealing with relationships outside of the workplace. Tune in for a lively discussion!

Continue Reading What Can the TV Series The Office Teach Us About Friendships at Work?

Q. How do I fight antisemitism in the workplace?

A. The recent headlines involving Ye, Kyrie Irving, Dave Chappelle, and others are just the latest in a string of highly disturbing antisemitic statements and incidents. In 2021, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States — a 34% increase from 2020 and the highest number on record since ADL first began tracking antisemitic occurrences in 1979. As many as 1,496 antisemitic acts have been reported in this calendar year alone, ranging from the distribution of antisemitic propaganda to physical attacks against Jewish individuals to bomb threats.

Continue Reading Combatting an Increase in Workplace Antisemitism

Q. May an employer discipline or discharge an employee for appearing in a TikTok video?

A. If the employee is part of a union, inappropriate conduct in a TikTok video may not be sufficient grounds for a just cause termination. In 2019, a Pennsylvania school district terminated a third-grade teacher after the district discovered the teacher had appeared with her minor daughter in an online TikTok video. However, following arbitration and two appeals, the teacher was reinstated to her former position and received all lost earnings, seniority, and benefits.

Continue Reading Inappropriate Video Conduct Not Always Sufficient Grounds for Employment Termination

On November 24, New York’s Adult Survivors Act “revival window” is set to open for adult victims of sexual abuse. Revival windows, also called “lookback periods,” provide a limited period, usually at least one year, for sexual abuse victims to file otherwise time-barred civil claims. New York previously opened a revival window for minor victims of sexual abuse under its 2019 Child Victim’s Act, which closed in August 2021.

Continue Reading Employers and Others Prepare for New York’s Adult Survivors Act Revival Window Opening November 24