In House: HR & Employment Law Archives
In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in HR & Employment Law Category

KBR Inc., a Texas tech and engineering company, has settled the first SEC "pretaliation" enforcement action under Dodd-Frank, Inside Counsel reported yesterday. KBR's standard confidentiality agreement, used in internal investigations, forbids employees from "discussing any particulars" about the investigation without prior authorization from the law department. That's illegal pretaliation, according to the SEC.

In-house counsel, get ready to spend your weekend reviewing your company's confidentiality policies!

It's already started. The 2016 presidential election is more than a year and a half away, but we're already being asked if we're ready for Hillary or willing to pass the hat for Ted Cruz. The election season is upon us and it's not going away anytime soon.

For many people, politicking isn't an after-hours only hobby, but something that pervades their whole life. So what's a GC to do when campaigning leaks into the office?

Companies that rely on highly skilled foreign workers to replace domestic counterparts may be facing increased scrutiny in the near future. Ten senators recently called for an investigation into the government's H-1B visa program. That program allows employers to hire specialized foreign workers in order to fill slots that can't be filled by domestic labor.

Many companies, particularly in the tech industry, have been arguing for an expansion to the program. To critics, however, the H-1B visas aren't a source of new talent, but an open door to replacing American workers with lower paid foreign labor. Recent developments could put a kink in the plans of employers who rely on such visas.

JPMorgan Chase is instituting new software that will identify "rogue employees" before they actually do wrong, the banking and financial services company announced. We'll skip the comparison to "Minority Report," the early aughts film in which Tom Cruise hunts down "precriminals" before they can act.

Chase has been rattled by compliance over the past years, having recently settled a Department of Justice investigation into its mortgage practices for $13 billion. It has faced continuing investigation on multiple fronts, from accusations that it manipulated energy markets, to claims it improperly steered clients into self-serving investments.

Could a corporate Big Brother be the answer to Chase's woes? If it is, will others follow?

As Indiana and Arkansas were considering "religious freedom" bills that, opponents argued, would give companies the right to discriminate, several high profile corporations took public stances against them.

Apple, Salesforce, American Airlines and even Walmart spoke out against the legislation. Yeah, Walmart, the second largest corporation in America, often reviled by progressives, contacted the Governor of Arkansas and urged him to veto his state's RFRA legislation.


Making friends outside the legal department can be difficult. For one, you might be shy or maybe you lack the shared interests needed to make a friendship stick. Or, maybe you just know too much inside dirt.

For in-house lawyers, spreading your social connections outside your department can raise some tricky issues.

Putting together the best team possible can require finding not just candidates that are qualified, but who match the personality of a company, office, or management. In other words, hiring for "culture fit."

Increasingly though, corporate emphasis on culture fit has come under fire, as a spate of lawsuits accuse employers of using culture as a cover for discrimination. So, when does hiring someone who "fits in" cross the line into impermissible employment discrimination?

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit brought by a pregnant driver against UPS to proceed. The driver, Peggy Young, was told by her doctor that she shouldn't be lifting more than 20 pounds. UPS drivers, however, have to lift 70 pounds. She asked for an accommodation, UPS said no, and Peggy was unable to work, eventually losing her medical benefits.

The Supreme Court's decision has wide-ranging implications for pregnancy discrimination and sets out a new test for determining whether an employer action is discriminatory toward a pregnant employee. Here's what GCs need to know.

Are employees in your company traveling abroad for work? Depending on how high up they are in the company, what industry you're in, and where they're going, robbery and kidnapping are genuine concerns. So, too, are natural disasters and diseases. Pretty much same as here, but with a different legal system to content with.

Don't worry, though; you can keep them safe! Here are four things in-house legal counsel should know about mitigating the risks to your employees traveling abroad.

For a lot of attorneys, working in-house is an accomplishment in and of itself. But even with highly desired jobs, some places are better than others. What should be an attorneys dream in -house position?

Here's three great places that should count as many lawyer's fantasy employers. Lawyers interested in unique work environments, where employees are both challenged and rewarded, and where the enterprise is at the top of its field, should check out: