Nearly twenty-five years ago, a corporate client of Jonathan’s contacted him and asked him if he could put together a seminar that would teach their managers the fundamentals of employment law. “Our leaders have questions about how to manage employees within the law, they are sometimes doing and saying things they shouldn’t be, unnecessary conflicts are developing… would you be willing to put together a seminar that teaches them the `hire to fire’ fundamentals?”  It sounded like a pleasant diversion from his usual work, so Jonathan agreed and presented what would become the first version of Employment Law for Managers Seminar (ELMS).

Afterwards, Jonathan didn’t think much about it and got back to his normal legal practice.  Then a surprising thing happened, with little effort to deliberately market the seminar, Jonathan started getting phone calls from other employers: “I heard you offer a great seminar on employment law for supervisors and managers, could you present it to our management personnel as well?” And mainly by word of mouth, Jonathan started presenting ELMS and other employment-law related seminars for employers throughout the country.  Jonathan has now presented ELMS well-over six hundred times in just about every type of workplace imaginable (in addition to hundreds of other employment law-related presentations).

An attorney who comes to your workplace?  Absolutely.  Enthusiastically.  Jonathan loves to get out and mix it up with managers working in every type of environment imaginable.  He thrives off seeing the different places where people work and “do their thing.”  One day he’s presenting a seminar to “cowboy managers” working in the dirt and dust of a large cattle ranch in rural Kansas (and yes, he was a little startled at first when participants “rode up” to the seminar wearing cowboy hats, boots and spurs), and two days later he’s on the east coast presenting to leaders who supervise employees working in high-tech clean room environments (um, let’s just say that cows aren’t allowed, unless they gown up first).  Jonathan is passionate about finding effective and practical compliance solutions for every work environment regardless of how unique it may be (by the way, the ADA doesn’t apply to cows, but you should still treat them nicely).

In his nearly thirty years of experience, Jonathan has learned that the key to effective presentations on employment law is to never forget that it’s a very human area of the law.  You can’t lead an effective discussion about employment law if you don’t build it upon the foundation of human relations fundamentals: respect, sensitivity to employee-relations dynamics, effective communication skills, and most importantly, being an effective leader.  Jonathan’s seminars are so effective because he connects the dots between the law and all the “human factors” that are inseparably intertwined with and often drive the legal issues. And to Jonathan, every seminar he presents is ultimately a leadership seminar because effective leaders create fewer legal liability risks.

Jonathan’s most favorite feedback from seminar participants—and he hears it frequently—goes something like this (and FYI, it usually starts off in a somewhat embarrassed, confessional tone): “My boss forced me to come… I thought this was going to be a really boring legal seminar…  but I am so glad that I attended, I learned so much more than expected, including how to talk to people in tough situations, thank you so much!”

Mission accomplished.

Your supervisors, managers, and executives have the most day-to-day interaction with employees, yet they usually know the least about employment laws. This results in a tremendous amount of your company’s legal liability in the hands of the uninformed. The best way to reduce a company’s liability risk is to get the information in the hands of those who need it the most: your supervisors, managers and executives.

The Employment Law for Managers Seminar (ELMS) is specially designed to help non-H.R. managers know how to comply with the law while still meeting business objectives. It is fast-paced and filled with realistic “mini-scenarios” to help participants improve their employee-relations skills.

Additional documents for participants of Employment Law for HR Professionals Seminar:

PP Slides with information not included in seminar manual: Slides

Suggested reading:

EEOC: Retaliation: Making it Personal:

EEOC: Select Task Force Report on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

EEOC: Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA:

SHRM: The Legal Consequences of Hiring Narcissists: (may require SHRM membership to access)

In addition to the Employment Law for Managers Seminar, Jonathan presents seminars that focus on one particular HR/legal topic or issue, including:

  1. Employment law updates (what’s new, pending legislation, etc.)
  2. Wage and hour law compliance (overtime, exemptions, etc.)
  3. Accommodating disabled employees
  4. The Family & Medical Leave Act
  5. How to respond to employee misconduct and poor performance
  6. Conducting legally compliant job interviews that are also effective
  7. Preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace
  8. Termination of employment: why, when and how
  9. Eligibility to work in the USA compliance (I-9 forms, etc.)
  10. Employment Law Fundamentals for Employers
  11. Conducting internal investigations
  12. Conducting internal HR audits
  13. Customized presentations

Known for his energetic and humor-filled presentation style, Jonathan is a popular speaker at various business and HR association luncheons and meetings.

In addition to the sample topics listed to the left, Jonathan is frequently called upon to give “legal update” type presentations to employer groups.

We all know the importance of training when it comes to preventing sexual harassment in the workplace… but are all harassment prevention programs equally effective? Too much “legalese” or too many “guilt-trips” can cause those who need the training the most to tune out… in other words, a training program can say “the right things” and still be ineffective!

Many employers, afraid that a more personalized training program would be too expensive, turn to generic harassment prevention videos that simply don’t match up very well with their corporate cultures, or come across too strongly leaving employees afraid to talk to each other… or worse, sound like a pitch from the EEOC encouraging employees to sue!

Harassment prevention training is a delicate art that deals with complex social and personal issues… and convincing the unconvinced takes just the right approach.

Two versions are available: employee version (1 hour) and manager version (1.5 hours).