Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. January 2016, Volume 30, No. 1

Message From the Chair

By Amy Oppenheimer

Amy Oppenheimer is an attorney and retired administrative law judge whose law firm focuses on workplace investigations. She has written a book about investigations, testifies as an expert witness on employer practices in responding to and investigating harassment, and is the founder and past-president of the board of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). Ms. Oppenheimer has trained employers and employees throughout the country in preventing and investigating workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and on understanding and eliminating implicit bias.

Attorneys who practice labor and employment law often find that most of their colleagues represent the same side as they do (plaintiff, defense, union, etc.). Although some defense attorneys will take an occasional plaintiff’s case and vice versa, and although on occasion an attorney may switch sides (from representing plaintiffs to working for a defense firm or vice versa), for the most part, attorneys practice on one side or the other.

The Executive Committee for the Labor and Employment Law Section is a rare opportunity for attorneys to work collaboratively with attorneys from the "other side" and others with diverse legal backgrounds. We try to maintain a balance on our committee and we also try to provide that balance in our programming, and in that way we are unique. Working with people from different perspectives can be challenging but also eye-opening. As we work together, we find unexpected commonalities.

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