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Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. November 2015, Volume 29 No. 6

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.

Every year, when the leadership of the Labor & Employment Law Section’s Executive Committee changes, we shift perspectives—not only because there is a new Chair, but also because, in our committee, we do something unique. We rotate leadership among someone from the plaintiff’s side, someone from the defense side, and a neutral. And soon, recognizing that not everyone who practices labor and employment law fits neatly in those categories, we will add a fourth category in the rotation for "all or none of the above."

I am a neutral. While those who come from the plaintiff or defense side are careful when leading our section not to speak from that voice so as to avoid appearing biased, as a neutral, I think I can speak from my perspective. In fact, I look forward to a year that explores what we, as labor and employment attorneys, can agree on, where we can come together, and how together we can improve our profession for our own sake and for the sake of our clients.

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