In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in HR & Employment Law Category

President Donald Trump signed a 'Buy American and Hire American' executive order yesterday, which could lead to significant changes to the H-1B temporary visa program. H-1B visas allow highly skilled, foreign workers to work in the United States for three years, extendable up to six, with 85,000 such visas issued every year.

Here's what you can expect following the president's "Hire American" EO.

Avoid Gender Bias in Performance Reviews

Lady Justice was not always blindfolded, although she served the same purpose.

"Sight was the desired state," wrote Professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis, "connected to insight, light and the rays of God's sun."

In their treatise Representing Justice, the authors provide a historic look at Lady Justice and the idea that justice is blind. Even with eyes wide open, she has always been fair.

But according to an article in Harvard Business Review, fairness is still evolving in the workplace. Performance reviews have not been fair towards women.

As lawyers, we're not always fans of employee discretion. That's why we like strong policies and clear guidelines, things that can make sure that a worker's poorly made decision doesn't result in a company-wide f--- up.

But too much restraint, and too few opportunities for employees to use their own good judgment, can be counteractive. Indeed, according to Harvard Business School professor John Deighton, it might even lead employees to have your customers dragged off airplanes, bruised, bloody, and primed for internet outrage.

What Is the Timeline for Getting Your Next In-House Job?

'There is no spoon.'

So said the bald kid in The Matrix explaining that traditional rules do not apply, but so also said attorney Tracey Lesetar-Smith in describing the rules for getting an in-house job.

"The conventional rule is that one must toil away in law firms for eight-plus years before earning the right to jump in-house," she said. But is it really a rule?

Writing for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, Lesetar-Smith said there are no rules when it comes to landing in-house jobs. Everybody has a different story. Here are a few more:

Corporate Succession Plan Starts at the Top

Like finding an incomplete will, it's really too late for succession planning if you've waited until the company president dies.

Before the funeral is over, people are vying for control. Some distant relation will suddenly appear with a forgotten claim. And who invited the taxman?

Dying is hard enough, but you can make it a little easier by planning ahead for succession in your company. It starts at the top.

Tips to Overcome Stress at the Office

You have a big corporate job, responsible for millions of dollars and accountable to thousands of shareholders. But it's hard to breathe at the top because the air is thin and the pressure is intense.

Or maybe your job is not so big, still you feel stressed as you put out the fires of even a small business. Life is hard on the street, too.

Well it won't get any easier if you have a headache, get sick or simply burn out. So relax, have a seat, and take your shoes off. Here are some tips to help you de-stress:

Avoiding Online Age Discrimination in the Hiring Process

In the facile computer world, people sometimes get lazy with things like spelling and math. Auto-correct covers a host of spelling sins, but math requires a little more work.

For internet job sites like Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, it turned out to be a bigger problem. The Illinois attorney general recently cracked down on them and others for potentially violating age discrimination laws by screening out older workers online.

If you can do basic math, however, your company can avoid online age discrimination. It starts with taking responsibility and continues with ensuring accountability.

Retail Apocalypse Means Business for Employment Counsel

Retail apocalypse.

It conjures up images of angry workers, desolate parking lots, dogs and cats living together ...

Well, angry workers and desolate parking lots will be at the mall closures for sure. Dogs and cats living together, only if a pet store chain is closing.

In any case, the retail apocalypse is coming and it's not going to be pretty. More than 3,500 mall-based stores are shutting down in the biggest wave of retail closures since the Great Recession.

It's not the end of the world; it's just the end of thousands of stores and an untold number of jobs. But as lawyers say, one man's tragedy is another attorney's opportunity.

Great Cities, New Opportunities for Women in Legal Tech

Recent reports revealed the best cities for women in tech jobs and new opportunities for women lawyers in the tech industry.

According to an annual report, Washington, D.C. is the best city in the country for women in tech jobs for the third year in a row. Forbes reported that 41 percent of the tech jobs are held by women. There is a pay gap -- with women earning 94 percent of what mean earn on average -- but the pay is higher than the national average of 84 percent.

Silicon Valley, with the highest concentration of tech jobs in the country, has traditionally been low in the annual report on women in tech. But more women are taking top legal jobs in the wider San Francisco Bay Area.

Big data is making it increasingly easy to gain insight from unstructured information, to use satellite imagery of big box parking lots to predict stock performance, say, or to identify potential human traffickers based on bank deposits. And companies can also turn those analytic abilities inward, looking for insights into the data their own employees create.

But what ethical restraints should be placed on such data? When is using employee data a valid management strategy and when is it a step toward an Orwellian corporate dystopia?