BLM and Employment Policies: Enforcement of First Amendment, Title VII, the NLRA, State Labor Laws

Anti-Discrimination Policies, Diversity Initiatives, Restrictions on Activities Outside Employment and Social Media

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide employment counsel with guidance on how to best create a safe and supportive work environment for black employees, employees of color, and other minority employees and to address the demands of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement by changing company policies and practices while adhering to current federal and state laws related to free speech and political activity.

Description

In response to the death of George Floyd, among others, employers are uncertain how to respond and communicate with employees regarding the ongoing protests and the BLM movement across the country. Many employers recognized--for the first time--Juneteenth on June 19, 2020, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves. Are simple corporate pronouncements sufficient to respond to employees' needs and concerns?

With regard to employee self-expression on the BLM movement, employers must be aware of constitutional free speech protections, employee rights under Title VII, the National Labor Relations Act, and state laws that may apply to employee conduct.

Beyond that, employers can choose the level of their response and engagement or choose to do nothing at all--there is no right or wrong answer or a "one size fits all" solution. The most common reaction from employers is to acknowledge the unrest and issue a statement of support. Many employers have also chosen to make a public announcement expressing solidarity and support of the BLM movement, as well as offering transparency in examining their current harassment policies and diversity initiatives.

Many employers have loftier goals to articulate and implement a strategy for supporting racial diversity initiatives within their own workplace and beyond. This action requires substantial reflection, consideration, time, and effort.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses how the BLM movement and employment policies may be in conflict and how employers can appropriately and legally support and communicate systemic change.

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Outline

  1. History of BLM movement
  2. Title VII and EEO
  3. First amendment rights: private vs. public employers
  4. State regulations on political speech
  5. Employer regulation on behavior outside the workplace, including social media
  6. NLRA

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can employers balance employees' demands under BLM and other employees' rights?
  • What must employers do to comply with First amendment, Title VII, and NLRA requirements?
  • Which states provide employees protections regarding political speech?
  • How can employers update their harassment policies to address BLM issues?
  • Can diversity initiatives be used to effectuate BLM demands?

Faculty

Glover, Clifford
Clifford B. Glover, III

Attorney
Shulman Rogers

Mr. Glover focuses largely on the management side of employment litigation and counseling, representing various...  |  Read More

Siler-Nixon, Dawn
Dawn Siler-Nixon

Partner
FordHarrison

Ms. Siler-Nixon has extensive experience handling Family and Medical Leave Act claims and has successfully litigated...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts. To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

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