Pregnancy and the Workplace

Whether you have had a baby,  are thinking about having a baby, or simply work with someone who has had a baby, pregnancy in the workplace can be a hot topic.  Just like employees, employers often do not know what they should or can do regarding an employee's pregnancy. This year, TYLA addressed these issues in two written guides: Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Rights(for employees) and Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Duties (for employers).  Both can be found on TYLA's Website. Additionally, TYLA Directors Raymond Baeza, Courtney Barksdale Perez, Baili Rhodes and Shannon White participated in two panel discussions for the 10 Minute Mentor Series.  The panel shared their experiences, and discussed applicable employment law. I encourage each of you to check out this series, and share with your employer clients (and your colleagues). #jointheconversation

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Back to School!

"I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, if only I knew your name and address..." (name that movie!) Suddenly, it's fall.  Even though it is still hot in Texas, the months of August and September trigger the return of the school year.  Everywhere you look on the internet, there are articles about getting ready for "back to school."   A quick google search brought up these: Back to School Survival for Working Parents Back to School Survival from Drugfree.org Back to School Survival from Scholastic With back to school comes the inevitable adjusting to a new, more rigid schedule.  TYLA wants to know, what is more preferable to you? Take our poll and let us know:

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Salary Negotiations

Salary negotiations can be a challenge for anyone, especially young attorneys.  Many young attorneys aren't sure if it is appropriate to negotiate, or how to even get started in the negotiations process. It seems that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries then men are.  Many people theorize that one of the big reasons for the salary gap between men and women is that women don't try to negotiate their salaries.  Even Sheryl Sandberg, in her book Lean In, discusses her own stress about negotiating her salary when she joined Facebook.   Watch her talk about salary negotiations here. Additionally, the Corporette blog had an interesting discussion this week about how (and when) to negotiate salary and benefits. Read it here: Corporette Have you negotiated your salary and/or benefits? If so, what tips do you have?

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TYLA Tuesday: Educating Educators

One big question that comes up when work-life balance is discussed, is “How do you work, have a family, and give time to your community?” There are many answers to this question, but one great way to do it is to share existing Texas Young Lawyers Association projects. Anyone can do it (you don’t have to be a “young” lawyer), materials can be obtained through our website or by contacting the TYLA office.  We even have guides to give you an idea of how to share (or “roll-out”) these projects with members of your community. The TYLA Tuesday posts will feature TYLA projects, old and new.  If you would like more details, please visit the TYLA website! In a recent ENews article, Director Laura Docker shared the following about the Educating Educators project: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~Nelson Mandela One of TYLA's…

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Actually, it’s “Ms”

When I was a first year associate, I received a letter from opposing counsel addressed to “Mr. Rhodes.” I had never spoken to this individual and so apparently, confused by my gender neutral first name, he chose to refer to me as “Mr.” I was so frustrated, how was I supposed to correct this error? I went to my assistant, and we spent way too many billable minutes trying to figure out a tactful (but not rude, I was a first year associate, I couldn’t stand to be rude!) way to make it clear that I am a “Ms.” not a “Mr.” Finally, we decided that she would send back my response letter with a note that said “Please find attached Ms. Rhodes’s response to your letter.” Fast forward a few years and I realized that I not only took an approach that was much too passive, but I wasted…

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TYLA Tuesday: BSAFE

One big question that comes up when work-life balance is discussed, is "How do you work, have a family, and give time to your community?" There are many answers to this question, but one great way to do it is to share existing Texas Young Lawyers Association projects. Anyone can do it (you don't have to be a "young" lawyer), materials can be obtained through our website or by contacting the TYLA office.  We even have guides to give you an idea of how to share (or "roll-out") these projects with members of your community. The TYLA Tuesday posts will feature TYLA projects, old and new.  If you would like more details, please visit the TYLA website! This week, our featured project is BSAFE: Battle Substance Abuse for Everyone.  BSAFE is a multimedia project that addresses substance abuse issues on multiple levels - one geared to children/teens, one to parents/ educators, and…

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Do you think differently when wearing a suit?

In this April 2015 article, the Atlantic summarizes this fascinating study about how wearing a suit impacts the wearer's thinking. I have often thought about how the formality of my dress impact others' perception of me, but I don't know that I have given much consideration to how it impacts my own thinking.  According to this study, more formal clothes make us feel more powerful, and thus change how we see the world.  I guess there is some truth to the term "power suit." So readers, what work wear makes you feel the most powerful?

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The Myth of the 80-Hour Work Week

We've all had those weeks - where trial prep, closings, discovery responses, and appellate deadlines collide and we find ourselves billing well beyond a normal 40-hr work week.   For many people though, that is not the norm. This New York Times article about how many people "fake" an 80 hour work week is fascinating. Why Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Work Week, and Why it Matters What are your thoughts? Do you (or people you work with) fake the 80 hour week?  

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You Have A Baby. In Your Office. (and other maternity leave ideas)

Paid? Unpaid? 4 weeks? 12 weeks? 6 months? Will you be expected to do some work, or can you really just turn off your cell phone and ignore work email for your entire leave? Maternity leave policies can be as varied as the employers who offer them. No matter what your employer offers, actually taking maternity leave can be a challenge in and of itself. I have just completed my second maternity leave, and while each experience has been different, I hope that I can lend some insight to those of you preparing for leaves of your own.

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