Evan Abbott, Organizational Learning and Development
This past week I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Washington, D.C. It was my first visit and I definitely want to go back! The monuments, the history, and . . . the power! There is no way to take it all in during a short five day trip. It’s all been incredibly educational and a bit overwhelming. Just think – how many laws have been inspired, discussed, amended, voted on, vetoed, and passed in this city during our 236 years as a nation? And if you are like the average HR professional or educated supervisor, it probably feels like all of those laws are employment laws!
Some of you might fight the same temptation that I have been fighting for the past few days – I’ve got to see everything! The monuments, the museums, the federal buildings, the historical buildings, and the list goes on and on. The unfortunate side effect? Well, besides my brain exploding and my feet killing me, I run the risk of missing the reason I am here – for work, not a history lesson. All of the various ins and outs of employment law can feel much the same way: At-will, FMLA, Wage Hour, ADAAA, Title VII, . . . you get the idea.
So what’s a civics novice to do? Pick an essential. For me it was finding landmarks that I’ve seen in movies. How’s that an essential? I’m a movie buff. I finally have context for all of those movies I’ve seen set in Washington where someone is walking up the steps of Congress or thinking great thoughts at the Lincoln Memorial. I finally understand references to Dupont Circle! What are your essentials in the area of employment law? You don’t need your law degree to keep out of hot water in the workplace. You just need to know the core aspects of how employment law plays out in your workplace – just enough to give you context for those “in the moment” decisions that sneak up on you.
So, if navigating the various acronyms, cases, and exceptions seems like taking a long stroll through the Library of Congress, let point you in the right direction. Be sure to take a look at our Employment Law Essentials Certificate Program coming up on April 9. Understanding key laws impacting your role as a leader in your organization does not have to be a Monumental undertaking. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.