Baili B. Rhodes 2017-06-24 09:26:58
Employer Education Close to half of my practice consists of employment law matters. As a small firm attorney, I represent employees and employers, at companies of different sizes. Many small business owners find themselves in a position where they have enough employees to face personnel issues but not enough to warrant hiring in-house counsel. I answer many questions for them about the daily operation of their businesses, as well as specific inquiries about the laws that are applicable to the business and its employees, such as: • Are my employees entitled to the Family and Medical Leave Act? • Can I terminate an employee if he or she doesn’t show up to work today? • What is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and does it apply to me at all? • What do I do if I find out an employee has filed a charge of discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission’s Civil Rights Division or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? The list goes on. I field phone calls and emails, and when requested, provide written summaries of law applicable to the problem du jour. In doing this work, I’ve realized that for every small business owner who chooses to invest time and money consulting a lawyer, there are many who do not have the finances to seek legal advice. Others do not know the potential legal pitfalls they face or the questions that they should be asking. Small business owners can benefit tremendously from guides that address discrete legal issues from an employer’s perspective. The Texas Young Lawyers Association has produced a number of those guides in the past such as Pregnancy and the Workplace, Hiring an Intern, Hiring an Employee with a Record, and the Employer’s Guide to General Employment Law. This year, TYLA will develop guides for employers that address the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, federal health care law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and HIPAA. Additionally, TYLA will create HIPAA At A Glance, a quick reference guide that addresses the specific HIPAA issues faced by lawyers and law firms. It is TYLA’s goal to provide resources that attorneys can pass on to their clients as a go-to guide to consult in the operation of their businesses. I look forward to sharing this project and others with you as they are completed throughout the year. If you have an interest in using or sharing these guides, or any other TYLA program, please do not hesitate to contact the TYLA office. We will work with you to provide additional materials and do our best to help find volunteers to participate in presentations. To learn more about TYLA projects, go to tyla.org or call (512) 427-1529. BAILI B. RHODES President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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