Since today's post is my first official post at the Legal Workplace Blog, I thought I'd provide all of my new readers a quick introduction about who I am, why I do what I do, and what I hope this blog will accomplish.
I am a-side labor and employment employment lawyer.
I am not so naive as to think that businesses only fire people for good reasons. Companies fire people for lots of reasons—good, indifferent, and unlawful reasons alike. In a perfect world, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment would not exist. But they do, and companies, even those with the best of intentions, run afoul of the complexities of our myriad employment laws. Every lawsuit, administrative charge, and internal complaint is an opportunity for a company to learn from a mistake, whether legal or interpersonal. It is an opportunity to train employers how to handle an employee relation problem better the next time.
In a perfect world, I would never get a call that a client has been sued. In a perfect world, companies would call me once a year to give their human resources practices a full review for compliance with the latest and greatest laws and court decisions. In a perfect world, companies would budget for proactive, preventative help and understand that a small amount of legal fees spent upfront would save a mess of headaches and a huge legal bill later.
Life, however, is far from perfect, and I often only receive calls after the summons arrives. While I love the thrill of the battle that litigation presents, it is the satisfaction I get from helping clients fix their problems so that they get it right the next time that motivates me to do my job every day.
This blog will explore the nature of the relationship between an employer and its employees. It will be a jumping-off point for your company's owners, human resources personnel, managers, and supervisors to know where to start a conversation with your legal counsel when these issues arise. Hopefully, it will leave you more informed about the most important relationship people have besides that with their families, and, in many cases, God—the relationship between a worker and the people for whom he or she works.
This post is excerpted from the The Employer Bill of Rights (Apress: 2012), xi-xii.
- Employers, read those severance agreements
- Damn You Auto Correct! (train your employees to proofread)
- The legal reason why you shouldn’t force employees to turn over social media passwords
- It's your last chance ... to avoid retaliation
- When state law conflicts with the EEOC on criminal background checks, who wins?