HR Hero Line

‘Twas the holiday spirit come around again (and just in time)

by Vanessa L. Towarnicky

‘Twas the month of December, the holiday season,
New year ’round the corner, my mind taxed beyond reason.
The workplace has been digitized down to an app.
My records and files appear with a tap. 

As do Pidgey and Horsea and even Hypno,
My Millennials have got me playing Pokémon GO.
But never during work; we all know the rule:
Use your own time to catch Tentacruel.
Or so our policies say about mobile devices,
For productivity suffers when Eevee entices.

The months passed by quickly, a really smooth ride.
I thought, “Hey, we’re finally hitting our stride.”
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an OSHA inspector in full hazard gear.

“That’s really not necessary,” I said with a smile,
While calling our attorney on my speed dial.
“We come when we want. We need no complaint.”
Another surprise and I swear I will faint.

The tweeting! The posting! The Clinton! The Trump!
Oh, Trans-Pac! Obama! Just get through this bump.

To the polls we went,
It was time to decide
Who would appoint a new justice
‘Cuz Scalia died.

The DOL clearly hates HR reps,
Implementing tough standards without giving us steps.
Nonexempt status has caused quite a fuss.
But now I won’t have to explain to Valerie and Gus:
“You’ll be paid by the hour and get overtime. No more salaried exempt; no more reason or rhyme.”

When the EEOC ruled on work wellness plans,
We double-checked our policy on medical exams.
Our program’s voluntary, with biometric screening.
My skyrocketing blood pressure gives stress a new meaning.

Now I’ve let loose the reins on the holiday party,
Delegating the task to Helga and Marty.
It seems that their plan for spreading good cheer
Has something to do with that hidden beer.

Not to worry, no matter, I’ve got just the thing.
Little do they know they’ll be Ubering.
I’ll hear them exclaim as they’re driven out of sight:
“Happy holidays, y’all. Peace out and good night!”

Vanessa L. Towarnicky is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. She may be contacted at