What to Do When Employees Go Public with Work-Related Complaints


In an article published by Forbes on March 23, 2021, Partner Ronald Schirtzer is quoted discussing how employers should respond when employees go public about internal sensitive and/or controversial work-related matters. 

A case in point is Goldman Sachs where, according to recent news reports, junior investment bankers are experiencing burnout from 100-hour work weeks and demanding bosses during a boom in deals. The first-year analysts took to social media with their complaints. How should employers respond while avoiding a PR nightmare and remaining within their legal bounds? 

"When employees have publicly disclosed negative, sensitive and/or potentially confidential information, employers face a myriad of potential legal and public relations quagmires when formulating an appropriate response," Schritzer says. "If the offending employees can be identified, from a legal standpoint, disciplinary action, up to and including termination of the employees disclosing the information may be an available response." 

To minimize the likelihood of employees disclosing sensitive internal information, Schirtzer suggests steps including adopting company policies in employee handbooks and/or company guidelines, requiring employees to sign non-disclosure confidentiality agreements, limiting access to sensitive and/or confidential information on a need-to-know basis, considering utilizing an employee ombudsman and/or open-door policy, and incorporating best practices for employee management and communication regarding working conditions into management training programs. 

For the full article, click here

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