Harman Law - May/June 2020

May/June 2020



Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Lawyers


How Living With 3 Toddlers 24/7 Helped Me Grow as a Dad

Do you remember the video that went viral on Facebook a few years back of a dad doing a BBC interview? At first, things seem normal — the guy is wearing a nice suit and tie and speaking very professionally. But it isn’t long before a toddler in a bright yellow sweater boogies into the room behind him, followed by a baby scooting along in a walker. Moments later, his wife charges in, scoops up the kids, and hustles them out of the room, but not before everyone at the BBC (and later, everyone on the internet) has a good laugh at the man’s expense. That “Dad, Interrupted” video is the perfect description of my life during social distancing. Luckily I don’t have to do many video chats, but

I’ve started to preface every single call with an apology, saying, “There’s no way around it, you will hear kids in the background. With the dog, the cat, and three toddlers, I just have a lot of mammals in my house right now.” Thankfully, you have been endlessly patient with me through all of the pandemic craziness, and I haven’t gotten anything but laughter and understanding in response! I hope that by the time you get this newsletter, these social distancing restrictions are lifted. As I’m writing this, things are still far from normal. That said, because I’ve been spending so much more time with my kids, I have had one “normal” thing

“Practically every hour, I move to a different room in the house to take phone calls, playing musical chairs to avoid the noise.”

I can’t count the number of phone calls that have been derailed when one or two of our toddlers came hurtling into the room, screaming hysterically. I always go for the mute button but, of course, never get there in time. With my wife Jen and I both working from home, our house has turned into one big game of hide-and-seek with Emerson, Nolan, and Miles. Don’t get me wrong — I love being able to spend more time with my kids (and Jen and I lucked out because my mom still helps us with child care), but their constant attention makes working difficult. Practically every hour, I move to a different room in the house to take phone calls, playing musical chairs to avoid the noise. If the kids are upstairs, I move downstairs and vice versa. Once, when things were particularly chaotic and I had nowhere else to go, I even ended up in the garage! I thought I finally had things figured out, and for the first five minutes, the call was blissfully quiet. Then, of course, my neighbor’s lawn mowing service showed up and kicked on their commercial-grade equipment. My effort to escape the noisy kids backfired big time!

on my mind: Father’s Day. Becoming a dad in triplicate changed everything about my life — overnight, my whole world shifted from being all about my work and faith to being all about my kids. Now, this pandemic has changed things again, bringing me, Jen, and the kids closer than ever. It’s been challenging, of course, but it has also been a great adventure and a real test of my capabilities as a dad. Overall, I think I’ve been doing pretty well, even though I’ve had to scoop up an armload of toddler every once in a while and book it out of the room, just like the mom on the “Dad, Interrupted” video. Through all of this chaos, my family has been my rock, and I’m looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day with them this summer, whatever life might look like then. I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe through this crisis, too. If you’ve been hit hard — specifically, if you were one of the millions of Americans who lost a job this spring — I might be just the guy to help. Check out the rest of this newsletter to find out what I can do for you right now.

Wishing you the best,

–Michael Harman


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

Bird-Watching for Beginners


Gear Up One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later. Go Exploring Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest.

Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started. Educate Yourself Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries.

Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!

So You’ve Been Laid Off — Now What?

2. Evaluate your savings and consider aid options. After you file for unemployment, consider the amount of money you have in savings and tied up in assets. How long can you pay your bills with those funds? If your situation is dire, you may need to temporarily rely on forms of aid beyond unemployment, like local food banks, welfare, or temporary assistance. If you’re sick or struggling with a disability, other options might be open to you, too, including Social Security Disability Insurance. Visit USA.gov/unemployment#Item-36912 to learn more. 3. Figure out if you were wrongfully terminated. North Carolina is an at-will employment state, so an employer can fire a worker for unjust or ridiculous reasons, and even for no reason at all. However, that rule doesn’t allow for termination that violates a law or contract. If you were wrongfully terminated, you might be able to sue your employer for compensation. 4. Seek help from an employment law attorney. If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully terminated or fired as retaliation, an experienced employment law attorney can help you take legal action. Here at Harman Law, we have an incredible team ready to step in on your behalf. If you’re ready to take next steps — or even if you just have questions about your situation — reach out to us today at 704-885-5550. We’re ready to help you through this.

In the third week of March, more than 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits. That was a record number, and because not everyone can file for unemployment, it hinted that even more people were likely out of work. If you (or a loved one) lost your job or had your hours dramatically reduced this spring, we can help. Here at Harman Law, we know how paralyzing unemployment can be. If you’re stuck, take these steps to start getting back on your feet.

1. File for unemployment. This step is crucial to ensuring you still have income while you’re out of work. Not everyone qualifies for unemployment benefits, but most people who have been laid off or seen their hours dramatically reduced do. To check if you’re eligible and apply online, visit FileUnemployment. org/north-carolina. Keep in mind that in our state, you need to be unemployed for a week before you can accrue benefits.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

Let Us Take SomeWeight OffYour Shoulders


5 Ways an Employment Lawyer Can Help You Through This Crisis

Here at Harman Law, we believe it’s vital we support each other through this pandemic. One of our strengths is employment law, and our team is ready to leverage those skills to help you. However, we know if you’re not a lawyer, it can be tricky to pin down exactly what an employment attorney can do for you! Here’s a quick rundown.

A great employment lawyer can ...

• Help you figure out if your employer is treating you ethically, and protect you if they’re not. Even if your job is stable, you’re likely seeing a lot of changes and upheaval in your workplace. If anything strikes you as odd, makes you uncomfortable, or is putting you in danger, consult an employment lawyer. We can help you identify your rights and hold your employer accountable in court. • Direct you to next steps and resources if you lose your job. Employment lawyers help people through the unemployment process every day, and we can do the same for you! See page 2 for more information on this facet of our business. • Fight for your compensation in court if you’re let go unlawfully. If you were recently laid off and suspect you were a victim of employment retaliation or wrongful termination, we can help! We’ll see if you have a case and take your employer to court if necessary so you get the compensation you deserve. • Fight for your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if you take time off because of illness. Depending on your employer and work history, you may be able to take advantage of the FMLA if you or a family member falls victim to COVID-19. We can help you find out if you’re eligible and ensure you can take leave without retaliation. • Guide you to best practices if you’re an employer or business owner yourself. If you’re an entrepreneur struggling with this economic downturn, we can steer you through the process of making staff changes to ensure you’re complying with the law. With our help, you can do right by your employees and protect your business. If any of these services would help take weight off your shoulders, please reach out to us today. You can get in touch at HarmanLawNC.com or by calling 704-885-5550.

Solution on Page 4

Springtime Cacio e Pepe

Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of cacio e pepe, which is Italian for cheese and pepper. This dish combines a wholesome flavor profile with fresh, seasonal ingredients to satisfy any craving.


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6 oz multigrain spaghetti 8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup baby arugula

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1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp lemon zest


1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7 minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.


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

Social Distancing With the Triplets 1

Sudoku Solution

Bird-Watching for Beginners So You’ve Been Laid Off — NowWhat? 2 Springtime Cacio e Pepe 5 Ways an Employment Lawyer Can Help You in a Crisis 3

Celebrate the NBA Playoffs With Some Championship History 4


The NBA playoffs typically rule the sporting world from April to June every year, so there’s no better time to take a look back at some of the greatest championship runs in the league’s modern history. The 1991 Chicago Bulls Many Chicago fans remember where they were when the Bulls won their first title in 1991 — in fact, most basketball fans know about this historic title run. The road to the championship took the Michael Jordan-led Bulls through Detroit. Back then, the Detroit Pistons were known as the “Bad Boys” in the NBA, and they won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. But the Bulls — backed by head coach Jim Boylen’s philosophy that every player on the team had value — shut down the Pistons on their route to the championship. The Bulls would go on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, win their first championship, and cement Michael Jordan’s legacy. The 2003 Los Angeles Lakers The early 2000s were a prime period for basketball, in large part thanks to Los Angeles Lakers legends

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In 2003, the Lakers were looking for a repeat victory to make them back-to- back NBA champions. Having gone 15-1 in the playoffs, the Lakers only lost once in the finals. This is even more impressive when you consider that the teams they faced housed six future Hall of Fame players and none had any major injuries. The Lakers would go on to win their second championship in a row and win once again the following year to join the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls as three-peat titleholders. The 2017 Golden State Warriors Much like their LA counterparts did in 2003, the Golden State Warriors were undefeated heading into the NBA Finals. Thanks to the addition of superstar Kevin Durant, the team’s regular-season record of 67-15 propelled them into a hot streak in the championships. What’s even more impressive about this season was the Warriors’ plus-13.5 point differential against championship-caliber teams, and they even managed to handily defeat future Hall of Fame player LeBron James when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

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