RR 254: Rod Stephens from The Stephens Law Firm

The Stephens Law Firm

Rod Stephens, Attorney and Counselor at Law from The Stephens Law Firm counsels and represents employers in all aspects of the employment relationship. While a large part of his work is in the litigated context, he prefers to work with his clients to develop procedures and protocols to avoid litigation and maximize their human capital.

Rod takes a team approach in his interface with management. His firm provides training, seminars, prepares policy and procedure handbooks, updates on recent cases and, of course, sound counsel.

Rod is the principal author of his Blog Inzozi.com (In-zoh-zi) [see link below]. His Blog provides valuable information for employers and employees and as with everything Rod does, he tempers it with a strong dose of common sense.

Although Rod’s office is located in Puyallup, WA,  he represents clients in legal matters throughout the State of Washington. He is a frequent lecturer at continuing education classes in employment law directed toward assisting lawyers, management and human resource professionals.

The prestigious legal directory Martindale Hubbell has ranked Rod as AV Preeminent and his firm has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Law Firms. Rod has also been selected as a SuperLawyer by Washington Law and Politics magazine on numerous occasions.

In addition to his law practice, Rod is also extremely active in the Sumner-Puyallup business community. He recently completed seven years of service with the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce

Talking Points:

  • Do you want to be a shop owner or be a defendant?
  • Never borrow a hand book unless you are going to make changes. There is no one size fits all in handbooks.
  • You must understand the Law before you give your handbook to your people.
  • Job descriptions protect you from potential claims.
  • Consider accommodations in a comp or disability case. Research the need.
  • Leave Laws. Currently, 7 States that have them. Some cities have their own.
    • They are a new phenomenon
    • Trending nationally is a paid time off (PTO). A team member can take time for any reason.
  • State and Federal law apply. You need to be compliant with federal and obligations to your state and even with your city.
  • He is working on employment contracts and handbooks now.
  • If you get a notice you take the complaint to an HR specialist or a lawyer. The EEOC is backed up over a year to process.
    • Federal funding is one reason.
    • Find training for employer obligations online
    • eeoc.gov
  • It is easy to find information at the Department of Labor
    •  dol.gov
    • Wage and leave issues.
  • Wage and hour is one of the hottest areas in employment law right now.
    • Salary vs Hourly classification tests.
    • Service writers.
    • When it is a close call pay hourly.
  • Get Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy.
  • Terminations are a serious issue.
    • Many employers feel they can work with an employee so they don’t have to terminate.
      • You can only do so much with people.
    • Never say anything that could come back at you.
    • Do you know all the facts on the issue?
      • Have you looked at the personal file to see the write ups?
      • Have you heard the employee’s story? Where are they coming from?
      • Facts vs rumors.
    • It is good to get insights from an HR professional on a termination.
  • Ninety-day probation period.
    • If in your handbook, think about what the employee thinks when he/she reads that.
      • They may think that if I keep my nose clean for 90 days the only reason I would be terminated is for cause.
    • Cell phones are becoming a big issue today…
      • The potential risk of injury because of attention span.
      • The potential risk to photo customer lists or financial information that is proprietary to your business.
      • Personal phones should not contain any business proprietary information

Rod’s Inzozi Blog

Stephans Website

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This episode is brought to you by Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.