White House gone wild!

June 07, 2017 - by: Matt Gilley 1 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

These days, just about anyone with an Internet connection and some time on their hands enjoys a wonder of the modern age: binge-watching. One of the first, and still one of my favorites, is Netflix’s House of Cards. No matter how over-the-top the plot twists become, no matter how difficult it is to follow the multilayered schemes and shifting alliances, I can’t quit the drama surrounding the Underwoods and their White House. (It also helps that I get an added bonus of local color, since Frank Underwood hails from Gaffney, South Carolina, next door to where I sit in Spartanburg. One early episode even featured the Gaffney Peachoid – look it up.) businessman and house of cards cartoon

Frank Underwood’s approach to personnel is … well, unsentimental and often brutal. We all know the rule of at-will employment: Both the employee and the employer may end their relationship at any time, with or without notice or reason. Congressman, Vice President, President, and [spoiler alert!] now Mr. Underwood seems bent on adding a little twist to the familiar rule: An employer may terminate an employee’s employment at any time by killing said employee, without notice and often without much reason. The recently released season five is no exception.

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Pick me! Pick me! NFL draft lessons for HR

April 19, 2017 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

The NFL draft is fast approaching, and with it comes the multiple prognostications and mock drafts that try to divine which teams will try to link up with the which talent coming out of the college ranks.

Each team will compile exhaustive profiles on which player prospects fit their urgent needs.Isolated Portraits-Businessman Linebacker Stance

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Hack attacks!

January 11, 2017 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

Lately, the news has led with stories about the alleged Russian hacking of various American political organizations, ostensibly for the purpose of influencing the 2016 elections. U.S. law enforcement has surmised that the Russian government orchestrated a number of incursions into networks controlled by the major political parties and that they used or disclosed certain information. You’ll recall the leaks of major Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton campaign e-mails. Now, news reports claim that the investigation revealed the Russian government may have collected compromising information about President-elect Donald Trump.Data-Breach

As with any hacking story, we can’t be sure exactly what’s out there or what’s real. However, we can’t deny that hacking goes on beyond government and politics. Private organizations and businesses are just as enticing to data thieves, and are often softer targets. We have seen prominent data thefts from all industries:  Telecommunications, manufacturing, tech, and consulting are all targets.

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Baseball purists

December 13, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

-H.L. Mencken

This post may not be the usual finger-wagging scold you may have come to expect from an employment lawyer. I’m confident, though, that this blog’s audience of fellow practitioners and human resource professionals will take a little solace in it. After all, it’s no fun to be a killjoy and we are thrust into that role more often than we’d like.  Young male baseball referee blowing a whistle

Why? Because potential liability under the employment laws too often compels us to manage to the lowest common denominator.

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North Korea has banned sarcasm. Whatever.

September 15, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 2 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

In case you haven’t seen the news, no, the title is not a joke. The last word, however, is probably illegal now in North Korea (not that I worry much that this post is making it through the Hermit Kingdom’s web filters). Young Businessman Looking At Empty Space Above Him, isolated

First, a little background. North Korea’s government, as we all know, displays two consistent tendencies: (1) it likes Dennis Rodman and (2) it doesn’t cotton to criticism, and its leaders aren’t shy about responding in ways that would make Draco blush. The North Korean people, on the other hand, still seem to show at least some vestige of the human urge to be smart alecks. North Korea’s government and state media (but I repeat myself) has a much-mocked habit of blaming the country’s legion of woes on outsiders, particularly the United States.

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eTeam: Finding the leader to take you from idea to profit

August 10, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

Books are supposed to be my bailiwick here at the blog and after several posts on anything but, I figure it’s time to return to that groove. This week I want to focus on new businesses, or “startups,” if you prefer.  eBoys

If you’re starting a business and have grand plans for future growth, you really need to check out Randall Stross’s eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work. eBoys has a bit of age on it at this pointit was first published in 2000 and came out soon before the dot-com bubble burst early that decade, and so you could criticize it as out-of-date and out of context. I don’t subscribe to that view.

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Success through rudeness and hostility

June 08, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

Silicon Valley’s third season is in full swing on HBO, which raised a question in my mind: if Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin warranted an entire blog from the FordHarrison crew, isn’t the Hacker Hostel’s Erlich Bachman at least due his own post?Silicon Valley

My answer: Of course he is!

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‘I was not told there would be math’

April 20, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

Saturday Night Live has made invaluable contributions to American humor, but the best may be the show’s political parodies. Chevy Chase was famous for mocking Gerald Ford’s clumsy reputation (undeserved, for sure, considering Ford was a standout athlete). Dana Carvey practically built a career mimicking George H.W. Bush, and Phil Hartman had Bill Clinton down pat.

One of the best lines, however, came from Will Farrell’s George W. Bush. During a mock debate with Al Gore, Farrell brought roars after responding to a question with, “I was not told there would be math.”

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Sing your own song

March 14, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

If you’re on the lookout for an easy laugh and a good time on television these days, you can certainly do much worse than Lip Sync Battle on Spike. If you haven’t seen it yet or run across the clips on YouTube, you really need to check it out.  For Or Against Signpost Showing Pros And Cons

Here’s the setupeach episode pits two celebrities against each other in an audience-judged contest. The celebrities will lip sync two songs apiece. The first is just the celebrity but, for the second song, the show gives them access to just about any prop, professional dancers, or any other bells and whistles they could possibly want.

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Keeping it real: litigation insights from ‘Making a Murderer’

January 20, 2016 - by: Matt Gilley 0 COMMENTS
Matt Gilley

It’s mid-January, and I’m sitting in my office writing this post while snow falls outside. (Yes, we get snow in South Carolina and, yes, it terrifies us.) The snow, however, reminds me of the frozen northern Wisconsin landscapes featured in my latest binge-watching favorite, Netflix’s Making a MurdererA peek inside the courtroom

If you’ve not seen it yet, Making a Murderer is a fascinating serial documentary about the murder trial of Steve Avery. Mr. Avery swears by his innocence and defends the murder charge by claiming that the local sheriff’s office framed him. DNA evidence had exonerated Avery of a prior rape conviction (or at least raised sufficient doubt to require his release from prison). He sued the county for his earlier conviction, and soon after key depositions were taken in his lawsuit, a young woman went missing. Key evidence was found near Avery’s home (including charred remains of the missing woman), and he was arrested. He claimed someone set him up and that the police overlooked evidence of his innocence.

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