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TRAINING & TECHNOLOGY

Proof of tech skills: Everybody’s doing it!

By Jay Stromberg bio When it comes to professional upward mobility, it’s looking like assessments are where it’s at. According to a recent article in TechCrunch.com, even LinkedIn is getting into the assessment game. “LinkedIn, the social networking service for the working world, is today taking the wraps off its latest effort to provide its users with better tools for presenting their professional selves, and to make the process of recruitment on the platform more effective. It will now offer a new feature called Skills Assessments: short, multiple-choice tests that users can take to verify their knowledge in areas like computer languages, software packages and other work-related skills.” In some ways, the legal industry is ahead of this curve. Ever since the American Bar Association updated their Model Rules in 2012 to include technological… . . . read more

BLOG

Don’t cast out a truth teller

By Lynne Curry bio “Morgan” was the one person who took issue with the CEO’s presentation of his new initiative. Before she voiced her concerns, the 12 other managers around the conference table had nodded appreciatively when the CEO made each of his points. Several other managers secretly shared Morgan’s doubts, but no one came to her aid when the CEO looked irritated. Six weeks later, it surprised none of the other managers to receive an email notifying them that Morgan had left the company. It did worry these managers when the CEO’s initiative failed. Nevertheless, the remaining managers knew better than to voice their apprehensions when the CEO and his hand-picked CFO put a good face on the situation. In organizations such as the above, the corporate immune system… . . . read more

ASK THE EXPERT

Must employee notify our office of DUI?

QUESTION If one of our employees gets a DUI, do they have to notify us? ANSWER It depends. EXPLANATION There are at least four factors affecting whether the employee would have to come forward and tell you about the DUI? Your HR policies: What, if anything, do your current policies say about whether employees must notify you of their DUIs? Conviction or arrest? If the employee was arrested but not convicted, he/she may be able to prove innocence (or may have already done so if the charges were dropped or the employee was acquitted). A conviction, on the other hand, would more likely affect job performance and thus require disclosure. Impact on job performance: Notification is required if the DUI has an actual or potential impact on job performance, such… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

Age bias legislation and defamation claims

By Mike O’Brien bio Here is my periodic update prepared for interested HR professionals trying to deal with the complex American employment laws. House passes age bias legislation: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). The bill, passed in January, would allow an older worker to sue for job discrimination even if age was not the sole cause of adverse employment action, but simply one motivating factor in the decision. Under the ADEA and a 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.), an aggrieved worker must show that “but for” age (40 and over), the challenged employment decision would not have been made. POWADA would substantially lower that standard to proof that age was a “motivating factor.” In addition,… . . . read more

TRAINING YOUR ATTORNEYS

“I thought you had the baby!” “I thought YOU did!”

By Jay Stromberg bio Sorry about my alarming headline, but I thought it was the perfect analogy for a topic I want to discuss today. If you’re a parent, you have likely experienced this terrifying moment: You and your spouse look at each other and realize that you both assumed the other one was in charge of the kid(s). A mad scramble ensues and, hopefully, your cherub is playing happily in the backyard. I honestly think this is very similar to what happens in law firms that need to train attorneys and staff to use new technologies: No one wants to be responsible for demanding that attorneys advance their skills. So, no one talks about it and no one takes responsibility. And when attorneys refuse to learn, their secretaries will… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

New overtime rule now in effect

By Mike O’Brien bio Jan. 1, 2020 was the deadline to comply with new FLSA overtime rule. At the end of September the Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rule updating the salary level test for white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the new rule, the minimum salary level for exemption is raised from $455 a week to $684 a week, or $35,568 annually. The change marks the first increase in the minimum salary level to take effect in more than 15 years. It is expected to bring overtime eligibility to over a million employees who are ineligible under the current threshold. Although the DOL released a final rule raising the salary level in 2016, the rule was blocked by a federal district court and… . . . read more

REVENGE IN THE WORKPLACE

She almost lost her job to jealous sabotage

By Lynne Curry bio Through no fault of her own, “Loni” almost lost her job. When she called me requesting coaching, she told me told me she’d been with her company for 11 months. For the first nine, she’d been on the fast-track to a senior management position. Two months ago, everything changed. Last Friday morning, her CEO had told her to “pull it together or you’re out.” She said several recent disasters had led her company’s CEO to lose confidence in her. Loni said she’d mislaid crucial documents, had apparently sent unprofessional emails that she hadn’t remembered writing and had submitted shoddy work on key assignments because her rough first drafts had been transmitted rather than her polished final drafts. Since her dad had dementia, Loni worried she might… . . . read more

FIRM’S FINANCES

Is Profit on Your Radar?

Practicing law is a tough gig. There is always so much to do to ensure your practice is successful. Focusing on your clients is your first priority, but are you also keeping an eye on your firm’s financial health? After all, staying profitable is not only crucial to your success, but is also important to your clients’ success.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Pay rates, vacations while recovering, gig economy

Department of Labor enters final stage of update to ‘regular rate’ rule under FLSA. As we have discussed previously in these updates, the Department of Labor has been working to update the definition of “regular rate” of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act

MANAGING THE OFFICE

How the “broken windows” theory applies to your law business

The “broken windows” theory is that a building with broken windows is evidence of abandonment, neglect of the property and a lack of respect for the law. In its simplest form, the “broken windows” is the beginning of the decline


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