Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Employment Law Blog Carnival: The 007 Edition

“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”

“Oui, monsieur.”

“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

“Certainly monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.

Bond laughed. “When I’m … er … concentrating,” he explained, “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.”

Ian Flemming, Casino Royale, Ch. 7 (1952).

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s most famous movie spy, James Bond. Since many have compared my suaveness and sophistication with that of 007, celebrating Bond is a fitting topic for my edition of the monthly roundup of the best that the employment law blawgosphere has to offer.


007 is always on guard. In fact, it’s how he starts every movie. In 2012, one of the biggest issues from which employers need to be on guard is the National Labor Relations Board. According to John Holmquist’s Michigan Employment Law Connection, this includes keeping track of how employees use corporate email systems. And, according to Heather Bussing at the HR Examiner, employers also need to be on guard against overly broad workplace policies.


007 has never gotten anyone pregnant (as far as we know) despite ample opportunities. He did get married once, though, at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, only to have his arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, kill his bride a mere hours after ceremony. Her untimely demise prevented the pair from ever procreating. If Bond did have children, however, he’d want to read up on the workplace rights of pregnant women. Two good places to start? No, Seriously - EEOC Targeting Pregnancy Discrimination, from Phil Miles’s Lawffice Space, and Pregnancy Discrimination Continues to Present Hurdle for Women, from Randy Enochs’s Wisconsin Employment & Labor Law Blog.


Live and Let Die brought some color to the James Bond series. Its villain, Mr. Big, was known as the Voodoo Baron of Death. The movie took Bond to the jazz joints of Harlem, to New Orleans, to the Everglades, and finally to the Caribbean. It also features one of the first on-screen mixed-race love scenes. (Interesting fact: Entertainment Weekly reports that the scene was edited from the film for its theatrical run in South Africa). If Bond can embrace diversity, shouldn’t we all? See The Benefits of Embracing Diversity in the Workplace, from CPEhr’s Small Biz HR Blog. Or, if the whole voodoo thing freaks you out, I recommend you read Employment Law Made Un-Scary, the ADA, at Mark Toth’s Manpower Employment Blawg, to calm you down.


The first 14 James Bond movies featured Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, the secretary of Bond’s boss and the head of MI6, M. Maybe M needs to read 5 Ways Not to Handle a Sexual Harassment Complaint, from the i-Sight Investigation Software Blog, in case Moneypenny ever gets tired of Bond’s cheesy come-ons and lodges a complaint. Does Bond really have the hots for Moneypenny, or is it just a game to him? Maybe they all need to read If you hire only people you have the hots for, is that sex discrimination?, from Robin Shea’s Employment & Labor Insider. Or, given how many foreign agents Bond has bedded over the years, maybe M should read $$$ reasons to have a second-language anti-harassment policy, from Eric Meyer’s The Employer Handbook Blog.


Goldfinger, the most iconic James Bond movie, involves a plot to steal America’s gold supply from Fort Knox. What if, instead, it was about an employee blowing the whistle on someone planning to do something illegal at a bank. Take a look at A New Whistleblower Retaliation Statute Grows Up: Dodd-Frank is the new Sarbanes-Oxley, from Dan Schwartz’s Connecticut Employment Law Blog, before you take action against that whistleblower. Something tells me that in the coming years, as these Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims mature, a lot of employers are going to feel like Bond strapped to that table.


No James Bond movie has ever been set in Canada. In fact, only one, The Spy Who Loved Me, even filmed in our neighbor to the North. According to Stuart Rudner, writing at the HR Examiner, Employment is Different in Canada. It looks like spy movies are different up their too.


Finally, the opening chase scene in Casino Royale ends with Bond taking on an entire army inside the Nambutu Embassy. If 007 was a U.S. citizen working in a foreign embassy, would he keep his rights under our discrimination laws? According to Robert Fitzpatrick on Employment Law, the answer is yes.


The Employment Law Blog Carnival will return… Our gracious curator, Eric Meyer, will host next month’s Employment Law Blog Carnival, at The Employer Handbook Blog, on November 14. If you want to participate, email him a link to your employment-law-related blog post by November 9. If you want to host a future edition of the Carnival, you can also let Eric know.

Because I am hosting this month’s Carnival, WIRTW will not run this Friday, and will return with to its regularly featured slot next Friday, with #247.