Workers are dressing more casually. Does that affect productivity?

Miami Herald titleBy Cindy Krischer Goodman

As the summer brings sweltering heat, office dress is shifting. Skirts and sleeves are shorter, sandals are prevalent, and both seasoned professionals and the summer’s crop of interns test the boundaries of casual dress.

But as office dress codes become more relaxed, some employers worry that the work ethic will weaken. Will wearing polo shirts to the office discourage employees from staying past 6 p.m.? Will dressing in khakis instead of a power suit make a manager less likely to invite clients to lunch? Will wearing sandals lessen someone’s motivation to negotiate a deal?

Alan Kluger_063 greySome employers give their employees leeway to dress up or down, asking mostly that they “be presentable” in the office. At the Miami law firm of Kluger Kaplan, lawyers often walk the hallways in nice jeans and a button-down shirt. But when they go to court, Alan Kluger urges attorneys to dress the part and insists it creates confidence and credibility: “If you’re in front of a jury, you want to be the lawyer they want to hire. Dress makes a difference in the courthouse, it just does.”

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Where did nursing home patient’s $2 million go? Son says he knows — and sues

Miami Herald titlenursing home

Over a span of more than five years, staff members of a Northeast Miami-Dade nursing home managed to bilk a former client out of more than $2 million, an attorney representing the man’s son claimed in a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Zachary Ziskin, on behalf of his father, Avigdor Ziskin, alleges that Regents Park at Aventura, 18905 NE 25th Ave., did not properly screen its employees, leading to the theft.

Ziskin’s team of attorneys — Bruce Katzen, Marko Cerenko and James Diamond — detailed Ziskin’s time at the home and how he lost his fortune in a 19-page lawsuit filed June 21 naming only the home.

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South Florida Condo Boards Rip Off Consumers with High Application Fees

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Kluger Kaplan’s Josh Rubens weighs in on the condo controversy in the front cover of the Miami Herald story.

Condo associations across South Florida are ripping off consumers with high application fees in violation of state law, a Miami Herald investigation has found.

The Americans with Disabilities Act opened doors

July 26 marked the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law passed in 1990 that for the first time in our history created nationwide standards for combating discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, telecommunications relay services and government activities.

The Act has led to a number of significant legal decisions, which have helped to balance the rights and responsibilities of workers with disabilities and their employers. For example, the ADA requires owners of stores, restaurants and other public locations to provide access to people with disabilities — this is something we often take for granted.

As a labor and employment attorney, I often deal with cases involving the ADA. It is imperative that employers understand the law and the consequences of noncompliance.

Despite the ADA creating a benchmark for employers, it also created a strong foundation for lawmakers to build on and provide even broader protections for disabled workers. For example, President George W. Bush amended the law in 2008 and more recently, President Obama signed an executive order, requiring the federal government to hire 100,000 new employees with disabilities by 2015.

The ADA, like many other laws designed to combat discrimination, is successfully furthering the cause for equality among all people. With about 20 percent of the labor force made up of people with disabilities, everyone should take a moment to reflect on the importance of this law and be cognizant of its impact on our workforce in places of public accommodation, and how it has improved the quality of life for millions of Americans.

Michael Landen, Miami

The letter was published by the Miami Herald.