Goosmann Law Firm Omaha Employment Litigation Attorney Kelsey Heino and Host Jeana Goosmann discuss how to navigate sticky employment issues.
In this episode they will discuss:
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Do complex legal issues. Hold you back. Let's get energized and bring clarity to your top legal questions. This is law. Talk with the flock by Goosmann law firm.Speaker 2:
Hello, I'm your host, Gina Goosmann CEO, lawyer, author, and woman business owner here to help navigate you and your way through the lot, your business and life. As a leader for today's episode, I have with me, attorney Kelsey Haino . Kelsey is an Omaha employment litigation attorney at the Goosmann law firm. And today we're going to talk about sticky employment issues. Welcome Kelsey.Speaker 4:
Hi. Hi, Gina. Nice to thank you for having me join you today. YouSpeaker 3:
Bet. And then Kelsey, just to kick us off, why don't you tell everyone a little bit about you and your practice?Speaker 4:
Sure. So I am an employment litigator, meaning I help companies on both the front end and the backend , uh, on the front end, I helped by drafting enforceable agreements and handbooks policies, that sort of thing. And then on the backend , when employment issues arise, I guide employers through the agency process or through the courtroom. If , if we have to get to that point, youSpeaker 3:
Bet. And in that role, I'm sure you see quite a few sticky employment issues. What kind of sticky issues come across your desk healthy?Speaker 4:
Of course right now COVID is the big one. Um, and it's no surprise with the constant changes to government guidance. And you know, what we know about the virus , um, that has been just a complete minefield for employers and the navigating that has taken up a lot of my time over the last year. Um, but other kind of general sticky employment situations, I see come up a lot are monitoring and disciplining employees for social media use and kind of what, how best to handle those situations and then deciding whether and how to enforce employment agreements. You might have, you bet.Speaker 3:
There's plenty of things that can arise in the employer, employee relationship. So when you're dealing with those, what sort of best practices do you advise your company clients onSpeaker 4:
The overarching takeaway or piece of advice for employers in general with sticky situations is to take the time now or ahead of time to really plan out how you want your company to respond. Uh, if these situations arise, if an it company has well a if they don't have policies or handbook in place, or if they've just, you know, copied and pasted from a legal zoom document , um, and it's not tailored to their company, they can actually just end up doing more harm than good. Um, if the policy doesn't match up with the day-to-day activity of the business, then you're going to have inconsistencies. If you have to respond for instance, to, you know, a discrimination complaint and explain why the policy says the steps are X , Y , Z , and you went ABC instead. Um, so the number one tip that I have for employers of any size really are just to take the time ahead of time to plan out your response to the various employment situations youSpeaker 3:
Bet. And we see that pretty often don't we, that somebody just took away their employee handbook from the internet, or maybe it's outdated and it matched 10 years ago, but it's definitely something that they need to keep current. Uh , what do you think about on the social media side?Speaker 4:
So on the social media side of things, it it's its own employment litigation, nightmare. Um, it's , uh , it keeps us in business, but unfortunately , uh , on the employer side of things, it can really be kind of a sticky wicket and difficult to navigate. Um, employers of any size really should have a policy, a social media policy in place and have that shared with their employees. Um, definitely a tr annual training or , um, maybe a situational training. If there's been some recent activity can be really helpful , um, because it does no good to have the policy, if your employees are completely unaware of it. Um, I've actually run into several instances recently where a former employee, or maybe a customer , uh, has just started a social media smear campaign against a company and those situations while to the company, you know, it's the end of the world. And they think that it's, it's every buddy in town knows what's going on, they're watching this unfold. Um, but the truth is a lot of times it's, it's really just kind of contained to maybe that person that posted it and three or four of their friends. So if they, a company doesn't have a plan in place on how to respond to that, their gut instinct is probably going to be an instant response, a big, maybe a big public statement about the social media issue. And that's just not necessarily the best course sometimes. Um, if it, unless it's really going viral, it's going to be in the company's best interest often to issue a simple statement or just kind of let it die down. Um, when it comes to media less is more in the employment context for sure. And I know withSpeaker 3:
The divisive political climate, we have the United States. So there's definitely been issues with people that have high profile employees that take a political stance that might be contrary to what the company wants as well. Have you seen, or how would you advise clients dealing with , with those different issues too? Because then we also have political free speech and I think those are tricky intersections ,Speaker 4:
Uh , main thing to keep in mind. And, and one of the first things you'll always see pop up on social media posts with that type of context is that the first amendment doesn't apply to public sector. It applies to protect , uh, citizens of the states from PR public action. So if, unless you're a government employer , uh, you don't have to worry as much about infringing on first amendment rights. Um, but when it comes to, when it comes down to it, you still want to handle that with, you know, as much grace and , um, di diplomacy as you can muster. Um, and again, having a policy in place on and , um, you know, no political leadings , um , on company, social media accounts, you know, maybe that's your general policy , um, but deciding how to , uh , react to , um, you know, somebody's bashing the president. Uh, that's something that you probably want to determine how you want to respond to. And that is one area where , uh, talking with an employment lawyer ahead of time can really be a helpful tool for an accompany. YouSpeaker 3:
Bet. So just to clarify, the first amendment doesn't affect , um , private companies, so private companies , um, or outside of that first amendment. So employee comes and says, this is my first amendment, right? And you're like, yeah, but you work here. And so I think that's always interesting and something for, for employment , uh , lawyers to educate their clients on a little bit, because I think that's not widely known Kelsey, how can the Goosmann law firm help with employment matters?Speaker 4:
The Goosmann law firm takes a team centered approach to all its clients. And that is so key when you're dealing with employment matters. Um, a lot of times all first meet a client because a, another attorney has just , um, set up their corporate identity for them and I'm helping them draft employee handbooks or draft a policy or drafted employment agreement. Um, but on the other end of things, if we've just gone through a massive employment litigation, it may be time if this is a mom and pop business to think about business succession and , um, what the future looks like for the company. So I really love that we strive to keep things team centered and also extend that to our clients. If I'm dealing with a CEO of a company , um, I wanna know probably their HR person on the employment issues and get to know their decision makers . Um, so that's one way that I think these men kind of separates itself. I really appreciate that angle , uh, on a more general approach. The Goosmann law firm handles, as I said, the front and the back end of employment matters. Um, if you need a handbook drafted, we're here to help with that. Uh, but on the other end of things, if that handbook , uh, causes issues, or if you run into a problem , uh, we're here on the back end to make sure that any issues arising are handled as efficiently and smoothly as possible.Speaker 3:
Outstanding. You bet. So we have some , uh , smaller businesses midsize , and then we have some fortune 1000 companies that we help with these sorts of issues in the Midwest. And , uh , we'd love working with all those clients and helping them navigate these sticky situations. Well, thank you so much, Kelsey, for being on the podcast today and sharing your insight, have a great day everyone, and go make it worth it.Speaker 1:
Thanks for joining us for law. Talk with the flock by Goosmann law firm. We hope you feel energized and ready to soar past your goals. Become a flop fan and subscribe to our podcast for weekly episodes. Learn email@example.com .Speaker 2: