Recent Blog Posts
- Uber Presents a Cautionary Tale for Human Resources Departments A recent blog post by Susan Fowler, a former software engineer at Uber, and the author of two books regarding software engineering, has once again drawn national attention to the issue of the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry. Her story has received extensive media coverage, and Uber has retained former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Ms. Fowler’s allegations. Further, the allegations appear to have reinvigorated the #DeleteUber social media campaign.
Ms. Fowler’s account describes a plethora of... More
- Does the NLRB’s New Joint-Employer Standard Mean That a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Can Turn a Customer into a Joint Employer? In August 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) issued its decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), adopting a new standard for determining whether a company is a joint employer and therefore subject to all of an employer’s legal obligations under the NLRA with respect to the employees of another employer that provides it with services, leased or temporary labor, or the like. Since then, there have been many dire predictions as to how... More
- Promoting Diversity Without Reverse Discrimination Technology media and telecommunications (“TMT”) industry employers should begin taking steps to mitigate a new litigation risk—reverse discrimination claims. This past year there were a number of news stories regarding the lack of diversity in the technology industry (see, for example, articles in Inc., The Cut, Fusion, The New York Times, and Wired). Numerous advocacy groups pressured TMT employers to focus on increasing workplace diversity in order to eliminate this disparity. As TMT employers continue to defend themselves against these allegations, the recently filed Complaint... More
- Labor Law Developments That Will Shake Technology, Media and Telecommunications Employers Several recent National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) decisions are likely to give further momentum to ongoing union organizing efforts targeting employers in the technology, media and telecommunications industry. Organized labor has already demonstrated that it is interested in actively expanding in this area, both among white collar employees and ancillary workers.
Most significantly, on August 27, the Board discarded the test it had used for determining whether companies are joint employers for the past 30 years and adopted... More
- Accepting Social Responsibility Not Legal Liability We recently blogged about recent gender discrimination lawsuits filed against technology industry employers. Following in the wake of these lawsuits have been news stories regarding the lack of diversity in the technology industry. The scale of the statistical disparity, (for example, 90% of Twitter’s technical employees are male), creates major litigation risks for companies seeking to remedy this disparity. Technology companies eager to accept social responsibility for correcting these discrepancies must be careful not to inadvertently invite legal liability for... More
- What to Do If You Are (or Don’t Want to Be) Hacked In light of the many high profile cyber-attacks on businesses this past year, employers should assess their vulnerability relative to data breaches and take steps to protect themselves from hackers as well as more innocuous business practices that could result in data breaches. Businesses that handle protected health information are regulated under HIPAA to adopt administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality of this information. However, various state and federal laws place duties upon employers to protect non-HIPAA-covered... More