Q.  There is a lot of conversation in the national media about the #MeToo movement. How do I ensure that my employees are treating each other properly?

A.  In October of 2017, the two-word hashtag,“#MeToo,” created a social media movement amongst women and men who have experienced sexual harassment. The hashtag was an attempt to educate society about the prevalence of sexual harassment. As a result of the movement, men and women all over the world have been reporting inappropriate behavior in the workplace.  Thus, employers need to be ready for the impact of the MeToo movement and make sure that they have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to effectively address harassment complaints.
Continue Reading Tips for Addressing and Investigating Sexual Harassment Allegations in the Workplace in Light of the #MeToo Movement

Now more than ever employers must have a clear and concise policy regarding work email accounts.  While it is commonly understood that an employee’s work email is property of the employer and subject to search at any time, it is important to inform employees of this.  A recent case, Hoofnagle v. Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission out of the Western District of Virginia, demonstrates the importance of a clear policy on email accounts.

Hoofnagel was the manager of a small, local airport who was fired for his use of an email account he used both personally and for business to write an impassioned and volatile email to U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.  The manager’s email came in the wake of the Newtown school shooting tragedy and vehemently defended gun rights.  The airport did not have its own email system, or a written policy addressing the use of email and accompanying expectations.  The manager created the email account when he started there and the airport published the address as an official point of contact.  Further complicating the matter, the manager signed the email with his name and position.  Shortly thereafter, the airport commission voted to terminate the manager and he filed suit.  After the airport terminated the manager, it began going through his emails to check for airport business.
Continue Reading The Importance of a Proper Email Policy

The following information was sent out yesterday (August 21, 2014) by members of our Labor & Employment team in Virginia.  If you have employees in Virginia, you need to read this and consider how it may affect your company.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order 24 on August 14, 2014, to establish an interagency task force on worker misclassification and payroll fraud.
Continue Reading Virginia Governor Creates Task Force on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud

When you are conducting a workplace investigation, do you instruct employees interviewed not to discuss the investigation with other employees?  You probably do.  It protects the fairness, integrity and truth-gathering function of the investigation.  It allows you to do the best possible investigation.

Did you know, however, that giving that instruction to employees — to not discuss the investigation with co-workers — may be illegal?  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently said it is.  Read on for their explanation and what you can do about it.
Continue Reading Telling An Employee “Don’t Discuss It” Can Be Illegal