Harman Law - March/April 2020

March/April 2020



Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Lawyers


(And Why MyWife’s Parents Hated Me For It)

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a bit of a prankster. I love to laugh, and making other people laugh (or jump) always makes me chuckle. Because of that, I’ve been looking forward to April Fools’ Day pretty much since January! I’ve also been reminiscing on April Fools’ Days past and got inspired to share my favorite prank of all time with you. My wife Jen isn’t as into pranks as I am, which makes the fact that she was in on my best one ever feel even more special. To set the scene, this happened back in 2011 when Jen and I had been dating for about two years. We weren’t anywhere near getting married, but Jen’s parents were already throwing out all kinds of hints about

“While I was planning the trip, I realized we were going to be in Savannah over April Fools’ Day, and I had a crazy idea: Why not fake propose to Jen and prank her and literally everyone we knew?”

We thought it was hilarious and decided to wait a few hours before making another post explaining the joke. When we did, everyone was upset — especially Jen’s parents! Somehow we didn’t expect people to be legitimately mad about the joke, but, oh boy, they really were. In the end though, the whole thing worked out in our favor because the prank took the pressure off of our relationship. People stopped bugging us about getting married, so we got to date for another 2 1/2 years before getting engaged without suffering through pointed comments. In hindsight, I am glad Jen caught me before I went through with my initial plan — I’m not so sure a fake proposal would have ended well! These days, I still try to prank Jen when April Fools’ Day rolls around, but I’m never successful — either I suck at pranks now, or she’s just too smart for me. She never tries to get me back, but I’m sure if she did, I’d fall for it hook, line, and sinker. If you’ve ever pulled an epic April Fools’ prank, or had one pulled on you, I’d love to hear about it! Hopefully, you don’t end up faced with an employment problem or recovering from a car wreck, but if the worst happens and you wind up in my office, don’t hesitate to fill me in on your best joke while you’re here — I’m always looking for the next great idea.

engagement. Around that time, we’d planned a trip to Savannah, Georgia, and a couple people had mentioned that might be a good time to get engaged, with all of the theatrical winking and nudging you’d imagine. While I was planning the trip, I realized we were going to be in Savannah over April Fools’ Day, and I had a crazy idea: Why not fake propose to Jen and prank her and literally everyone we knew? I had it all planned out, but before I did it, Jen somehow picked up on my plan. Instead of being mad when I came clean, she decided to join in on the fun. We ended up walking through a market in Savannah and picking out a fake ring. Jen took a picture of herself wearing the flashy “engagement ring” and sent it to everyone in her family in a big group text. She even posted the photo on Facebook, too, with a caption like, “Just got engaged! Can’t wait for the wedding!” Absolutely no one picked up on the fact that it was April Fools’ Day, and congratulations started pouring in. Tons of people commented, “It’s about time!” on the post, and Jen’s parents were thrilled.

–Michael Harman


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – Call Us Today 704-885-5550

Whose PicksWill Go All theWay?


Reward the winners with prizes.

One of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them — and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can. Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn each March Madness matchup into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities. Turn each game into an event.

Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant.

Create a learning opportunity.

Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the

qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.

Happy Employee Appreciation Day!

Did you know that Friday, March 6, was Employee Appreciation Day? It isn’t an official national holiday, but I still thought it was worth celebrating because to be honest, my staff deserves a shout-out every day of the year. According to NationalDayCalendar. com, Employee Appreciation Day was started back in 1995 by Dr. Bob Nelson, a businessman and author who has published multiple books about how important it is to recognize and reward employees for their hard work. Every company that celebrates Employee Appreciation Day does it in a different way, but some of the recommendations include sending out thank-you notes, putting on a team celebration, giving positive feedback, and encouraging new skills. Personally, I think Bob had a great point when he had his 1995 brainwave. Here at Harman Law, I wouldn’t be able to

touch nearly as many lives without my incredible, hardworking staff here to help. They have my back, and it’s not an exaggeration to say they’ve made my dream possible, so the least I can do is support, encourage, and thank them! So, to Catherine, Neidy, Samantha, and everyone else who keeps Harman Law running every day, thank you for everything you do! I see the hard work you put in for our clients every day, and I’m beyond appreciative. If you have worked or are currently working with Harman Law on a case and someone on staff has made your day, or gone above and beyond to help you out, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to share your experience with me directly by emailing me at michael@harmanlawnc.com so I can recognize their hard work! –Michael Harman

AThank-You to My Incredible Team


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

AnotherWorkers’ Compensation Myth Busted!


No, You Can’t Be Fired for Filing a Claim

If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s common knowledge that the best thing you can do is file a workers’ compensation claim. This kind of claim will take care of you, providing medical care and replacement wages while you recover. However, even when such a claim is clearly necessary, a lot of people hesitate to file one because they’re worried about the consequences. All kinds of myths float around about workers’ compensation claims, but one of the most common (and most damaging) is the rumor that your employer can fire you simply for filing a claim. This is absolutely untrue! Even if your company wants to replace you, there are protections in place for workers against that kind of termination. Employers can’t legally retaliate against employees who have exercised their right to claim benefits for an injury that happened at work — that would undermine the whole system. This is complicated a bit by the fact that North Carolina is an at-will employment state, which means employers have discretion to fire employees for pretty much any reason. That alone seems like enough to cause alarm bells, however, workers’ compensation leave is an exception to the rule. What it comes down to is that you can be fired for an unrelated reason while you’re on leave, but you can’t be fired because you’re on leave. So, if you’re let go and told it’s because you’ve been injured and filed a workers’ compensation claim, that means you likely have grounds for a lawsuit. If your rights or the rights of someone you know have been violated this way, it’s time to seek out a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Here at Harman Law, we help our clients with situations like this regularly. If you’d like a professional opinion on your situation, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can get you in for a free case review and let you know if a lawsuit is the best path for you.

Solution on Page 4

This St. Paddy’s Day, try taking a festive spin on a classic staple. If you have red velvet lovers in your family, they’re sure to love this equally decadent treat. GreenVelvet Cheesecake Bars


1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs 1 stick butter, melted 1 oz green food coloring (gel works best)

3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened

• • • •

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

• •

1/2 tsp vanilla extract Green sprinkles, optional


1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and food coloring. Press into the baking pan. 3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. 4. Add eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla. 5. Pour mixture over the packed crumbs. 6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. 7. Let cool completely before adding sprinkles and slicing.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – Call Us Today 704-885-5550

8712 Lindholm Dr., Suite 300 Huntersville, NC 28078 Offices in Lake Norman, Charlotte, and Hickory 704-885-5550 HarmanLawNC.com



Inside This Issue

Michael’s Best April Fools’ Prank Ever 1 March Madness Fun for the Whole Family How Employee Appreciation Day Got Started 2 Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars Another Workers’ Compensation Myth Busted! 3 March Madness Tech to Make You a Predicting Genius 4

Sudoku Solution

BRACKET MADNESS! Dominate Your Bracket With March Madness Technology

It takes some serious basketball knowledge — and a lot of luck — to successfully predict the outcome of March Madness. Whether you’re an average hoops fan or an expert, it’s more difficult than you might think. The Smithsonian estimates the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quadrillion. But gone are the days of relying on the most intimidating mascot to make your decisions. Try to beat those odds with these March Madness technologies. Adobe’s Hack the Bracket What if there was a tool that could compare free-throw percentages or shot accuracy between opponents? Well, now there is! For the past two years, Adobe has offered its data analytics software with a simple-to-use system, Hack the Bracket. The program breaks down points, mistakes, fouls, win percentages, and other statistics into side-by-side comparisons. The software also calculates the percentage of a team winning or losing, giving users a closer look at the game. Google Cloud’s Student-Led Analytics It’s one thing to know the numbers; it’s a whole other ball game to understand what they mean. That’s where

Google Cloud’s analytics team comes in to help. In 2018, Google partnered with the NCAA to offer live gameplay analysis, and in 2019, the tech giant hired more than 30 college students to contextualize the numbers throughout the tournament. Google’s steps for 2020 remain a mystery, but you can view past records and data at Cloud.WithGoogle.com/marchmadness. The NCAA’s Original Bracket Challenge In 1939, Oregon University became the first team to win March Madness, defeating Ohio State University 46-33 in an eight-team tournament. By 1985, the tournament had grown to 64 teams, and the bracket was born. With that kind of history, there’s no better place to create your bracket than with the hosts of spring’s best sporting event: the NCAA’s digital hub. NCAA.com offers you team analysis, real-time updates, and a home for your bracket. With an easy-to-use platform, you don’t have to be a college basketball expert or technology whiz to make your choices and follow your team all the way to the championship.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

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