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

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.

Friday, March 10, 2023

WIRTW #664: the “CE” edition

Are you an HR professional in need of SHRM recertification credits? Will you be attending the Craft Brewers Conference in May? If you answered "yes" to both, then you're in luck. The Brewers Association just announced its Recertification Provider status with SHRM and will begin offering programs that qualify for SHRM recertification credits. CBC is the first of these programs.

SHRM will provide professional development credits for all seminars that take place as part of the THRIVE pre-conference workshop on Sunday, May 7 (which includes mine on ADA compliance, accommodations, and accessibility), in addition to select seminars in the main conference's THRIVE educational track. THRIVE is a day-long pre-conference workshop designed for owners, people leaders, HR, and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners that will provide an integrated dive into DEI, HR, and wellness topics for craft brewers of all sizes.

If you're planning on attending CBC let me know. I'll have more to share as we get closer to the event about when and where we can meet up. I'd love to buy you a beer.

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

Friday, March 3, 2023

WIRTW #663: the “growth” edition

Growth comes in many forms.  For my son, it came in the form of a daily injection of growth hormones since the age of seven. 

Because of his Noonan Syndrome, he's genetically predisposed to being short statured. That fact that I'm 5' 7" and his mom 4' 11" also didn't help his cause. Donovan was barely on the growth chart, and his doctors projected his full adult height at a mere 5' or 5' 1". Shortly after his 7th birthday he took his first dose of growth hormones, a daily injection. It was his decision after he was deemed not tall enough for a new bike he wanted. His endocrinologist at the time thought my wife and I were out of our minds for letting Donovan decide if and when to start treatment. To us, however, if he's the one taking the needle, he should have some say in the if and the when. 

Earlier this week Donovan took his final dose, a decision made by his current endocrinologist that he's received all of the possible medical benefit from the more than 2,700 injections he took over nearly eight years.

He's now close to 5' 7", with another inch or two still to grow. That's what I call growth.

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

Friday, February 24, 2023

WIRTW #662: the “platform” edition

Platform Beer Co. shook up the local beer industry Wednesday afternoon when its owner, Anheuser-Busch, confirmed that it had permanently closed the Cleveland brewery (along with its taproom and other related businesses) that it had acquired less than four years ago. All of its employees have lost their jobs as a result. 

Some backstory. Platform was a Cleveland craft beer success story. It opened its doors in 2014, and within five years had grown large enough to attract A-B as a buyer. Now, it no longer exists (except for the three IPAs that A-B says it will keep making).

While I have no inside knowledge as to what happened at Platform, I can offer an educated guess. Craft beer consumers are passionate about drinking craft beer. One of the key components to any craft brewery is its independence. Once A-B acquired Platform, it ceased being independent; it instead became part of A-B's $54 billion corporate behemoth. As a result, and no matter the quality of its beers, Platform lost its allure to the craft beer consumer. Without that attraction, sales dipped, making it ripe for the its tragic fate.

What's unfortunate is that a lot of good people lost their jobs as a result. Thankfully, our local beer community is collegial and collaborative. For example, Saucy Brew Works is offering any former Platform employee a daily free meal and pint, along with a job application, through the end of March. That's how you pay it forward. If you're a brewery looking to hire, there are lot of people in N.E. Ohio looking for work.

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

Friday, February 17, 2023

WIRTW #661: the “crafty” edition

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of presenting, Crafting Your Craft Brewery's Employee Handbook, a webinar jointly sponsored by Craft Beer Professionals and Start A Brewery. (Thank you, Andrew Coplon and Laura Lodge, for asking me to present 🍻) 

In 60 minutes, I discussed why every business needs an employee handbook and ran through every policy a craft brewery needs in its handbook. While the presentation is craft brewery focused, any business of any size will find most of the information applicable. I guarantee you'll learn something.

You can watch the entire webinar here.

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

Friday, February 10, 2023

WIRTW #660: the “Freckles” edition

Two weeks ago I shared the story of Freckles, the toad that my daughter rescued from our backyard. On our podcast — The Norah and Dad Show — we left you with a cliffhanger. Did Freckles live or die. On this week's episode we share Freckles' fate, along with the fate of Norah's high school mock trial team.

You'll find The Norah and Dad Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Amazon Music, in your web browser, and everywhere else podcasts are available.

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

Friday, February 3, 2023

WIRTW #659: the “99 problems” edition

I got 99 problems, but being a podcast guest ain't one.

I love the People Problems Podcast so much. And they must love me, too, since this is my third appearance as a guest.

This week's episode is all about dating at work. The conversation goes all over the place, including to a mafia bar in Chicago. You'll have to listen to the episode to hear all about the craziest experience of my legal career.

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

Friday, January 20, 2023

WIRTW #657: the “Let me buy you a beer” edition

From Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference is taking place in Cleveland. My firm and I are playing a prominent role. 

  • On Jan. 30 we are sponsoring the opening reception at Forest City Brewery, from 5:30 - 7 pm. If you've never been, it's an amazing space, a restored 19th century brewery building. It has the oldest (and, imho, most beautiful) beer garden in Ohio, and one of the oldest in the nation … although it might be a tad cold to fully enjoy it. Forest City also produces some of the best beer in NE Ohio — I recommend the Opening Day IPA and the Hootenanny (a kölsch). Finally, Apostle Jones, a local rock and soul band, is providing the musical entertainment. They are not to be missed. Look for me at the Wickens Herzer Panza table (where we'll have some nice giveaways) or milling about the brewery. Stop and say hi and I'll be sure to buy you a beer. This is an open event and you do not have to be registered for the conference to attend.
  • On Feb. 1, at 11 am, I am speaking in the Fundamentals Room on Crafting Your Craft Brewery’s Employee Handbook
I hope to see you there. Cheers!

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

Friday, January 13, 2023

WIRTW #656: the “Dilenogate” edition

Until now, I've avoided writing about Dilenogate, the story that has gripped the Cleveland legal community and the nation. 

To sum it up, Jon Dileno, a (now former) senior labor and employment attorney at Cleveland law firm Zashin & Rich sent a highly offensive and inappropriate text to an employee who, instead of returning to the firm following her maternity leave, accepted a new job and gave her notice. 

He called her "soul-less and morally bankrupt," threatened to trash her in any future job references, and accused her of "collecting salary from the firm while sitting on your ass" while on maternity leave. 

The story went crazy viral after Kelly Barnett shared the story and text message on LinkedIn.

In response to the viral story, the firm put out a weak (and I'd argue further damaging) now-deleted post on its own LinkedIn page: "That single text was sent in the heat of the moment by an employee upset by the belief that the former colleague while on paid leave sought employment with another law firm." As pressure mounted, however, it published another post the next day: "After careful consideration, Jon Dileno is no longer with Zashin & Rich."

So much digital ink has been spilled about this story, there's no need for me to pile on. Instead, I merely direct you to the following:

I'll merely add the following to this important discussion. The legal community and, more broadly, the entire business community, needs to do better with pregnant workers and new moms. Childbirth and maternity leave aren't a vacation. We as employers (heck, as humans) should never treat it as such, nor should we stigmatize or punish our employees for doing that which their bodies naturally — give birth. Bringing a child into this world is difficult enough. We don't need to make it any harder than it already is. 

Support new moms; don't retaliate against them. Here's a three suggestions to consider that will not only help you support your employees, but will also help you recruit to and keep talent in your business.

1.) Offer strong parental leave programs. The FMLA requires 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Consider offering more, or offering to cover the employee's pay for some/all of the leave. If you're not FMLA covered or the employee isn's FMLA eligible, consider mirroring the statute for your employees anyway.

2.) Ramp up/down policies. Plenty of employees work their full 40 right up until their due date, and jump right back into the deep end of work as soon as their leave ends. But consider a phase out and a phase in with reduced hours on both ends. It helps the new mom's physical health leading up to childbirth and her mental health in returning to work.

3.) Schedule flexibility. Parenting isn't a nine-to-five job. It's a 24/7/365 job that is really good at throwing curveballs to parents. Late nights with little sleep. Unexpected doctor appointments. Visits to the pediatric ER. Do you want a sleep deprived or otherwise distracted employee at work. You certainly won't get their best. So try to be as accommodating and understanding as possible. Flexible hours and remote work help ease the stress caused by the unexpectedness of raising a newborn.

If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. Don't be part of the problem.

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

Friday, January 6, 2023

WIRTW #655: the “FTC did WHAT?!?!” edition

Yesterday, the FTC broke the employment law internet when it announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if it takes effect, would ban all employment-related non-compete agreements on a national level.

The proposed rule, on which the FTC will accept comments for the next 60 days, would—
  • Provide that noncompete clauses are an unfair method of competition, and, as a result, would ban employers from entering noncompete clauses with their workers, including independent contractors; and
  • Require employers to rescind existing noncompete clauses with workers and actively inform their employees that the contracts are no longer in effect.

The FTC is also soliciting opinions on certain key issues, such as whether senior executives should be exempted from the rule, or subject to a rebuttable presumption rather than a ban; and whether low- and high-wage workers should be treated differently.

The agency has published a wealth of information, including the proposed rule itself and a fact sheet.

I have serious questions, specifically as to how a federal agency can enact a rule such as this, and whether a change of this magnitude must be enacted by law and not regulation. To me, this rule would go well beyond the FTC's rulemaking authority. Expect litigation to be filed in a business-friendly court, and for the Supreme Court to have the final say on this important issue. It is certainly far from a done deal that this proposed regulation will ever take effect. So keep those noncompete agreements in place, at least for now.

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

Friday, December 16, 2022

WIRTW #654: the “gifts” edition

What's the best holiday gift you've ever given or received? With the holidays quickly approaching, this is the question Norah and I tackled on this week's episode of The Norah and Dad Show.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Amazon Music, Stitcher, internet, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. And while you're in your podcast player of choice, hit the subscribe button to ensure that you never miss a future episode.

Before I sign off for 2022, I'll be back next week with two gifts for you — the winner of The Worst Employer of 2022 (Wed.) and this year's telling of The Employment Law Night Before Christmas (Thurs.).

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