01/06/2020

Jeremy Merkelson Discusses Employment Law in Fortune Article on Employee Activist Statements Mentioning Company

Holland & Hart’s Jeremy Merkelson, a labor and employment attorney in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, was quoted in a Fortune article titled “Amazon Is on a Collision Course With Employee Activists Outraged by the Climate Crisis,” published online January 4, 2020.

A group of Amazon employees said Thursday that they had been questioned by Amazon's human resources and legal representatives for speaking out last year about the company’s role in the climate crisis. According to a statement from Amazon Workers for Climate Justice, a coalition of employees who want Amazon to do more to address the climate emergency, some say they received written warnings that they'll be terminated if they continue to speak out.

"Most employers require when an employee speaks or makes social media, they have to make it clear their views are their own and not of the company," says Jeremy Merkelson, an employment attorney at Washington D.C. law firm Holland and Hart. "That is permissible."

"Attempting to create a streamlined set of processes is wise," Merkelson says. "Having rules that everyone understands in advance is wise to try to prohibit that tension from erupting later when there has been a violation."

To read a summary of the article online, click here.

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