The upcoming issue of GPSolo magazine focuses on “Employment Law” both as an area of practice and as a practical guide for attorneys who find themselves supervising others. Even if you have no interest in the practice area and never find your clients asking questions that veer into the employment realm, you will find resources here that you can use as an employer (or solo who uses contractors).
In this issue, you will find tips on developing policies for both yourself and your clients. Randall P. Brett reminds us why employee handbooks are a good idea. He makes the case for using policy to head off liability. Many of the articles also offer tips to use when drafting policies. For offices where employees use personal devices such as phones and tablets for work, Shreya Biswas Ley offers three things employers should make sure to address. Chase Victorson reminds us that even non-union employers need to worry about the National Labor Relations Act as it relates to policies on social media and employees discussing wages.
When it comes to wages, Komal Jain reminds us that the federal minimum wage is taking a back seat to regulations set by state and local governments, which are instituting wage rates that are sometimes double the federal minimum. The article includes a handy chart of state minimums wages that you may want to reference as you advise multi-state employers. State law is also an issue when it comes to mandatory paid leave. Amanda Gracia identifies a growing number of states offering mandatory paid family leave, but in slightly different ways.
Some of the articles examine how implicit bias and disparate impact are being addressed in the workplace. With 35 states and the District of Columbia (in addition to more than 150 city or county regulations) restricting the use of criminal conviction in assessing job applicants, Artika R. Tyner explores the historic impact of these practices and actions employers can take to move beyond them. Kim Carter addresses black hairstyles, how policies and practices have discouraged natural hair, how California has addressed this, and how employers can respond.
Employment law can be dynamic. This is captured in an analysis by Melissa Lewis of how to classify gig economy workers, as well as in Gavril T. Gabriel’s account of the back-and-forth of determining who is a joint employer. Both articles identify the financial stakes for employers who get it wrong. If you are using a temporary agency or hiring independent contractors, you won’t want to skip these.
Finally, a series of technology articles will guide you in thinking about your own tech needs and practices. Aaron Street and Stephanie Everett will guide you in buying and implementing technology, while Darren Fancher will give you strategies for improving your outcomes. Teresa Matich completes the trifecta by addressing client expectations and how you can communicate to meet them.
This will also be the first digital-only issue of GPSolo magazine. It will available to read in a variety of digital format: online, as downloadable PDF and EPUB documents, or via our e-newsletter sent to your e-mail in-box. All the digital formats can be accessed at ambar.org/gpsolomag.
Please enjoy the articles in this issue. You may find yourself thumbing through your office handbook (or starting to draft one as you read).