I’m honored by the selection, particularly to be mentioned next to the blogs that I go to for my L&E news, like the Connecticut Employment Law blog, the Delaware Employment Law blog, the Ohio Employer’s Law blog, Lawffice Space, and WorkMatters.
There are two other blogs that I am astonished are not on the list, both of which are better than this little site, IMHO. So when you’ve exhausted all the news here, and up there, you should check out the Employer Handbook by Eric Meyer, and the Labor Relations Today by Seth Borden.
Thanks so much for reading Current Employment, and a special thank-you to all those who voted.
Hey, everyone! I will have a new post coming soon; I have been grinding out some actual legal work the past few days. You know, for clients. Who pay.1
Anyway, I will have a flurry of posts up very, very soon (like tonight. ish.). Just sit tight, okay? Okay. Thanks.
To prove that I’m working hard, I’ve uploaded this webcam picture of me. Note the rolled-up sleeves and dedicated grimace.
- Freeloading blog readers. . . [↩]
Ed. Note: This week’s gonna be a twofer. That’s right – twice the ridiculousness for you to waste your time on. In return for my generosity, why not saunter your virtual behind over to this Lexis Nexis page announcing candidates for the Top 25 L&E blogs and vote for Current Employment in the comments?
Diversion #5, subpart (a): Blogging is Expensive
The first of our stories was chosen for two reasons:
- It hits a little close to home for somebody arrogant enough to write their thoughts all over the internets (e.g.,this guy).
- It gives me an excuse to congratulate my fellow employment law blogger, Phillip Miles of Lawffice Space on the birth of his baby girl!
I just had a kid 6 months ago, and I can tell you the best part about it is all the congratulations that I receive from people that I only know online. The least I can do is pay that forward, right? Plus if you click on the link to Phillip’s blog, you’ll see that, unlike those super-obnoxious bloggers that force this stuff down your throat, he’s very humble in his announcement. So, for the second time in CE history, I’m pulling out all my web 1.0 training to make this thing pop:
Babies are the best!
Speaking of obnoxious bloggers, somehow in the midst of having a 0.1-month-old, Phillip found the time to dig up this story about a community blogger in Hennepin County, Minnesota who is paying a hefty price for doing the worst thing you can possibly do to another person on the web: tell the truth about them. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Though blogger John (Johnny Northside) Hoff told the truth when he linked ex-community leader Jerry Moore to a high-profile mortgage fraud, the scathing blog post that got Moore fired justifies $60,000 in damages, a Hennepin County jury decided Friday.
What the wha?
Here’s the timeline:
- ex-community guy does bad mortgage thing
- blogger tells people about it (with choice words)
- ex-so-and-so gets fired
- ex-guy sues blogger for tortious interference with his employment contract
Tortious interference, for those of you who have regular lives, means you deliberately got in the way of somebody reaping the benefits of a contract. In other words: your blog post got me fired.
My personal opinion is that this case is bunk, and there’s no way this blogger is going to have to shell over $60k for not lying.Truthful speech has to be pretty bad to lose First Amendment protections. It’s being appealed, and he better frigging win or I will shut down this website faster than you can say “wackiest employment law cases”.
Diversion #5, subpart (b): This “Ugly” Thing Has Legs
So, two weeks ago, my Friday diversion was about a sexual harassment case1 where the employer argued there could be no harassment, because the Plaintiff was too ugly. Remember? Well, I can only assume that my blog post, and not at all this op-ed in the New York Times, touched a nerve with some bloggers. All week, folks have been discussing whether ugliness should be protected under discrimination laws.
SPOILER ALERT! It shouldn’t.
Just because something is a detriment to financial gain doesn’t mean it’s grounds for discrimination. Besides, most of the stereotypes about ugly people are true. I’m not prejudiced though; a lot of my close friends are super-ugly.
One more thing:
Lots of changes coming to the land of Tim soon. If you haven’t noticed already, this includes a slow, meandering update of the blog. (I think I’ve settled on these fancy fonts. Let me know what you think.) I was going to add a “beta” to the top logo, but I don’t have that kind of gusto. So I’m throwing this down here where no one will read it, instead.
Stay tuned for changes (blog and non-blog), and critique away if you hate something.
- Notice, this week, no sex! I did it! [↩]
It seems the fine folks at Lexis Nexis’s Labor & Employment Community have nominated CE for its list of the Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs of 2011! I can’t tell you how honored I am1 to be listed among some remarkably good blogs written by some remarkably good attorneys. There are roughly 60 blogs on this list, and each one of them is quite deserving of the recognition.
There’s also a class participation element here, if you are interested in helping me or any of the other nominees out. Judging for the top 25 goes on from now to September 12. If you are a member of the Lexis Nexis Community, or if you are willing to register, you can leave a comment in support of your faves. The powers that be will consider those comments, along with a review of all the nominated blogs, to determine the top 25.
I’m super excited that anyone has found anything useful or interesting on this site, and every day my site stats aren’t a big goose egg, I’m humbled. Thanks to the Lexis Nexis Community, and to all of you who frequent the blog. Please keep reading, and if you’ve got a few minutes, maybe drop a little comment in the hopper over and Lexis Nexis.
Thanks again, everybody! Now BACK TO WORK!!!
- And a little stunned, honestly [↩]
If you’re in the Chicago-area, especially in the western suburbs, I will be conducting a seminar for the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry on July 15 entitled “Hiring and Managing Employees in the Age of Social Media”. The info is below.
We’ll be discussing the basics of social media policies and what to do when an employee misuses social media, the NLRB’s facebook firing push, and how you can and can’t use SM to screen applicants and employees. There will also be a Q&A at the end, so bring your questions. Hope to see you there!
And if you are an employer in the Western Suburbs, check out WSCCI. They are a great resource and connection point for businesses in the area.
“Hiring & Managing Employees in the Age of Social Media”
July 15, 2011
7:50 – 9:00 am
WSCCI Chamber Offices, 9440 Joliet Road, Suite B, Hodgkins (East doors of the Republic Bank building)
Please RSVP to Kristen at email@example.com or call 708-387-7550.
Hey, everybody! Long time! Good to see you again – you’re looking good. What do you think of the new digs?
Sorry to take up so much space on housekeeping matters. Now that I’ve got things pretty much how I want them design-wise, I wanted to dedicate one quick post to fill you in on my decisions about content. Then it’s back to business! I know all 3 of my regular readers are super-excited.
As I said earlier, I’ve been taking the past few months to figure out what I can and can’t do with the blog while working as a judicial clerk. This deliberation was partly because of the ethical issues involved in me pumping out posts on issues that may end up before my judge,1 but that’s not the only thing that held me up. To be honest, the ethical stuff wasn’t that hard to work out: I’m going to eliminate any advice from my posts, obviously, but I can still write about cases and events (you know, “facts”), and I’ve always been careful not to get too personal or biased.
Once I really started thinking about it, though, I had another problem: there’s other stuff that I wanted to write about – things unrelated to substantive labor and employment law, having to do moreso with being a lawyer. I thought about starting a second blog, but that seemed stupid. God knows I hardly keep this one going; two blogs with no content is like two wallets with no money.
Plus, all the marketing and social media advice and blogs-about-blogs that I’d read said not to deviate from your site’s laser-focus, or you could destroy your online brand and lose credibility with your core demo.2
I went back and forth on this for too long, and then realized the following:
- Right now, this isn’t actually my business. I’m not practicing, or trying to win clients, or market myself or anything; and
- I didn’t start the blawg as a marketing tool! I actually wanted to add to the discourse, not just float a running advertisement for Tim, Employment Lawyer on the internet.
After these epiphanies, I decided that most of the people who read this site are lawyers, and I was probably over-thinking the whole damned thing and should just write whatever I felt like writing.
So that’s what I’m going to do. While the site will always be focused on employment law, when I need to fill in the gaps, I’m just going to write. About being a lawyer, especially a young lawyer.3 Or about being a dad lawyer. Or a lawyer with a blog and a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile.
I am also planning on writing some (carefully-worded, fully approved) posts on being a judicial clerk; this job is giving me a front row seat to see how lawyers deal with judges and each other, and I don’t want to waste that vantage point.
So, there you go. Back to work – mine and everybody else’s.
Big boy posts start tomorrow.
- While most employment litigation is federal, not all is. And some big employment issues, like noncompetes and wage-and-hour class actions, land in the Chancery Division, which is where I work. [↩]
- Seriously, I worried about this. Re-reading it, I’m not sure I even know what I just wrote. [↩]
- I passed the bar 2 years ago, and my entire perspective has changed. It takes some work to realize how wrong you are about what you think you know. [↩]
“Delay is preferable to error.” – Thomas Jefferson
Well, it’s been a while. Sorry to disappear for so long without leaving word of my forwarding address.
As many of you know, I have been on the hunt for a full-time legal job for some time. I haven’t posted much on CE during these months; every time I sat down to write, I felt like I was betraying my job search (and, in turn, those who relied on my income). I always assumed that when I found my next job, I would give it a few weeks to settle in, and then dive back into CE with a newfound enthusiasm.
Well, in January, I found my next step. I am currently clerking for a judge in the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court. It’s a phenomenal experience. (Emergency TROs to enforce noncompetes, administrative review of public-sector employment issues, analysis of every type of contract known to man… stop me when you’re jealous.)
A downside, though, is that I’m just not sure what this unexpected position means for the blog. Suddenly, I have to worry about things that never were an issue before. Like impartiality. While CE has been purely informational (at best), much of it is tailored to specific types of clients, and occasionally meanders into legal advice.
I cannot practice while I’m clerking, for obvious reasons1 , and I need to make sure that my work out here in the wild west of professional responsibility that is legal blogging doesn’t affect my ability to appropriately do my job.
I don’t think that CE is dead, or that my blogging days are over. I love this blog, and my twitter account, and all the people I have e-met because of them.2 I just don’t know exactly what direction CE can or will take in the near term, and am therefore taking the preferable route to error and holding off for now.
While I figure it out, please enjoy these other labor and employment blogs that were always much better than mine, anyway: