Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. September 2014, Volume 28, No. 5

Message From the Chair

By Carol Koenig

Carol Koenig is a non-equity partner at Wylie, McBride, Platten & Renner. Her primary area of practice is labor law, representing both private and public sector unions and their members throughout the state in all aspects of labor law and relations. Ms. Koenig is the author of the " Fair Labor Standards Act" chapter in the Section’s treatise, California Public Sector Employment Law. She spends much of her limited spare time raising funds for non-profit organizations by participating in endurance events such as triathlons, bike rides, and running events.

I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that this is my sixth and final Message From the Chair. So, those of you who actually have been reading these Messages for the past year will no longer have to follow the meanderings of my mind as I struggle to write something that is relevant to our Section as well as half-way interesting and (hopefully) occasionally humorous. The bad news is that there still will be a Message From the Chair, but the other good news is that it will be written by the incoming Chair, Michael Whitaker—who is certain to write a Message that is more formal, more "lawyerly," and far more informative than my musings have been.

Of course, those of you who are trivia buffs may now have to look elsewhere for your bi-monthly "fix" of significant, or at least interesting, anniversaries or historical events. For example, if I were to write the upcoming November Message, I probably would mention that December 17 is the 25th anniversary of the first episode of The Simpsons. And yes, I would have found a way to tie it in to some employment subject. As anyone who has watched The Simpsons knows, Homer Simpson’s job at the nuclear power plant and his interaction with his boss, Mr. Burns, were a major part of numerous Simpsons episodes. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that Michael, a Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, would make such a connection. In addition, next March I certainly would have found a way to include a reference to the March 14, 1914 centennial anniversary of the passage of the Seaman’s Act. Described as the Magna Carta for sailors’ rights, the Seaman’s Act immensely improved the living and working conditions of seaman serving in the United States Merchant Marine. Of course, that reference would have given me an opportunity to slip in a mention of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta on June 19 of next year.

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