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Tracey Diamond counsels clients on workplace issues, provides harassment training, conducts internal investigations, drafts policies and procedures, negotiates employment and severance agreements, advises on independent contractor, FMLA and ADA compliance issues, and partners with clients to structure their workforce in the most efficient and effective way possible.

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

What should employers do when they learn about harassment in the workplace? In Episode 8 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Leah Katz sit down with Sarah Goncher, deputy general counsel of operations for a regional health care provider, to discuss the TV series Succession and best practices in dealing with workplace harassment. Tune in for a lively discussion!

Continue Reading What Can the TV Series Succession Teach Us About Harassment?

How do office romances affect the workplace? What should employers consider when they learn of an office romance? In Episode 7 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Michelle Rice, senior corporate counsel, labor and employment at Yelp, to discuss the movie The Hating Game and best practices in dealing with office romances. Tune in for a lively discussion!

Continue Reading What Can the Movie The Hating Game Teach Us About Office Romances?

What steps should an employer take to terminate an employee properly? What is the best way to communicate the termination decision? In Episode 6 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partner Tracey Diamond and Associate Brian Ellixson sit down with Barry Thrutchley, vice president of human resources at Puratos Corporation, to discuss the movie Up In The Air and best practices in conducting terminations. Tune in to hear a lively discussion about the “right” way to deliver bad news.

Continue Reading What Can Up In The Air Teach Us About the “Best” Way to Terminate an Employee?

In Episode 5 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Troutman Pepper Partners Ashley Hager and Lynne Wakefield to discuss the hit show The Handmaid’s Tale and lessons learned about corporate abortion policies. Tune in to hear a lively conversation about what companies can do if they want to offer abortion benefits, including travel benefits, and the risks and challenges of implementing such benefits.

Continue Reading What Can The Handmaid’s Tale Teach Us About Corporate Abortion Policies?

Q: Have any courts addressed a company’s ability to regulate the type of masks that employees wear at work?

A: At the height of the pandemic and after the death of George Floyd in June 2020, many employers grappled with whether they could and should regulate the type of face masks worn in the workplace. The appellate courts for the First and Third circuits recently addressed this issue, reaching different conclusions. The First Circuit ruled that an employer is permitted to discipline employees for wearing Black Lives Matter (BLM) face masks in the workplace in violation of its dress code. In a Third Circuit decision, the court enjoined the employer from enforcing a dress code policy, banning employees from wearing BLM face coverings. The differences in outcome can be attributed mainly to the fact that the employer in the First Circuit case was a private employer, and the employer in the Third Circuit case was a public employer.

Continue Reading BLM Messaging on Face Masks in the Workplace

Q: Does federal antitrust law bar independent contractors from engaging in a group boycott to increase wages and alter conditions of employment?

A: No. The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an individual’s independent contractor status does not bar application of the labor-dispute exemption to antitrust law, which exempts collusion among potential competitors for the purpose of increasing wages or improving conditions of employment.

Continue Reading First Circuit Holds Antitrust Labor-Dispute Exemption Applies to Independent Contractors’ Protest Activities

Work-life balance — does it exist? In Episode 4 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Debbie Epstein Henry, best-selling author, public speaker, consultant, and host of the Inspiration Loves Company podcast, to discuss the hit TV show Severance and lessons learned about work-life balance. Tune in to hear a lively discussion about ways companies can help workers find work-life balance to increase happiness and satisfaction, while maximizing effectiveness.

Continue Reading What Can the Show Severance Teach Us About Work-Life Balance?

Why is confidentiality in the workplace so important? What employee information needs to be kept confidential? In Episode 3 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Richard Eskew, executive vice president, general counsel, and chief privacy officer of Accolade, Inc., to discuss the hit T.V. show Squid Game and lessons learned about confidentiality agreements and restrictive covenants. Tune in to hear a lively discussion about the balance between corporate confidentiality and employee engagement, different types of corporate confidential materials (and the methods used to maintain their secrecy), the risks of employees taking such materials, as well as what companies can do to protect themselves.
Continue Reading What Can Squid Game Teach Us About Confidentiality Agreements and Restrictive Covenants?