Employment law refers to the law that governs the relationship between employer and employee, so the Employment section of GitLab Legal interacts with the People Group on a regular basis to provide information and legal advice related to the entire arc of our team members’ relationship with GitLab. So what does that mean?
GitLab’s employment team provides information regarding legal risk and compliance requirements based on particular jurisdictions and particular job types. Often, it is up to the others within the organization whether or not to continue down a certain path once the risks and requirements are known.
When individual team members have questions about their employment, they should interact with the People Group rather than reaching out directly to the Legal team. Visit the People Group Handbook to determine who to work with for your particular needs.
If People Group needs to engage with Legal on a particular question, they will reach out to Legal staff via DMs in Slack or via email in order to ensure that details of the situation and team member personal information remain confidential. This respects team member privacy and may, where applicable, retain attorney-client privilege.
Below are some common employment topics where Legal is asked to provide input. The paragraphs below are intended to assist People Group to know when to reach out to Legal.
Note: GitLab team members should always obtain approval from the Director of Legal, Employment prior to speaking with outside counsel regarding employment-related matters.
Talent Acquisition. Legal reviews sourcing and talent acquisition strategy for compliance and advises about requirements for applicant tracking in the various countries in which we hire.
Background Check. Legal reviews overall background check policy and procedure in place, helps develop background check adjudication process, and serves as escalation point when team responsible for reviewing background check has questions or concerns about specific results.
Contract review. Legal should be asked to review negotiated contracts that seek to change standard terms.
People Operationsproject and titled Semi-Annual
Global Employment Contract Review YYYY-January or June.
Scalable Employment Solutions. As GitLab expands our international presence through new entities and other employment solutions, the Legal Employment team, along with Tax and People Operations, helps develop strategy and ensure legal compliance.
Compliance with onboarding issues. As different countries have different requirements for hiring and disclosures, Legal will assist People Operations to ensure that onboarding issues are compliant for specific locales.
Total Rewards. Total Rewards is responsible for determining what benefits should be provided. Legal is available for advice when determining whether those benefits comply with local law.
Relocation request reviews. Relocation requests are handled by People Operations, which has a very thorough explanation of the process and requirements. After People Operations team members have worked through their workflow, Legal is available to assist with specific unresolved questions.
Conflicts of Interest. If a GitLab team member engages People Operations about a possible conflict of interest, the People Operations team should encourage discussion between the team member and their manager, as many conflict of interest determinations are business decisions, rather than legal decisions. If the team member and manager agree that there is no conflict then the applicable E-Group member can provide written approval, which is maintained in Bamboo HR. Legal is involved in managing the process to ensure that decisions regarding what is or is not a conflict remain consistent across departments and so that the manager and team member can understand the potential risks and implications in order to make an informed decision.
Scalable employment solutions. As GitLab continues to grow, our systems must be scalable. GitLab Legal can assist in developing solutions that ease the work burden on People Operations while maintaining compliance with legal requirements.
Policy development. Legal should be asked to perform a final review when policies are updated or created.
Contract negotiations. In the event that a customer or vendor has questions regarding terms that affect our team members (such as drug tests or more intensive background checks), the procurement team will reach out to the Employment team.
This is a non-exhaustive list of a few employment compliance matters that you should be aware of and keep in mind when communicating with candidates and team members as well as making any sort of employment-related decisions. This is not meant to serve as a complete guide, but as a reminder that there are an abundance of employment compliance matters that we must adhere to and to highlight the importance of careful communication.
Pretty universally across our jurisdictions we cannot make employment decisions (hiring, performance management, termination) because of a person’s age.
We run background checks on all candidates who have reached the background check phase of the interview process; however, the type of information we can request, or what we can do with the information we receive, depends on the rules of the country.
For most people, the terms and conditions of employment depends on what’s in the employment contract.
Universally we do not discriminate based on protected characteristics such as age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, or disability.
GitLab has team members across the globe. In some locations where we do not directly employ team members through a GitLab entity, we use Professional Employer Organizations such as Remote.com and Global Upside to serve as our Employer of Record.
Generally, all jurisdictions have various leave laws that protect time you need to spend with family members, such as parental leave or sick leave to care for qualifying family members. Our handbook includes information on statutory entitlements for team members in our entity locations.
Privacy laws also limit the amount of information we can collect on our team members, including sensitive personal information.
Please review our Anti-Harassment Policy to ensure that no team member should ever feel as if they are being harassed.
This is the process that we must engage in to determine if someone needs an accommodation for a medical or religious reason. Please note it’s a two way street. Transparency is important to ensure that we come up with the best possible solution.
This is never a defense to a claim of any sort of harassment.
We keep this information in BambooHR and only those with certain access rights based on their particular job functions have access to the information.
Please check our handbook for all the different types of paid and unpaid leave available based on your jurisdiction. This requires transparency and letting our leave administrator know the reason for leaving so that we can track it appropriately. As a company we have tracking obligations, and you may have entitlements you didn’t know you had available to you.
There are certain leave protections for various forms of military service. Check the handbook.
This is another protected characteristic. We don’t make decisions based on someone’s national origin.
Work rules vary for team members across our organization based on their location. Some jurisdictions have limitations on the overall number of hours worked, some have limitations on the particular days worked, etc.
At GitLab, we have a Don’t Ask, Do Tell policy, but we ask that you do be transparent and intentional about the time that you take and that you monitor your team members to ensure (1) that they’re taking enough time, (2) that coverage still exists when they take the time, and (3) that if they are taking what seems to be excessive time, you find out why. It could be that they have a reason that they actually need to take leave.
This is a special kind of harassment as defined by US law. It basically means “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” This is not an arrangement that you should ever present to another team member, nor should it ever be presented to you.
We don’t retaliate against anyone who has engaged in protected activity.
Harassment takes all forms based on any number of protected characteristics (age, gender, race, national origin, religion, etc.). Sexual harassment is a particular form based on harassment due to someone’s gender.
Our team that investigates concerns about team member performance, conduct, etc. It’s also the team that reviews accommodation requests. TMR works in conjunction with Legal and the PBP’s when employment decisions must be made.
There may be times someone needs to go on unpaid leave. This will be handled by our Absence Management team.
We have to watch all the rulings around the globe to come up with as simple and safe a policy and process as possible with regard to vaccine mandates.
Our EthicsPoint hotline is available should anyone have a complaint that they wish to raise anonymously.
Generation X, Y, and Z, and even some Boomers, are all in the workforce together. We all give and take feedback differently, work differently, and have different expectations. Managers have to be aware of these generational differences and manage accordingly.
Many countries have an extensive list of laws that govern the employee-employer relationship. Though these laws vary by location, there are a few main laws that set out the employees' fundamental rights and explain the employers' obligations. The following is a non-exhaustive list of some basic employment laws in GitLab's entity locations.