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New DVD Teaches Seven Deadly Sins of Employment Law to CEOs

M. Lee Smith Publishers releases training video, ideal for HR directors wary of discussing the topic with corporate executives

Brentwood, TN (February 26, 2008) - A new training DVD, Executive Summary: Employment Law for the C-Suite, is teaching CEOs and other C-level leaders how their behavior and policies can devastate their organizations and their reputations.

The 50-minute video, from M. Lee Smith Publishers and renowned management attorney John B. Phillips, Jr., is in response to the increasing number of sexual harassment, discrimination and other complaints lodged against top corporate executives. "When an employee of an NBA basketball team claims harassment and is awarded over $11 million, everyone hears about it," says Phillips, who hosts the presentation. "But what the public doesn't hear about are the thousands of settlements and awards hitting lower-profile companies. And a good percentage of them have executive misconduct at their root."

In Executive Summary: Employment Law for the C-Suite, he addresses seven areas where executives can drag their organizations into a legal quagmire, such as behavior that can be seen by subordinates as retaliation for whistle-blowing and reacting illegally to a union organizing campaign. Phillips lays out the risks of violating wage and hour laws that dictate overtime and prohibit hourly employees from working off the clock. And he details eight characteristics of effective leaders that enable them to get the most out of managers and employees.

"A company’s HR department may be uncomfortable raising such issues with the CEO or other C-level executive," says Dan Oswald, President of M. Lee Smith Publishers. "So we asked John to record the same seminar he's privately given to top managers around the country. Because he’s been counseling and advising management for over 30 years, he’s got the presence and experience needed to get their attention."

“The days when an executive didn’t need to have a working familiarity with employment law are over,” says Phillips. “Employees are too willing to sue, and juries are too eager to punish. And even without a lawsuit, executives behaving badly cost companies through turnover and low morale.”

For example, a jury recently awarded over $260,000 to an Oklahoma bank employee who was fired after he told executives he would testify in a co-worker’s harassment suit. In another case, a national equipment rental chain was hit with a $827,000 verdict, after top brass fired a 61-year-old store manager based on a middle manager’s reports and replaced him with a 31-year-old. The fact that said reports were bogus didn’t matter, according to Suffolk University School of Law professor Marc Greenbaum.

"If senior executives could hide behind claims of ignorance, even if well founded, it would severely undercut the enforcement of the discrimination laws," says Greenbaum.

Executive Summary: Employment Law for the C-Suite is available on a 30-day review basis by calling 800-274-6774 or visiting

About John B. Phillips, Jr.

Phillips has served as Associate General Counsel for Employment Law at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. and is a member of the law firm of Miller & Martin. Prior to filming Executive Summary: Employment Law for the C-Suite, he was the lead presenter for the video-based training program Danger Zones for Supervisors, both editions of which were named a Top 10 Training Product by Human Resources Executive magazine. He also serves as moderator for the Advanced Employment Issues Symposium, for 12 years a leading employment law conference for HR professionals and corporate counsel. He writes the blog The Word on Employment Law With John Phillips

About M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC

Brentwood, Tennessee-based M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC is a 33-year-old provider of print and electronic information resources to the corporate Human Resources and legal markets. Their list of largest clients closely matches the FORTUNE 500 while their overall customer base includes managers in every industry sector.

Contact: Pete McPherson, 615-661-0249, ext. 8057 or
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