Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Mandating friendliness: can employers require you to be happy?

by Take Two®

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File: The Trader Joe's sign is seen during the grand opening of a Trader Joe's on Oct. 18, 2013 in Pinecrest, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trader Joe's is known for its low prices, signature products, and friendly "crew members."  But the chipper attitude and smiling faces may not always be genuine. Some employees at East Coast Trader Joe's stores say they are pressured to appear happy even when they are not.

The New York Times reports that an unfair labor practices charge was filed yesterday with a National Labor Relations Board regional office. Employees say that the mandated friendliness actually violates their  rights. In a similar case, T-Mobile  was forced to remove a comparable policy. 

For a closer look at the legal implications of making employees seem cheerful, Take Two's Alex Cohen spoke with Harley Shaken. He is a professor at U.C. Berkeley who specializes in labor law.  

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above. 

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