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My New Job…

Dear Readers,

I apologize for the lack of updates in the past couple months, but I do have some news to share with you.

First things first, I will still be writing this blog.  In fact, I actually hope to update this blog more regularly than before, so please check back often or subscribe to this blog using either the RSS feed or email subscription button on the top right corner of this page.

Secondly, in February 2012, I left private practice to take a position as the Assistant General Counsel and a Sr. HR Consultant with the HAWAII EMPLOYERS COUNCIL (“HEC”), located here in Honolulu, Hawaii.  HEC is Hawaii’s premier employers’ resource for human resources management and labor relations. Some of the services we provide to our members include HR/labor consultation, supervisory training and seminars, handbooks & policy review and drafting, labor negotiations, union counter-organizing, unemployment hearings, weekly newsletters, salary surveys, wage and salary programs, job descriptions, sample forms, and legislative updates on labor and employment laws and regulations…just to name a few.

I am very excited about my new position at HEC, because it gives me the opportunity to help employers manage their workforce in the best way that I know how – by being proactive.  I’ve mentioned this before on my blog and in seminars, but it’s worth repeating…the best (and most cost-effective) way to handle employment law disputes is to prevent them from happening in the first place.  Therefore, when it comes to employment law matters, I’ve adopted the motto made famous by Vince Lombardi“the best defense is a good offense.”

While I was in private practice, I had countless employers call me or my firm for advice on how to handle an employment situation that had gone wrong.  In some cases, the employer was being sued by a current or former employee, and facing possible payment of a hefty settlement or judgment.  In other cases, the employer was being investigated or audited by the state and/or federal departments of labor, and facing major penalties and fines.  In either case, the employer was also looking at paying high legal fees to have an attorney (or sometimes, several attorneys) represent them.

In the vast majority of those instances, the employers made inadvertent mistakes, and the problems could have been prevented or avoided in the first place.  Unfortunately for the employer, they ended up taking a reactive approach to the problem, and sought counsel only after a problem had arisen and they were facing a lawsuit, audit, or investigation.  Here at HEC, we take a proactive approach to such situations; that is, we assist employers in navigating their way through complexities of labor and employment law and try to avoid problems from arising in the first place.

As a supporter of all businesses here in Hawaii – big and small – I hope that one day all employers will learn to take a proactive approach towards employment matters with the goal of avoiding lawsuits, audits, and/or investigations.  And while I surely understand that litigation is sometimes unavoidable, there are many instances where taking that proactive step in addressing employment situations end up being the best defense – because you prevent problems from happening in the first place.  That is why I believe in being proactive when it comes to employment law matters, and why I say that, in employment matters, the best defense is a good offense…

Once again, thank you for reading this blog.

Ryan