A Love for Law and a Penchant for Helping People
Photo by Catie Viox
She’s been on what she calls the sexual harassment training circuit since October 2017.
“The Harvey Weinstein allegations really tipped off the cultural dialogue about sexual harassment in the workplace,” says Megan Glowacki, an attorney in the Labor & Employment practice at Thompson Hine LLP. “Previous to that, certainly, we had employers who did annual or routine anti-harassment training, but those employers at that point were in the minority.”
Post Weinstein and the subsequent tsunami of similar allegations in work environments across the country, and with the burgeoning #MeToo movement, sexual harassment continues to be at the forefront of employees’ and employers’ minds, Glowacki notes. Although society may have thought the workplace sexual harassment problem had been addressed and fixed years ago, it wasn’t. She sees it every day in her line of work, so she wasn’t a bit surprised when the lingering lack of awareness on the subject came to glaring light.
“We’re dusting off harassment policies that may have been in an employee handbook for years but need updating. That’s the first step. I have been traveling everywhere, meeting with managers and employees to help them better understand the rules and requirements under the law, such as reporting obligations and how to maintain a safe and non-hostile work environment.”
Glowacki uses videos, hypothetical situations, questions and discussions to keep the training not lighthearted, but engaging. As such, she uses a lot of clips from old-time TV series because, the shows offer examples of traditional quid pro quo sexual harassment, Glowacki notes.
“Of course, when it’s not that kind of harassment at issue – maybe it’s more nebulous. A work environment that feels hostile, or not just one event but little events that leadup to an inappropriate work environment – it’s often harder to see,” Glowacki adds. “But I think it has been good to reopen everyone’s eyes, to realize that harassment goes beyond sexual, that harassment can be based on race, religion and sexual orientation. The dialogue that this movement started has been hopeful, and we’re seeing more employers value it.”
A Multifaceted Profession
Glowacki’s practice at Thompson Hine focuses on representing management clients in all areas of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on litigation involving employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, restrictive covenants, trade secrets and wage and hour disputes. She also represents private and nonprofit employers in collective bargaining negotiations, contract and discharge arbitrations, and unfair labor practice charges and she advises clients on the interpretation of labor agreements. While attending University of Cincinnati College of Law, Glowacki served as a legal intern for the National Labor Relations Board.
Glowacki’s “super broad-spectrum” career, as she describes it, keeps life interesting.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think, ‘Someone could write a book about this.’ Not me, of course, but someone,” she adds, with a chuckle. “What I love is, it’s a people practice. I’m on the phone, conference calls, counseling people, working through their issues, talking abut how we can strategize to come up with the best solutions, the best outcomes, within the law, for a company or an organization. That’s what keeps my work fresh and interesting.”
An affable attorney with a heart for people, Glowacki dedicates a portion of her time as a board member with Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor Project (VLP) and the Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio. The VLP recruits, trains and supports volunteer attorneys in providing high-quality legal services to low-income individuals who do not have the resources to pay for legal representation. The Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio is a nonprofit organization providing business and transactional legal services to nonprofit social service organizations that assist the disadvantaged or enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.
“I started as a volunteer with both organizations,” Glowacki explains. “I loved it because, again, for both groups, it’s direct involvement with the clients, understanding their needs and figuring out how we can assist them and see them through the issues they’re facing.”
Add to her multi-faceted legal work the fact that she is the mother of two children, ages 1 and 4 1/2, and, well …
“They’re getting to that busy age, so outside of work, I just love spending time with my family,” Glowacki says.
Keeping up with kids and her law practice at Thompson Hine share some similarities, according to the good-natured Glowacki.
“I don’t always know what’s going to happen next, so I just go with the flow. It all keeps me on my toes.”
Thompson Hine is located at 312 Walnut Street, 14th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.352.6503 or visit www.thompsonhine.com.