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January 18, 2010

News & Opinion: What's Legal?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:18 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

A lot, apparently. In Lewis Maltby's new book Can They Do That?: Retaking Our Fundamental Rights in the Workplace, we hear some really crazy stories of firing and harassment of employees by companies that were completely legal. Scary, but enlightening, the book helps readers re-examine the notion of complaining about "the man," inspires potential love for the amazing place we might be working, and worst-case, we might realize that if we work in a bad situation, it might, in some ways, be beyond our control. This book reveals the rules that exist that allow bad employers to use them to employee's disadvantage. Sometimes shocking, as in the example of those wrongly fired due to faulty criminal record reports, or being fired for accidentally bouncing a personal check, the book is long on stories that make you realize that any of these crazy things could happen to any of us at any time. But, what can we do about it, if the company is acting within their rights? Fortunately, the book is not all doom and gloom. There are many things employees can do to uphold their rights, and this book gives thorough explanations in response to each negative case example it gives. Less a guidebook for those mistreated, and more of a historical and current analysis of the types of legal abuse that can happen in corporate America, this is a highly interesting book that will hopefully create more awareness, and thus action, toward making our companies better places to be.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.