Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. September 2016, Volume 30, No. 5

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 on preventing and investigating workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and on understanding and eliminating implicit bias.

This is my sixth and last Message from the Chair – my swan song. I will take this opportunity to look back and reflect on the year.

It has been a tumultuous year. Do all years feel so significant? It is hard to step back and take an unbiased look. On a personal level, I have suffered a number of losses, including the expected death of my aged mother and the unexpected death of my young nephew. In my household, big changes are afoot – my son graduated high school and is leaving home, my daughter returned home, and my wife just retired from her job of twenty-two years. In the legal world, we have lost a Supreme Court Justice, who has yet to be replaced, and the Supreme Court ruled against limits on abortion – the side I supported in the amicus brief I signed and wrote about a few Messages back – even without having a ninth justice to be a tie-breaker. In national politics, we are in the midst of a race between candidates that no one predicted. Internationally, there is instability from Great Britain’s surprise vote to exit from the European Union. And throughout the world, terrorism is on the rise, causing great fear and uncertainty.

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