Harman Law September 2019

September 2019



Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Lawyers


Why I Decided to Start My Own Law Firm

Some lawyers say they’ve known law was their calling from toddlerhood, but I’m not going to lie — there’s a good chance I only ended up a lawyer because I love school and helping people makes me happy. It’s as simple as that, and, in the beginning, the law had nothing to do with it. I actually got my undergraduate degree in history before going on to enter an MBA program. Then, I took a job at the YMCA in

“While I don’t have any beef with the companies I worked for in those early days, it didn’t take me long to realize I would do things differently when it was my name on the wall.”

Iredell County, of all places. It seemed a bit out of left field to some people, but in hindsight, I think the customer service work I did there really helped inform the kind of lawyer I’d be — and because the Y is the reason I met my wife, Jen, I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything. When my love of learning eventually pulled me back to school, I chose law because of the opportunities for independence it provided and because I wanted to give Jen a comfortable life. school and quickly learned the ropes. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I knew from the start I wanted to open my own business, so my mission was to gain enough experience to start my own firm. While I don’t have any beef with the companies I worked for in those early days, it didn’t take me long to realize I would do things differently when it was my name on the wall. When I opened Harman Law PLLC, I got to make those dreams a reality. My two biggest innovations were simple: I wanted to prioritize a healthy work-life balance for my staff (and myself) and put my clients first. For the latter, I quickly put my experience in employment and personal injury law to work. The choice paid off on both counts. I worked in employment and personal injury law after I left law

Every job I’ve ever had has been customer-service oriented, and being an attorney is no exception. It’s not that the firms I worked for in the past didn’t care about their clients; they did, but I thought they could do more. Giving clients a good experience has always been very important to me, particularly because the folks I see at my practice are going through difficult times. My staff and I make it a point to give one- on-one attention to everyone who walks through the door at Harman Law, and for me, that means almost never turning away cases, even ones that, from a business standpoint, I’d be smarter to say no to. If I think we can get a reasonable outcome for a client, I’ll take their case even if it isn’t profitable. As for my other goal, having the flexibility to balance my work and home life is huge. Because Jen and I have little ones now — 2-year-old triplets Nolan, Miles, and Emerson — and I like to spend time with them before I head into work, being able to get to the office at 9:30 a.m. each day has been a real gift. Outside of work, the triplets keep me and Jen busy. We love taking them to local festivals, farmers markets, and the beach in their triple stroller. Watching football together at home or in the stands and scrambling after them as they toddle around the house in three different directions keeps us on our toes (okay, maybe we don’t love that part so much). Speaking of football, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this is my favorite time of year. When I’m not busy helping my clients, you’ll find me cheering on the Carolina Panthers, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Virginia Tech Hokies. Here’s to an amazing 2019- 2020 season!

–Michael Harman


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

DoYou Need a Discrimination Lawyer?


T he word “discrimination” usually when it comes to the law, the definition of discrimination in the workplace is much more far-reaching? If you’ve been discriminated against or terminated because of your age, gender identity, military service, citizenship, skin color, disability, AIDS/HIV diagnosis, pregnancy, genetic information, medical condition, or use of a legal substance (like alcohol or tobacco) outside of work, then Harman Law can help. Although we handle all forms of discrimination in the workplace, we have a particular passion for helping those being discriminated against on the basis of a disability at work. Proving workplace discrimination isn’t easy, but both federal and North Carolina state laws make it illegal to discriminate against or terminate an employee based on inherent characteristics and traits. Specifically, if you feel you are being discriminated against on the basis of disability at work, you should consult with an experienced employment attorney right away to see if you are a victim of illegal workplace discrimination. suggests issues related to race, sex, and religion, but did you know that,

If you answered “yes” to either of the questions, then you and your experienced employment attorney will begin to discuss your rights and available remedies under the law. The key at this point will be to put yourself in a position to receive the compensation you deserve. Start by filing a charge for discrimination against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This alone can be an overwhelming and daunting task and is one more reason to have an experienced employment attorney on your side, a true asset. We are always here to help. We can answer your questions and be with you every step of the way. You may feel like you can handle this on your own. You may even think this is “no big deal” or a “slam dunk.” It may even start out that way. However, we are experienced in these cases and know that often, even those cases that seem cut and dried, can turn on the smallest of issues you don’t anticipate. And, if you don’t have an experienced attorney on your side when that happens, you may be left all alone, without any options and with nowhere to turn. Start out with your best chance of success. We are here to listen. We will explain everything along the way. This is your case, and we are here to advise you and represent your best interests. So, call Harman Law to speak with an experienced employment attorney today. We will set up an appointment that works with your schedule, discuss your issues, answer your questions as best we can, and discuss your options and possible remedies. Remember — you are our focus. And making your client experience exceptional is always our goal. At Harman Law, our clients come first. Call us at 704-766-8729 today and start getting your life back.

“If you feel you are being discriminated against on the basis of disability at work, you should consult with an experienced employment attorney right away to see if you are a victim of illegal workplace discrimination.”

a few ADA definitions and situations: The ADA defines a person with a disability as someone who “has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” That applies even if you’re no longer disabled or if you aren’t disabled but are “regarded as having a disability.” The size of the company is vital because very small, private companies have their own set of rules. Additionally, it is important to discuss your workplace situation further with your attorney to identify any other issues. Consider the following questions: 1. Did your employer fail to provide reasonable accommodations for your “disability”? 2. Were you fired from your job despite being qualified for the work and able to perform your essential duties?

When preparing to meet with your employment attorney, you should consider


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com


Stay Safe This Season

3 Fall Safety Tips to Live By

September cues one of North Carolina’s most beautiful seasons, ushering in months of leaf spotting, apple bobbing, pumpkin picking, and hot cider sipping. With all of that autumn excitement, it’s easy to forget that the changing season also brings some specific hazards to be aware of. Keep these three tips in mind so you can stay safe this fall.

Watch for ChangingWeather

While it’s rare for North Carolina to see ice or snow until winter arrives, fall marks the last gasp of the season for tropical cyclones and brings the most rapid temperature changes of the year. Those dips and spikes can create slick frost, a hazard to pedestrians, and dense fog, which can cause problems for walkers, bikers, and drivers alike.

Keep an Eye Out While You Drive

Solution on Page 4

While fog and damp roads can be dangerous, people on foot are the biggest concern for drivers in the fall months. Families head outdoors more often when the weather cools down to go for long walks and bike rides or work in their yards trimming back bushes and raking leaves. Keep a sharp eye out for those pedestrians when you’re on the road, and in particular, watch out for kids who will be leaping into leaf piles and scrambling house to house in the dark on Halloween. Speaking of leaf piles, you should take just as much care working in your yard as you do on the road. Activities like raking and bagging leaves, cutting back dead foliage, and trimming tree branches can expose you to the risk of slipping and falling. In particular, be careful when climbing on ladders to trim trees — always make sure your ladder is stabilized and avoid working alone if you can. The same goes for any manual labor you might do outdoors at work: Take extra care, just in case. If worst comes to worst and you’re injured in an accident through no fault of your own, whether on the road or at work, give Harman Law a call at 704-766-8729. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Do YardWorkWith Care

Classic Apple Crisp

What do you do when apples are in season but you don’t have time to make a pie? You opt for a crisp, of course.


Filling: •

Topping: •

5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

• • • •

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

• • •

6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins. 3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Mix in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.


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

What Sets Harman Law Apart 1

Sudoku solution

Are You Facing Discrimination at Work? 2 Classic Apple Crisp 3 Fall Safety Tips to Live By 3 NFL Lowers Concussion Rates in 2018 4

A HEAD ABOVE The NFL’s Newest Rule Changes to Decrease Concussions

Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle. Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game-costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape. Despite the backlash, offseason reports may suggest that these rules have influenced concussion rates. The NFL reported a 24% decline in the number of concussions between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, lowering the total from 281 in 2017 to 214 in 2018 when combined with preseason play. In the regular season alone, the number of reported concussions was 135 compared to 190 from the year prior.

However, it’s worth noting that 2017 saw high recorded rates of concussions. Figures going as far back as 2012 indicate that 2017 was one of the most concussed years in recent football history. Still, NFL and medical officials point to 2018’s decrease in concussions as a positive sign that league initiatives are working. Officials say the new rules helped push the numbers down, and the use of more sideline concussion protocol testing and increased advanced helmet technology aided in this boost. The NFL reported that 74% of its players were nowwearing its latest protective headgear, a 33% increase from 2017. According to USA Today, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, also indicated that medical teams across the league performed more sideline concussion tests than any year prior and saw a 75% decrease in diagnosing. The league is considering testing mouthguard technology that would give medical teams more information for diagnosing concussions. As we prepare for another season of football, there’s no telling what 2019’s numbers will show about the NFL’s latest safety protocols, but if 2018 was any indication, they just might be headed in the right direction.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

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