Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Resources for TriCounty Community Network Attendees

Thanks for the opportunity to speak this morning at the TriCounty Community Network Meeting in conjunction with S.A.F.E.'s recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I wanted to post a few resources I was not able to get to during our presentation this morning. Frankly, I enjoyed a broader panel experience (and abbreviated remarks) to provide a better variety of viewpoints on addressing the issue of domestic violence. I know that TCN will have contact information for the panel posted, so I won't repost that here.

However, here are some resources I mentioned (and a few which I did not):

1. This pamphlet, entitled "Be Safe Sensible Prepared" is a joint product of the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence and the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section. In addition, links to the two ABA groups are hyperlinked to their names above.

2. The Philadelphia Ordinance (Bill No. 090660-A) providing for leave for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse may be found here. There's nothing in Federal or Pennsylvania law which would preclude individual municipalities from passing equivalent ordinances (except perhaps strident objections from local chambers of commerce.)

3. Information about two pieces of Federal legislation recently introduced can be found here ("Balancing Act of 2011") and here ("Healthy Families Act"). Since watching legislation made is like watching sausage being made (as Otto von Bismarck allegedly suggested), I cannot prognosticate the future for either bill.

4. In my research I also discovered this excellent piece called "Top 10 Things Employers Can Do About Domestic Violence" from the Crisis Connection, an organization located in Southern Indiana.

Finally, to restate my basic points:

1. Employers cannot ignore the problem of domestic violence, regardless of how "difficult" it is to address (as we heard this morning), liability is lurking around every corner;

2. Employers should have a policy and should plan for dealing with domestic violence (as more than one speaker suggested); and

3. There's lots of help available if you take the initiative.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Press never Hurts

We were quoted in a recent article by Gabrielle Banks in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding lawyers' online conduct (and misconduct, as the case may be).

A thanks to Jennifer Ellis, Esquire, whose blog "Jennifer Ellis, JD" is a must read for any techno-lawyer.

I know I said something along the lines of "how much trouble can you get in 140 characters."

As many know, a heap of trouble is the answer ---- but not if you are careful (and have at least half a brain.)

I will return to my discussion of retaliation claims shortly, as well as be discussing how workplaces need to handle domestic violence, and a review of the U.S. Supreme Court's past and upcoming terms.