Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Guidelines for How Employers Should Respond to DACA Uncertainty

This column was originally published on Entrepreneur.com on 9/7/17.

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered the wind down of the program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). In a memorandum issued with the rescission order, the DHS announced how the program will end.

DACA was founded by the Obama Administration in June 2012. DACA allows certain illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 individuals are covered by the program.

The DHS memorandum is clear that all current work permits remain in effect and will not be revoked. However, as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will not accept any new DACA requests.

The DACA program is scheduled to terminate on March 5, 2018 unless Congress saves the program. According to a press release by DHS, the deferral was designed “so Congress can have time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions.”

What should employers do when they have DACA employees in their workplace? Three critical points:

1. Focus on the workplace issue as apolitically as possible.

Some employers will undoubtedly focus on the political, as is their right. However, if employers want to take a stand without creating polarity in their workforce, they are generally advised to be as apolitical as possible. The message is simple: you stand behind your DACA employees and will do what you reasonably can to support them.

2. Provide employees support but be careful of promises.

You can let employees know what you will be doing, such as writing to your senator or legislator. But be careful not to promise DACA employees that you will protect them no matter what. No one knows what the status of the law will be on March 5, 2018. As sympathetic as you may be, you cannot promise that you will protect these employees if the law is to the contrary.

One thing employers can do is seek work permit extensions to the extent permitted by the DHS Memorandum. While the details of seeking extensions should be discussed with immigration counsel, keep in mind that any such extensions must arrive at the USCIS no later than October 5, 2017.

Again, seeking extensions may slake some of the anxiety of DACA employees. But make clear there are no guarantees so they cannot later claim they relied to their detriment on your actions in not developing a plan B.

3. Don’t push employees to lobby for a legislative solution.

Employees may ask you if there is anything they can do to help their DACA colleagues. You can respond that they can contact their representatives in the Senate and House (mentioning that is what you are doing, if that is case.). But make clear that you are responding to their request and whether they choose to reach out to their representatives is entirely voluntary.

Do not reach out to all employees and encourage them to engage in grassroots advocacy (one way or the other). Not all employees will agree, and your doing so will then turn your workplace into a political battlefield. Plus, there are potential legal risks, to boot!

DHS has promised more detail. Stay tuned.

This blog is not legal advice, should not be construed as applying to specific factual situations or as establishing an attorney-client relationship.

Think You Don’t Have a Boys’ Club? Take This Test and Be Sure.

I am pleased to share my latest post to Entrepreneur.

We read a lot about “boys’ clubs.” They are power circles of men, mostly white, who control, formally or informally, organizations or silos within them.

The gender demographics of the senior leadership team may be relevant but is not dispositive as to whether a boys’ club exists. I have seen organizations with senior leadership teams lacking in gender diversity that are not, in my opinion, run by a boys’ clubs. Conversely, I have seen organizations where the numbers at the top look good in terms of gender diversity but a core boys’ clubs calls the shots.

So, how do you know if you have a boys’ club? Of course, there is no test. So, I have created one. Warning from this lawyer — write your answers on a piece of paper and then throw it away. Don’t want your self-evaluation to be used against you in litigation by a plaintiffs’ lawyer.

Now, as for each of the five questions:

1. If you generally agree, answer A
2. If you are not sure, answer B
3. If you generally disagree, answer C

1. We don’t have a boys’ club.

Almost everyone knows that boys’ clubs exist. But many believe that they exist only at the employer next store. Certitude is a good thing. But, on this issue, a little doubt is a good thing. Indeed, if you are sure that you don’t have a boys’ club, you probably do. So give yourself:

– 2 points for A
– 0 points for B and C

2. We don’t need a system for raises or promotions. Merit will prevail.

Often the gender gap at the top is because women don’t have the opportunities they need to get there. Absence of meaningful opportunities also contributes to the gender pay gap. No one system works for all. But “no system” never works.

No system often leads to what the EEOC calls “people like me” bias. Those in charge of opportunities give them to those just like them — often other men. So some vehicle to measure equal access to opportunity is essential. Merit will prevail but only if there is equal access to opportunity. Time to score it:

– 2 points for A
– 1 points for B
– 0 points for C

3. More than a few informal meetings are held in bars.

Social inclusion is a form of business inclusion. Information is shared, strategies are developed and relationships formed and/or cemented. Of course, many men don’t relish business in bars. And, there are women who do. Bu the local watering hole is often the club house for the boys’ club. The same is true of the golf course. Let’s score it:

– 2 points for A
– 0 points for B and C

4. The pay gap is due to employer practices and employee choices.

There is no doubt that there is a gender pay gap. Those who doubt it sound as credible as men who deny the existence of labor pains because they never have experienced them. But the gender gap is not due solely to employer practices. If you step out of the game to be the primary caregiver, when you step back in, you will make less. And, women are still more likely than men to be primary caregivers. As for points, the pattern you may have predicted no longer holds.

– Subtract 1 point if you picked A (you have thought about the issue.)
– No points for B or C, but if you picked C, you may see bias in certain cases where it does not exist.

5. Women mentoring women is essential to shutting down the club.

No. And here’s why. There are fewer women at the top so women mentoring women will deprive women disproportionately of access to the top. The burden of gender equality cannot be put entirely on women (particularly since men and women alike benefit from gender equality). The benefits to cross-gender matching are significant in terms of what each gender can impart and learn.

– 2 points for A
– 0 points for B
– Subtract one point if you picked C (again, you have thought about this issue).

Now, add up all of your points, subtracting points where you have earned them.

If you have five points or more, you may have a boys’ club in your organization but don’t see it. If you have fewer than 5 points, you still may have a boys’ club somewhere in your organization, but you are primed to help dismantle it.

10 Costly Mistakes Business Leaders Make on Twitter

I am pleased to share my latest Entrepreneur article on mistakes business leaders making regarding the use of Twitter.

My profession affords me the opportunity to work and talk with many entrepreneurs and other leaders about social media. Just as important, I observe their use (or nonuse) of social media.

Twitter remains one of the most popular platforms for people to exchange ideas, promote news and express opinions. I’m a social media enthusiast, but my work in employment law makes me all too aware of the risks inherent in these instant-post tools.

My Top 10 list of costliest mistakes might surprise you. Its entries stem as much from underuse as from misuse.

1. Not using Twitter.
Some entrepreneurs and business leaders still believe social media is a waste of time. Respectfully, they are wrong. This means of communication no longer is cutting-edge. It’s mainstream, and Twitter is firmly at its center. Use it to your advantage.

2. Only sharing.
Some leaders have exuberant spirits. They freely share ideas and thoughts. While sharing is wonderful, it’s only part of the equation. Social media is about connecting, not simply spouting or increasing your profile. Every leader should keep this in mind at all times.

3. Retweeting without reading.
Other people retweet articles or posts seemingly without reading the full content. In these circumstances, a user’s comment might not match the source material. Retweeting without understanding the context can be disingenuous. If there’s bias or offensive conduct in the underlying tweet, this practice also can be dangerous.

4. Following only like-minded individuals.
Talk about diversity often centers on gender, race and other groups (or classes) protected by law. But there’s another crucial aspect to consider. Cognitive diversity offers a different perspective or opinion.

Interacting with only like-minded individuals limits your vantage point. Following those with whom you often disagree will expose you to different views and possibilities.

5. Interacting intermittently.
At the risk of overstating it, you need to be a player. There’s so much social media activity that if you put a toe in the water only occasionally, you aren’t likely to make vital connections. You don’t need to tweet every day, but tweeting once a week isn’t enough to keep up your profile.

6. Attacking others.
From time to time, you’ll see something that produces a strong, negative reaction. It is best not to use social media as a way to attack others. There are polite ways to disagree. Just as in interpersonal matters, sometimes the best response is none at all. Why give more light to an idea you believe belongs in the dark?

7. Responding every time you’re attacked.
Anyone on social media who takes a stand has been attacked. If you counter-punch everyone who is critical of your stance, others might see you as thin-skinned. Pick your battles wisely so you aren’t labeled an insecure snowflake. Strength can come from silence as surely as it can from powerful words.

8. Failing to be transparent.
Federal Trade Commission rules require individuals to disclose when they are promoting products or services with which they are identified. For example, if you’re praising an item your employer manufactures, you must provide this disclaimer. Transparency, though, is much more than a question of satisfying FTC regulations. It’s good business.

9. Not separating the personal from the professional.
All business is personal and all politics are local, as the sayings go. In these hyperpartisan times, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone without at least one or two deeply held beliefs.

If you tweet on political issues or other topics that might be seen as controversial, you’d be well-advised to make it clear your views are yours alone — not those of your employer. It’s easy enough to include that distinction as part of your Twitter profile. Here’s an added caveat: Do not include the name of your employer or company. That only solidifies the precise connection you’re trying to avoid.

10. Tweeting only business-related items.
Social media is a pervasive form of mass communication, and you should be thoughtful about what you tweet. But if you spend all your mental energy trying to please everyone, you won’t really connect with anyone.

As you develop your brand, consider sharing your thoughts or posting articles on issues beyond your business focus. In my personal life, I’m very involved in animal rescue, I love Bruce Springsteen, and I’m mad about “Mad Men.” Expressing myself has led to meeting many kindred spirits — some of whom now are clients, too.

3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Protect Employees From Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

I am pleased to share my latest post to Entrepreneur.

On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order that:

  1. Suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days;
  2. Bars Syrian refugees indefinitely; and
  3. Blocks entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. The countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

Four federal judges have blocked implementation of at least parts of the Executive Order. Even so, it appears the Administration will continue to enforce the Executive Order.

This is not a political but a business blog, so I will not focus on the issue of refugees, but focus solely on what the Executive Order means for employers relative to employees who have green cards or other foreign nationals who are lawfully working for them.

On Sunday, the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the Executive Order is not intended to apply to green card holders. Even so, it is not clear that this is the President’s position. Nor does it appear consistent with ongoing enforcement actions. Even if the Executive Order does not apply to green card holders, there are other foreign nationals lawfully working in the United States on temporary visas. Among the issues for employers to consider are the following three:

1. You can’t be certain employees who travel will be allowed to return.

Employers should not require (or even permit) employees with green cards or other visas from the seven designated countries to engage in business travel outside of the United States. If an employer requires or permits work-related travel outside of the United States as part of their jobs, at least two bad things may happen.

First, on a strictly business level, these employees may not be allowed to return to provide service to their employers. On a more personal level, these employees may be separated from their families and other loved ones. Caring for employees must go beyond work.

2. Educate affected employees about the risk of personal travel.

Employers cannot prohibit personal travel and you wouldn’t want to anyway. Indeed, a foreign national from one of the seven nations may have the legal right under the Family and Medical Leave Act to return to Iran to care for a parent with a serious health condition.

However, employers should consider talking about the risk of traveling outside the United States for those who hail from the seven countries covered by the Executive Order. But employers need to be careful how this is done. Even if well intended, a “rounding up” of employees from these seven countries to discuss the issue can lead only to greater anxiety and more. Plus, employees not from the seven countries may care about the issue, too.

Consider a communication to all employees. Analogy: if there is a new child care benefit, you would not announce it only to those known to have children.

3. Do you take a position?

We often have heard it said there are two topics we should try to avoid: politics and religion. Well, they are now the elephants in the corporate living room, and I am not sure employers can or should entirely avoid them.

A number of large technology employers have condemned the Executive Order. What should you do? Regardless of your politics or presidential vote, this Executive Order may negatively affect you as an employer. It already has increased anxiety among foreign nationals from the seven-targeted majority-Muslim countries.

At a very minimum, leaders are well advised to make clear that they will do what they reasonably can to protect their employees. An example of this may be, not putting employees at risk by sending them out of the country until this issue is resolved. Do not expect a quick resolution.

Some employers may want to go further and express their personal views. In doing so, employers are best to focus on the Executive Order and not the President who signed. it. Said otherwise, focus on the business issue. Some may conclude silence on the “political” issue is best. Fair enough. But sometimes the sounds of silence echo the loudest.

6 Ways to Lawfully Embrace Social Recruiting

I am pleased to share my latest post to Entrepreneur.

I hear too many lawyers strongly discourage employers from ever looking at an applicant’s social media accounts. Yes, there are legal risks, but those risks can be mitigated.

As important, there can be legal and business risks in not looking at social media during the hiring process. So we’re actually talking about risk management, not risk avoidance.

What are the legal risks if you look at an applicant’s social media profiles, such as on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? By the applicant’s pictures or words, you may learn things about the applicant’s membership in a protect group, such as his or her likely race, religion, disability, age, etc.

Even if you don’t consider doing it, an applicant may unlawfully argue that you did. It’s not easy to prove the negative.

On the other hand, you may find valuable information that lawfully may be considered. In one case, an employer found racist posts by a managerial applicant.

I was glad the company learned of this, or they would have hired the miscreant. Think of the legal and business risks that could have occurred if they had hired him.

Most people are perfect, at most, twice in their life: at birth and in an interview. Reviewing social media accounts can help you determine who the person truly is who you’re considering hiring. Here are six recommendations to minimize the legal risks, and maximize the business rewards of reviewing social media profiles as part of the hiring process.

1. Do not look at social media profiles to screen applicants.
Using social media to screen applicants is using it too early in the process. Generally, it’s unnecessary and risky. It’s unnecessary because you should be focusing on the position’s objective criteria at this point. And it’s risky because an unqualified applicant may claim that she was rejected because you saw she was an older Asian woman, for example.

2. Consider looking at social media at the end of the hiring process.
Review social media only at the end or near the end of the hiring process. Some employers include this step as part of their background check.

The risk is much lower because, after interviewing the applicant, you will already know that the applicant is, as in the prior example, an older Asian woman. Additionally, fewer applicants will have their social media profiles reviewed so it has fewer risks.

But there still is some risk. An individual may post information you otherwise would not learn about in the interview, such as he that he’s gay or on medication for depression.

The risk must be balanced against the value of what you may learn. Another case could be an applicant posting pictures of themselves wearing virtually nothing.

3. Human resources should review social media.
Someone on your HR team – not the hiring manager — should review candidates’ social media account. HR professionals are better equipped to focus on what can and cannot be considered.

You should tell hiring managers that they can’t check social media accounts. If you don’t tell them they can’t, they will assume they can and may do so at the wrong time, or consider factors they shouldn’t.

4. Only review public information.
Never ask an applicant for his or her social media password. It is like asking an applicant for the keys to his or her home.

Approximately 20 state laws prohibit employers from asking for social media passwords. In all states, it can be criminal under federal law.

5. Keep your process consistent.
You don’t need to look at social media profiles for every position in the company. But it’s also dangerous to do so only when you feel like something may be off.

Selective social media reviews can be seen as based on discriminatory factors. Indeed, the gut feeling may be based on implicit bias if the person is different from you – whoever you may be.

So decide before you begin recruiting for a position whether a social media screening will be part of the process and document it. Just don’t do it because of who the person is.

6. Print out any social media posts that you intend to consider.
We all know that individuals may delete or hide posts from the public; therefore, print out anything you find as soon as you see it. Note what disturbs you about it. This preserves the argument, by negative implication what you did not consider, namely, an applicant’s membership in a protected group.

Stop Embracing Failure

I am pleased to share my latest post to Entrepreneur.

If I read one more article by an entrepreneur about embracing failure, I will scream. Actually, my scream is this article. Yes, almost every entrepreneur fails at some point in his or her career. That includes such greats as Steve Jobs.

And, we should be careful not to create a culture where people fear failure. Sometimes the greatest risk of all is to take no risk at all. So that means we must encourage prudent risk taking with the realization that not every new idea will have a positive return on investment.

But accepting failure and embracing it are very different. I agree with the former; I struggle mightily with the latter. I read one article that waxed so poetically about embracing failure that I ran out to look for “congratulations on your failure” greeting cards. I could not find any.

Confession: I am an entrepreneurial lawyer. No, that is not an oxymoron.

I sometimes hear lawyers talking about avoiding risk I respond there is no such thing as risk avoidance, only choosing and balancing risks. I sometimes hear entrepreneurs talking about necessary failures as a form of success. I am less vocal but I disagree that failure is success, even where necessary.

Rather than embracing failure, accept it, learn from it and then try again. In hospitals and other settings, when something goes wrong with a patient’s treatment, there is often an RCA — root cause analysis. Why did the potentially avoidable happen?

Entrepreneurs, do your own root cause analysis. Figure out why and where you failed so next time you are more likely to succeed.

To borrow from Wikipedia: The primary aim of root cause analysis is to identify the factors that resulted in the nature, the magnitude, the location, and the timing of the harmful outcomes (consequences) of one or more past events; to determine what behaviors, actions, inactions, or conditions need to be changed; to prevent recurrence of similar harmful outcomes; and to identify lessons that may promote the achievement of better consequences. “Success” is defined as the near-certain prevention of recurrence.

1. Goals.
Was my goal clear? You may be surprised how many failures exist because the goal was not defined.

2. Time line.
Did I have a clear time line to get there? Set a realistic time frame and build in time to make sure you can gather the support you need and overcome the obstacles that are foreseeable.

3. Team.
Did I have the right team supporting me? No one can do it alone. Pick those who see possibilities with realistic assessments of limitations as opposed to those who can see only what can go wrong or those who think nothing can go wrong.

4. Obstacles.
Did I anticipate obstacles in advance and minimize them? If you don’t see them, you will fail. Know what we are trying to mitigate, not eliminate, them. You cannot control everything….I think.

5. Influence.
Did I try to increase my chance of success by using influence as opposed to blatant directives? Influence is power so you are more likely to be successful if people share your vision as opposed to doing what they are told to do.

6. Feedback.
Ask for feedback from others on how to do better next time. You gain not only their ideas but also their engagement. Plus, if you are the driver on the mission unaccomplished, it is hard to have sufficient distance to see critically what needs to change.

7. Personal responsibility.
We need to take personal responsibility for failures, but not take them personally (to borrow from Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook). The difference between the two is the difference between day and night and the ability to have the resilience to bounce back.

The Boys’ Club Perception Test

I am pleased to post the latest blog that I have written on gender bias and boys’ clubs. This one was published, gratefully, by Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274623

We read a lot about “Boys’ Clubs”. They are power circles of men, mostly white, who control, formally or informally, organizations or silos within them.

The gender demographics of the senior leadership team may be relevant but are in no way dispositive as to whether a boys’ club exists. I have seen organizations with senior leadership teams lacking in gender diversity that are not, in my opinion, run by a boys’ clubs. Conversely, I have seen organizations where the numbers at the top look good in terms of gender diversity but a core “boys’ clubs” calls the shots.

So, how do you know if you have a boys’ club? Of course, there is no test. So, I have a created one.

Warning from this lawyer — write your answers on a piece of paper and then throw away. Don’t want your self-evaluation to be used against you in litigation by a plaintiffs’ lawyer.

Emotions of this management lawyer — I want to scream about my prior warning. There should be strong privilege against discovery for critical self-assessment with eye toward increasing equality, maximizing compliance, etc.

Now, as for each of the five questions:

  1. If you generally agree, answer A
  2. If you are not sure, answer B
  3. If you generally disagree, answer C

The five questions:

  1. We don’t have a boys’ club.
  2. We don’t need a formal system to ensure equal access to meaningful opportunities; merit will prevail.
  3. More than a few of our sales and sales strategies informally take place in bars.
  4. I think the gender pay gap is attributable not only to employer practices but also to employee choices.
  5. Women mentoring women is essential to shutting down the boys’ club.

1. We don’t have a boys’ club.
Almost everyone knows that boys’ clubs exist. But many believe that they exist only at the employer next store. Certitude is a good thing. But, on this issue, a little doubt is a good thing. So give yourself:

  • Two points for A
  • Zero points for B and C

2. We don’t need a formal system to ensure equal access.
Often the gender gap at the top is because women don’t have the opportunities they need to get there. Absence of meaningful opportunities also contributes to the gender pay gap. There is no one system always works. But “no system” never works.

No system often leads to what the EEOC calls “like me” bias. Those in charge of opportunities give them to those just like them — often other men. So some vehicle to measure equal access to opportunity is essential. Merit will prevail but only if there is equal access to opportunity. Time to score it:

  • Two points for A
  • One points for B
  • Zero points for C

3. Sales and strategy meetings informally take place in bars.
Social inclusion is a form of business inclusion. Information is shared, strategies are developed and relationships formed and/or cemented. Of course, many men don’t relish business in bars. And, there are women who do. But the local watering hole is often the club house for the boys’ club. The same is true of the golf course. Okay, let’s score it:

  • Two points for A
  • Zero points for B and C

4. Pay gap due to employer practices and employee choices.
There is no doubt that there is a gender pay gap. Those who doubt it sound as credible as men who deny the existence of labor pains because they never have experienced them. But, the gender gap is not due solely to employer practices. If you step out of the game to be the primary caregiver, when you step back in, you will make less. And women are still more likely than men to be primary caregivers.

As for points, the pattern you may have predicted no longer holds.

  • Subtract 1 point if you picked A (you have thought about the issue).
  • No points for B or C but, if you picked C, you may see bias in certain cases where it does not exist.

5. Women mentoring women will shut down the boys club.
No. And here’s why:

  • There are fewer women at the top so women mentoring women will deprive women disproportionately of access to the top.
  • The burden of gender equality cannot be put entirely on women (particularly since men and women alike benefit from it).
  • The benefits to cross-gender matching are significant in terms of what each gender can impart and learn

Let’s score this one:

  • Two points for A
  • Zero points for B
  • Subtract one point if you picked C (again, very thoughtful)

Now, add up all of your points, subtracting points where you have earned them.

If you have five points or more, you may have a boys’ club, but don’t see it. If you have fewer than five points, you still may have a boys’ club, but you are primed to help dismantle it; please do.

Politics and Work: 7 Guardrails for Leaders

I am pleased to share my latest blog for Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270670?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Sharebar&utm_campaign=Sumome_share

For years, we have witnessed a stark partisan divide. Some families have rules — no politics at dinner.

For employers, it is neither practical nor desirable to prohibit all conversations in the workplace. Indeed, to do so is legally dangerous.

Political conversations that relate to terms and conditions of employment may be protected. One can easily see how many political issues have workplace implications, like the gender pay gap, LGBT rights, religious liberty, Obamacare, paid leave, unions, immigration, etc. I think you get the point.

Still, the political divide can create workplace divides that are unhealthy. So here are some guardrails for leaders to minimize the risk that the inevitable will turn into the incendiary:

1. Remember your role as a leader.

If you are a leader, you don’t forfeit your rights to have political views. But be thoughtful about how you express them. You don’t want to suggest those who disagree with you are idiots. Yes, politics is a diversity issue, and we cannot exclude from the talent pool those with divergent political views.

2. Know your audience.

Some people take differing political views very personally. Unfortunately, in my view, many in both political parties demonize the opposition — so they serve as bad role models for the rest of us.

Make sure, before you talk politics, that there is a good working relationship. I enjoy good political discourse and that includes respectful disagreement — but only with those with whom I have a strong underlying relationship.

3. Focus on the positive.

Yes, you read it right. Safer to talk about whom you support than to talk about whom you loathe.Stated otherwise, it is one thing to say support A. It is another to bash B.

4. Think public versus private.

With a close colleague, a one-on-one dialogue (not diatribe) may be fine. I would stay away from the hard-core political in group meetings or leadership communications.

5. Listen.

I don’t mean to sound condescending (that means talk down), but listen to those with different views. You may learn a lot about them in a way that helps you work better with them.

At the risk of delving into political waters, someone who is a strong libertarian may not like “big employer” any more than they like “big brother.” That does not mean you should abdicate your management rights. But it may inform how you exercise your influence with the employee.

6. Careful of discriminatory language.

The candidates differ in terms of their age, ethnicity, gender, race and religion (in alpha order), among other factors. Comments that focus on what are “protected factors” under the employment laws are deeply problematic.

“Too old.” “Too religious.” You got the point. Don’t go there.

7. Respond proactively if you become aware of potential problems.

I confess that I enjoy watching debates. And, I can appreciate knockout punches regardless of whether I like the person throwing one.

In a workplace, there is no room for knockout punches. If you see temperatures are rising, intervene. Consider: “While we may have very different political views, we have at least one thing in common — we want X. [X is your mission, a specific project, etc.] So let’s focus on that.”

If comments reasonably could be seen as biased, you all but must respond. When you are a leader, there is no such thing as a passive bystander when bias is concerned. So, if inherent in the criticisms of a candidate is the person’s age, ethnicity, etc., make clear it’s not okay. It’s not.

Enough. Everyone back to work.

Employers Land in the Unions’ Cross Hairs

Effective April 14, 2015, the NLRB’s Ambush Elections rules go into effect. The purpose and effect of the rules is to shorten the period of time between when a union files a petition for an election and when the election takes place. The result is that, while a union may campaign furtively against an employer for an extended period of time, an employer will have only a small window of opportunity to respond. Make no mistake about it: winning elections will be harder for employers (as intended by the NLRB) so the goal for employers must be to avoid elections in the first instance. Continue reading Employers Land in the Unions’ Cross Hairs