Photo of Jennifer L. Gokenbach

Jennifer L. Gokenbach is an attorney and founder of The Workplace Counsel, a woman-owned employment defense firm in Denver, Colorado. Her law firm is the exclusive Colorado firm for Worklaw® Network, a network of independent law firms with focused practices on labor and employment matters in the U.S. and abroad.

I heard a statistic today that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is expecting over 100,000 charges in FY2011 – the highest number ever in its history.  Dealing with an increasing number of discrimination, wage & hour, and other employment-related claims is, unfortunately, the state of affairs in the workplace for some time to come.   

Birthday.jpgIn 1938, during the Great Depression, Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to:

“aid the unprotected, unorganized, and lowest paid of the nation’s working population; that is those employees who lacked sufficient bargaining power to secure for themselves a minimum subsistence wage.”

At that time, we had an industrial workforce and most jobs

Your Weight in Gold.jpgOn September 17, 2010, jetBlue named Joanna Geraghty as its first Chief People Officer (CPO).  There is some speculation that the timing of the Steven Slater incident may have helped fuel this decision.  But still, jetBlue has taken the leap and appears to be at the forefront of companies appointing CPOs, which are anything but the norm.  

Today, human resource