Message from the Chairs
Employment Law continues to be an intriguing area of law that is nuanced and constantly changing. And yet it is one of the most entertaining areas of law out there. Just think about the fact that in 2015, we employment lawyers have to have discussions about (and let’s all admit—had plenty of opportunities to joke about) the medical and recreational use of marijuana and e-cigarettes and the impact on all that smokin’ and joviality in the workplace, juxtaposed against navigating the crazy number of city and state sick-leave laws, and balanced out with trying to get our arms around the Affordable Care Act. As if that wasn’t enough, we have our clients biting their nails about the proposed changes to the FLSA regulations and how they will affect exempt salaried positions. And what about data privacy? Who isn’t concerned about that? How do we possibility protect not only our employees, but our consumers against their data being mined and revealed in an Ashley Madison-type expose? (Well, hopefully none of us are in the same business as Ashley Madison, but you get my drift). All these topics are fairly new, and yet we still have to grapple with the age-old issues of how the Supreme Court (and now other courts) are treating pregnant women and religions of all types, and how our accommodation obligations have changed. And we haven’t even mentioned same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in the context of employee rights and benefits. Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure if you have heard, but at the moment, you CAN hire unpaid interns in certain circumstances (says the Second Circuit), but who knows what the next circuit will say?
All that to say, there is plenty of work and interesting dialogue that can abound on these topics, which makes me very glad I am an employment lawyer. Who else gets to spend their day talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll and get paid for it? We hope that you’ll find our committee and this website (as well as our LinkedIn page) a helpful resource as you navigate through these crazy issues for your clients. The ABA Section of Litigation is the leading voice for litigators in the nation, and we are proud to be a part of it. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions you may have on how the committee can continue to best serve you, our membership, and the employment-and-labor-relations legal communities.
Cochairs, Employment & Labor Relations Committee