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Employment Law This Week - January 15, 2018: Our 100th Episode – HR’s Critical Role in 2018

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work.

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work.

This week’s stories include ...

(1)  Happy 100th!

Welcome to the 100th episode of Employment Law This Week! For our 100th episode, we decided to do something a little bit different. We hope to start a conversation about the role that human resources (HR) must play in our rapidly changing workplace environment.

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, there is clearly a renewed focus on gender discrimination in the workplace. David Garland argues that in 2018, HR cannot take a back seat to other priorities, and that HR should have a seat at the table with the highest level of management. We asked him why:

“More than ever before, compliance with employment law and labor law is as important as compliance with any other law. What we've seen is these high-profile cases presenting a threat at the highest levels of company leadership. And that poses challenges when it comes to reputation of the company, reputation of the brand, and, even in the most serious of cases, the impact on shareholder value. So we need, at the highest level of the company, to be focused on compliance and addressing the important HR issues, particularly preventative HR measures.”

(2) HR’s Role in Defining Employee Culture in 2018

If you ask CEOs the most important commodity for their business, they’re likely to say their ability to find and retain talent. In an environment in which technology gives any prospective employee a window into the brand and culture of a company, it’s the role of the HR department to not only recruit talent, but ensure that current, and even former, employees are satisfied with the company culture. Jennifer Gefsky is a former Vice President of Major League Baseball and the founder of Après, a digital recruiting platform for high-caliber women who are reentering the workforce. We asked her how the recruiting landscape is changing:

“One of the things that the events of 2017 taught us is that the role of human resources groups is going to continue to evolve and grow in 2018 and beyond. Why? Because when a company experiences an event such as a large sexual harassment . . . a very public sexual harassment case, the company takes a hit not only in terms of its value, but in terms of its culture, and in terms of its ability to hire and retain talent, which is really the name of the game. And so because it's such an important role, we're going to see, I think, a wider net cast for human resources within companies, and really, much more of a seat at the C-suite table. You know, chief talent officers, chief people officers, true leaders that are really driving the company culture and employee satisfaction.”

(3) Our Community

We’re extremely proud of the community that we’re building here together—a community of lawyers, executives, and HR professionals who not only watch the show but get involved in it by suggesting stories, commenting on them, and participating in our “Tip of the Week” initiative.

In fact, over our first 100 episodes, 95 employment professionals have been generous enough to share their advice with us. These guests have provided advice on a wide range of topics, from employee training to technology in the workplace, to real-world insights on the issues that are top of mind in our current climate, like sexual harassment and labor relations.

To all of those who have contributed, a sincere thank you. And to all of our viewers, we’d like to extend an invitation to get involved in this conversation. Participate in our “Tip of the Week” segment, weigh in on our discussion about HR’s role in 2018, and share the show with a colleague. That’s how we strengthen our community. This show reaches its full potential when it becomes a catalyst for us to learn from each other. Thank you for 100 great episodes, and here’s to the next 100!


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About this Author

George Carroll Whipple III, Epstein Becker Green, Workforce Management Lawyer, Hiring Matters Attorney

GEORGE CARROLL WHIPPLE, III, is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He hosts the firm's innovative weekly video program, Employment Law This Week.

Mr. Whipple:

  • Counsels employers on workplace issues, including hiring and promotion, firing and discipline, wage and hour, and the implementation of employment policies, to ensure compliance with federal and state laws

  • ...