January 2024 Federal Employment Law Training Group Newsletter

Does Workplace Emoji Use Make You 😩?

I recently read an article in The Atlantic about emerging litigation over the increasing use of emoji (where I also learned the plural of emoji is “emoji”) in the professional world. From allegations of emoji use leading to insider trading to contract disputes over emoji interpretations, lawsuits involving emoji are at an all-time high – and some involve BIG money.

I searched the annals of EEOC, MSPB and FLRA case law found cases involving uses of emoji including 💩, 😘, 👋🏼, 😝, 😉, 😳, 😡, ❤️💛🖤🤍, and more. Only two EEOC cases contain the word emoji, and about 20 MSPB decisions (all initial decisions) contain the word. Emoji have not yet made their way into FLRA cases, but they undoubtedly will.

The law evolves over time. A dozen years ago, the word emoji was not commonly used, let alone in litigation. As with all topics impacting the Federal workplace, FELTG stays on top of it so you’ll be informed on the most important emerging issues. Stick with us!

This month’s newsletter discusses the state of the civil service, medical inability to perform, the “severe or pervasive” standard in harassment cases, and workers’ compensation overpayments.

Take care,

Deborah J. Hopkins, FELTG President

The State of the Civil Service: 2024 Edition

By Deborah J. Hopkins, January 17, 2024 With the start of another year, it’s time for our annual update on what’s happening in the Federal employment law agencies most relevant to FELTG readers. Let’s get right to it.  Merit Systems Protection Board Isn’t it wonderful...

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