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E26: Weed in the Workplace

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In this week’s episode, resident expert Kathleen Jennings and host Thom Jennings have a lengthy discussion about the implications of the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. What does this mean for employers? How will it impact pre-employment drug screening? What about the implications of medical marijuana in the workplace?

Podcast Episode Transcript

Narrator (00:04):
You are listening to Cover Your Assets, a podcast that discusses the timely and significant legal issues faced by employers. Kathleen Jennings is an attorney who has over 30 years of experience in advising employers as to their legal responsibilities and has written extensively about employment law. Inner Popular Cover Your Assets blog. If your business has employees you cannot afford not to have your assets covered.

Thomas Jennings (00:34):
Hello everyone. Welcome to Cover Your Assets, the Labor and Employment Law Podcast. And as mentioned in the intro, I am here with resident expert slash attorney Kathleen Jennings. And she happens to be a Bills fan. And my sister,

Kathleen Jennings (00:54):
I was waiting for you to add the part where I was your sister. I was a little concerned that you were not going to reveal that important fact. So I'm glad that you did because you are in fact my favorite brother.

Thomas Jennings (01:05):
Why Thank you. And you are in fact my sister.

Kathleen Jennings (01:09):
Thank you.

Thomas Jennings (01:10):
But anyhow, <laugh>

Kathleen Jennings (01:13):
Today, and yes, I am a Bills fan. I am happy to say that I have joined the Bills mafia. And so I am a faithful Bills fan

Thomas Jennings (01:26):
And to to to to fans of other teams across the country. We, we may know, we may know Ill will, so maybe we

Kathleen Jennings (01:33):
Shouldn't. Exactly.

Thomas Jennings (01:33):
Maybe we shouldn't even talk about the bills anymore, <laugh>, cuz they lost today on the day that we're recording this. But anyhow, I predict this year they will either be in the Super Bowl or they will not. That's what I predict.

Kathleen Jennings (01:46):
That's a bold prediction, Thom. So I guess at the end of the season, we'll see how that comes out. <Laugh>, yeah. Wedding Well done. That's really going out on a limb with that one.

Thomas Jennings (01:56):
Well, today's topic is for those of you who have been sitting waiting patiently through our opening banter or the monologue, well, it's a duologue, right? A monologue would be one person. But anyhow, exactly, today's topic is, you know, this show's gonna go to pod I I, in fact, I think people should get a scorecard and see how many marijuana puns that we can inject into the, into the podcast. We are gonna talk about marijuana laws, and I thought a good starting point would be maybe a definition of the difference between legalized use of marijuana, decriminalization of marijuana, and the difference between federal and state marijuana laws. That's a, that's a lot to stick on your attorney plate, but all of 'em, very timely topics. So let's start there.

Kathleen Jennings (02:49):
Well, I'll try to wade through the weeds to give you some answers to those questions. But what we're talking about in terms of workplace is we're talking about laws. There are laws that protect off-duty marijuana use. These are state laws. There are laws that allow medical marijuana to be used. There's some states where recreational marijuana is completely legal. I believe you live in one of those states, dear brother. I do not. And there are states where medical marijuana is all that you can have legally. And I do live in a state that has medical marijuana law. And the difference, the main difference between state and federal law is that under federal law, as we sit right now, all marijuana use is illegal. Yeah. Marijuana is still classified as an illegal drug. So there are no federal laws that will protect your marijuana use, but there are state laws that will protect your marijuana use unless the federal government really wanted to try to say that federal law preempts state law, which is a whole other issue. I don't see that happening under this administration, but it is something that can be asserted by the federal government

Thomas Jennings (04:17):
And to let people know, I'm, I'm in New York state and my sister is in Georgia, and to the best of my knowledge, there's no joint proposition for those two states. Is that correct?

Kathleen Jennings (04:30):
That is correct. I would give you a green light for that particular assertion. Yes.

Thomas Jennings (04:37):
And, and, and you know, it, it's, it's interesting because my wife, she works for a, an a federal contractor. And so the, because they are a federal contractor, even though the business itself is, is located in, in the state of New York, which it, which does not, has not has decriminalized or made recreational marijuana use legal. And there's all kinds of different nuances that we don't necessarily need to get into. The federal law does supersede the state law in that respect. But yes, I I think we can agree that at least currently, it, it's still not legal in a federal sense. So even though a state can decriminalize it, there's, there's still some tenuous ground out there.

Kathleen Jennings (05:23):
There are, and it really depends on which political party is in power. And as I said before, the current administration is not likely to try to preempt any state laws, the protect marijuana use, because that's just not on their agenda. So I would say that what people need to focus on at this point are the state laws and employers in particular need to be aware of state laws that govern the protection of off-duty marijuana use. And that means marijuana use that is not consumed during work hours, and then also some of the nuances of medical marijuana and how that intersects with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Thomas Jennings (06:15):
So, and, and I I I've noticed you've been very careful in using the term off-duty marijuana use, which, which is, which is an important distinction because no different than alcohol, where alcohol is legal to purchase and consume for those of a certain age. And I think it's probably 21 nationwide, even though it's still governed by state laws, there are rules and regulations that employers can have with regard to consuming alcohol during work hours. So not an illegal activity consuming alcohol, but I believe that could be a terminable offense. And we've touched on this a little bit, so I'm not gonna beat the, beat it a dead horse, so to speak or revisit a topic that we've already talked about. But, you know alcoholism as a, a medical situation and that, that's a, that's a, a discussion for another day. But marijuana as a medical drug, or whatever you want to call it, it is a drug, right?

Kathleen Jennings (07:15):
Well, medical marijuana is produced under state law, and there are state licensing laws that govern the production and distribution of what they call it. It's low t h C oil at least in Georgia, that's what they're looking to produce. And in other states it may be different, but it's, it's basically a A T H C oil that people can use for various medical conditions.

Thomas Jennings (07:46):
So I, and, and really the, I guess that's where things can get a little bit cloudy because in terms of drug testing, you're testing for the presence of th hc, so you don't know. So if someone purchased non-medical marijuana, consume that in their off hours, even in copious quantities, I would imagine that the, the, the employer would be in a difficult position to really do anything about it if there is a, if there is deemed a medical use. So I guess that leads to my next question. At what recourse does an employee have if they suspect an employee of overindulging in marijuana, whether it be medical marijuana to the point where it impacts their job and going back to the off duty use? I mean, let I mean, let's, let's face it, if I'm, I'm going to work in two hours and I get drunk before I come in, I'm still under the influence of alcohol even though I've consumed it off duty. So how does that work with marijuana if off-duty marijuana use is technically considered, you know, cuz alcohol's a little different in also in that you can test for level of toxicity. I don't know if you can do that with marijuana.

Kathleen Jennings (08:55):
Well, with marijuana, the biggest challenge for employers is that you really can't, there's no accepted test to show when the marijuana was ingested, because t h C can stay in the body for, I think up to two or three weeks. And so if somebody tests positive for th h c on a drug test, that gives no indication of whether that person ingested that THC an hour before they came to work or a week ago at a party on the weekend. And, and I can give you an example of how this is really, it creates a problem for an employer because I had a case where a fella was working at a factory and a number of employees claimed that they saw him smoking weed on his lunch break. And then sometime during the shift he put his arm in a piece of machinery that he had no business putting his arm in, and really that anyone in their right mind would not put their arm in and was injured pretty seriously.

Kathleen Jennings (10:07):
And OSHA came in and issued a citation. And so one of our defenses to the citation was that this was employee misconduct because this fellow was under the influence of marijuana and he was drug tested when he went to the hospital for the injury. And we even had an expert who would testify that the level of T H C in his system indicated that his use of it was fairly close to the time of the injury. But the OSHA judge in that case did not accept the expert's opinion and said it was not reliable because there's no reliable way of really determining when somebody ingested the T H C. And so she didn't allow that evidence at the hearing.

Thomas Jennings (10:56):
Yeah, I mean, that's a tough situation because now, you know, the, the, the, the title of our podcast cover your Assets. I mean, this really is, we're talking some serious dollars and cents here in that. Yes. So workman's comp claim, you got a guy that's working with heavy machinery and they're stoned, what do you do? And, and, and in this case, you know, people saw him smoking marijuana on break, but I've worked with people that just take gummies. So I, I don't know. I mean, they've told me that they took the gummies. I haven't necessarily seen them take gummies, but even if they were taking marijuana gummies, how would I know that they're not just eating gummy bears for that matter. So this is becoming, I I think it's, I think it's gonna become a real problem for employers. But in, in, in the case that you just mentioned, I mean, I think even though the judge in your particular case may have ruled against it wouldn't you think that it, it would be beneficial for employers to automatically drug test after an accident? I mean, or is that kind of standard practice anyway?

Kathleen Jennings (11:59):
Most do, and, and as an aside, sometimes the hospitals won't do the drug test because they're concerned that it may disqualify the employee from workers' comp benefits and the hospital wants to get paid. But that's a whole other issue. Wow. That's, yes. It's, it's, yeah, it's, and

Thomas Jennings (12:19):
That's is crazy <laugh>. I mean, that is absolutely crazy. It's

Kathleen Jennings (12:23):
Fairly routine for employers to ha if they have any drug testing policy at all. There is usually post accident drug testing as well as drug testing at the beginning of employment of applicants. And what I'm hearing from some of my clients now is they are still drug testing, but they are basically ignoring any positive THC results because in this job market, it disqualifies to many applicants if everyone who has a positive THC level in a pre-employment drug test is not hired.

Thomas Jennings (13:04):
Yeah. And, and I've, I've heard cases like that where people have tested positive for THC and even back before the decriminalization in this state, and they were still offered the job for whatever reason. And I think for a long time, maybe marijuana use has not been as stigmatized as it was, but to me it becomes a real problem because as I said, you know, I, I know that I've had coworkers that have said that they've ingested marijuana during the course of the workday, and they work with kids. I mean, this is a very serious situation. And obviously you don't want your bus driver, your school bus driver, you don't want your city bus driver. You don't want your, your limo driver or any of those people under the influence of marijuana. So, I dunno, th this is a, this is definitely a tough situation and I would guess that it, that when you had the gentleman who stuck his hand in the machinery, if he had a prescription for marijuana, there really wouldn't have been anything he could do anyway because it was supposed to be in his system.

Kathleen Jennings (14:03):
So Thom, I think what employers need to focus on is employee behavior, because any kind of behavior that could cause an unsafe situation, either because of they're working with children, as you pointed out, or working around machinery in which they could be injured or, or driving it's important to observe the behavior of employees. And if you see anything that causes, or if, if supervisors see anything that caused them concern that perhaps the employee is not in the best state of mind or could possibly be under the influence of something, then that behavior that they observe should be documented and they should conduct more investigation. But they should definitely have concrete proof of why they want to investigate the behavior, not just because they think the person is a little strange or they don't like them, but because maybe they, for alcohol, they smell like alcohol have bloodshot eyes, maybe they're slurring their speech. Anything like that that could cause concern that this employee is presenting a possible danger to him or herself or others.

Thomas Jennings (15:31):
So, I, I, the question I have then, can you, can you legally discriminate against somebody that has a medical marijuana prescription? If, if there's a type of job where it could potentially be impacted by marijuana use? Or is that, does that fall under ada? I mean, I mean, well, I mean, and again, with, with it being illegal federally, I mean, how does that is, isn't that kind of a slippery slope?

Kathleen Jennings (15:56):
Well, it makes it a, a more difficult analysis because the medical marijuana use in and of itself would not be protected under federal law. However, if this person has an underlying disability, then they would be protected against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. So if the employee is asking to be allowed to use medical marijuana as a reasonable accommodation so that they can perform the essential functions of the job, then at that point the employer has to do an analysis of whether the use of the medical marijuana or, and this goes to any kind of medication. If somebody is taking serious pain pills or narcotics that could affect their behavior, then the employer has to make a determination as to whether the use of that medication, including T H C makes it so that the employee is not able to perform the essential functions of the job.

Thomas Jennings (17:07):
Well, I, I gu I guess then that leads to a question and I, I think you're, as usual, you bring up great points. So in, in a situation like, like let's say now I, I'll, I'll use personal experience cuz cuz that's what I do. <Laugh>, I, I had a back injury and I was taking a medication called Flexerol, and with the Flexerol I was told I couldn't drive. It was, it was in the, the, the doctor's recommendation, they said, well you're taking this, you know, you can't drive. So told my employer had to take time off of work while I was nursing the spank back injury and I was on this particular medication. Is, is there a situation where with medical marijuana wouldn't that come with, with some kind of reasonable, like, don't do this warning on it, you know, don't drive a school bus under the influence of your medical marijuana.

Kathleen Jennings (17:58):
I think it would probably depend upon the dose when they take it what the physician is giving as any kind of possible precautions or side effects. So there's a lot we don't know. So I think it's like a lot of situations involving disability, you have to make an individualized assessment and figure out at the end of the day whether, yeah, I, I think certainly the, the flexerol, if somebody is, is in a driving position and they're taking flexerol you don't want them driving. So you wanna know about that. So like things we've talked about before, it's probably better for employees to feel comfortable to let you know upfront what medications they're taking, including T H C so that then the employer and the employee can figure out together does this limit anything that the employee is able to do at work or are there things that the employee should not do because perhaps it would be unsafe?

Thomas Jennings (19:12):
I think that's a great point. I mean, I mean, in reality if you know somebody's using medical marijuana, you probably, and if you have a factory or different types of positions, you may wanna just put them in a position where they aren't using machine machinery that could cause some very serious physical harm. And that's protecting the company and it's protecting the individual as well.

Kathleen Jennings (19:35):
Well, and, and again, it may d it, it depends upon if the employee is taking a small amount at night to help them sleep and really feel no effects in the morning, that's a very different situation from the employee who has to ingest it. And, and I don't know amounts, I don't know a lot about medical marijuana. I don't take medical marijuana. But it, it's, it's the kind of situation where you just are gonna have to work with the employee and perhaps the employee's physician to determine does the dose and the timing of the doses cause any limitations in the abil in in the employee's ability to do the work that they're supposed to be doing. And then, you know, for the, for the recreational that's, you know, we have, I think especially as you pointed out, there used to be a stigma about marijuana use. And there's still, I think amongst some of the, shall I say older generation

Thomas Jennings (20:41):
Hey, hey, hey, we are part of that older generation

Kathleen Jennings (20:44):
<Laugh> we are part, you know, actually it's it's sort sort of like not the super older generation. Yeah. Cuz you had the, the folks that were the hippies and, you know, so they were all doing God knows what and, and, you know, they came out fine and, but then you have, you know, they're, they're still a part of our country that's pretty conservative and so they frown upon not only marijuana, but also alcohol and, and other things like that. So there are still some areas and some businesses who do not look approvingly at employees using marijuana even recreationally they just, they, they're not comfortable with it. And in states where recreational marijuana use is protected, those companies are, are gonna have to be careful about whether they take action against those folks.

Thomas Jennings (21:40):
Yeah. And yeah, and it's, it's interesting because now I don't smoke marijuana. I mean, I did when I was younger. I don't anymore just, it made me paranoid, you know, I'll just be honest. I'm in a, I'm in a state where it's legal so I don't have to to pretend I do or don't anymore. But I went, I remember I went to a, a concert with Thom Junior, who was a guest on one of our earlier shows, one of our highest, one of our highest rated in the archives, by the way. Number two. He

Kathleen Jennings (22:05):
Was a fantastic guest, fantastic guest. We can get him back. We

Thomas Jennings (22:09):
Need to get him back. So I'm at this Dave Matthews Band concert and I'm walking around and there's all these people handed me joints and trying to get me to smoke it. And I looked at him and I said, geez, why they handed me these, these joints, I don't smoke weed. And he's like, dad, you're wearing a Grateful Dead shirt

Kathleen Jennings (22:25):
<Laugh>. So,

Thomas Jennings (22:27):
And, and you know, I tell that story in a way to kind of emphasize the fact that, you know, on the surface you could look at people and, and they look like they're pots smokers. I mean, I have a long beard. I wear a lot of tie dye. I mean, everybody assumes that I smoke weed. I don't, but you, you can't assume that either that and, and maybe sometimes it is the people that seem least likely to be indulging in, in recreational marijuana to an excess at work. And I guess if it's at work, it's not necessarily recreational, but you, you, you still gotta kind of keep an eye out for those things. So, so I wonder, and maybe you can answer this question and maybe you can't, maybe we'll just ponder it together. Would it be helpful for, for an employer, let's say if they do have an employee that appears to be using marijuana during the course of the workday, they have some of the typical symptoms.

Thomas Jennings (23:17):
Again, it's not, the smell thing is not what it used to be, because there's ways to adjust marijuana where you don't stink. I know I work with people that do it, but the, but you can sort of see the eyes and the affect is, is that something maybe an employer needs to, to document? But, but even then, you know, let's say I got a coworker who's just kind of got it out for me and says, oh, you know, Jennings is showing up stoned every day, and I can tell by his bloodshot eyes and my eyes are bloodshot every day because I have really dry eyes <laugh>. So I mean, this is, it's again,

Kathleen Jennings (23:48):
There are people have, have allergies. Yeah. I mean, I have allergies and that irritates my eyes. People with contact lenses are gonna have eye issues. So I think it, yeah, it's hard, especially with the marijuana. And again, not being able to have, have some kind of test that will prove or disprove that the person is under the influence at that moment. Really the only thing that's completely reliable is if you have a witness who sees the person ingesting the marijuana in whatever form of their choice and during work hours and reports that to somebody in management, it's, it's the same thing as, as you not supposed to be drinking on the job. Right. And, but with alcohol, you can have somebody take a breathalyzer and that's gonna be a pretty reliable way of, of showing whether the person is under the influence at that moment or not. You just don't have that with marijuana.

Thomas Jennings (24:50):
Yeah, and, and I'm, I'm, you know, ba I mean, I guess the really, the only thing that you can do in this situation, since you can't necessarily prove that alcohol or marijuana use is happening at the workplace, is if it is negatively impacting the employee's performance and you can't prove that it, it is negatively impacting the employee's performance, you still need to document the poor performance and then eventually figure out a way to get 'em out of there if they're not doing their job. I mean, this may sound, this may sound kind of weird to say it, but if an employee is able to use marijuana and while they're working and they're functioning and they're still doing a good job, maybe that's just not a problem. You have to worry, ab worry about. But ultimately it comes down to if an employee's not doing a good job and you suspect they're using marijuana, then figure out a way to document the, the, the things that they're failing at in terms of their position.

Kathleen Jennings (25:51):
I would even take it a step further, Thom, and say, if an employee's not doing a good job, for whatever reason, you document the performance, you don't necessarily need to worry about the cause. If you want to, it probably at some point have a sit down with the employee and say, look, you know, these are the issues that I'm observing. Is there anything that we can do to help you do better, perform better? And maybe sometimes in those situations, the employee may say, well, as a matter of fact, I have this health condition and I'm taking this medication, or I'm using this T H C and it really seems to kind of slow me down. And, you know, then at that point you deal with the issue. But I wouldn't try to speculate as to why an employee is performing poorly. But you do wanna document the observations of how the employee is performing poorly and give the employee feedback and an opportunity to do better.

Kathleen Jennings (27:00):
That's the other thing. You don't wanna do this, that the, the point of documenting is not just to keep a record of the bad things an employee has done, you also wanna use it as an opportunity to coach the employee to see if they can do better, because replacing people is hard. And so if you've got someone and you really have an opportunity to see if you can turn them around and and turn them into a better employee, and if you give them every opportunity to improve and they don't do it, then if they are terminated, it's nobody's fault but their own.

Thomas Jennings (27:41):
Yeah. I mean, and you're putting them on notice. And for the, and for the record, I I, you know, when you say that you use documentation to, to coach that, that, that I've never experienced that they're always using it to get, get rid of somebody <laugh>. That's, that's what I call the big lie. You know, whenever I have like these big employee meetings and, and they'll say, well, it's performance review time, and they're not meant to be negative. They're meant to help you improve your performance. It's like, no, it's meant to be justification to give us lower raises than we really want. But that's the cynical side of me.

Kathleen Jennings (28:15):
Wow. Okay. Well

Thomas Jennings (28:17):
<Laugh>, there's, there's, there's these heads bobbing out there like Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can relate to that for sure. But now in the, also in the perfect world, in a perfect world, and I will say there is actually reliable test for the level of toxicity of marijuana. You play Pink Floyd's dark side of the moon, and you look at the level of enjoyment, and if they're really just sitting back and getting into it, they're, they're high.

Kathleen Jennings (28:43):
Well, and probably there may be the ingestion of sa of snack foods as well.

Thomas Jennings (28:48):
<Laugh>. Yeah.

Kathleen Jennings (28:50):
Just if they're making a lot of trips to the, to the break room to get snacks.

Thomas Jennings (28:55):
Oh goodness. Just leave a, you

Kathleen Jennings (28:56):
Might want a doctor

Thomas Jennings (28:57):
Just leave a supply, just leave a supply of ramen noodles and cereal in your employee kitchen and put a camera in there and you can monitor who's consuming the most of that. And

Kathleen Jennings (29:05):
Then you'll know exactly then. Yep, yep. There

Thomas Jennings (29:08):
You go. But that's, that's all in Jess folks. We listen, if, if you're out there listening and you're using medical marijuana for a problem God bless you. I'm, I don't judge you one bit. There's a lot of people that use it and it helps 'em a lot. And if you're using it recreationally because it helps you get through with a weekend or an evening, hey, you know, that's fine too. We don't judge on that. This is really a topic again, that we're trying to address, because it's an important one. You know, as we said at the beginning, it, it can cause the problems for employers and for employees for that matter. Again, if there's an employer that's intolerant of marijuana use and they are out there, then employees have to kind of beware as well. And I, and I would suggest, since we are really gearing this podcast towards employers, you, you have to be very careful not to be too intolerant because marijuana is it, marijuana uses a, it's a reality. People use it.

Kathleen Jennings (30:01):
It is. And especially among the young folk, as we say. Although I actually know a good number of older folk that use it as well. So I think it, it can be anybody, it can be people that surprise you. Yeah. And it used to be much more secret, less secret now, I believe. And just in terms of judging, I, I did wanna point out that I will judge folks a little bit for eating the ramen noodles.

Thomas Jennings (30:31):
Yeah, yeah. Too many ramen noodles

Kathleen Jennings (30:34):
Too. Ramen noodles are not healthy. Yeah. Not the, you know, the cheap ramen noodles not healthy.

Thomas Jennings (30:38):
Yeah. Not, I I is there anything other than the cheap ramen noodles? I mean, is there like a, a whole wheat special vitamin enhanced ramen noodle? I don't think that exists. Maybe that's a business we need to get into.

Kathleen Jennings (30:50):
No, there's good ramen noodles out there. Absolutely. No. Oh, yeah, yeah.

Thomas Jennings (30:55):
I don't know about that. Okay, well if you say so, like

Kathleen Jennings (30:58):
Bespoke ramen noodles. Absolutely. Are

Thomas Jennings (31:01):
You, are we, are we trying to get them as a sponsor? Cuz I'm, I'm happy with that. We'll do that. You know, we didn't get Paycor, so

Kathleen Jennings (31:07):
<Laugh> Yeah, no, we don't need a ramen noodle sponsor. But, but who knows, maybe, maybe somebody sitting there listening to our podcast, having a little smoke and ingesting their ramen noodles will wanna sponsor us.

Thomas Jennings (31:22):
Absolutely. Because, you know, they think, gosh, these guys aren't making fun of our ramen noodle consumption, which we are, but that's okay. We can all laugh together. We're not, we're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you. And we're actually making more fun of the ramen noodles than we are of the people that consume them.

Kathleen Jennings (31:39):
Yes, exactly.

Thomas Jennings (31:41):
All right, well, with that we've come to that that moment of the show that that the tears roll down our eyes. It's it's wrap up time. It's, it's, we gotta roll this baby up, lick it, put it together, blaze it up, and finish your up. So what's what's your last what's your, what's what's your takeaways? And I mean, when I say takeaways, I mean like, bogarts, what's your bogarts this week?

Kathleen Jennings (32:06):
I was, I was gonna say don't bogart that joint <laugh>, but you took my line away from me. You took my line away, <laugh>. So I would say, as usual, be aware of your state laws with regard to marijuana use that is legal versus illegal. And be aware of your state laws with regard to whether there are protections for employees who use marijuana off duty and not at work. You can have rules that prohibit employees from using any kind of substances, legal substances like alcohol or marijuana while they are working. But as we talked about, it's much harder to pinpoint when someone used marijuana versus when someone used alcohol hall.

Thomas Jennings (32:58):
And again, if there seems to be a performance issue, whether or not you think it's related to marijuana, just handle it like you would any other performance issue. Document, document and document some more little and do a little coaching. Man, if one of you employers,

Kathleen Jennings (33:16):
I was gonna say do a little coaching, maybe, maybe not in Thom's case, because worst case, maybe they determined it wasn't gonna help anyway. Maybe

Thomas Jennings (33:26):
I'm just, maybe I've just been a horrible employee my entire employment life that I've never actually gotten coached. But anytime I've been coached, it's because you know, you're doing something bad.

Kathleen Jennings (33:36):
Maybe you're not coachable.

Thomas Jennings (33:37):
I'm not coach. Oh my God. <Laugh>. I've heard that one before.

Kathleen Jennings (33:41):
Did you, did you play team sports? Actually, actually for our listeners I did coach you. Yeah. When you were on a soccer team.

Thomas Jennings (33:51):
Well, we coached together. We

Kathleen Jennings (33:52):
Were, we coached together.

Thomas Jennings (33:54):
Co-Coach. This

Kathleen Jennings (33:55):
Is co-coach. That was

Thomas Jennings (33:56):
Our first, was our first that was our

Kathleen Jennings (33:58):
First. How did that end up?

Thomas Jennings (34:00):
We, we won the championship.

Kathleen Jennings (34:02):

Thomas Jennings (34:04):
You're not, you don't want me to relate the story of how we got into an argument about sportsmanship. That's, that's a, that's a tale for another podcast.

Kathleen Jennings (34:11):
Okay, we'll, we'll save that. We'll, we'll tease that. Yeah, we'll

Thomas Jennings (34:15):
Tease that one. It'll come up at some

Kathleen Jennings (34:17):
Point. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. So not only are you coachable, but you have been a

Thomas Jennings (34:22):
Coach. I've been a coach many times. Yes.

Kathleen Jennings (34:24):
Yes. So yes. There you have it. So yes, and

Thomas Jennings (34:27):
I've never, and I've never given my my like the, the team members, you know, I've never, never gone up to 'em and said, let, we need to have a teachable moment here. Hold on a minute. Let me write this down. Let me sign the fact that you didn't take that shot when, when the goalie was away from the goal. You know, you know what I'm saying? It's, it's not coaching. It's berating.

Kathleen Jennings (34:47):
Okay. <laugh>.

Thomas Jennings (34:51):
All right. I guess we'll wrap up with that. We already had our takeaways. And again, folks, we really appreciate you listening to the podcast. In all seriousness, the numbers have gone up and strangely, well, in a good way, everything's been in the United States for a change. We were, we had these weird pockets of listenership in Morocco and Nigeria, <laugh>. And I'm just sitting here looking at the numbers going, what is going on? And thankfully it looks like we're starting to garner a little bit of an audience out there. We do appreciate all of you. I feel that all of you are not you're, you're all wonderful. I'm not gonna call you coachable, but we do appreciate you listen. But I will ask you not coach you to please consider doing a review, sharing this podcast with your coworkers, with your friends, anybody that would find it relevant or anybody for that matter who just loves a good podcast. I mean, who don't like that when you're run in driving, all those kinds of things that you can have a podcast

Kathleen Jennings (35:43):
And you can learn something,

Thomas Jennings (35:44):
You can learn something, learn something new. Yeah. Even if you're not in hr, you can eventually go into hr. I've learned a lot about HR and I'm not in hr. I'm the anti hr, I'm the employee that the HR people don't want. Let's just be honest.

Kathleen Jennings (35:57):
Which means maybe you have a future in hr,

Thomas Jennings (36:00):
You know? Yeah. Well, like the guys that were criminals that they, they, what if they, they all go into security? They go, I can break in your, I, so now I'll be here to security. Alright. On that note, thanking you for my resident expert sister and best podcast co-hosts on the planet. I will say thanks for listening. And remember folks, don't forget to cover your assets. Oh, wait. Before that contact information, Kathleen,

Kathleen Jennings (36:28):
I was afraid my contact information was going to go up and smoke

Thomas Jennings (36:32):

Kathleen Jennings (36:34):
So you could shoot me an email at kj j wim

Thomas Jennings (36:42):
And if you want to contact me about a, a podcast I'm at Thom, t h om corone That's in the show notes. And until next time, folks, always remember cover your assets.

Podcast Disclaimer

The Cover Your Assets-The Labor and Employment Law Podcast is produced by Thom Jennings of the Caronia Media Group. For more details, you can contact him at

The information provided in this podcast is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this podcast or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Kathleen J. Jennings. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual hosts and guests.

Kathleen J. Jennings
Former Principal

Kathleen J. Jennings is a former principal in the Atlanta office of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. She defends employers in employment matters, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, Wage and Hour, OSHA, restrictive covenants, and other employment litigation and provides training and counseling to employers in employment matters.

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