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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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Jonathan Segal


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Articles by Jonathan Segal

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a #Nextchat on social media for SHRM @weknownext with my friend @Eric_B_Meyer.  One of the issues touched upon during the chat was social media training.

May 20, 2014
Last night was, according to @DonDraper_NY, the “beginning of the end.”  And, what a beginning it was.
Don remains on paid leave.  He visits Megan in California and then returns home to NY.
In his absence from the workplace, much of the focus was on Peggy and Joan.  Both worked incredibly hard on client retention and satisfaction but each was marginalized in ways that too many women still are today.
April 15, 2014
This is the last in a series of four blogs on leadership and influence. 

In order for a leader to have influence, he or she must be respected by his or her subordinates.  Of course, to get respect, you need to deliver it. 

April 2, 2014
This is the third in a series of four blogs on leadership. 
Randy is an executive.  Randy notices that Kim, a manager who is also a direct report, is struggling in terms of collaborating with members of the team.  Randy asks Kim to have dinner to get to know her better with the goal being to mentor her more effectively.
March 5, 2014
Last month, I wrote a blog on leadership: Influence=Leadership. I emphasized the importance of leaders sharing their human side and making emotional connections with the employees whom they lead.  To quote leadership maven John Maxwell: leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. 
February 5, 2014

I agree with leadership maven John Maxwell and others who have stated that that the key to leadership is influence.  In my view, leadership is influence.

I have read a great deal about levels of leadership and level of influence. For this blog, however, I have divided influence, upon which leadership hinges, into three general categories:

First, there is influence based on positional authority.  Get it done because I am your boss.

January 7, 2014

Last year, I told you the story about the "Jewish Guy Who Wears a Chai." I am retelling the story this year, but with some additional information about what happened not only during the holiday season, but also before and after the holiday season that led to our protagonist’s leaving HR, even if only temporarily. Here we go. Buckle your seat belts....lots of sarcasm ahead.

December 9, 2013

According to a recent poll, 73‑percent of workers value flexibility in looking for a job (or staying in a job).

Employers, in their self-interest, need to help employees with work life challenges.  But that is easier said than done.

This blog addresses some of the rarely discussed issues when it comes to work-life challenges.

1.   Nomenclature

November 4, 2013

In Nasir, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, to prove retaliation under Title VII, a “but for” analysis applies. This is a higher standard than the “motivating factor” burden to prove discrimination under Title VII.

Nasir has been hailed as a big win for employers.  But that’s only at summary judgment or perhaps at trial where the wins can be extremely expensive. 

The real win for employers is that it makes it easier for us to take corrective action in response to retaliation without necessarily making admissions, at least under federal law.  Why?

October 3, 2013

Where have all the mentors gone? Long time passing.

Where have all the mentors gone?

Long time passing

Where have all the mentors gone?

Long time ago

Where have all the mentors gone?

Favored few have picked everyone

When will we every learn?

When will we ever learn?

September 7, 2013

There was a time when employees had few protections and were subject to abuses by unregulated management.  For example:

September 4, 2013

As almost everyone now knows, Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook.  She is also the author of the ground-breaking book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead .

I have read the book twice.  Simply put, I think it is a brilliant manifesto for women and men alike.

Yet, the acclaim is not universal.  To the contrary, the book has been met with some hot criticism.

August 8, 2013
Sex discrimination allegations have begun to morph from strip clubs to boys' clubs.  Although less explicit than strip clubs, the boys' clubs can be just as exclusionary.
What is a boys' club?  It is an invisible affinity group of men, predominantly white, who effectively control their organizations and connections to which may be critical in terms of compensation and advancement.
July 10, 2013
Every profession has its own words—words that we use and, at times, over use.
When does the use become overuse?  Well, when lots of us are together!
So as we enjoy SHRM’s Annual Conference next week, we need to be careful of HR lingo.  What are some of the words and expressions to avoid?
I have narrowed it down to a “Top 10.”  Out of respect to your colleagues, please avoid:
June 14, 2013

Jason Collins has become the first male professional athlete from a major professional sport to acknowledge, publicly, that he is gay.  That he is the first, and it is 2013, speaks volumes of the apparent homophobia in professional sports.

But Collins' coming out is not an isolated event.  It is part of a trend in which LGBT employees are increasingly open in their workplaces about who they are.

June 3, 2013

Most fish don’t know they swim in water.  At least not the fish whom I have interviewed.

The same is true of most human beings when it comes to corporate culture.  Most of us don’t appreciate fully the cultures of which we are a part.

Corporate culture is a product of human beings, and none of us is perfect, so no corporate culture is without some strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, the weaknesses usually are the strengths (taken to the extreme). 

May 1, 2013

I am happy to be with our employees today in bricks and mortar rather than in the clouds. You truly are our most valuable resource.

I am sorry that we had some systems issues when we reached out to you.  But we are agile, so we created a work around to connect with all of you today, so that we can call out to you a new initiative that will result in a knowledge share.

I want to share with you, our key stakeholders, a new value added initiative that will help build bridges. It is a proactive response to the problems you have raised as engaged participants.

April 1, 2013

By Jonathan Segal

The term boys’ club refers to the unofficial and often impenetrable group of men—usually white men—in an organization or department who have effective control and power. Being part of or having access to the club is often critical to making the right connections to advance within the organization.

March 21, 2013

It was a privilege for me to attend and speak at SHRM’s Employment Law and Legislative Conference in  Washington, D.C.


For me, one of the high points was listening to the presentation by EEOC Commissioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic.

While not quite the same as being there, I wanted to share with you what I tweeted during and after their presentation, which actually was  a  “chat.”

March 15, 2013

It is hard to believe another season of Downton Abbey is over. Of course, Downton Abbey refers to a property, at least technically. But it is obviously much more than just that. It is about the family who lives there and the changing times.

Perhaps less obvious, it is also about an employer. As Dowager Countess of Grantham so emphatically pointed out, among the responsibilities of the aristocrats is to provide jobs. And jobs they do provide.

March 4, 2013