Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, January 23, 2004

MLK Day Reflections On An Employers' Lawyer's Role

On Monday while I was chasing around west Texas preparing witnesses for trial, George Lenard, both a fellow blogger and management side employment lawyer was much more philosophically engaged. His comments on both the power of the rhetoric of Dr. King and the role that we as lawyers on this side of the docket play in those issues to which he dedicated his life are certainly worth checking out at George's Employment Blawg.

I share George's sentiments, although I doubt that I would have articulated them nearly as well as he does. My experience mirrors his in having had extremely few clients who, certainly as an institution, engaged in purposeful discrimination. There is no question that the work place is far better today than it was in the distant past, and even significantly better than when I started practicing almost 29 years ago, particularly for minorities and women. Some, although by no means all, of the credit goes to legislation regulating the employer/employee relationship. But it is also true that too often those laws are used for purposes other than that for which they were intended.

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