We’re coming in late with this Workplace Week in Review but only because there was so much news to sift through!

First, Happy Martin Luther King Day.  I hope everyone is at home, resting and reflecting on Dr. King’s teachings.  One of my favorites, which I try to remember during trying times, is in the image above.

If you read any news at all this past week you know that President Biden apparently had lots of classified documents at his home, including some in his garage next to his corvette?  Like, print outs of highly classified documents just sitting in a box next to his speedster.  This is obviously no bueno for him politically.  But from an employment law perspective this highlights, albeit on a much larger scale, the danger in keeping a company’s documents.

A while back I wrote about well-meaning clients unknowingly subjecting themselves to potential liability for data theft by gathering evidence to support their claims.  Taking company information (even that which you have or had access to while an employee) can be data theft and expose a client to a multitude of legal claims.  The risk in taking company documents is almost never worth the reward.

In better news, the Illinois legislature passed the Paid Leave for All Workers Act which gives employees 40 hours of paid time off which they can use for any reason.  If Governor Pritzker signs this bill into law (which he has said he will), Illinois will be the third state in the country to provide such protections.  This is a pretty big win for Illinois workers!

Speaking of employee time off, to no one’s surprise, we learned this week that employees and managers disagree about remote work and productivity.  Spoiler alert:  employees think they are more productive at home and employers think they are less so.  Here at our firm, we use a blended model where we are in the office some days with the flexibility to work from home on others.  Happy employees are the most productive ones.  I suspect it’s not the remote work that increases productivity; its the flexibility that does.

On that note, Bob Iger, CEO of Disney (supposedly the Happiest Place on Earth), has ordered all employees to return to the office four days a week, claiming creativity and collaboration require in-person connections with others.  Disney may be the Happiest Place on Earth but I bet their offices won’t be.

Finally, in the odd but true category, the first ROBOT LAWYER is scheduled to argue his/her/their(???) first cases in two undisclosed traffic courts somewhere in the United States. Apparently, the robots will “feed” defendants via an earpiece the legal arguments which the defendants, themselves, will regurgitate to the Court.  Given clients’ tendencies to go off script, I’m betting this will not go as planned.  Stay tuned!

Have a great week!