Jack is an associate in Dorsey’s Labor & Employment group, where he focuses his practice on employment advice, litigation, and traditional labor-law issues. In his advice practice, Jack helps clients avoid litigation and position themselves effectively in case an employee does bring a claim. When counseling employers, Jack draws both from his legal experience and from the practical experience gained in his first career as a print reporter and newsroom manager, including service as a regional correspondent for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C., as a reporter and editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, and as the manager and editor of a suburban news team for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Question: My company recently terminated an employee, and we are very worried she accessed her email inappropriately in the days before she was fired. The timing of it all is … well, quirky.
Here’s what happened: The employee’s manager met with her on a Friday and informed her that her performance was not acceptable, even after several earlier warnings to improve. The manager told the employee to go home early and return to work first thing Monday to meet with the manager and the manager’s supervisor. The supervisor, manager, and employee met as planned on Monday and the employee was terminated. Later that day, however, our IT folks reviewed her account and determined she had accessed her email dozens of times on Saturday and Sunday – there are no “sent messages” in her account, so we figure that she was printing off e-mail and maybe contacts because she saw the writing on the wall about the Monday meeting.
Our policies allow employees to access email from home – but we can’t think of any reason why she would have done so over this weekend and IT said she hadn’t logged in from home for at least six months. Needless to say, the timing is very suspicious, and we’re thinking about suing to find out what she did when she logged in. Can we?
Question: Where can I find more information about the DOL’s doubling of the FLSA salary basis threshold? Did they make other changes? As an employer, what does this mean for me? And how long do I have to prepare?
Dorsey’s L&E lawyers work closely with clients to avoid and defend against litigation, develop effective workplace policies and procedures, protect intellectual property, support corporate decisions affecting the workplace, and counsel on traditional labor law matters. Click here for more information.