Does an agreement between an employer and an employee to resolve any employment disputes through individual arbitration (as opposed to through a class or collective action) violate the employee’s right to engage in protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)? That is the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court as it heard its first oral argument of this term on the first Monday of October.
There’s no proof to the urban legend that most people fear public speaking more than they fear dying. On the other hand, there’s little doubt that most people would rather do almost anything rather than speak to a group of people. Why the fear? Psychologists suggest that fear of rejection is at the root of our worries about public speaking. The way to overcome that fear is to do everything we can to avoid rejection. If we stand behind the microphone with the confidence that we are well prepared and have a good strategy to win over our audience, our fear will diminish.
Your business is successful, things are going fine and then you come to work on Monday morning to find out that a tragic car accident claimed the life of one of your fellow owners. Or, one of your fellow owners comes into your office and tells you he and his wife are going through an ugly divorce. Your reaction, of course, is grief in the first instance and feeling bad for your colleague in the second instance. Many times, the second reaction doesn’t register — what is going to happen to the stock or other equity that was held by your fellow owner in either instance? There are any number of things that can go wrong in a business with multiple owners that can keep any of the owners up at night. A buy-sell agreement (they come in many forms and with different names) can help everyone sleep better at night.
Jim Newman, 54, is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP, a law firm established in 1947 that now has more than 470 lawyers serving clients from 15 offices across the Mountain West and in Washington, D.C. Newman is also the administrative partner for the firm’s offices in Reno and Carson City, a position he has held since March 2013.