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Interview with Fiona Ong

Published about over 2 years ago

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1. Tell us about Shawe Rosenthal: Shawe Rosenthal LLP specializes in representing and advising management in employment and labor issues.  We represent employers throughout the United States in federal and state courts, before the EEOC, NLRB, DOL, and other administrative agencies, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.  Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies to smaller businesses and non-profits in a wide range of industries.  Our practice includes both litigation and preventive measures.  We place great emphasis on providing effective and efficient advocacy, responsive client service, and sound practical advice.  Our firm and attorneys have been recognized as leaders in this field by such organizations as the College of Labor and Employment Fellows, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. 2. Who works on the Maryland Human Resources Manual and the Model Policies and Forms for Maryland Employers? Over the years, a number of our attorneys have contributed significantly to these publications, including Mark J. Swerdlin, who served as the Editor for many years.  This year, it was my pleasure to take over for Mark, and I was responsible for this year’s revisions.  3. How do you think the Maryland Human Resources Manual and the Model Policies and Forms for Maryland Employers benefits readers? These publications provide Maryland employers with a comprehensive and practical overview of applicable federal and state laws.  The Manual serves as a guide to the panoply of HR compliance issues and concerns facing employers in this state.  The Model Policies and Forms are a useful and thoughtful resource for employers seeking to implement a wide range of policies and procedures. 4. What do you think is the biggest issue employers face currently in employment law? There is a multi-pronged effort at all levels of government – federal, state and local – to change the legal environment with regard to traditional labor and employment law, without real consideration of the practical effects on businesses. We are seeing states and cities pursuing minimum wage increases and ban the box legislation, as well as new forms of paid leave.  Under President Obama’s administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new and aggressive guidance documents that expand the parameters of settled law on pregnancy discrimination and criminal background checks, the Department of Labor has been directed to issue new regulations intended to increase the number of workers entitled to overtime pay, and the National Labor Relations Board is challenging standard and long-standing employer practices and policies as violations of the National Labor Relations Act.  I think that staying on top of all the changes to the laws and regulations, and dealing with the (unintended) consequences of these changes, is the biggest issue that employers are facing at this time. 5. Finally, to get to know you better, we want to know: What do you like on your pizza? Pepperoni and mushroom!