(Ed Note: I’ll be posting about the ABA Labor & Employment Conference when I have a more stable internet access.)
Employers and employees alike, in Connecticut will no doubt remember vividly the morning seven years ago.
Indeed, whether it’s because they had employees in lower Manhattan, or simply knew of Connecticut and New York residents that worked down there, many people have their new “JFK” moment that they recall where they were when the terrorists struck.
(My moment was on a plane down that morning to a Miami for a mediation arising from a workplace dispute. I then had lots of “moments” the next two days driving back with a colleague as we commandeered a rental car. )
So, seven years later, are employers in the state better prepared to address a similar emergency should it happen? Perhaps it will be a bird flu outbreak, or a mass blackout, or something else that no one has thought of.
Anecdotally, the answer seems to be yes. Employers have practiced more building evacuation drills, emergency procedures have been put in place, and employees have been given “emergency” kits.
And yet, we also seem to have lost that energy and urgency that have popped up as events seem to occur. (At the ABA conference this morning that I’m attending, we had a brief moment of silence about it but nary another mention). I suppose that’s only natural; it’s difficult to maintain the same urgency over time. And I don’t have a problem that the painful memories are allowed fade, much like they have for prior generations with events like Pearl Harbor.
Yet, for the enterprising employer out there, it also presents an opportunity: Follow the Boy Scout motto and Be Prepared.
Thus, of the many lessons learned from that day, one is simply to be prepared for the unexpected and take the time now to develop it. It’s probably never first on your "to do" list, but you may recover that much quicker when the next crisis hits.