Mastodon Ohio Employer Law Blog: what I'm reading : Ohio Employment and Labor Law, by Jon Hyman
Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts

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.

Friday, December 9, 2022

WIRTW #653: the “playlist” edition


Last Friday, after sharing the Old 97's new holiday classic from the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, I asked LinkedIn for their favorite holiday songs. My LinkedIn community delivered in a major way. So today, I am thrilled to be able to share with you Jon Hyman's LinkedIn Crowdsourced Holiday Music Playlist Extravaganza

It's 42 songs spread over 2 hour, 27 minutes of eclectic rock, punk, country, pop, rap, and classical holiday standards and songs that will now be standards for your holidays. 

It's available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify. Shuffle, repeat, and jingle all the way through the holiday season.






If you haven't already voted for The Worst Employer of 2022, what are you waiting for? Polls remain open until 14-Dec. 




Here's what I read and listened to this past week that you should also read and listen to.

Friday, December 2, 2022

WIRTW #652: the “caroling” edition


I love a good Christmas song. The problem is that too many of them are just not very good. Today, I'm adding one to your holiday music playlist that is sure to stick with you like the best kind of earworm.

I Don't Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here) is from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (streaming on Disney+). The fact that it's performed by my friends and favorite band, Old 97's, is irrelevant to just how much a banger of Christmas tune this is. If you've seen the special, you've also seen the band; they're the alien band performing their songs on screen.

Here's guitarist Ken Bethea reflecting to D Magazine about the coolest part of the experience of filming the special at Marvel's studios outside of Atlanta:

The coolest part was at the end, when the props designer led us into his office and showed us Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, Doctor Strange's necklace, and Black Widow's batons. I asked if I could hold them and he said, "Absolutely." So I picked up—dare I say wielded—the shield and hammer, which together weighed about 80 pounds. For one shining moment, I could feel the envy of a billion Marvel fans. 

And here's what Director James Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter about working with his favorite band:

These guys are the greatest guys in the world, but they had to be in hell because people complain so much about that makeup when they're in it. But they never once complained. They were singing and playing their instruments for eight hours, and they just kept going and going and going, cut after cut. So they were amazing. They're just the greatest guys, not to mention the greatest music. So I hope this turns a lot more people on to the Old 97's.

I couldn't agree with James Gunn more.

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

Friday, November 18, 2022

WIRTW #651: the “thankful” edition


As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd take a moment to say a few thank-yous, as I have a lot for which to be thankful.

🙏 Thank you to all of my readers, followers, and commenters, here and on LinkedIn and Twitter (for as long as Twitter remains a thing). We might not always agree, but if we did it would be crazy boring. 

🙏 Thank you to all of the bad employers, who continue to act before they think (or don't think at all) and provide me content for all of my posts.

🙏 Thank you to my law firm, which supports my online fancies. They hired me to run our labor and employment practice, and didn't bat an eye when I expressed an intent to spread my wings into craft beer law

🙏 Thank you to all of the organizations that invited me to speak in 2022, and a special shoutout to Business Management Daily, which hosts my monthly column and for which I'll be speaking monthly next year. Also, if you want to toast a beer with me, look for me at the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference in Cleveland from 1/30 – 2/1, and at the national Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville from 5/7 – 5/10.

🙏 Thank you to my family, who continue to support my career.

🙏 Thank you to my daughter, Norah, who still wants to create a podcast with her dad. As for our podcast, our newest episode addresses all things Thanksgiving, or at least all things Thanksgiving that matter, including food, food, food, parades, football, family, and food. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Overcast, Stitcher, our website, or anywhere else you get your podcasts.

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

Friday, November 11, 2022

WIRTW #650: the “Mastodon” edition


Call me a Twitter Armageddon Prepper. I'm not ready to abandon Twitter … yet. Even with Elon Musk in charge, I have 14 years and way too much human capital invested to jump ship even I think the Chief Twitterer is a twit.

But I'm also not convinced that Musk won't burn the whole platform to the ground. He's laid off half of the company's employees, some of whom are warning that the website is "built on sticks, and might … fall apart." Advertisers (along with their crucial revenue) are fleeing it in droves. Musk is banning users in a manner that is antithetical to his "free speech" ethos. The company's cybersecurity chief quit, along with its head of trust and safety, chief privacy officer, and chief compliance officer. Heck, even the Muppets quit. And in news that should surprise no one, Musk's paid account verification system is an absolute mess. We're all aboard the digital Titanic.

The Bird is a hot mess, and not in a "rising phoenix" kind of way. It's more of a "deep-fried turkey that boils over and burns the house down" kind of way. Or a "Twitter will soon be bankrupt" kind of way.

Thus, I've been looking for an alternative … just in case. Like many, I've landed on Mastodon as a potential Twitter replacement.

Mastodon is a microblogging platform similar to Twitter in many ways. 
  • Mastodon has toots (compared to Twitter's tweets).
  • Toots are limited to 500 characters (compared to Twitter's 280).
  • You can favorite and boost other user's posts (as compared to liking and retweeting), but you can't quote.
  • Hashtags are still hashtags.
  • Mastodon's layout, look, and feel will appear very familiar on the web and on its mobile app to anyone who's ever used Twitter. Updates, however, are sorted chronologically instead of algorithmically 
The key difference, however, exists on Mastodon's backend. Mastodon isn't its own standalone website. Instead, it's a series of connected private servers that communicate with each other. When you sign up for a Mastodon account, you sign up to become a member of a particular server, privately hosted and moderated, and not part of Mastodon as a social media platform. Because all of the servers communicate with each other and you see posts from any server, as best as I can tell it doesn't necessarily matter the server to which you belong, and you're always free to switch servers at any time. 

And that's all I know. My account is parked at @jonhyman@toot.community. If you decide to give Mastodon a try, let me know by following me, and I'll be sure to follow you back.

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

Friday, November 4, 2022

WIRTW #649: the “Ye” edition


We need to talk about Kanye. 

In the wake of his rampant and unapologetic antisemitism, people are hanging antisemitic banners on highway overpasses and projecting antisemitic slogans on the side of college football stadiums, others are dressing up like Hitler and other Nazis for Halloween, and famed Covid-denier and flat-earther Kyrie Irving is sharing a movie full of antisemitic tropes. 

Employers need to take a firm stand against hatred. Now is not the time to stand idly by. 

Anti-Semitism is wrong. 

White supremacy is wrong. 

Racism is wrong. 

Xenophobia is wrong. 

Homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia are wrong. 

Hard stop. 

Anyone displaying this hate, whether inside or outside of work, should be fired. 

Any idiot is free to say whatever he or she wants. But as an employer, I am free to hold that idiot accountable for his or her ignorant hatred. Actions have consequences, and until we start holding people accountable for theirs, we are signaling that this is okay, that this is normal. It's far from okay or normal. It's disgusting and deplorable. 

Silence in the wake of hate at best condones the hate, and at worst participates in it. If it's my business, I choose not to stay silent.

Here's what I read/listened to this past week that you should also read/listen to:

Friday, October 28, 2022

WIRTW #648: the “Red October” edition


All of my earliest sports memories involve the 1980 Phillies. 

Mike Schmidt's towering home runs. 

Steve Carlton's unhittable sliders. 

Bake McBride's hair. Pete Rose taking out Bruce Bochy at home plate. 

Tug McGraw leaping off the mound after striking out Willie Wilson and sealing the Game 6 victory against the Royals. (It was the first World Series win for one of baseball's oldest franchises, ending its 97-year title drought, and is the defining sports moment of my childhood).

I'll be the first to admit that I've fallen off the Phillies train since their last playoff run ended in 2011. It's a combination of living in Cleveland for nearly 30 years combined with a decade of mediocrity. 

Well, I'm back, baby! I've had an eye on the Phillies all season long, but with this month's dominant playoff run, capped off by Bryce's Bedlam at the Bank, I am all in for the Fightin' Phils!!!

If you're still on the fence of who to root for in the World Series, here are 8 reasons the Phillies should (must) be your pick over the Astros (one for each of the Phillies' 8 NL pennants).

  1. Philly is the underdog. 87 wins and the last team in vs. 106 wins and the best team in the American League. We're Rocky against Houston's Apollo Creed. Who roots for Creed to win?!

  2. No Philly = no baseball. Philadelphia is the cradle of our nation. Without Philly, there's no America. And if there's no America there's no need for America's pastime. 

  3. The Philly Phanatic is the best mascot in all of sports. No debate. Case closed. (Sorry, Gritty.)

  4. The Astros win too much. This is their 4th World Series in the past 6 years. It's time for someone (anyone) new. Why not us?

  5. The Astros are a bunch of stinkin' cheaters. They cheated their way into winning the 2017 World Series and suffered no real consequences. Their bill is way past due, and the Phillies have come to collect.

  6. This Phillies team is what sports is all about. No prima donnas, just blue-collar attitudes and hard work until the last out. This team never quits and is crazy fun to watch.

  7. Cheesesteaks > tamales.

  8. Ted Cruz is an Astros fan. 'Nuff said.
Go Phillies!!!

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

Friday, October 21, 2022

WIRTW #647: the “paying my debts” edition


You'd think I'd know better. 
  • A payroll $182 million higher.
  • 7 more regular season wins with run differential 176 points higher. 
  • An MLB-leading 254 home runs vs. a near worst 127.
  • Home field advantage in short five-game series.
  • Aaron Judge.
Yet, I couldn't resist the allure of an ALDS bet with my friend (and dyed in the wool Yankees fan) Dan Schwartz on the outcome of the Guardians/Yankees ALDS series. The stakes? The loser must write a blog post heaping praise upon on the other team.

I lost, so here it goes.

Experience matters. This holds true in sports as it does in litigation. 

The average age of the Yankees rosters is 30.12 years, the oldest in the American League. The Guardians? 26.42 years, the youngest in all of baseball. This is the Yankees sixth consecutive year in the playoffs. The last time the Guardians made the playoffs they were called the Indians. They haven't won a playoff series since 2016, and the only person on their current roster to play in that World Series was Jose Ramirez. The Guardians young nucleus will continue to win for a few more years until such time as they cannot afford to resign their very young and exciting nucleus of Steven Kwan (25), Andres Gimenez (24), Oscar Gonzalez (24), Triston McKenzie (25), or Emmanuel Clase (24). Heck, even former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber is only 27.

Litigation is no different. Yes, the lawyers with less experience can win a case. In fact, they often do. They can work harder and smarter. Facts are facts and law is law, and no matter how seasoned you are, it's hard to escape bad facts and contrary law. Heck, in the first case I ever tried (and won) to a jury I was a fifth-year lawyer who never had done an opening or closing in a courtroom, and my opposing counsel was a member of the 50-year club. Having more experience doesn't equate to win rate. But it also doesn't hurt. And sometimes, the side with "more" wins. Experience matters. In a close enough case, it can be the difference. 

So, congrats to the Yankees (and, by extension, Dan). We'll see you again next season, where a healthy Jose Ramirez and a team with a year of postseason experience under its belt will bring about a very different result.

Here's what I read and listened to this past week that I think you should also be reading and listening to.

Friday, October 14, 2022

WIRTW #646: the “conceptualized” edition


A "concept album" is an album that tells a story through a single instrumental, compositional, or lyrical narrative or theme. The songs bind together through that theme and hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than individually.

Debates rage over what album qualifies as the "first" concept album. You can make an argument for Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small HoursPet Sounds by the Beach Boys, or The Mothers of Invention's Freak Out!. Conventional wisdom, however, gives that title to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 1967 masterwork by The Beatles, in which the band assumed the alter ego of the titular band.

Rolling Stone just released its list of the 50 greatest concept albums of all time. I've always loved concept albums. The storytelling. The themes. The idea of the sum of the whole being greater that its individual parts. I have great memories of sneaking off to the woods during my summer at overnight camp to listen to a bootleg cassette of The Wall front to back, over and over and over. The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia were my entrée into my lifelong love of that band. I would spend hours reading the liner notes of my Lamb Lies Down on Broadway CD to try to understand Peter Gabriel's bizarre story. 

Anyhow, borrowing Rolling Stone's idea, here's my list of my top 11 concept albums, ranked not by greatness, impact, or importance (they all fit that bill), but in order of which I'd choose to listen to, front to back, over and over and over.
  1. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
  2. Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  3. Curtis Mayfield – Super Fly
  4. The Who — Quadrophenia and Tommy (I couldn't pick just one)
  5. The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
  6. Pink Floyd – The Wall
  7. Green Day – American Idiot
  8. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
  9. Marvin Gaye – What's Going On
  10. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

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

Friday, October 7, 2022

WIRTW #645: the “coach” edition


Do you have a side hustle? I now do, albeit an unpaid one. I just started my gig as a volunteer legal advisor for my daughter's high school mock trial team.

This year's case is fascinating. It's a suppression hearing over the issue of whether a student should have been Mirandized prior to being questioned by a school administration and a school resource officer. For the record, the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education's production values are off the chain.

I'm not a criminal attorney, and I've handled exactly one criminal case in my career (which I won at trial). In fact, nearly everything I know about criminal procedure I learned from a law school class I took 27 years ago plus my Law & Order addiction. That said, trial skills are trial skills, and I'm looking forward to using mine to help Lake Ridge Academy's team return to states for the 2nd consecutive year (and the 17th time overall).

While I'm on the topic of my daughter, please do she and I a solid and check out the latest episode of The Norah and Dad Show, now streaming everywhere, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon, Overcast, Stitcher, and on the web.

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

Friday, September 30, 2022

WIRTW #644: the “whitewater” edition


"What's the first film you remember seeing?"

That’s the lead off question on each episode of Films to be Buried With — Brett Goldstein's (aka Ted Lasso's Roy Kent) podcast. Each episode is a long form interview of a celebrity in which they their life story through films. It's a podcast worth celebrating this International Podcast Day and all other 364 days of the year.

The first movie I remember seeing is Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, a 1977 Peanuts film in which the gang goes to summer camp and takes on a group of bullies in the annual river raft race.

I saw this film at the Woodhaven Mall with Uncle Ron and Aunt Rita … who were most definitely not my uncle and aunt. In fact, I had never met them before that day. I was four years old, and they ran a bus that took groups of kids to the movies during the summer. My parents paid to put their terrified four-year-old on a bus with two strangers to see a movie. I don't remember a thing about that film other than being completely freaked out on that bus and by the entire experience. In fact, it's the scariest movie I've ever seen about a river rafting trip. Thanks, Mom and Dad. 😞

What's the first film you remember seeing? Did it involve two strange adults picking you up at your house on a bus? Or was it an experience as memorable yet less creepy?

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

Friday, September 23, 2022

WIRTW #643: the “til I hear it from you” edition


It's been a busy week, both in the practice of law and in the recording of some podcasts for your listening pleasure.

As for the other half of The Norah and Dad Show, you can see her perform tonight at Baxter's Speakeasy in Akron and next Friday, Sept. 30, at The Olde Wine Cellar in Olmsted Falls. Both shows are free, although Baxter's has a one-drink minimum, and The Olde Wine Cellar would prefer if you buy a bottle of wine and a flatbread to consume while you enjoy the music.

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

Friday, September 16, 2022

WIRTW #642: the “get off our backs” edition


Can you please get off our backs? By "our," I mean management-side labor lawyers. 

Let me explain.

I just finished listening to the latest episode of the 43-15 Podcast discussing the first group of Petco employees to attempt to organize into a labor union. The hosts were all over the "union busting lawyer" Petco hired to represent it and challenge the employees' organizing. His major sin: "Counseling many companies on labor strategy, union avoidance, and responding to union backed corporate campaigns." Heavens to Betsy, a lawyer doing … wait for it … his job.

Like any other attorney, management-side labor lawyers have a job to do and an ethical obligation to represent their clients zealously. Union organizing and recognition is a decided in an election, in which a majority of employees need to choose to unionize. What are employers supposed to do, roll over and let the union walk in unimpeded? As their lawyers we are simply playing our roll in this process. That's all. Is it adversarial? Sure. Does it sometimes get heated? Of course. But management is entitled to be represented just as do the employees seeking to unionize.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. That's all I'm saying.

Here's what I read and listened to this past week that I think you should be reading and listening to, too.

Friday, September 9, 2022

WIRTW #641: the “slim shady” edition


Guess who's back, back again…

After a semi-intentional summer break, The Norah and Dad Show — the podcast I host and produce along with my 16-year-old daughter — is back for Season 2. You find us everywhere podcasts are available, including Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, AmazonStitcher, and via our website. If you're new to the show, please make sure you go back and check out all of Season 1.

While I'm talking about Norah, she has some gigs coming up over the next several weeks: this Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Berea Arts Festival (from 2–3p); Sept. 23 at Baxter's Speakeasy in Akron supporting Chanilla and Sad Harris (8p); and September 30 at The Olde Wine Cellar (starting at 6p). All shows are free, although Baxter's does have a one-drink minimum. Please stop and say hello. 

Here's what I read and listened to this past week that I think you should be reading and hearing, too.

Friday, September 2, 2022

WIRTW #640: the “Wickens Workshop” edition


When you take over a practice group and are tasked with building it, you naturally have to think of ways to market and grow it. Presenting semi-regular seminars for clients, prospective clients, and referral sources was low hanging fruit. I can talk about employment law all day long. Just give me a topic, a microphone, and an audience, wind me up, and let me go to work. Thankfully, my cohorts in our Employment & Labor Practice Group feel the same way. 

Thus, Wickens Workshops were born. (Full credit to Matt Danese for the alliterative branding.) Our next event, discussing employee leave of absence issues, will take place on Oct. 20 from 8–10 am.

While imitation is always the sincerest form of flattery, sharing this idea with my co-workers is hardly imitation. It's just smart business. Thus, the Wickens Workshops branding has expanded to include our Business Restructuring & Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property practice groups, which will hold events on the mornings of Nov. 15 and Jan. 18, 2023, respectively. We now have a full-blown series of panel discussions covering a variety of legal areas and topics. 


I hope you can join us. Stay tuned for registration information for each of these events.

Also, if you'd like to hear me speak before our Oct. 20th Workshop, tune in to Lunch Conversations with Randy & Teddy on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from noon to 1 pm, when I'll be discussing all things labor and employment law.

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

Friday, August 26, 2022

WIRTW #639: the “Gr8” edition


How does your organization help build collegiality among employees?

At my kids' school they do it in the Lower and Middle School with Family Groups, and in the Upper School with Houses (just like in Harry Potter, complete with a year-long House Cup competition). 

Each Family Group or House is comprised of a cross-grade mix of students. The goal is to build school spirit, classmate and faculty camaraderie, and student leadership skills.

One of the Middle School's best traditions is Community Building Days, two days of non-academic activities shortly after the start of the school year to help everyone get to know one another better. It always takes place on the Thursday and Friday of the second week of school (yesterday and today), and the entire Middle School sleeps over at school on Thursday night.

One additional rite of passage for the middle schoolers is what's known as "Gr8 Night." They sleep over at school for one additional night, the Wednesday night leading into Community Building Days, to further build their leadership skills and to decorate the Middle School in preparation for the arrival of the 6th and 7th graders the next day.

Yesterday morning, the 8th graders welcomed everyone driving onto campus (that's Donovan, in yellow on the left). He looked excited and happy, (relatively) well rested, and ready to tackle what the faculty has to throw at him over the next two days. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Employers, what are you doing to help build camaraderie and collegiality among your employees? The past two and a half pandemic years have been rough on workplace morale and teamwork. I'm curious to learn what you're doing to help bring back some of the sense of "team" that the pandemic and remote work stole from us? Drop a note in the comments below and I'll share some the best or more interesting ideas in a future post.

Here's what I read and listened to this past week that I think you should be reading and hearing, too.

Friday, August 19, 2022

WIRTW #638: the “DriveThru” edition


Episode 2 of Labor Relatedly, my new podcast endeavor with Mike VanDervort is live everywhere you listen to podcasts. In this episode we discuss the controversy surrounding the Deshaun Watson arbitration ruling, Chipotle writing a $20 million dollar check to settle a wage and hour case in New York, how the Duty of Fair Representation impacts the relationship between unions and employers, and what some common-sense labor law reform might look like.


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