Calvin Associates, Inc.

post »“Encouraging Employee Complaints. Yes, We’re Serious” 2-26-16

March 08 2016, 6:22 pm

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/encouraging-employee-complaints-yes-we-91562/

Bruce’s Summary: The author describes what happened to a Yelp employee who complained in an open letter about not getting paid enough as a customer services representative living in San Francisco. Within 24 hours according to the author, she was fired by her employer. As one can imagine, lots of commentary followed.

Now legal questions arise as to whether the termination was or was not lawful. From the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) making this (employee’s right to talk about wages, etc.) a strong signal to employers to EEOC complaints to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act being violated, etc. etc.

Complaints aren’t what they use to be and maybe that’s not a bad thing and I agree with the author, a conduit would not be a bad thing in allowing people an avenue to be heard. Having worked with people at every level for over 30 years, one thing that has constantly stood out for me is that by taking a few minutes to hear what someone has to say, it is amazing what you will learn. I tried to not give instant answers although most of the time, I knew the answer. I would get back to the person and many times, the answer was not what the person was looking for. With that being said, more times than not, what I did hear was more of an appreciation because they felt someone actually listened to them, regardless of the answer. We all just want to be heard.

The author commented that policies encouraging internal complaints are often the first line of defense when an employee fails to complain about behavior and brings a law suit instead. I agree more with Open Door Policies, if managed by the right people. The author closes with mentioning Google’s extensive and expensive study of what makes a good team. What did they learn, well, what a surprise, “a safe environment where employees can speak freely” is all that was needed. Good article. 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.”