Legal Hot Topics

March 16, 2022

“Legal Hot Topics” were discussed at our March Round Tables.  Most of the conversations revolved around avoiding legal issues and discussing local resources.    

One of our Round Table members reminded everyone: “Jesus said, let not your heart be troubled.  It’s those who have confidence in the Lord, whose mind has stayed upon the Lord, who will have peace at this time, and will keep moving forward.  Stay the course, shed the distractions, keep your mind on the Lord, and the wisdom of God will help navigate these decisions.”  Thinking about joining a Round Table?  See our website for our listing of local and virtual Round Tables!

From our Virtual Round Tables:

Remember that Scripture says that the law is for the unjust. Conduct your business according to biblical principles (particularly the law of love), and you will avoid many legal problems.

A problem employee is a problem employee.  They may use the pandemic as an excuse to disrupt or act out.  Rather than responding to their behavior, deal with the problem.  Don’t be distracted by the pandemic.

As a former civil rights and employee discrimination attorney, one RT member warns that there are hustlers everywhere, people who know and will work the system.  For example, some employees right now are taking the full two weeks off for covid illness or exposure.  They know that if you fire them, you can be held responsible for a retaliatory discharge.  If they perceive they have the right to take time off, they may be able to use that against you.  If you want to terminate an individual, be sure to cite non-covid related reasons for removal.  Right now, employees are given a pass and if they are performing in other areas, you may not be able to respond.  You may just have to be patient and may have to make accommodations.

The Rochester Round Table asked the question:  Are you basing your decisions on fear, self-protection, or wisdom?  The conversation led to the discussion of a “mission statement” versus an “owner’s statement.”  If you run your company from a biblical perspective and choose to announce that fact in your mission statement, does that increase your risk as a business owner?  There is fear that Christian business owners will be targeted for noncompliance to current pressures.  Should you use an owner’s statement to communicate that you operate your business as a Christian based business?  Or a mission statement?  The answer boils down to:  Are you basing your decisions on fear, self-protection, or wisdom?

One business owner clearly stated that the priority of his business is, God, Family, and Business, in that order.  If a customer has an issue with your Christian stance, that person, or company may not be your customer.

Try to avoid going to court.  When lawyers get involved, there are no winners.  Legal contests demoralize all participants.  Make an effort to listen to the grievances of the other side.  Do not react with emotion.  Ask yourself, how can we change this situation.  Allow time for the problem and the parties involved to quiet and calm down.  Rely on your faith and your trust in God, which gives you the confidence to resolve the issues at hand.

General Leadership advice:

One All Time Zones RT member reminded us of issues of concern from the past 50 year.  There have been scares, such as the danger of energy through nuclear power plants, the danger of an ice age in the 1970’s, global warming and now climate change.  Through the media, we are constantly being presented with dire warnings.  There has always been a bogie man.  We need to move beyond the current ‘crisis,’ beyond the current reason to fear and focus on our faith in God.

One RT called the constant call to fear, a ‘rollercoaster of terror,’ and asked us to imagine New York’s Grand Central Station, with thousands of individuals scurrying around.  What happens when one individual is standing still?  Your eye will be drawn to that one individual standing still in the chaos.  Remember to be still in the constant fear driven chaos of this world and keep your eye on God.

Problem people always have a problem, but there are those who are solving problems.  Be a problem solver. 

Christians are called to “treat people with respect as human beings” and this concept was extremely relevant to one RT member, whose employee had decided to change their gender identification.  This person was most concerned about being accepted by the Christians in their organization.   However, the Christians were the most gracious to the employee.  The Christians employees did not sacrifice their beliefs; however, they did not persecute the individual for their choice.

One RT member recommended the Hillsdale College video series titled,  “The Dying American Citizen,” which discusses the systematic destruction of the middle class in America. 

Focus on positive leadership: 

  1. Press on, business as usual.  Keep your head up and drive forward prayerfully with your business goals and fight to minimize the distractions.  
  2. Continue to participate in philanthropy and look to help organizations that assist and encourage a biblical worldview for children and others.  
  3. Certainly, help those that are in a health situation and provide accommodations for those that perceive themselves to be high risk.  
  4. Double down with training, benefits, and compensation for your A players in your organization, now, with the lack of available talent, they are irreplaceable.  
  5. Our political system is broke and not getting better.  Focus on what is important to Christ.  Love each other, love your family, raise your kids in Christ.  Looking outward or to politics is futile and will only cause anxiety.  Promote those in your community politically that maintain a biblical worldview, staunch ethics and values and who will unapologetically fight for our freedoms. 

While Christians have their faith and trust in God, understand not everyone has had exposure to these concepts.  They do not have an inclination towards trust in God and may be steeped in fear.

Try to over communicate to your employees so they know where they stand and what to expect.  It can reduce anxiety in the workforce.  One member shared a story of an employee called to a meeting with the boss.  The employee was anxious and expected to be fired.  The meeting scheduled with the employee was a routine 90-day review and the boss did not intend to fire employee.  Communication is key.

The current business environment can be difficult and challenging.  Be aware of your response to stress so you are able to act instead of reacting to events unfolding in our businesses, our country and the world.

Trauma changes the brain.  Understand that business leaders are always dealing with people who have had some level of trauma in their life.  Getting to know individuals on a personal level can lead to understanding them. 

People are like an iceberg.  On the top of the water is what can be seen, such as behaviors, personality, etc.  Below the water level is their thoughts, beliefs and fears. 

Schedule time to get to know your people on a personal level.  Spend time with no agenda other than to just talk with them and find out what is happening in their life.  What are they concerned about?  Treat them first as people and focus on their humanity.

Remember we serve a big God who is bigger than all your fears.

Upcoming Leadership Events:

On Friday, April 22, join us at the Birmingham Country Club for a Leadership Breakfast Event.  Guest speaker Robert A. Bryant of Giamarco, Mullins & Horton will be speaking on Restorative Leadership.

Join us Friday, May 20 at 8:00-9:00am, for a Global Webinar via zoom with Fred Sievert, author and former President of New York Life. 

If you are unable to attend our events, subscribe to CBRT’s YouTube channel where you can review all past event presentations.