COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers

Reigning-in risks | ‘Limitless’ vacation, pro or con? | Authors talk toxins and labor camps

As noted recently by Digital Detectives, ransomware and cyber breaches spiked during the pandemic. 

There are some understandable reasons for the increase in hacking. One is that data security protocols took a back seat in the scramble to get workers up and running at home. So did routine security patches and updates.

More than a year into the pandemic, a hybrid work environment looks to be staying put, at least for now. Even with restrictions lifting, compliance expert Kim Dickerson says recent polls indicate 60% of workplaces will be offering some sort of hybrid schedule for employees.

On The Robert Half Legal Report, Dickerson tells host Charles Volkert that companies need to get their houses in order in terms of security and compliance. She and Volkert discuss third-party risk management and how automation and cloud solutions can improve data security and compliance.

Who pays when an employee is injured at a party or on the ball field?

Along the lines of risk management, Workers Comp Matters hosts Judson Pierce and Alan Pierce flag an issue employers may overlook. In their eagerness to reconnect with workers by hosting social and team-building sporting events, employers may need to review the doctrine of recreational injuries.

The Pierces discuss the legal history leading to a patchwork of regulatory frameworks and bodies of case law on the topic. No matter where you are, Alan Pierce explains each case is incredibly fact-specific. So before strongly encouraging or mandating employees to attend social events or participating in the company softball league, it’s a good idea to understand the liability risks.

Independent contractor test revisited

Legal Talk Today sticks with the labor and employment theme of several recent LTN episodes. Host Laurence Colletti speaks with Dinsmore & Shohl’s Crystal Wildeman and Louise Griffin about the Department of Labor’s recent move to repeal the Trump-era independent contractor test.

Unlimited vacation is a benefit. Or is it?

One of the benefits of employee status is paid vacation. The current trend is to offer employees “limitless” vacations. Above the Law’s Joe Patrice and Kathryn Rubino discuss whether these limitless offers in law firms actually discourage taking vacation time. 

On Thinking Like a Lawyer, Rubino and Patrice hash out the vacation issue, work pressures, and how even well-meaning firms may be freaking their associates out with these enhanced benefits.

Books for Lawyers

Environmental litigator Rob Bilott joins @theBar for an interview about his memoir “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont,” a toxins case that inspired the 2019 legal thriller “Dark Waters.”

Veteran labor lawyer and author Mark A. Torres joins the award-winning podcast, The Modern Law Library, to discuss his book, “Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood,” a non-fiction account of the deadly WWII-era Long Island work camps.

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Molly McDonough, a longtime legal affairs journalist, is a producer for the current events show "Legal Talk Today." She also is a media and content strategist with McDonough Media LLC. McDonough previously served as editor and publisher of the ABA’s flagship magazine, the "ABA Journal." She writes about access to justice at "A Just Society."