Carol Goodman Named to 2022 National Law Journal Employment Law Trailblazers
The National Law Journal (NLJ) has named Carol Goodman, co-chair of Herrick's Litigation Department and chair of the firm's Employment Practice, to the annual list of Employment Law Trailblazers. Through the various Trailblazers special supplements, the NLJ spotlights professionals who are agents of change in their respective practice areas.
The NLJ feature includes a Q&A with Carol regarding her recognition.
What was the genesis of the idea/path that has made you a trailblazer?
Early in the pandemic, we struggled to understand the impact of COVID-19 on our health, safety and economy. The threat of business closures was real. Companies that were allowed to (or were required to) remain on-site had to deal with the safety of an already-reduced workforce. As a leader of my firm, and having decades of crisis management experience, I helped form and spearhead an emergency task force to guide companies through the pandemic. This ranged from assisting with federal relief grants and loans, to interpreting the ever-evolving executive orders. This involved interpreting and implementing federal, state and local COVID-19 work mandates, such as safety plans, contact tracing, mask mandates and eventually NYC’s vaccine mandates for public spaces and offices. With no legal precedent to follow, our employment group quickly became proficient in all issues and assisted our clients in staying in business, safely.
What sort of change has resulted from the concept?
My counsel to clients in this area continues to date as many businesses continue to recover, re-open or re-enter the workplace. Some companies have determined that they can thrive with a hybrid working environment while others are moving toward pre-pandemic routines. Recognizing that each industry is unique, there is one change in common. Companies that survived the pandemic have come out stronger with the tools needed to adapt in a crisis.
What bearing will this have on the future?
The pandemic has forced employers to think beyond COVID-19 and consider different work structures. Companies now have long-term safety plans for their organizations. In particular, organizations are in a much better position to act quickly to both protect their workers and endure minimal business interruption in any future crisis situation.