An attorney draws on her experience in labor law to guide employees through some of the working world’s legal minefields.
In her debut, labor lawyer Harris maintains the even, objective attitude she encourages workers to adopt throughout chapters on how to read an offer letter, what is and is not covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, and how to file or respond to a harassment claim. Harris encourages employees to fully understand their rights and responsibilities under federal and state laws, as well as under their companies’ policies and what happens if an employee is fired for violating them. The book’s theme, reinforced in copious examples and brief case studies that illustrate the permissible and problematic situations governed by employment law, is one of fairness: According to Harris, these laws exist to protect all parties involved, and with enough information and understanding, no one should have trouble with them. Harris takes a cleareyed but optimistic view of the corporate world while warning workers that a human resources department exists for the benefit of the company, not the employee. She also assumes that most potentially troublesome situations can be resolved by reasonable people; the first chapter, for instance, shows one applicant after another tactfully responding to illegal interview questions without alienating the potential employer. At the same time, the book doesn’t shy away from law and policy violations, and it provides readers with information needed to understand and respond appropriately. Although the book opens with a rather off-putting disclaimer—“This book is for informational purposes only. This book is not legal advice….You shall not and cannot rely on this book to make legal decisions”—the tone for the rest of the book is far more matter-of-fact. The well-written narrative avoids most legal jargon and leaves readers feeling hopeful about the possibility of a corporate world staffed by well-informed, reasonable people who appropriately deal with consequences.
A readable, highly informative guide to employment law and policy.