Jonathan A. Segal is a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group . He is also the managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute . The Duane Morris Institute provides training for human resource professionals, in house counsel, benefits administrators and managers at Duane Morris, at client sites and by way of webinar on myriad employment, labor, benefits and immigration matters. Read Jonathan's blog at the Duane Morris Institute or follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_HR_Law .
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Articles by Jonathan Segal
As everyone knows, SCOTUS ruled 5 to 4 that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The full case is cited below. The opinion is consistent with the growing support for (or at least acceptance of) same sex marriage.
I spent Friday reading social media postings, including tweets. There were strongly felt emotions expressed on both sides of the issue.
These conversations will not end on social media this weekend. They will spill into workplaces next week and for the indefinite future.
Here are my top 10 words or expressions that none of us should dare say at the Annual Convention under penalty of listening to Barry Manilow for 24 hours straight while reading the FMLA intermittent regulations:
We have heard it before. The proposed regulatory changes to the white collar exemption are “imminent.” And, then they were delayed.
Well, the regulations were sent by the DOL to the OMB. The conventional wisdom is that they will be published on June 18, 2015 (I suspect so the DOL can say “Spring”).
We know the purpose and effect of the proposed regulations will be to increase the number of individuals who are non-exempt. At a minimum, exempt status will carry a heavier price tag.
Well, “Mad Men” is no more.
As AMC marketed it, we have come to an “end of an era.” Or have we?
While it was only a television show, or so people try to tell me, the workplace implications resonated with so many of us in the HR/business community. Perhaps that is because, while much has changed, some things are still painfully similar.
The United States Congress created the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) starts on the evening of April 15 and ends on the evening of April 16. http://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance
During the Holocaust, more than 11 million human beings were systemically murdered. That includes 6 million Jews, 2/3 of the European Jewish community at that time.
Now, it’s time for headlines of the latest news:
In "It Will v Never Happen," the NLRB stated that “management rights must be respected and it is not for the NLRB to tell employers how to run their businesses. We decline the union’s invitation to do so.”
We all know the importance of recognition and appreciation. In this context, some people say “you’re the best.”
Words matter and these words are troublesome for a few reasons. First and foremost: how is the recipient to respond?
If you say nothing, either you have ignored what was intended as a compliment, or your silence may be seen as “why are you telling me that which is axiomatic?”
If you say “thank you,” are you not effectively saying that you think you are the best? A little hubris? And, by a little, I mean a lot.
Well, there are now fewer calls to the phone banks of plaintiffs’ lawyers’ as most problems resulting from holiday parties already have been raised. But plaintiffs’ lawyers have no fear: there will be a salvo of calls after Valentine’s Day. And that reminds me of a story.
It is 9:00 a.m. A secretary reports to her desk. Waiting for her is a sealed card.
The secretary opens the envelope and it is a Valentine's Day card from her manager. Having undergone sensitivity training, the manager signs it "fondly" as opposed to "lovingly."
As a proud member of the HR Community, I was trying to think of things that, individually or collectively, we potentially could do better in 2015. With that background, I came up with following eight resolutions:
1. Avoid HR Jargon. People appreciate plain English. Enough with the paradigm shifts, synergistic partnerships, value added relationships and outside the box thinking. And by the way, if you are outside the box, you are still defining yourself by the box! Enough with the box.
As we all know, in EEO termination claims, how we treat the "comparators" is critical. Two (2) key questions:
Did you let anyone else go for a same or similar reason?
Did you not let someone else go even though they had engaged in same or similar conduct?
What do you do if you have an inconsistent practice historically?
For the past two years, I have told you the story about the "Jewish Guy Who Wears a Chai." I am retelling the final version of the story this year, but with some additional information. Here we go!
You walk into your building, and you see that holiday decorations are everywhere. You pass by a beautiful pine Christmas tree elegantly decorated. A co-worker responds: “The tree is inappropriate to the workplace.”
Today, November 11, is Veteran’s Day. But that was not its original name.
In 1919, at the end of World War I, known at the time as the “Great War,” President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, the day hostilities effectively ended World War I a year earlier.
On May 13, 1938, Congress made November 11 a national holiday called Armistice Day to honor the Vets of World War I. That was when Congress did something.
I am pleased to include a link to an article I wrote last month for Entrepreneur on subtle bias: How Entrepreneurs Can Spot Subtle Bias
The focus is on what I collectively call “micro-indignities”: micro-inequities and micro-aggressions.
There are often are complex definitions for these terms. But the definitions can be simplified.
When many of us in the HR world think of Labor Day, we now think of the NLRB. For most of us, I would not say the visceral thoughts are warm and with admiration.
So, for Labor Day, let’s not think of the National Labor Relations Board. Let’s think of its purpose.
Labor Day has its origins in the labor movement. In 1894, Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a federal holiday after a failed attempt to break up a railroad strike. However, its purpose, I believe, is to pay tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of all American workers.
No matter how old I am, I always feel like the fall is “back to school.” As wonderful as the summer may be, the fall is a “fresh start,” a new semester of life.
So I thought this summer about what as leaders we can do to be more effective next semester in terms of our interactions with our employees. It’s not working harder or smarter. It is being more human.
I have reviewed the summer engagement surveys of many clients. Even in companies that have great results, many employees feel that the company does not care about them.
We often hear that our supervisors are our eyes and ears in helping to ensure legal compliance and minimize risk. This is true when it comes to social media, but only if supervisors receive training on what to do and what not to do. The do’s and don’ts of social media are not always intuitive. Here are ten of the more common mistakes that supervisors make in the absence of adequate training:
Many professionals I know don’t have much patience for Twitter talk. I try to explain the benefits of Twitter, but looking up their nostrils for an extended period of time is not easy.
But the truth is I once had the same lack of interest in social media in general and Twitter in particular. I remember thinking only twits tweet…. until a personal accident changed my view.
Back in January of 2011, I fell on some ice and shattered my ankle in multiple places. I needed emergency surgery. The next week was my 30th birthday. Would you believe 40th? Okay, 50th.
- You'll see friends you don't see often enough. It is possible the NLRB may prohibit H.R. from having friends, so enjoy the friendships while you can. You might be thinking, “The NLRB cannot regulate HR." Silly rabbit. Friendships among HR professionals could chill concerted activity by employees covered by the NLRA. As logical as.....
Sunday night's #MadMen was one of its very best. The cold war between Don and Peggy has thawed. After confiding in each other about their vulnerabilities, and also sharing some laughs, Don and Peggy danced tenderly together to Sinatra’s “My Way.” Somehow Don and Peggy are their best when they are their best with each other. Will they end up together?
But there was a subplot of importance involving the return of Bobby Benson. We meet Benson this season bailing out a GM executive, Bill Hartley, who had been arrested for coming on to an undercover [male] officer.