In "Tales from Around the Watercooler," the employment law attorneys at The Prinz Law Firm provide invaluable advice for how to find success in the workplace and how to navigate some of the trickiest situations as a professional. Your host, Kristen Prinz, of "The Prinz Law Firm" works on a daily basis with executives, professionals, and small businesses to turn adverse events into opportunities.
How to Get an Attorney to Take Your Case (from the People Who Screen Their Calls)
In this episode of Tales from Around the Watercooler, Prinz staff describe how callers can best ensure their legal matters gets to an attorney. Paralegal (and former Intake Specialist) Marcet Crockett and current Intake Specialist Grace Moore discuss the process of handling communications with potential new clients at the firm. They provide listeners with first-hand insight into the information that intake staff like to have, the sort of questions they are likely to ask, and the best ways for callers to communicate with frontline legal staff so that their questions can be properly addressed. The duo also shares anecdotes of memorable callers, both serious and humorous. This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking services from an employment attorney, or really from any legal office.
Looking for more information on how to get an attorney to take your case? See our blog post here.
Visit Marcet Crockett’s firm profile here.
Visit Grace Moore’s firm profile here.
Political and Social Discussions in the Workplace
In this episode, Kristen chats with two of The Prinz Law Firm’s Associate Attorneys, Poonam Lakhani and Elizabeth Hanford. They discuss a recent policy implemented by the tech company Basecamp that banned employees from discussing political and social issues in the workplace. Our attorneys explore the legality of regulating conversations at work and the slippery slope that can occur when employers decide to do so. They also touch on the unique backlash such policies can incite, as well as their interplay with First Amendment rights. Kristen, Poonam, and Elizabeth position Basecamp’s policy change as an example of a much larger discussion about socio-political conversations in the workplace and how they relate to fostering an environment of true diversity and inclusion. This episode is a must-listen for any employer or employee looking to know their rights regarding sensitive workplace conversations.
For more information on Basecamp’s policy and what it means for employers, click here.
COVID-19 & Employee Privacy
In this episode, Kristen chats with Poonam Lakhani, one of The Prinz Law Firm’s associate attorneys, about how COVID-19 intersects with workplace privacy. Kristen & Poonam discuss whether businesses can require employees to get vaccinated, if an employer can ask about vaccine status, and workplace safety measures during the vaccine rollout. Kristen and Poonam also dive into the privacy concerns surrounding coronavirus outbreaks in the workplace and supply helpful procedures for handling such a scenario. This educational episode breaks down religious and medical exemptions to workplace requirements, as well as reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Kristen and Poonam leverage their combined expertise to educate both employees and employers on their rights as the pandemic continues to affect workplace dynamics.
Looking for more information?
For more information on COVID-19 and the workplace, view blog posts here.
What is VESSA and Why Is It Important?
In this episode, Kristen sits down with one of the firm’s associate attorneys, Laura Lefkow-Hynes, to discuss a little-known but crucial law in Illinois named the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA). VESSA allows workers facing domestic violence to take time off of work, among other provisions. Kristen & Laura take a deep-dive into the origins of VESSA, whom it protects, and how to address VESSA rights for you or a loved one in your workplace. They also underline the importance of prioritizing personal safety and mental health services across workplaces. With helpful examples of VESSA violations at work and common protections employers can provide, Laura and Kristen break down where and how this Act can be used to protect workers. This episode is a must-listen for any employee or employer looking for accessible information about VESSA.
Looking for more information about VESSA? Check out our blog: “Illinois’ VESSA Law Offers Protection to Victims of Sexual Violence.”
Kristen Prinz on LinkedIn
Laura Lefkow-Hynes on LinkedIn
“Profit First,” with Mike Michalowicz
In this episode, Mike Michalowicz, innovative entrepreneur and author of seven books, sits down with Kristen to discuss what is perhaps his most impactful work, Profit First. Mike shares the heartbreaking story that eventually led him to write this book as well as how the principle of “profit first” can facilitate positive change in a business. Kristen and Mike also discuss the effect that “profit first” can have on company culture and how to shape that effect. Tune in to hear a fascinating conversation between employment attorney and creative entrepreneur to learn how to create and grow a healthy business with happy employees.
Mike Michalowicz is a successful entrepreneur and former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the well-known author of several business guides, including Fix This Next, Clockwork, Surge, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, The Pumpkin Plan, and Profit First.
Mike started his entrepreneurial journey young: he was awarded the New Jersey Small Business Association’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award when he was just 26 and had launched three multi-million dollar companies before his 35th birthday. Today, Mike leads two new multi-million-dollar ventures, as he tests his latest business research for his books. As a result of his ambitious career, Simon Sinek has deemed Mike Michalowicz “…the top contender for the patron saint of entrepreneurs.”
Mike Michalowicz’s website
Mike on Facebook
Mike on LinkedIn
Mike on Instagram
Non-Competes, with Amit Bindra
In this episode, Kristen and fellow Prinz Law Firm Partner Amit Bindra do a deep dive into non-compete agreements. Amit has significant experience litigating these matters and is also the author of a bill currently pending in the Illinois legislature: H.B. 789 and its counterpart, S.B. 3430. In this episode, Amit educates us on what non-competes really are, when they apply, and the advantages and disadvantages they hold for both employers and employees.
Amit Bindra on LinkedIn Kristen Prinz on LinkedIn Read Our Firm’s Blog Posts on Non-Competes:
Mistakes to Avoid When Drafting Non-Compete & Non-Solicit Agreements Hiring an Employee with a Non-Compete or Non-Solicit Agreement The Dangers of the Unenforcable Non-Compete An Illinois Appellate Court Confirms the Two-Year Rule for Non-Compete Agreements You've Been Sued: 4 Steps for Handling a Non-Compete Dispute Non-Solicitation and Non-Competition Clauses: What's the Difference? Firm Videos:
When is a Non-Compete Enforceable?