HR Daily Advisor

In an article published March 11, 2024, in HR Daily Advisor’s Learning & Development special section, Constangy attorney Joyce Dos Santos conveyed “lessons learned” for employers from the viral termination of Cloudflare's tech worker, Brittany Pietsch.

The article discussed the trend among Gen-Z employees of recording and sharing their terminations on social media platforms. Dos Santos warned that such actions could put future employability at risk and result in legal consequences. “The allure of views on social media should not override the potential professional and legal consequences,” Dos Santos shared.

Dos Santos advised employers to navigate the recording trend wisely and only implement policies prohibiting the recording of information not protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. “Employers who interfere with or restrain employees’ Section 7 rights may be found to have committed an unfair labor practice. Thus, for most employers, policies prohibiting recording should apply only to information that is not protected under Section 7, such as information about customers, vendors, suppliers or corporate trade secrets,” explained Dos Santos.

Additionally, Dos Santos shared best practices for employers to avoid viral controversies, including:

  • Preventing surprises with timely and documented performance discussions
  • Conducting terminations in private and in person
  • Keeping communication brief and non-argumentative
  • Protecting company confidential information.

Dos Santos emphasized the importance of seeking legal advice to assess the risk of terminating an employee, especially those who belong to a protected class, have recently complained about an issue in the workplace, have recently returned from a leave of absence, or have been with the company for a long time. By adopting best practices and seeking legal guidance, employers can avoid making the wrong kind of headlines.

“Preventive legal guidance will help to ensure compliance with employment laws and minimize legal risks. In this new era of viral job terminations, caution is the latest trend,” Dos Santos concluded.

For the full article, please click here.


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