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

Friday, December 13, 2019

WIRTW #580 (the “I voted” edition)

Have you cast your ballot for the Worst Employer of 2019? Time is running short. The polls close Tuesday, December 17, at 11 pm.

Once you’ve voted, please download your official Ohio Employer Law Blog “I voted for the Worst Employer of 2019” badge and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Please tag your post with #worstemployer2019 so that I can more easily find it and feel the love.

And don’t forget to return on December 18 when I’ll announce this year’s big winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it).

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, December 6, 2019

WIRTW #579 (the “blank slate” edition)

Next Saturday, December 14, Norah and her Fake ID bandmates will be traveling west to Elyria, Ohio, to play Blank Slate, a very cool all ages, all inclusive, and substance free club. Tickets are only $5 if you buy them in advance (here) or $7 at the door.

Here’s what I read this week.


HR & Employee Relations


Wage & Hour


OSHA & Safety

Friday, November 22, 2019

WIRTW #578 (the “credibility” edition)

Yesterday, the NFL upheld the indefinite suspension of Cleveland Browns’ defensive lineman Myles Garrett, who last week assaulted Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph on the field with his helmet.

At his suspension hearing, Garrett attempted to mitigate his misconduct by claiming that Rudolph had used a racial slur on the field.

Garrett’s problem? It was the first time he had raised that claim in the week following the incident. He didn’t raise it on the field. Or after the game. Or to the media. Or at any time prior to his hearing. Even his teammates were caught off guard by the claim. And that’s a huge problem for the credibility of his defense.

In harassment cases, credibility is everything. And if employee waits until a trial or hearing to raise a claim of harassment, his (or her) credibility, as well as their claim, is shot.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, November 15, 2019

WIRTW #577 (the “side hustle” edition)

If I had gotten paid for my appearance on Matt Christensen‘s Fraud Not Frog podcast, I could classify it as a side hustle. But I didn’t; I appeared gratis to discuss the legal concerns businesses and employees need to consider when an employee wants to engage in a side hustle.

You can listen here, or better yes, listen by subscribing to Matt’s podcast in your app of choice.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, November 8, 2019

WIRTW #576 (the “Dolly” edition)

A couple of months ago, in the 568th version of “What I Read This Week,” I posted 5 of the best songs about work. I had no idea when I listed Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” how divisive Dolly would be. In my wildest dreams I never imagined anyone could take issue with an American icon such as Dolly Parton. Who doesn’t love Dolly? Apparently, however, some of you exist.

Thankfully, I feel vindicated with my inclusion of Dolly. WNYC recently launched Dolly Parton’s America, a nine-part podcast series tracing Dolly’s roots from East Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains to country music superstar to cultural icon. It’s a fascinating listen, especially the second episode, all about her metamorphosis from “dumb blonde” sidekick to Porter Wagoner to the biggest star in country music.

I highly recommend you add Dolly Parton’s America to your podcast queue.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, November 1, 2019

WIRTW #575 (the “3.5” edition)

Being a parent is the world’s hardest job. But it’s also the most world’s most rewarding one. Which is why we keep doing it. The rewards are worth celebrating.

Last Friday night, I got to watch my daughter and her band absolutely blow the glass-pyramid roof off the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland Party.

“An example,” you ask? Here’s their latest original song, called “3.5” (which, in this proud dad’s very unbiased opinion, rips).

I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when the realize the sounds they are hearing are coming from a bunch of kids. At the Best of Cleveland event, I really loved seeing the band that followed them transform from, “We have to follow some kid band” (which was the look on their faces before soundcheck), to “How in the hell are we supposed to follow that?!” (which they actually said as they were walking onto the stage for their set.)

Here’s some photo memories of the evening, set to the soundtrack of a local radio show’s A+ review of Fake ID.

If you’re so inclined to check out all of Fake ID’s goings-on, they have a website,

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, October 25, 2019

WIRTW #574 (the “hero” edition)

What's a hero? I'm not sure how to define one, but I certainly know one when I see one. And earlier this week, I got to see one.

Dr. Harrison Schmitt is one of only 12 men to have walked on the moon. He was an astronaut on Apollo 17, the last NASA mission to land on the moon. He was also a United States Senator, chair of the NASA Advisory Council, and professor of engineering physics. And, at least according to his remarks, he still actively works with NASA.

He also has a very well developed sense of humor, as he was happy to share this clip of Norm McDonald asking David Letterman how it's possible that any of the Kardashians are more famous than someone who walked on the moon.

I was captivated listening to his remarks about his work on the Apollo lunar project.

Here's what I read this week.

Friday, October 18, 2019

WIRTW #573 (the “last laugh” edition)

When I go, I hope I have enough forethought to go out like this.

A dead man pranked his family at his own funeral by using a recording to scream ‘Let me out!’ as they put his coffin into the ground

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, October 11, 2019

WIRTW #572 (the “what did I miss” edition)

Did I miss anything big while I was away earlier this week?

In other news, I recently authored an article for Gusto discussing what AB5 (California’s recent law on independent contractor classification) means for small businesses operating in that state (including some practical tips for all employers dealing with contractor classification issues). You can access the article here.

Here’s what else I read this week:

Friday, October 4, 2019

WIRTW #571 (the “thoughts and prayers” edition)

I’ll be offline next week, as my family will be in Philadelphia for my son’s heart procedure.

Donovan was born with pulmonary valve stenosis, and on Tuesday he’s having a balloon dilation via cardiac catheterization to (hopefully) fix it.

While everyone likes to tell us it’s a routine procedure, we’ve learned with Donovan over the years that because of his genetic disorder anything medical is rarely simple. Moreover, if it doesn’t work, he’s almost certainly looking at open heart surgery in his future to replace the valve.

Thus, we are traveling to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (with a small detour first to New York City to take D-man to the Nintendo Store; he told me I better have a lot of room on my credit card) with hopeful thoughts and very anxious anticipation.

We’re taking all good vibes and prayers you have to send Donovan’s way.

I’ll post an update next week after his procedure.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, September 27, 2019

WIRTW #570 (the “unexpected” edition)

I always assumed my kids would out-achieve me. I just never imagined it would happen by the 8th grade. 

Cleveland Magazine just named her band, Fake ID, Cleveland’s “Best Unexpected Rock Stars” in its 2019 Best of Cleveland issue.

It’s not everyday you witness a band of 12- to 15-year-olds absolutely wail on Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

Yet there’s Fake ID, chugging through the sinister heavy metal classic with style and skill to spare, cresting a wave of pummeling sound…. Yes, the cover act’s ages often precludes bars and clubs from their tour dates, but Fake ID’s easy poise and undeniable chops tend to draw a crowd wherever they plug in.
You can read the rest of the story here, check out Fake ID at their website, and catch them performing at the Best of Cleveland Party at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on October 25.

Here’s what else I read this week:

Friday, September 20, 2019

WIRTW #569 (the “get by with a little help” edition)

I bet you can’t find someone having a better time than this guy.

I hope you have something in your life that brings you this much joy.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, September 13, 2019

WIRTW #568 (the “work songs, vol. 1” edition)

Today, I thought I’d take a look at some of the best songs ever written about working. Here are my first five. (These are not necessarily the “top 5,” and are not in any particular order; they are just the five that came to mind.)

They hurt you at home, and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever, and they despise a fool
Till you’re so fucking crazy, you can’t follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be

A working class hero is something to be

It’s a rich man’s game
No matter what they call it
And you spend your life
Putting money in his wallet
Working 9 to 5
What a way to make a living

Now I’ve made a living out of shaking my ass
And if you offer me an office, I’d have to pass

But our jobs are all jobs, and sometimes they suck
I love what I do, and I’ve had pretty good luck

And if your train’s on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slavin’ jobs and get your pay

If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

Bus driver
Ambulance man
Ticket inspector
I don’t understand

What songs would you add to my list? Drop a comment below and let me know.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, September 6, 2019

WIRTW #567 (the “passion” edition)

With a 13 year old with one foot dangling in the music business, I do a lot of reading about the music business, and what it means to live that life in 2019 and beyond. This article, written by Rhett Miller late last year, perhaps sums it up better than any I’ve read. It’s titled, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker. And it paints a fairly bleak, isolating picture of what it’s like to be a musician  today.
In garages and basements and dorm rooms across the country and around the world, bands are forming this very minute. They are arguing over favorite songs, greatest albums, Stratocaster versus Telecaster, and inevitably which one of the members is going to have to switch from guitar to bass. These hopeful young dreamers give me hope. 
But we also shouldn’t kid ourselves: they are exceptions. For every one of these fledgling anarcho-syndicalist collectives, there are a thousand or a million kids alone in their bedrooms staring at Protools screens wondering what they have to do to get the Swedish cabal to write a hit song for them. They download a file onto Bandcamp or YouTube, start logging the hits, and pray. 
And oh my God, that sounds so lonely.

Yet, despite that depressing, like-count obsessed picture of today’s musician, Rhett’s tagline to his article is perhaps his most important thought. “Can music still save your mortal soul?” (He eloquently writes about how it saved his.)

I’m an optimist. As I look at my kids, and the community they are creating through the friendships and partnerships they are building through music, I have hope. Not hope for success or a hit song (because that’s not what it’s all about). But hope that they’ve found something to be passionate about, and like-minded people with whom to share that passion. For that’s what will lift them up and carry them through life. 

Here’s what else I read this week:

Friday, August 30, 2019

WIRTW #566 (the “sweet sixteen” edition)

We haven’t changed a bit after 16 years of marriage. Happy (yesterday) anniversary to my bestie!

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, August 23, 2019

WIRTW #565 (the “back to school” edition)

My kids went back to school this week. 5th grade for Donovan and 8th grade for Norah. I sent them off with this advice.

Try your hardest, be your best you, and always be kind. 

Word to live by, whether you’re a student, an employee, or just a human being.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, August 16, 2019

WIRTW #564 (the “Woodstock” edition)

At this moment very moment, 50 years ago, an estimated 400,000 people were gathered on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York, celebrating 3 days of peace and music.


On Sunday, my kids will take the stage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of School of Rock’s Woodstock Festival. Each of the three local Schools of Rock will perform a shortened version of their full Summer Woodstock shows. 

Here’s a short preview of what you’ll see. Donovan on vocals, and Norah holding down the bass and adding more vocals, on Sly & Family Stone’s Sing a Simple Song.

The performance runs from 2 - 5 on Sunday on the big stage on the Rock Hall plaza. The music is free; the love isn’t (they’re just kids after all).

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, August 9, 2019

WIRTW #563 (the “work in progress” edition)

Work in Progress is band fronted by Gaten Matarazzo, who is better known for his role as Dustin on Stranger Things. Next week, his band is coming through Cleveland on their summer tour, and, amazingly, my daughter’s band gets to open for them at this sold out show. I’m beyond excited for the opportunity this presents for her and her bandmates. Stay tuned for pictures, stories, etc.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, August 2, 2019

WIRTW #562 (the “someday we’ll find it” edition)

When the whole world seems like it’s going to 💩 , sometimes all you need to brighten your spirits is a video of 🐸 singing about a 🌈.

So here’s Kermit the Frog (along with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, and Janet Weiss, Sleater-Kinney’s ex-drummer) performing the Muppets’ classic, Rainbow Connection, from his surprise performance at last weekend’s Newport Folk Festival.

(I really want to find the two people who thumbs-downed this video on YouTube.)

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, July 26, 2019

WIRTW #561 (the “don’t call me flaky” edition)

According to The Economist, dads face greater workplace penalties for taking parental leaves than do moms.
Americans see taking a break to care for children as a sign of lower commitment to work and even flakiness. … Whereas mothers who take time off to rear offspring face difficulties when returning to work, opt-out fathers may fare worse, says Scott Behson, author of a book called “The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home”. America has a workaholic culture, he says. Mothers who put their families first eschew that culture, resulting in costs to their careers. But fathers who do so are violating both the workaholic culture and traditional gender norms.

Here’s the thing. Just because I enjoy being a dad does not make me flaky. It just means that I enjoy being a dad. We all make choices in our lives. I’ve chosen to eat dinner with my kids, attend their school conferences and events, haul gear to their concerts, and work the merch table for Norah’s band. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a lawyer. But, when I die, I’d much prefer my tombstone reads, “He was a great dad,” not, “He was a great lawyer.”

I’m a dad active in my kids’ lives. Yet, it doesn’t mean I’m any less dedicated to my job. It’s not an either/or proposition. You can be a good parent and a good employee. They are not mutually exclusive. So please don’t judge the quality of my work based on my commitment to my family. And please don’t call me flaky.

Here’s what I read this week: