“Why the ‘Equal Opportunity Jerk” Defense Should Be a Last Resort for Employers”

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/why-the-equal-opportunity-jerk-defense-17124/

Bruce’s Summary: First, does this sound like a familiar subject? Well, I commented earlier this month on the same subject, “Jerk Managers” and yes, it’s still timely. Please no names, but do, as an HR Professional, share this write up and the other one on my web page on this delicate subject of “jerk managers” with your CEO/CFO. Both authors do a very good job of explaining the basic costs of doing business 101 in a legalized way.

The most fascinating thing by the author in this write up is the apparent number of times (unfortunately, I’m not surprised) after an official EEOC charge or lawsuit is received by the company accusing a manager of discriminating against an employee, the response received by the defense attorney from management is, “yes, the manager treated the plaintiff horribly, but he does that to everyone he supervises.” As I have commented in the past, “there are no secrets”, there’s just short term memory loss until something blows up.
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/why-the-equal-opportunity-jerk-defense-17124/
By sharing this timely subject with those in the know, something more positive might just occur within the work environment that could increase revenue and productivity. Just think if management had addressed such inappropriate behavior when it first began, even the “Jerk Manager” may have been saved but more importantly ROI could have been positively affected through an increase in morale, engagement, retention and who knows maybe something good said about the organization on social media. Employees might even start enjoying coming to work, what a concept! “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

“National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel Issues Guidance on Employer Handbook Rules” 6/11/18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/national-labor-relations-board-s-41767/

Bruce’s Summary: On June 6, 2018, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a Memorandum (18-04) announcing a new standard for analyzing whether a work rule violates employee’s rights under the NLRA in reference to the Board’s recent holding in “The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017).
According to the author, the new standards focus on the balance between the rule’s negative impact on an employees’ ability to exercise their Section 7 rights and the rule’s connection to employers’ right to maintain discipline and productivity in their workplace.
The NLRB breaks out each of the three categories identified and gives examples of lawful rule language, unlawful language and certain rules that warrant individualized scrutiny. For those HR Professionals with responsibility for Employee Handbook revisions, you don’t usually get a detailed blue print to work from. You have one now. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

The Era of the Jerk Manager Is Over 5/30/18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-era-of-the-jerk-manager-is-over-17054/

Bruce’s Summary: First, interesting article and somewhat timely. A subject normally only talked about in the organizational halls but not publicly, even though everyone in the organization knows who it is. Who it is, has connections, who it is, has power, and who it is, does it publicly to others. On the other hand, if a Jerk Manager doesn’t have the above, they aren’t around very long, they do literally disappear from the organization rather quickly.
During my 35 plus years in industry, although few and far in-between, I ran across my share of Jerk Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and Chief Executive Officers. They all had something in common, the lust for personal power and control. In every case, the individual was well known throughout the organization for such bad behavior. Once it was recognized that the organization (executive management) was more interested in letting the Jerk, regardless of management title, stay because of their positive impact on the bottom line, a strange thing began to happen, the best and brightest began leaving. In the past it was just easier to find another job and move on.
However, as the author rightfully shows today with easy access to social media there are even less secrets and the positive or negative political exposure is instant. For organizations, instant means very little time for damage control tactics and reputational coverage. It is truly in one’s face instantly and per the author, the #MeToo movement has shown how quickly the damage can occur.
Today, for those HR Professionals who are facing such challenges within their organization there is more than enough public data available to help HR do a cost analysis of potential liability in legal costs and reputational damage. Oh, yes and not to mention going back and showing the “Ice Berg Theory” of the real cost! When one adds in the drop in morale, loss in productivity, bad social media public relations and turnover, etc. the underlying costs can really skyrocket. Yes, HR it is your time to help your senior executive staff and/or board realize the long-term positive costs is getting rid of the Jerk Manager and the author gives some good examples of how to do just that. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com