Winstead PC Shareholder Taylor White was featured in Texas Lawyer’s “Texas Takeaways” column about workplace disputes over politics and how employers can address them. An excerpt is below:
“The elections are over, the challenges are done, but workplace disputes over politics are just heating up, says Taylor E. White, a shareholder and member of Winstead’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.
This means two things, according to White: First, employers need to be on the lookout for any sorts of disputes in the workplace now; perhaps now more than ever, given the nature of the issues in play in our country today like immigration, equality, wages, and more.
‘What passes for political debate outside the workplace may cross over into the realm of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, so employers have to pay attention to these issues and recognize that politics touches on protected classes or protected rights in the workplace,’ he said.
The second reason political disputes in the workplace are important, says White, is that in addition to making sure employers have the right policies and procedures in place for dealing with these issues, in light of the unique work environment we have right now, more people than ever are working from home.
‘Now the opportunities for discrimination and harassment or violation of employee rights works a little differently as a practical matter than it used to,’ White said. ‘Therefore, these policies need to be revisited so the employers can address the realities of the workplace today.’ …
Per White, the most important thing employers can do now is revisit and revise their company policies…
‘Employers know their workplace better than their attorneys because they’re there every day,’ he explained. ‘At the end of the day, employers have to really understand the policies in their workplaces, where the jobs are being done, how they’re being done, and by whom, so those policies can be accurate and not just some cookie-cutter policies defined on the internet that may or may not be suitable for your place of business and the way you do things.’”
White regularly advises employers on requirements and best practices regarding discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims under state and federal employment laws, and he often counsels clients on a myriad of litigation avoidance strategies. When in court, White is a zealous advocate on behalf of his clients for claims of breach of contract; employment-related torts; wage and hour violations; trades secrets misappropriation; restrictive covenant breaches; discrimination, harassment and retaliation issues; and, other state and federal law issues stemming from workplace disputes.
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