Non-profit managers make common mistakes that create legal risk for their organizations. Worse, non-profits everywhere have experienced an appreciable uptick in employee litigation and EEOC enforcement action. Most non-profits are ill-equipped to mitigate this risk because historically, “doing God’s work” or being “good guys” once provided a layer of de facto insulation: trial lawyers shied away from publicly shaking down cash-strapped helping organizations. With Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance now covering the majority of employers, however, the days of trial lawyer and employee restraint have long passed.
The non-profit sector lags behind the business world in addressing and reducing the risk of employee litigation. Indeed, because non-profit managers typically come from the direct practice ranks of “helping professions” (e.g., social work, child welfare, nursing, gerontology), they are MORE likely to engage in “good guy” behaviors that actually foment legal risk and undermine the efficacy of the organization, such as
• Treating employees like clients/patients;
• Avoiding conflict;
• Misunderstanding “discrimination”; and,
• Promoting employee “volunteerism.”
Please join Merrily Archer, Esq., M.S.W. for this essential risk management program. Merrily earned her JD/MSW from the top-ranked Washington University in St. Louis, and views the non-profit workplace through the lenses of social work and a long litigation career representing employers. Merrily launched her legal career as a Trial Attorney for the EEOC in Denver, Colorado; in 2000, she “switched sides” and rededicated her career to helping employers avoid litigation (e.g., training, coaching), while empowering them to “fight when they’re right.” She garnered recognition as a Forty Under 40 winner, a SuperLawyer in Employment Litigation Defense, a 2012 inductee into the Denver Business Journal’s PowerBook in Law, and a much-requested presenter on workplace law topics.