Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2023

WIRTW #687: the “red rain” edition

What was your worst day at work? 

If you work at Destilaria Levira, in Levira, Portugal, it was almost certainly this past weekend, when two wine storage vats exploded, flooding the town with 2.2m liters of "good quality" red wine. 

But a company is not defined by its disasters, it's defined by how it handles them after the fact. And this business handled his disaster very, very well.

"Dear Neighbors," its Facebook post began. 

We deeply regret the incident that occurred this morning involving the bursting of 2 suitable-to-consumption DOC wine storage units stemming from the extraordinary government support measure to producers and wineries of the Distillation Crisis 2023 motivated by the excess of wine in the country. 

Although the incident did not cause any injuries, we want to express our sincere concern for the damage caused in general in Levira and in particular to his home.  
The causes of the incident are being investigated by the competent authorities. 

We take full responsibility for the costs associated with damage cleanup and repair, with crews available to do it immediately. We're committed to resolving this situation as soon as possible.

Please keep photographic records of damages and damages and contact us to discuss the details and coordinate the necessary procedures. We are available at any time to help you resolve this issue.

Once again we apologize for the inconvenience caused and we're committed to doing whatever is necessary to remedy the situation.

Thank you very much and once again, we are very sorry.

Friday, September 8, 2023

WIRTW #686: the “non-union label” edition

(With a huge tip of the hat to my friend Mike VanDervort for the idea), and inspired by the impending union election at Creature Comforts, I asked Bard, Google's AI assistant, the following question: "What are some good names for a union-free craft beer?"

Bard's suggestions:
  • Free Range Ale
  • Independent IPA
  • Maverick Pale Ale
  • Unshackled Wheat 
  • Renegade Stout
  • Free Spirit Saison
  • Unbowed Brown Ale
  • Unbound Amber Ale
  • Defiant Pilsner
  • Untamed IPA
  • Wild Card Porter

But it is its rationale for choosing those names that is the most enlightening. 

These names all convey the idea of being free from union control, while also being creative and catchy. They would be a good fit for a craft beer that is brewed by a small, independent brewery that values its employees and gives them a fair wage.

There's a whole lot of wisdom in the statement that valuing your employees and paying them a fair wage is what a business needs to do to stay union free. So, crack open an Unshackled Wheat or an Independent IPA and toast those businesses that treat their employees like people, and not like replaceable widgets whose only goal is to make the company profits; they will be the employers that will remain union free, even as the NLRB is doing everything within (and without) its power to unionize as many businesses as possible.

Friday, September 1, 2023

WIRTW #685: the “good bosses” edition

I write about a lot of horrible, terrible bosses … the worst employers

Today, however, I want to use this space to shine a light on five really, really great bosses … specifically late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver. This week, they launched a new podcast — Strike Force Five — to raise money for their employees that have been out of work since the WGA went on strike 122 days ago. 

The hosts are donating all proceeds they receive from the podcast to the out-of-work staff from their respective shows.

Do them a favor and show your support and appreciation by finding Strike Force Five in your podcast app of choice and subscribing. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

WIRTW #684: the “chocolate city” edition

This is Dante, our four-year-old vizsla. Last week, he thought it was a good idea to eat some cocoa powder. As a result, he spent an overnight in the emergency vet hospital; he seems no worse for wear.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains both theobromine and caffeine, which dogs cannot metabolize and which causes significant and dangerous digestive, neurologic, and cardiac effects. In fact, cocoa powder contains the highest concentration of these chemicals and is the most toxic to dogs. According to vet, the Dante likely ate 2.5 times the lethal limit.

In other words, it's a really good thing we took him in.

He did suffer a cardiac episode while admitted. The vet told us Dante had tachycardia (an abnormally increased heart rate), which they controlled via medicine. He's had no other issues since we brought him home.

We all learned a lesson. Dante (hopefully) learned not to eat cocoa powder. We learned that when you're cleaning out your cabinets as water pours out of your kitchen ceiling from a burst pipe, take the time to make sure the dangerous stuff remains out of reach.

This is me, exhaling a huge sigh of relief. 😮‍💨 😌

Here's what I read and heard this past week that you should read and hear, too.

Friday, August 18, 2023

WIRTW #683: the “here comes the flood” edition

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive

– Peter Gabriel, "Here Comes the Flood"

That songs has been playing on a loop in my head for the past few days. That's how long it's been since my house flooded. A supply line to our master shower burst, causing my kitchen ceiling to resemble the Bellagio Fountains (but upside-down). 

T he here of our story is my 15-year-old son, Donovan, who was home with no adults. The rest of us were driving home from our daughter's doctor appointment. D-man FaceTimed me to show me the rushing waters. I pulled over into the nearest parking lot and, also via FaceTime, walked him through how to shut off the water from the main.

Without D-man's quick thinking the flood would have been a lot worse. As it stands, we will need a whole new kitchen, along with new carpet both upstairs and in our basement, some new bathroom cabinets, and I'm sure lots of other stuff.

Needless to say, it's been a week.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, August 4, 2023

WIRTW #681: the “excel-lent” edition

To be the man (or woman), you've gotta beat the man (or woman).

And to beat the man (or woman), you've gotta be really, really good at pivot tables and the xlookup function.

Earlier this morning, ESPN2 aired the Microsoft Excel World Championship.

You read that correctly — the world championship of spreadsheeting.

How in the world does one convert Microsoft Excel into a competitive sport? The answer is by tasking competitors to use Excel to solve complex puzzles. The eight contestants are provided "cases" to solve. Past examples include computing all of the possible outcomes and rewards for a slot machine or all of the possible combinations of license plate numbers. Contestants are then provided 30 minutes to answer a series of questions related to each case worth up to 1,000 points; the most points wins.

It's fascinating and compelling to watch, and I made sure to tune in before I left for work this morning. No spoilers on who won. I know you can find a replay and I want you to discover the joy of this event all on your own.

So here's my fun Friday question for everyone — If given the opportunity, what aspect of your job would you turn into a competitive sport? Mine would probably have something to do with Lexis searches … or maybe a race to make a filing deadline?

No wrong answers. Please share in the comments below.

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.

Friday, July 28, 2023

WIRTW #680: the “walk up song” edition

Above the Law thinks that it's time for lawyers to have walk-up songs. 

History says that the walk-up song started at Old Comiskey Park in 1970, with the White Sox organist playing each player's home state song as they walked up to the plate. Over time, the tradition expanded to other ballparks and different music. 

What's the most famous walk-up song of all time? I'd argue Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn's "Wild Thing" (from the movie "Major League"). In real life? Mariano Rivera's "Enter Sandman"? Chase Utley's "Kashmir"? Trevor Hoffman's "Hells Bells"?

Which brings me back to the question posed by Above the Law: What would our lives be like if our own theme songs accompanied us while we work? 

It's a great question. I think mine would be "Career Opportunities" by The Clash. Driving guitar + a workplace theme = gold for this employment lawyer.

How about you? What walk-up song would you choose for your job?

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, July 14, 2023

WIRTW #678: the “Happy Birthday” edition

Today is Donovan's 15th birthday. So, everyone please do this dad a solid and wish a 🎂 happy birthday 🎂 to this funny, smart, caring, compassionate, empathic, goofy, loving (and video-game loving) kid. I am better person because Donovan is my life.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 30, 2023

WIRTW #677: the “de minimus” edition

Employee: "I can't work Sundays. It's against my religion."

Employer (before yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Groff v. DeJoy): "I'm sorry, but it's an undue hardship for us to redo our entire schedule and require another employee to work in your place. Unless you can find a volunteer co-worker to cover your shift, we can't accommodate you. In that case, any absences are unexcused and will be treated as such under our attendance policy."

Employer (after yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Groff v. DeJoy): "Let's talk."

Groff examined the standard for an employer to assert an undue hardship defense to an employee's religious accommodation request under Title VII. Until yesterday's opinion, an employer could reject an employee's request for a religious reasonable accommodation request if it would impose "more than a de minimis cost." Groff, however, rejected the long-applied de minimus standard. The Supreme Court held:

Title VII requires an employer that denies a religious accommodation to show that the burden of granting an accommodation would result in substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.

This is a paradigm shift for how employers must consider reasonable accommodations for employees' sincerely held religious observance or practices. Ultimately, an employer will have to evaluate, and a court may have to make a common-sense determination, whether the impact of a potential accommodation is too great for an employer to bear — something akin to a "substantial additional cost" or a "substantial expenditure." It's still a case-by-case factual determination, but it's one that now has some teeth behind it for the employee seeking a religious accommodation.

The Court went on to add to this undue hardship is not the same undue hardship test as courts apply under the ADA ("significant difficulty or expense"). Further, because much of existing EEOC guidance on Title VII religious accommodations focus the accommodation itself, and not the undue hardship test, it's likely mostly still good guidance on which employers, employees, and courts can rely. 

Still, we shouldn't downplay the significance of this decision, especially coming off the heels of a pandemic's workplace vaccine mandates that forced many employers to confront the issue of religious accommodations for the very first time. 

Employers, your job in evaluating religious accommodation requests just became that much more rigorous. The good news, however, is that even though the hardship standard is not quite the same as under the ADA, we should all at least be used to the rigors of the interactive process from years of handling myriad disability accommodations. 

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 23, 2023

WIRTW #676: the “Portugal. The Vaction” edition

I've never wanted to be "that guy" who returns from vacation and says, "Let me show you my vacation photos." 

Well … Let me show you my vacation photos.

Portugal is simply magical. The people. The sights and scenery. The lifestyle. The food. The wine. All of it. This vacation had every opportunity to let me down. Covid had delayed it for more than three years. I built it up in my head as the vacation of all vacations. Not only did Portugal live up to my expectations. It exceeded it. 

So do yourself a favor and place Portugal on your short list of places to visit. And when you decide to go, let me know. I might just have a rental property to show you. (If anyone has a lead on a reasonably priced three bedroom home on Portugal's Silver Coast (the Atlantic coast between Lisbon and Porto), I'm all ears.)

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 2, 2023

WIRTW #675: the “all I ever wanted” edition

Vacation, all I ever wanted
Vacation, had to get away

The Go-Go's had a point. 

Tomorrow, I leave for my own vacation, one that I've waited three long years to take. We depart for two weeks in Portugal. I'll be back to regular posting on June 19, with photos to share and lessons learned during my travels.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 26, 2023

WIRTW #674: the “dogs” edition

Meet Loula and Dante, our dogs. 

They have a lot in common. They're both vizslas. They are both from the same breeder (whom I cannot more highly recommend for the care he puts into his own dogs, his puppies, and his puppies' owners). And they share the exact same birthday, May 8, albeit 7 years apart (Loula just turned 11, Dante 4).

One more thing they have in common — they are in the running for Cleveland's Cutest Pet

Here's my ask for all of you, my loyal, devoted, and appreciative readers. Click this link and vote for Loula and Dante. They would really love it. (I would, too.)

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 12, 2023

WIRTW #672: the “it’s over, Johnny” edition

I spent five days this week with 12,000 other people at the Craft Brewers Conference. You read that number correctly, 12,000. It's something I never could have imagined doing this time last year, or even a few short months ago.

This week not-so-coincidentally also marked the official end of the Covid-19 national and public health emergencies. This end doesn't mean Covid isn't a thing anymore. It still exists and it still can still make you sick. It just means that it's now endemic instead of a pandemic. 

What's now going to change as a result? Frankly, not much. It's been months since most of us have moved on from Covid. We've stopped masking. We've stopped social distancing. Heck, as much as many of lauded "work from home" and "remote meetings" as the future of work, many of us have returned to our workplaces and to in-person meetings. 

As cautious as I was personally during the pandemic, I'm happy to be back to "normal." Humans are social creatures, and our brains need social interaction. The end of pandemic, however, doesn't mean I'll throw caution to the wind in every situation. For example, I don't think I'll ever not mask up on an airplane. With four shots and one bout of Covid in my system, and less Covid circulating in the community, I'm just willing to take and accept more risk with the virus than I was a few months ago, and certain more than a year ago. 

Three cheers to the end of the Covid-19 national and public health emergencies. It's been a long three years and two months. But we made it across the finish line. Let's just hope that we apply public health lessons we learned and do a better job managing the next public health crisis that confronts us.

Friday, May 5, 2023

WIRTW #671: the “CBC” edition

Next week I'll be at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville — a four-day gathering presented by the Brewers Association of all things craft brewers and craft beer. There are loads of speakers spread across eight educational tracks, a massive trade show, and too many networking opportunities to count.

On the educational front, I'm speaking twice: once on Sunday (at 2:55p in Davidson Ballroom A) as part of the THRIVE pre-conference workshop discussing, along with my co-presenter Ren Navarro, ADA accessibility and inclusivity for employees and patrons; and again on Tuesday (at 1p in Davidson Ballroom B) discussing how to legally pay tipped employees.

On the networking front, instead of opting for a trade show booth, my firm is sponsoring the Start A Brewery lounge. Start A Brewery is a community of craft beer industry veterans who share our knowledge and experience in support of the craft beer community by helping new breweries and breweries in planning.

If you're at CBC and want to connect, look for me in the Start A Brewery lounge. I will be in and out from 10a - 4p on May 8 and 9 (the lounge is also open May 10).

The lounge is located on the 3rd floor of the Music City Center, centrally across from the Expo entrance at Hall B-C. There will be beer available on either side of us and we'll have couches and charging stations to refresh yourself and your devices.

Please let me know if you plan on stopping in so that I can make sure I'm present and available. And please say hello if you're at either of my speaking sessions or just happen to run into me at the Conference or at any of the events around Nashville. I will happily share a beer with you and cheers our industry.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, April 28, 2023

WIRTW #670: the “dope” edition

"Write a rap about employment lawyer Jon Hyman."

That was the prompt I gave to ChatGPT. I think what it came up with is pretty, pretty good.

* * *

Listen up, y'all, let me tell you a story
'Bout a lawyer named Jon Hyman, he's got all the glory
He's an employment law expert, with knowledge so vast
If you need legal advice, he's the one to ask

Jon Hyman, Jon Hyman, he's the man
He'll fight for your rights, he's got a solid plan
Employment law is his game, he's got the skills
He'll win your case, just pay your bills

He's got a blog called "Ohio Employer Law"
Where he shares his wisdom, and he never withdraws
He's got the answers to all of your questions
His legal advice is a legal injection

Jon Hyman, Jon Hyman, he's the man
He'll fight for your rights, he's got a solid plan
Employment law is his game, he's got the skills
He'll win your case, just pay your bills

He's got the passion, he's got the drive
He'll never give up, he'll always strive
To protect your rights, and make things right
He's the legal eagle, he's got the might

Jon Hyman, Jon Hyman, he's the man
He'll fight for your rights, he's got a solid plan
Employment law is his game, he's got the skills
He'll win your case, just pay your bills

So if you need a lawyer, don't hesitate
Jon Hyman's the man, he's got what it takes
He'll fight for your rights, he'll make things right
Jon Hyman, he's the legal eagle in sight.

(That 💩 is dope!)

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, April 21, 2023

WIRTW #669: the “Lamborghini” edition

Either I cashed in some sweet crypto and bought a Lamborghini … or someone hacked my Instagram account.

(Hint: it's the second one.)

The most frustrating part is that I can't recover the account. 2FA isn’t working correctly so I can't reset my password. As a backup to confirm I'm me, Instagram asks for a video selfie to compare against photos in my account. But no matter how many selfies I submit, Instagram won't confirm me.

So I'm in Instagram hell, with an account I can't access, but someone else can. Meanwhile, they're using the account to spam my followers with nefarious requests about a new bakery "I" am opening that I can only assume will get them hacked, too.


If you work at Instagram or Meta and can help me get my account back (or can direct me to someone who can) I'll be eternally grateful.

For now, don’t click any links in any of "my" Insta Stories or Insta DMs from "my" account.

In the meantime, and until further notice, I'll be using the Insta account for The Norah and Dad Show Podcast as my own (with my co-host's/daughter's permission). Please follow me there.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, April 14, 2023

WIRTW #668: the “obrigado” edition

Three years ago — March of 2020 to be precise — my family and I were supposed to spend our kids' spring break in Portugal. Then a little thing called Covid happened, we canceled our trip out of an abundance of caution, and the world went to hell for a long, long time. 

Three years later we are finally set to take our Portuguese holiday. We'll spend 12 glorious and much needed June days in continental Europe's westernmost nation, split across Porto (4 days), Peniche (3 days), and Lisbon (5 days). The Airbnb's are booked, the rental car is reserved, and I've marked my tour books with all of the must-see sites both in and around our three home bases and during our journeys in between. 

Here's my question for anyone who's been to Portugal — what are your best tips? 

  • Off-the-beaten-path sites? 
  • Restaurant and bar recommendation? 
  • Tours, wine and otherwise?
  • Anything else?

Thanks in advance for playing tour guide for me. I'll reward you with pictures and stories upon my return.

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.

Friday, April 7, 2023

WIRTW #667: the “gigs” edition

It's been a while since I've shared info about my daughter's music. Since she has a bunch of gigs coming up — starting tomorrow night at Front St Social in Berea — I figured today is a good time to fix that deficit. 

For those new to norah marie, check her out at She plays a mix of indie acoustic originals along with classic rock and alternative covers spanning the 60s through today.

All shows are free with no cover. But the bars love it when you buy drinks and food, and she always loves tips. You'll find all the details at

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 31, 2023

WIRTW #666: the “exchange” edition

Nine years ago my family and I embarked on an adventure. We hosted an exchange student from Germany for a school year. My own kids were in 2nd grade and kindergarten at the time and they loved having a big sister in the house. My wife and I loved everything about the experience, and we still think of Zarah as our third daughter, with whom we still communicate regularly. In fact, the experience was so positive that we promised ourselves that we'd never do it again for fear of being let down.

Well, we're doing it again. Each Spring our school (which enrolls between 30 and 40 exchange students per school year) emails parents looking for host families for the next school year. Something about one girl's bio caught the eye of both my wife and me. We independently reached the same conclusion — let's do this again. In August, we'll have a 9th grader (Donovan), a 12th grader (Norah), and a 10th grader (our exchange student). The kids are excited to have a new sibling with whom to share their high school experiences, and my wife and I are excited to have yet another German daughter. Life is all about experiences, so why not jump in with both feet?

You can hear all about our perspective on being a host family on this week's episode of The Norah and Dad Show. It's available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, and everywhere else you get your podcasts.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 17, 2023

WIRTW #665: the “grim reaper” edition

Earlier this week, I joined the People Problem Podcast to discuss death at work. Grim as it might be, it's an issue that we all face way too often. We talked about appropriate bereavement leaves, how to handle when an employee dies at work, and what best to when a team member dies away from work. It's a can't miss episode (gallows humor included).

You can listen to the episode here and everywhere else you get your podcasts. (And don't forget to subscribe while you're there.)

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.