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

Friday, January 21, 2022

WIRTW #610: the “humor is the best medicine” edition


On behalf of myself and my daughter, I'd like to thank everyone for all of the kind words of encouragement and support I received for our most recent podcast episode. Whenever you go through any sort of trauma, you feel like you're in it alone. What I learned through the many of you who took the time out of your busy lives to email, comment, or message is that we are not alone and that so many have gone through similar experiences. That community of shared experiences offers a tremendous amount of comfort.

If you've yet to listen, please do so (Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts). If you have listened, please share. And if you've shared, please re-share somewhere else. Norah wants to make something positive out of her experience to help people by talking about and de-stigmatizing mental health issues. It's a conversation that is long overdue and very needed. 

I do want to take a moment to address one critique we've received from one very small corner of the internet, which has been bothering me and that I don't want to leave unanswered — that because we chose to attack this issue with some humor, we are devaluing the seriousness of the situation and are not taking mental health issues seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one (and I mean no one) has the right to tell someone else how to process trauma. Some do so with anger or sadness. Some with quiet reflection. And some with serious discussion. Consistent with our personalities, we process with humor and sarcasm. It doesn't mean we're not taking the situation seriously or making light of it. Quite the opposite. It just means we're coping the best we can. I can assure you that no one takes what Norah went through and is going through more seriously than she and our family.

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

Friday, January 7, 2022

WIRTW #609: the “hugs” edition



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

Friday, December 17, 2021

WIRTW #608: the “back and forth” edition


Before we get to the links of others that you might have missed this past week, I thought it best to look back on my own links that you also might have missed in the hustle and bustle of your workweek.

1/ Voting is open for the Worst Employer of 2021, and will remain open until 11:45 pm on Monday. If you don't vote, you forfeit your right to complain about the results. Vote here.

2/ I guested on this week's episode of Marc Alifanz's and Kate Bischoff's Hostile Work Environment podcast (my favorite employment law podcast, with two of my favorite people), running down the eight Worst Employer finalists. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

3/ Episode 4 of The Norah and Dad Show is live on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Please consider subscribing to our show in your app of choice so that you never miss an episode, and, as Norah says every week, we'd love your 5-star reviews on Apple Podcasts and 5-star ratings on Spotify (which just launched its podcast ratings).

Here's the plan for the remainder of the year. After regular posts on Monday and Tuesday, on Wednesday I'll announce the winner of the Worst of Employer of 2021. Finally, on Thursday I'll wrap up the year with my annual reading of 'Twas the Employment Law Night Before Christmas, which will have a companion video if I get my stuff together over the next few days.

Have a great, safe, and healthy weekend. Here's this year's final list of the best things I read online over the past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, December 10, 2021

WIRTW #607: the “broken record” edition


Earlier this week a local hospital system held a webinar entitled, COVID-19: Omicron, Vaccines, and Anti-Virals. The news is sobering. 

Covid is surging, yet again. Delta is wreaking havoc on populations in colder-weather states. Moreover, we don't yet know or understand exactly what Omicron means for the future of this pandemic. Unvaccinated populations remain at the highest risk for serious illness, hospitalizations, and death, but those who are fully vaccinated still must act with caution. The news is that we are in for a long winter. And it's not just the virus itself that we have to worry about, but the impact of the virus on our healthcare systems. ICUs and hospital beds at capacity mean diminished care and strained healthcare workers.

None of this is good news. Yet, it's the same news we've heard since March 2020. And the best practices to combat Covid remain the same. If you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you're not boosted, get boosted. Regardless, wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Limit contact with unvaccinated people. Practice good hand-washing and other hygiene habits. And for God's sake, if you don't feel well or have any possible symptoms of Covid-19, stay the frick home until you've tested negative.

While we all might be done with Covid, it's not done with us. We all just need to act like it. Now I sound like a broken record.

I can't leave you for the week with all bad news, so before I turn today's post over the employment law links, I have two other links to share with you.

First, before there was The Norah and Dad Show (have you downloaded and listened yet?), there was the guest-hosting spot Norah and I recorded for the Rockin' the Suburbs podcast. Our episode, in which we discuss daddy/daughter concert experiences, went live today. You can listen to it here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Secondly, I have a movie recommendation. Check out Mixtape on Netflix. It's an utterly charming, family-friendly movie set in 1999 about a quirky 12-year-old who sets out to learn about her deceased parents through the songs on an old mixtape of theirs she found in her grandmother's basement. It's the rare family movie that speaks to adults without dumbing down the substance, speaks to children without soaring over their heads, and has the emotional beats and laughs hit equally for both. Also, the music slams. Any scene in a 1999 Pacific Northwest indie record store that accurately showcases early White Stripes is a winner in my book. Bottom line — my house absolutely loved Mixtape, and you should add it to your Netflix List. Highly recommended.

Now, here are the best things I read online the past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, November 19, 2021

WIRTW #605: the “Norah and Dad show” edition


I'm starting a podcast. Correction. We are starting a podcast. The other half of the "we" in question is my 15-year-old daughter, Norah. It was 100 percent her idea, and who am I to say no to quality Norah/Dad time behind two microphones, recording it for all to hear. Stay tuned. We are getting ready to start recording and we will have episodes to share in the coming weeks.

Please look for episodes in your podcast app of choice, or at norahanddadshow.buzzsprout.com. You should also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I still need Norah to explain the whole TikTok thing to me, but I'm guessing we'll be there, too.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, November 12, 2021

WIRTW #604: the “I promise I’m a real lawyer” edition


The post was not meant to be controversial. Aaron Rogers admittedly lied about his vaccination status. I merely suggested that he not get a free pass because of who he is, and should be treated like any other employee caught lying on the job. Then, LinkedIn featured my post in their Breaking News sidebar. And all hell broke loose.

More than a few people called me a Nazi (which, for the record, Linkedin does not consider a violation of its Professional Community Policies.)

Others joyfully outed their own racism by comparing Rogers to his "murdering and raping teammates" or by calling Covid-19 the "Wuhan Flu."

Still others incorrectly cited laws such as HIPAA (which they at least spelled correctly) to claim that Rogers' rights are being violated.

Some questioned my understanding of employment law. Pro tip: If you start your comment with, "I'm not a legal expert, but," then you shouldn't be offering a legal opinion. I don't tell the pilot how to fly the plane or the surgeon where to slice. Please don’t tell me I'm wrong about employment law. 

One notable commenter — a paralegal who has since blocked me — even went so far as to suggest that I shouldn't be writing about legal issues because I'm not actually an attorney.

So, today, I'm here to establish that I am, in fact, an actual, bona fide, licensed, and practicing attorney. I graduated law school in May 1997, took the bar exam that July, learned a few months later that I had passed said bar exam, was sworn in 10 days after that, and have been a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio practicing management-side labor and employment law ever since. Really. I promise.

Check out the bonkers (and frankly, scary) discussion here, if you dare.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, November 5, 2021

WIRTW #603: the “Did anything happen yesterday?” edition


Unless you've been living in a cave for the past 24 hours, you are well aware that OSHA released its vaccine-mandate emergency temporary standard. There are lots of resources that have since been published, including this website from OSHA itself. One of the best is this half-hour video in which the agency explains the nuts and bolts of the ETS.


Alternatively, you can just randomly pound on your keyboard and you'll end up on the website of an employment lawyer offering you his or her summary (me included).

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 29, 2021

WIRTW #602: the “Where’s the beef?” edition


How'd your Wednesday go? Me? I got into a beef on Twitter with a fictional character, which ended with him telling me to go wax my head. Fun fact — I saw that last tweet come through while I was sitting in a board meeting and snort-laughed out loud.


I applaud the Ted Lasso team for running such fun accounts. I can't wait to see how Nate's character plays out in Season 3, as the stress of his new job is clearly getting to him.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 22, 2021

WIRTW #601: the “What’s in your queue?” edition


Ted Lasso has no new episodes until next August. I binged Squid Game a couple of weeks ago. I need something new to fill my nights on the couch. So this is me, crowdsourcing you, my readers, for some recommendations. 

What should I watch next, and, most importantly, why? 

Make your best case in the comments below, tag me on Twitter with the hashtag #JonWatchThis, or drop a comment on LinkedIn here.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 15, 2021

WIRTW #600: the “Here, there, and every … where” edition


This week I rejoined my good friends Marc Alifanz and Kate Bischoff on the Hostile Work Environment podcast to discuss the Season 2 finale of Ted Lasso

Spoiler alert: you should absolutely avoid listening until you complete Season 2. We discussed the employment law and human resources beats we saw in the episode, including Nate's descent into darkness, the fallout of Sam's big choice, and the actions of Trent Crimm, Independent. You'll also hear talk of mannequins, sky diving, and arugula. 

Find it wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 8, 2021

WIRTW #599: the “34” edition


Ask any litigant who has had the (dis)pleasure of being a party to civil litigation in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for their opinion on the experience, and I can almost guarantee they will tell you two things — their case moved too slowly and the courthouse is gross. A proposal currently being considered will fix the latter while making the former exponentially worse.

The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has 34 presiding judges. That's currently has. According to Cleveland.com, a proposal is being considered to slash that number. Why? Because fewer judges mean fewer necessary courtrooms, which means that the new courthouse that Cuyahoga County desperately needs will be less expensive to construct.

This idea is terrible. Civil cases move slowly through our court. Yet, it's not the court's fault, it's not the judges' fault, and it's not their staff's fault. It's a systemic fault caused by a system that has the same group of 34 judges simultaneously presiding over civil and criminal dockets. Criminal cases always take precedence. That's how our system must operate because the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants "the right to a speedy … trial." If criminal cases did not take precedence, too many criminal defendants would go free prior to trial because they could not obtain a "speedy trial."

Reducing the number of judges for the sake of construction costs will not remedy this problem. In fact, it will only make it exponentially worse. Slashing the number of judges would be an unmitigated disaster for civil litigants, who already wait years to try their cases.

I implore the Cuyahoga County Commissions to reject any proposal that calls for a reduction in the number of Common Pleas judges as a means to pay for a new courthouse. Don't get me wrong; we desperately need a new courthouse. But the county should not pay for it at the expense of the civil justice the court is supposed to dispense.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, October 1, 2021

WIRTW #598: the “Would you rather?” edition


As workplace vaccine mandates continue to dominate the headlines, employees continue to threaten to quit their jobs if forced to get jabbed as a condition of their employment.

Whether that threat is sincere or idle makes a huge difference to employers in the most difficult hiring and labor market of our lifetimes. If employees will really quit when faced with a vaccine mandate by their employers, then those employers need to think long and hard over whether to implement the mandate and risk creating job vacancies that they cannot fill.

Thus, over on my LinkedIn page, I've been running a short, one-question survey to determine employees' attitudes about vaccine mandates.

If your employer is mandating the Covid vaccine, would you rather get fired or get the shot?

Please click here to go to the survey and offer your opinion on this single, multiple-choice question. I'll share the results early next week.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 24, 2021

WIRTW #597: the “Sorry Antivaxxer” edition


If you've visited me on LinkedIn or Twitter (and if we're not connected on both, please fix that immediately), you may have noticed I describe myself in my bios as the "Master of Workplace Schadenfreude." What is Schadenfreude? It's a German word that is most commonly translated as "enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others." My research, however, reveals that it has as many as four different potential philosophical underpinnings, which I've synthesized as the following: Taking joy in someone else getting what they deserve because of who they are or what they've done, and celebrating that you're not in their shoes.

No matter how you define it, today's share is dripping with Schadenfreude.

Meet sorryantivaxxer.com, a repository of stories of anti-vaxxers who, because of their own un-sound and stubborn beliefs, needlessly died or came close to dying from Covid. It's a who's who of right-wing pundits, QAnon cultists and other fanatics, religious leaders and zealots, and even health care providers, all of whom opposed, shunned, or spoke out against the Covid vaccine and paid the ultimate price as a result.

Any death is sad, but what's especially sad about these is that each was almost 100 percent preventable if they had just done the one thing that could have prevented them from dying from Covid—taking the damn shot.

Please don't end up on sorryantivaxxer.com. If you're not yet vaccinated, do as soon as possible. Serious illness and death is almost entirely preventable. But you do need to join the 182 million of us who are fully vaccinated.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 17, 2021

WIRTW #596: the “Waterloo" edition


It was a busy week in the Hyman house last week, with middle school soccer games and rock 'n' roll gigs all over town for my kids. I'm happy to report that Donovan led his team to a hard-fought 3-3 tie in his first-ever sports event of any kind (which he followed up with a 13-0 romp). Okay, led might be a tad strong. He played, and that’s all that matters. 

As for Norah, she played not one, not two, not three, but four gigs in six days, with the first three all happening within 24 hours of each other. I love watching Norah perform any time she's on stage, but her set at the Waterloo Arts Fest might be my favorite that she's ever played because it was 40 minutes of all original songs. To do that at 15 years old is pretty impressive, at least in this proud dad's opinion. Here's the best nine minutes from her set (the best because I actually think they are her three strongest songs), captured and posted by someone who wandered through.


Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Friday, September 10, 2021

WIRTW #595: The “future of paid leave" edition


For all the negative effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought, it has imparted some very positive changes to the American workplace. For example, remote work, long looked down upon by employers, is now the norm in many workplaces. Another area of constructive change surrounds the issue of paid leave for employees. 

Has Covid-19 altered our national attitude for paid sick and family leave? I believe that it has. The time has long since passed for America to embrace and adopt paid FMLA.

Presagia, the provider of cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to strengthen compliance and the developer of Leave Genius Pro, recently asked me for my perspective on Covid-19 leave laws and their permanency. At their site, I share my full thoughts, including what my paid FML program would look like if Congress gave me carte blanche to design the law.

Here are 10 other things I read this week that I think you should read, too:

Friday, September 3, 2021

WIRTW #594: the “three fests and a wine bar” edition


If you're in Northeast Ohio, let me suggest four ways for you to spend your time over the next couple of weeks — all involving my daughter and live music.

Two of our best local arts festivals are happening next weekend, and Norah is playing both — the Waterloo Arts Fest on September 11 (where she'll be in the Sculpture Garden from 3:20 - 4 pm) and the Berea Arts Fest on September 12 (where she'll be on the Acoustic Stage from 3 - 4 pm).

In between, Norah is making her return engagement at my wife's and my home away from home, the Olde Wine Cellar in Olmsted Falls. She'll be playing out front from 6 - 9 pm. Stop by for a glass of wine (or two) or to enjoy the night's tasting, which is merlot themed. Reservations are strongly suggested for the tasting. Otherwise, just come on down.

Finally, on September 16, Norah will be back at Vermillion's 3rd Thursday, again set up on the steps of Granny Joe's Ice Creamatorium and playing music from 5:30 - 8 pm.

All shows are free to attend. For all of the information about Norah's music (she performs as norah marie), visit norahmariemusic.com.

Here's the 11 things I read this week that I think you should read, too:

Friday, August 27, 2021

WIRTW #593 (the “18 and life” edition)


17 years and 363 days ago, I married the love of my life. In two days, we'll celebrate our 18th anniversary.

The number 18 is significant. In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value. The number 10 is the letter Yod, and the number 8 is the letter Het. Het-Yod spells the word Chai (חי), which translates in English to "life." 

Chai is a perfect allegory for marriage. Life is not perfect, and neither is a marriage. Both have their ups and their downs. But, if you can find that someone with whom you not only enjoy the ups but can ride out the downs and come out the other side, you've done well. 

I've done very, very well. Happy 18 Colleen.

Here's what I read this week:

Friday, August 20, 2021

WIRTW #592 (the “welcome back” edition)


Covid has taken a lot from us. One of the things it robbed from this space is its weekly "What I'm Reading This Week" ("WIRTW") feature. For 591 pre-Covid Fridays, I published a list of the best workplace-related things I read on the Internet that past week.

Today (and hopefully for every Friday from this point forward), I am delighted to bring this feature back from its pandemic slumber.

Here is the 592nd edition of What I Read This Week

Friday, March 13, 2020

WIRTW #591 (the “new (ab)normal” edition)


This has been one strange and disorienting week. I haven’t felt this disjointed since 9/11.

No basketball (pro or college).

No hockey.

No baseball.

No James Bond.

No large scale concert tours.

No Broadway shows or Disney parks.

No St. Patrick’s Day parades.

No Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.

And, in Ohio, no mass gatherings of more than 100 people (to include auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space, but not offices, restaurants, factories, or retail or grocery stores). And no school at least for the next three weeks.

And, to top it off, Tom freakin’ Hanks has coronavirus (my personal breaking point).

So what now? Our new normal is very abnormal. And it’s going to stay this way, at least for the immediate future.

As it stands, the best advice remains to practice social distances, stay home if you’re ill, follow the recommended hand washing and other “good hygiene” protocols, and don’t travel unless you absolutely (and I mean absolutely) have to.

Finally, above all else, please be flexible, understanding, and kind. If there was ever a time to prioritize the human issues, it’s now. Illnesses, quarantines, and closed schools will strain the workplace. I promise you that they are straining your employees more. The more nimble and empathetic we can be, the less this will hurt.

One last thing. When the time comes (and it will come) when we can resume our pre-coronavirus lives, get out and support small businesses, live music, the travel industry, and everyone else whose livelihood was impacted by COVID-19. They are really going to need it.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, March 6, 2020

WIRTW #590 (the “win some, lose some” edition)


Life is often about competition. For example, I litigate for a living. Trials have winners and losers. We also compete for jobs, for college admissions, and for sports titles. And competition requires a winner and some losers.

Some things, however, we do just for the experience, even if that experience is built around competition.

Last weekend, my daughter’s band, Fake ID, competed in the finals of the Tri-C High School Rock Off. Even though they did not win the competition, they won the event. They played three songs (including two of their own originals) on stage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in front of more than a thousand people. They earned a lot of new fans. They befriended other bands with whom they will be able to plan future gigs. As a finalist, they got to record a song in an amazing recording studio at Tri-C (stay tuned; their first single is coming soon, and I’ll be asking all of you to pre-save it on Spotify).

Before we dropped Norah off at the Rock Hall for the pre-event activities, I told her to have fun and play a great set, and that nothing else matters. She understood, and if you ask her she will tell it was mission accomplished. 


Here’s what I read this week.