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VOL. 121 | NO. 45 | Thursday, February 23, 2006

Weintraub to Conduct Workplace Discrimination Workshop

By Lane Gardner Camp

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"It's crucial that employers respond and investigate complaints, but just as crucial that they do so in a manner that won't run afoul of what courts and juries consider proper investigatory procedures."
- Jeff Weintraub
Name: Jeff Weintraub
Position: Managing Partner
Company: Weintraub, Stock & Grisham PC
Basics: Weintraub and other attorneys from his firm are planning to conduct a workshop on workplace discrimination in March. The firm specializes in employment litigation.

Jeff Weintraub and his colleagues at Weintraub, Stock & Grisham PC plan to conduct a one-day seminar March 28 called "Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace in Tennessee" at the Memphis Marriott hotel.

Weintraub is a frequent speaker at employment seminars around the country and provides diversity training for employers.

He also offers training to prevent employment-related litigation, sexual harassment charges and more.

Q. What do you hope attendees will take away from this event? 

A: An understanding that discrimination and harassment are preventable.

Q. Where do local private and public sector employers go wrong when responding to discrimination or harassment complaints? 

A: If responding personnel aren't trained in human resource matters, complaint investigations that aren't properly handled can lead to lawsuits.  It's crucial that employers respond and investigate complaints, but just as crucial that they do so in a manner that won't run afoul of what courts and juries consider proper investigatory procedures.

Q. Why is diversity training important for employers? 

A: (It) encourages diversity, which is essential in today's workplace.  Protected-class discrimination was never right, but today, having diversity in your workplace is simply good business.

Q. Is there any area of workplace discrimination or harassment law you would like to see changed? 

A: In Tennessee, I think the current balance of employer and employee rights is about right, although there are certain areas where the judicial balance is in favor of the employee-plaintiff (such as in retaliatory discharge cases).

Q. What was the best professional advice you ever received? 

A: My father's comment never to let the legal tail wag the business dog. [Weintraub's father is the late Samuel J. Weintraub, who co-founded the firm in 1959.] If an employer blindly avoided every legal risk its lawyer could think of, nothing would ever get done by the employer. My job is to make sure my clients do know all the risks. The client, however, has the harder task of deciding how much risk they're comfortable with.

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you? 

A: Probably that, at 57, I'm still playing basketball, but only in leagues with my age group - and probably not very well.

For more information on the seminar, contact Lorman Education Services at (866) 352-9539.

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