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LAW

John Alan Doran

Lindsay Fiore

Emily Johnson

Tracy A. Miller

2. UNEQUAL PAY

6. BAD JUDGMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“One of the biggest changes that employers have seen centers around the issue of pay equity,” says Shawn Oller, office managing shareholder at Littler. “Twenty years ago, it was very common for employers to ask applicants how much they made at their previous positions and base their new salaries on their previous salary. Now, that would be a mistake. Over the years, there has been an increased focus on pay equity issues with both Congress and various states taking aim at pay practices that may have seemed fine 20 years ago but, now, can only land employers in hot water.” 

“It might not fall into the ‘having fun’ category, but squarely hits on a driver for #MeToo, #TimesUp and all things Millennial: social media,” says Susan Wissink, director of the Business & Finance Practice Group at Fennemore Craig. “There’s still a lingering notion that Facebook and Instagram are for personal social media interaction and LinkedIn is for professional connections. Unlike when these platforms first launched, you just can’t go around posting believing that a silo exists. There are so many platforms and ways to be found. People look for professionals who use good judgment in how they present themselves everywhere – online and in real life.”

3. NO TOUCHING “Co-workers should never touch each other,” Reder says. “Individuals may misconstrue what a pat on the arm or a hug means, even if the intent is innocent. Not only may the individual being touched misconstrue the touching, but others in the office may also as well. Keep your hands off each other — particularly when it comes to men touching women. Just don’t do it.”

4. EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE “Employers should take an even more measured approach when it comes to employee discipline,” Oller says. “The rise of social media puts an employer’s missteps on display in a way that is unprecedented. While many employers may feel time pressure, the adage, ‘Work quickly but don’t rush,’ takes on new importance. Take the time to understand the situation and, if necessary, consult with legal counsel and understand the legal, business and brand implications for your decisions.”

5. NO FLIRTING “It’s important to recognize the difference of isolated workplace flirting and harassment or abuse of power,” says John Alan Doran, a member at Sherman & Howard. “If you’re a boss flirting with a subordinate, you are at much greater risk because you wield implied power and influence even without trying. While #metoo serves an incredibly important social problem, it has also dramatically lowered the bar on what is and isn’t considered harmless flirtation.” 16

AB | May - June 2019

7. LIMIT DRINKING “Most offices now have alcohol available to its employees — perhaps in a break room refrigerator,” Reder says. “Employees must understand that the workplace is a professional environment and not a social gathering. If alcohol is available or served, consumption should be limited to a single drink and even then only consumed in a group setting after all employees involved have completed their work. Enjoying a single drink with a group of colleagues can be valuable for office cohesion, but employers need to control that interaction and create a safe environment for participating employees — specifically an environment free of any specter of harassment.”

8. DON’T OVERSHARE “Employees should not use work email to forward jokes, memes, photos, etc., around the office,” says Lindsay Fiore, partner at Quarles & Brady. “The content of these emails are often problematic in one way or another, leaving colleagues feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, or pressured to agree something offensive is ‘funny.’ In addition, as electronic discovery becomes more prevalent and even standard in some cases, what employees say to each other and about each other may end up an integral part of litigation – and a basis for liability. Employees should assume that every email they send will be part of the public record of someone’s lawsuit someday. Work email should be used for work only. It’s hard enough to keep our inboxes up to date as is.”

Profile for AZ Big Media

AZBusiness May/June 2019  

In this issue, we spotlight the healthcare leaders and innovators of 2019 and profile the finalists for the Industry Leaders of Arizona Awar...

AZBusiness May/June 2019  

In this issue, we spotlight the healthcare leaders and innovators of 2019 and profile the finalists for the Industry Leaders of Arizona Awar...