For the most part, employment lawyers are litigators, handling everything employment-related from Charges of Discrimination to wage and hour class actions and noncompetition injunctions. Employment lawyers believe—and to a certain extent, they’re right—that this litigation experience means they know what compliance looks like and how to meet it. Yet, like most attorneys, they have spent virtually no time in the HR trenches. They haven’t faced the tough decisions of how to meet customer demands and provide the healthy work-life balance employees desire or how to meet business objectives with limited resources. So to them, compliance means strict adherence to the law without looking at other pragmatic solutions that are both lawful and business-friendly.
k8bisch is different. Having been there, done that, I understand that compliance is a balancing act of finding what works best for an organization and what is within the law. Compliance doesn’t mean HR always says no. It means we work together to find innovative ways to meet business needs and the law’s requirements. With a focus on an organization’s culture, we start with the business objective and seek to meet the demands of the law with that objective in mind.
As a human resources professional and an employment law attorney, I’ve seen and heard people do and say some really goofy and inappropriate things in the workplace. But each time there’s ridiculousness, there are also people doing their best to make an organization the best it can be. These people inspire me. They’ve inspired me to work with them to make workplaces better.
And I do. I develop procedures, policies, trainings, and strategies to meet organizational goals. I’ve worked with organizations to be compliant, investigate wrongdoing, litigate claims of all sizes, and resolve conflicts. After 17 years of doing this, I’m now a frequent speaker on compliance topics and get to work with some of the most innovative companies that are using innovative techniques – including technology – to grow and achieve.
HR can be a lonely profession. Whether you’re a department-of-one or have many HR compatriots with you, a trusted confidante is important, not only to talk through scenarios with you but also spot legal pitfalls that could result in litigation. Whether over coffee, lunch, or a glass of wine or beer, I’d love to get to know you, your organization, and how I can help.