Today's Water Cooler Talk About Current Events Can Lead to Tomorrow's Legal Headache | New Jersey Law Journal –

wp header logo 1381
Spread the love

Content Type
Limit Search to
About Us |  Contact Us |  Site Map
Advertise |  Customer Service |  Terms of Service
FAQ |  Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC.
All Rights Reserved

Employers can expect that a significant portion of employees returning to the office are eager to get back to socializing with co-workers about non-work-related issues. Employers must recognize that some of these discussions could lead to claims of a hostile work environment under the federal and state anti-harassment laws.
August 20, 2021 at 12:00 PM
9 minute read
Employment Law
In March of 2021, YouGov and released the results of a study conducted into various issues relating to employees who have been working at least partially from home since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that 43% of remote workers miss “water cooler chats” and “office chatter.” Since the results of this study were released, New Jersey has seen and will likely continue to see more and more employees returning from virtual workplaces to in-person work settings. Based upon this study, employers can expect that a significant portion of these employees are quite eager to get back to socializing with co-workers about non-work-related issues. Employers must recognize that the water cooler talk that employees will engage in these days will very likely be much different from the discussions that were occurring when COVID-19 first stuck in March of 2020. Many of these discussions could lead to claims of a hostile work environment under the federal and state anti-harassment laws. 
It is known that litigation can arise from workplace discussions about matters that are happening in an employee’s day-to-day life and/or things being seen in the media. Some may recall the civil lawsuit from the 1990s that arose from an incident where a female employee complained about a male co-worker who had discussed with her at work an episode of the television show Seinfeld that had sexual connotations. For those not familiar with the lawsuit or Seinfeld, it was an episode where the main character (Jerry Seinfeld) tries to remember a girlfriend’s name that rhymes with a female body part. The lawsuit not only gained a lot of publicity, but in July of 1997, it resulted in a jury awarding the plaintiff in the case $26.6 million in damages.

Already have an account?
*May exclude premium content
By David S. Carton and Lynne Strober
By Jonathan Erway
By Justin Henry
By Kenneth L. Baum
Cooley Applauded for Standing Up to Elon Musk’s Threat to Fire Associate
The American Lawyer
Penn Law Dean Announces Plan to Pursue Sanctions Against Professor Amy Wax
Banking Clients No Longer ‘Jewel in the Crown’ For Law Firms, Partners Say
International Edition
Law Firms Love to Talk About Culture. But Can They Define It?
The American Lawyer
Brooklyn US Attorney Names Leadership Staff, Brings Hawaii Prosecutor Back to NYC
New York Law Journal
License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.
Presented by BigVoodoo
Join the industry’s top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!
The annual China Law & Practice Awards is the jurisdiction’s most prestigious legal awards ceremony that applauds China’s elite.
Recognizing innovation in the legal technology sector for working on precedent-setting, game-changing projects and initiatives.
Our multi-state law firm is seeking 2 experienced litigation attorneys licensed in New York and New Jersey. The qualified applicants will ha…
Applications being accepted through January 31, 2022. If interested, apply by that date.We are a top-ranked, plaintiff-side litigation bouti…
Duane Morris LLP seeks a full-time staff attorney with 2-4 years of experience in representing lenders in mortgage foreclosure actions in ou…
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF THE NEW YORK COURTS Mourns the Passing of Roy L. Reardon July 20, 1929 January 7, 2022 A Salute to….. Roy L. Reardon A Lawyer for all Seasons
McElroy Deutsch mourn the demise of dear friend, colleague, and parnter Suzanne E. Baldasare
Don’t miss the crucial news and insights you need to make informed legal decisions. Join New Jersey Law Journal now!
Already have an account? Sign In
The industry-leading media platform offering competitive intelligence to prepare for today and anticipate opportunities for future success.


Read Previous

OIG Joint Venture Advisory Opinion Does Not Consider Multiple Court Decisions That Undermine the Conclusions in its Opinion – JD Supra

Read Next

A neighbor's noisy toilet is a human rights violation, Italy's top court rules – The Washington Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.