From time to time I get questions from employees asking what legal recourse they have against their employer for what they perceive as unfair conduct. Usually, this stems from an employee being mistreated and/or fired. My experience in this area of law stems mostly from my previous experience as general counsel for a corporation, which was like a crash course in labor and employment law, dealing with everything from employment contracts, non-compete agreements, union grievances, and collective bargaining agreements, to discrimination claims and OSHA complaints. Whew! That kept me and the human resources department very busy. Fortunately, the head of the human relations department was outstanding. It takes a lot of talent and experience to be a good HR manager,[…]

Many large companies routinely include a mandatory arbitration provision in their contracts with smaller businesses and consumers. These large companies thereby become the best customers for the arbitration services and arbitrators. They provide almost all repeat business. You, the small business person or consumer, on the other hand, are someone the arbitration business is not likely to ever see again. Your arbitration with them is a one-shot deal. You are not a repeat customer, unlike the big businesses who put those arbitration clauses in their contracts. Think that doesn’t influence the arbitrators? In an ideal world, it would not, and maybe with some arbitrators it does not, but in the real world, do you really think the arbitration services don’t[…]

Using contractors for your IT needs can be a good idea as it allows you to concentrate your company’s resources on your business. You also don’t have to administer holiday and sick pay and collect tax for contractors, and employing a person as a contractor can be up to 30% cheaper than taking them on as a full-time employee.But if you’re going down this route you need to understand exactly what a contractor is. Contractors are engaged to perform specific tasks or to produce certain results, and are usually paid on the completion of the tasks that they’ve been engaged for. They usually Run their own businesses. Provide their own equipment or work from their own base of operations. Determine[…]

employment mediation

The art of mediation–some lawyers have a gift for it right out of law school and some never seem to develop the skill.  Most of us have to work at it.  However, no matter your skill level, there are certain things that, if you are not mindful of them, will almost always blow up in your face.  Below is a list of things that are sure to tank most every mediation. Unintentionally misrepresent the client’s position You can derail the mediation before it begins if you are not thoughtful and careful in discussing the mediation with your client and/or the other side.  For example, if the plaintiff makes an opening offer and asks your client to participate in mediation, your[…]