As I mentioned on Monday, I was fortunate to be invited back to appear on the "Where We Live", a Connecticut Public Radio staple that talks about local issues in ways you never thought you’d hear on the radio.  (Echoes of Sally Field’s speech of "You Like Me" keep running through my head.) 

For nearly a full hour, we talked about all things employment law related. Given the phone calls coming in, we probably could’ve done a few more hours too.  You can listen to the broadcast here, or download it to listen later.  My thanks to host John Dankosky and his producer, Libby Conn for the invitation and their hospitality.

Several people yesterday asked me about the experience and I thought I’d share some random observations about it and about some of the issues we discussed on air.

  • First, you should know if you ever visit the Connecticut Public Radio studios, there are free copies of "Barney" on VHS that they give away in the holding room downstairs. Not exactly, the same — I suspect — as the green rooms for say, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart".
  • The studio where it is broadcast is actually quite small. A few microphones around a table and a computer for the host are all that the room can fit.
  • The room itself is an exercise in sensory deprivation; the walls are soundproofed. So without an echo, something seems off when you sit in the room. (Colin McEnroe’s new show is also broadcast from that studio.) 
  • On a more serious note, we had several callers talk about how to deal with illnesses in the workplace.  As I pointed out, there may be laws to protect the employee (such as FMLA or the ADA) but there’s still the other side to this — how to discuss (if at all) the illness in the workplace.  Each situation unfortunately will be different; some workplaces may be more understanding and sympathetic than others. Ultimately, consulting with a capable attorney to understand workplace rights (and, for employers, workplace obligations) may be the best approach.
  • Unfortunately, we couldn’t address some of the specific questions raised because of ethical rules but as I said, there are a number of free resources available for employers and employees to learn more about the topics. These can be found, for instance, at the Department of Labor website.  
  • Because of the numbers of calls, we didn’t have a chance to talk more about social networking’s implications in the workplace.  Ultimately, the question for employers to consider is what level of trust can you and should you place in your employees.  The answer to that question will vary from employer to employer.
  • One of the other topics that we had planned if time permitted was the fact that there are strict time period for employees to file claims against employers (and that employers can take advantage of if they are not followed).  However, I think we were enjoying getting the calls.
  • And lastly, John Dankosky really is as nice as he seems over the air. We had a pleasant chat afterwards about various employment law topics and felt as though we could’ve spent an hour more.  Certainly, our local airwaves are fortunate to have someone who has a natural curiosity about the way things work and loves to share it with his listeners.

Be sure to check out the show if you get a chance. You may end up learning a few things as well.