Parenting and Working Q&A Archives

“While on Maternity Leave, can I attend a trade conference?”

Published on June 21st, 2016 by Alan L. Sklover

Question: My baby was born a month ago, and everything is going well. I am scheduled to return to work in 30 days.

In two weeks, there is an annual trade conference that I have attended in past years that I would like to attend again this year, both to represent my employer and to network for myself. It would be a two-day trip. My pediatrician thinks it would be good for the baby, because I will be going back to work, and this may be a good “trial run” for her. Am I permitted to do that?

Brewster, New York

Answer: Dear Carleen: First, congratulations on your new “little one.” Everyone who knows me knows that I believe kids are the best part of life . . . “usually.” Your question really made me think, and also required that I do some legal research. This is what I have concluded:
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“Is it a conflict of interest if I work in the same place as my son, and I cover a shift for him?

Published on October 15th, 2010 by Alan L Sklover

Question: Is it a conflict of interest if my son has me work for him on his scheduled shift because of a death in the family? We work in the same place and we are both hourly employees.

         Winslow, Arizona

Answer: Raynette, yes, I would call what you describe to be a kind of a conflict of interest. I see a conflict of interest as a situation where (a) a person has a responsibility to do one thing for someone else, (b) but because of some temptation, is drawn to do a different thing.

There is an old saying about conflicts of interest: “A person who has one watch always knows what time it is. A person with two watches is never sure.”

You and your son both have a responsibility to your employer to work, and to be honest with your employer, just as your employer has a duty to be honest with you. If your employer does not know about this “switch” in which you will do the work in the name of your son, because you love him, then (a) your love for your son is interfering with (b) your duty to be honest with your employer.

On the other hand, if your employer is aware of the “switch,” then there is no violation of your duty to be honest with your employer.

Honesty is a great habit, and always the better path to choose.

Thanks for writing in. Consider signing up to get our daily posts. Just by subscribing. It’s free, and worth “every penny.”  

          Best, Al Sklover

If you need, we offer a Model Letter entitled Model Letter to Address a Possible Conflict Of Interest at Work. “What to Say / How to Say It.™” Just [click here.]

P.S.: If you would like to speak with me directly about this or other workplace-related subjects, I am available for 30-minute, 60-minute, or 120-minute telephone consultations. (Even 5-minute “Just One Question” calls). Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can be accommodated.

© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 35 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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