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?
Based on the outcome of its global expansion process for gathering and assessing relevant details on any particular country (which include local employment legislation and statutory requirements, potential PEO/EOR service agreements or limitations, branch or entity incorporation options, product and privacy considerations etc), 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.
In any situation(s) that relate to specific team members or otherwise require any team member personal information remain confidential, the People Group (and any other GitLab Team Members) should email firstname.lastname@example.org. This respects team member privacy and may, where applicable, retain attorney-client privilege.
When individual team members have questions about their employment at GitLab, they should interact with the People Group rather than reaching out directly to the Legal Employment team. Visit the People Group Handbook to determine who to work with for your particular needs.
If People Group needs to engage with Legal Employment on a particular question, they will apply the
legal-employment::to-do label on the issue that requires attention. This will update the Legal Employment Issue Board and allow the team to triage appropriately. When the Legal Employment team has finished their portion of the issue, they will update the label to
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 Senior Director of Legal, Employment prior to speaking with outside counsel regarding employment-related matters.
Legal reviews sourcing and talent acquisition strategy for compliance and advises about requirements for applicant tracking in the various countries in which we hire.
Legal reviews overall background check policy and procedure in place, helps develop background check adjudication process, and serves as escalation point when the Senior Background Check Specialist has questions or concerns about specific results.
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.
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 is responsible for determining what benefits should be provided. Legal is available for advice when determining whether those benefits comply with local law.
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.
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 Functional Leader can provide written approval, which is maintained in Workday. 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.
As GitLab scales, global expansion efforts require support from a dedicated cross-functional team with multidisciplinary background: Tax, People Ops, Total Rewards, Payroll, Legal, and Finance, with strategic decisions on which countries to prioritize expansion in being made at E-group level. There are challenges related to global expansion, including economic impact, legal exposure, tax exposure, and accounting impact. The GitLab Employment Team coordinates the ‘global expansion legal process’ for each proposed or potential country, as required, collaborating with each of the other GitLab legal teams to gather and review relevant information on any particular country to assess, including whether GitLab already has team members there, and if so, what employment model is currently in use and whether it can be scaled. If there are no team members in a country, the team considers (with input from all of GitLab Legal) what employment options there might be, whether there are any limitations or restrictions on hiring and what the best solution might be for now and for into the future.
Legal should be asked to perform a final review when policies are updated or created.
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 Workday 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 Flexible PTO 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 that:
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.