Jay Holland was recently featured in the January cover story for Workforce Magazine discussing emoji use in business and sexual harassment in the workplace. This is an increasingly important issue as professional communication becomes more informal.
Holland cites many possible issues of emojis, including their ability to be easily misinterpreted. Although they are images, emojis are not universal. Holland explains that what may be a positive emoji in our culture, can be interpreted as offensive in another.
Regarding sexual harassment cases, Holland acknowledges that emojis can be used as evidence in a lawsuit. “If a harasser is regularly using emojis and upping their game, so to speak, from smileys to hearts to kissy faces, that’s evidence of workplace hostility,” Holland explains. To combat this, Holland suggests that employers create preventative policies and that they treat any violations seriously.
Jay Holland is a principal in our Civil Litigation Group and chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment, and Qui Tam Whistleblower practice. He is a renowned litigator known for taking on tough cases and achieving exceptional results. Outside of the courtroom, Holland is a frequent lecturer and writer on labor, employment law, and False Claims Act cases and is often called upon to present to bar associations and other organizations.
Workforce Magazine is a multimedia publication that covers the intersection of people, management and business strategy. Their articles cover a variety of topics from management principles, to legal issues and workplace culture.
To learn more about the issues of emoji usage, and to read the article in full, click the image below.