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Aimee Delaney Weighs in on Google Engineer Firing Post-Memo

August 11, 2017

Aimee Delaney, a Chicago-based partner and leader of the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, was recently cited in articles reporting on the legality of Google’s termination of one of its engineers, who posted a 10-page memo questioning the company's gender diversity policies. Delaney specifically weighed in on how high profile decisions that get significant media attention can complicate matters for an employer.

In Corporate Counsel's "Google Engineer Firing: 'No-Brainer' or More Complicated," Delaney circumspectly notes that when it comes to high profile termination decisions, general counsel must "make the assessment to understand the risk, based on [their] own corporate culture and needs." She then adds that "over the last decade employers very frequently are dealing with employees posting something out in the universe of the internet that bleeds into the workplace, and they ask, 'Now what do we do?'" If speech, however, violates a company’s code of conduct, the company must take some action.

Read "Google Engineer Firing: 'No-Brainer' or More Complicated" on the Corporate Counsel website

In a Law360 article "Google Memo Author's NLRB Charge Tees Up Tough Fight," emphasis is on the involvement of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in relation to the Google memo, as James Damore filed a charge with the NLRB alleging that Google "interfered with and restrained his right to engage in 'protected, concerted activity' under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act." "This is more often than not the forum where social media termination [cases] go," said Aimee Delaney. "The NLRB is where I would have expected [Damore's case] to go. It's the best of what can be some otherwise limited avenues."

Read "Google Memo Author's NLRB Charge Tees Up Tough Fight" on the Law360 website

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. law firm with 450 attorneys located in 11 states and London. Founded in 1934, the firm has a national reputation for its insurance industry work, its representation of professionals and law firms, and its closely coordinated business advisory, transactional and litigation services. We serve clients ranging from emerging and middle-market businesses to Fortune 500 companies, as well as governmental and public sector clients.

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