Blog

paula-brantner-tech

Learn More About Paula

I’m Paula Brantner. Originally Paula was an employment lawyer.

I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was a little kid. So I became one, graduating in 1992 from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA. I knew when I arrived at law school that I wanted to do something to help others. After some of my first legal internships, I quickly gravitated towards employment law. Early in my legal career, I represented workers through a nonprofit helping low-income workers, a national LGBT civil rights organization, and small employment law firms.  More recently, I worked for a national association of employment lawyers and the leading union federation’s program for non-union members.

Then Paula was a nonprofit executive at Workplace Fairness.

Since 2001, I’ve been associated with the nonprofit organization Workplace Fairness. I first was the program director and became the executive director in 2008. Workplace Fairness (WF) was founded back in 1994 to educate workers about their legal rights and promote pro-worker public policy. With very limited resources and staff, WF began building the Internet’s best resource on employment law and workplace developments specifically designed for workers. I used my legal background to translate difficult employment law concepts for a lay audience who needed to understand what to do when something bad happened at work, like discrimination, harassment, wage and hour problems or a workplace injury.

Workplace Fairness is a terrific organization, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. Today, the Workplace Fairness website at www.workplacefairness.org has over 400 pages of FAQs on employment law topics, one of the very first nonprofit blogs (Today’s Workplace), and a free e-newsletter with the latest workplace developments (Workplace Week). There’s also a listing of employment attorneys who can help our site visitors with their workplace problem. The Workplace Fairness website now gets several million visitors each year (over 4 million as of fall 2016) and was twice nominated for a Webby (2006, 2008).  I continue my affiliation with the organization as a Senior Advisor. I still develop content for their website and assist lawyers and workers rights organizations with websites, website content and digital marketing strategy.

Now Paula is a “Work Whisperer” through PB Work Solutions, LLC.

I’ve talked to literally thousands of workers in person or via telephone, and millions more through the Internet throughout my career. As an employment lawyer, every day I saw workplace situations where someone needed help, but a lawyer was not necessarily the best person to provide that assistance. Chances are, you may not have a legal case, or even if you have one, you might not want to pursue it. Lawyers accept as clients only a small fraction of the people they talk to: some as low as only 3-5% of the potential clients who contact them. Because lawyers are so focused on helping their potential clients who will actually move forward with litigation, they may not have time to listen to your full story and advise you beyond limited legally-focused parameters.

I realized there had to be a better way. Over and over again, usually on a very limited basis, I advised people about fixing what they could and then moving on to something better. Through this approach, for which I coined the term “work whispering,” I could help those who needed more personalized assistance than a website could provide (even a comprehensive one like Workplace Fairness). I started PB Work Solutions, LLC, to help people in toxic workplace situations fix them. My dream is to one day see work whisperers throughout the country, as common as the clinics in your local pharmacy who help when you aren’t sure if you need a doctor or emergency room, but want a trained medical professional to help you figure out if you might have something serious.

Paula’s also a social entrepreneur, web content strategist and into techy stuff

In the process of learning about how to run a successful website and make money from doing it, I ran Workplace Fairness like a lean startup before Lean was a thing. I based my entrepreneurial strategy on my experiences at Startup Weekend, where in the course of a weekend, you build a startup company. At the 2013 Lean Impact Summit in New York City, my presentation on WF’s lean methodology won the People’s Choice Award. I was selected as a Google Fellow for the 2009 Personal Democracy Forum conference. I’m a former co-organizer and occasional speaker at NetSquared DC (Net2DC),  where “social changemakers and technological forerunners come together….”  I also know about SEO, content marketing, website redesigns and generating income from affiliate relationships. I’ve come a long way from law school, when the Internet barely existed….

Some other random stuff Paula knows and/or cares about

  • Pandas: I volunteer for the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC as an Asia Trail Interpreter.  I talk to visitors around the world about the National Zoo’s pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, Tai Shan, Bao Bao, and now Bei Bei. I’ve visited pandas around the world, including those at the two major breeding centers in China and the other U.S. zoos (Atlanta, GA; San Diego, CA; and Memphis, TN). Knowing so much useful and useless information about pandas has led to some interesting speaking opportunities: Story League DC; Nerd Nite DC; PechaKucha Silver Spring.
  • Karaoke: I used to be really scared of karaoke. First, I overcame my fear of singing publicly to be ready for a Workplace Fairness karaoke fundraiser. Then I got all crazy about it, singing every year at Netroots Nation, and at home in the DC metro area at Kostume Karaoke. Formerly I was in District Karaoke, a local karaoke league, on the team “I Knew You Were Treble.”
  • Camping at Assateague: As a little girl, I read the Misty of Chincoteague books.  I couldn’t have imagined then that one day I would hang out on the beach with Misty’s descendants, the wild ponies of Assateague. On multiple occasions, I’ve camped on Assateague and been to the Chincoteague Pony Penning, and it’s one of my favorite places in the world to be. I’ve also watched horses destroy a tent and take over a campsite — not my favorite thing.
  • Roller Derby: For a year, I was a member of the DC Rollergirls women’s flat-track roller derby league. I was Rock Clobster, #B-52 (Claw for short). It’s a really tough sport and I wasn’t very good at it, but I met some great people and learned a lot from the experience (prepared me for dealing with some bad workplace situations.)
paula-brantner-tech

Work Whispering: Do I Need It?

You’ve heard about the horse whisperers and dog whisperers who take a problem animal, apply their training and behavioral expertise, and everyone’s happy in the end? I do work whispering, applying my legal training and everything I know about workplace behavior to your toxic workplace situation.

You might need Work Whispering if…

  • You were fired or laid off and don’t know what to do next.
  • You’ve been harassed and don’t know whether to report it.
  • You just received a warning or are on disciplinary status and not sure if you’re at risk.
  • You’re not sure whether what happened to you violates the law, or even if it does, what to do next.
  • You have talked to an employment lawyer or two, but can’t decide whether you want to file a lawsuit.
  • You’re still working through the aftermath of losing your job, such as how you describe what happened to you.
  • You’re barely tolerating a bullying boss or a dysfunctional department and are not sure how much more you can take.
  • You need a reality check because what’s happening at work is so bizarre that you don’t even know where to begin.
  • Your significant other/friends/family members are tired of hearing about your job and want to hear an action plan.

Work whispering can help with any workplace-related situation that is holding you back in your career and keeping you from performing your very best.

Work Whispering addresses common workplace dilemmas

  • Feel like you’re making an already-screwed-up work situation worse?
  • Tired of spinning your wheels navigating a new world where you don’t have a job?
  • Wondering if you mishandled a work situation and there’s something you should be doing about it?
  • Have a new boss or significant change in your department, and your good job situation has suddenly gone bad?
  • Don’t know what is supposed to happen next or what to say when dealing with a workplace investigation or disciplinary process?
  • Trying to figure out if you need a lawyer or a therapist or a work coach or maybe even a boot camp sergeant to kick you into gear?

While every job situation is unique, chances are your work problem isn’t as complicated or unsolvable as you think it is. Work whispering can help you navigate a situation that has stopped you in your tracks.

Work Whispering puts you back on the path to success

  • Talk through your situation with someone who can help you sort everything out.
  • Learn about what resources are out there to help someone in your specific situation.
  • Develop an action plan to move on and leave your toxic workplace situation behind.
  • Get back on the path to success, in your career, your relationships and your life.

Maybe you just need a single session to share your story and get a reality check. Or you might need several sessions while we unravel a knotty situation that can’t be fixed overnight. I listen to your story and offer practical strategies and solutions for your toxic workplace situation. You can then focus on the plan for what’s next. If work has turned you into someone you no longer recognize, and you don’t know how to fix it, then work whispering can help.

You may not have heard of a work whisperer before, but I bet you know somebody who needs one. Ready to give it a try?

paula-brantner-tech

Work Whispering: Is It for You?

What is “Work Whispering,” anyway?

I call what I do “work whispering.” It’s an innovative approach to dealing with workplace problems, bringing my unique set of skills and experiences. I’m an experienced employment lawyer, but not your lawyer who is focused on your interests in the legal process. I’m familiar with workplace laws, government agencies and helpful workplace resources in your area. I’ve pretty much seen and heard it all when it comes to bad bosses, crazy coworkers, and dysfunctional drama at work. I understand what rights you do have, and what rights you might think you have, but unfortunately don’t.

Sometimes you just need someone to listen to your toxic work situation and then offer you practical advice to move forward. Someone who is not your significant other or best friend, but is a good listener and a logical thinker. Someone who has been in toxic workplace situations herself. Someone who had to figure out the hard way how to move on and keep her career on track.

You might need Work Whispering if…

  • You just got fired or laid off and don’t know what to do next.
  • You’ve encountered harassment and don’t know whether you should report it.
  • You’re not sure whether what happened to you violates the law, or even if it does, what to do about it.
  • You have talked to an employment lawyer or two, but are not sure whether you want to file a lawsuit.
  • You have a bullying boss or a dysfunctional department and am not sure how much longer you can take it.
  • You need a reality check because what has been happening at work is so bizarre that you don’t even know where to begin.
  • You’re still working through some issues in the aftermath of your employment, like how you describe what happened to you.
  • Your significant other/best friend/family members are tired of hearing you talk about your job and want you to come up with a plan of action.

Work Whispering provides workable solutions

  • Tired of spinning your wheels navigating a new world where you don’t have a job?
  • Don’t know what is supposed to happen next?
  • Feel like you’re making an already-screwed-up situation worse?
  • Wondering if you mishandled a work situation and there’s something you should be doing about it?
  • Trying to figure out if you need a lawyer or a therapist or a work coach or maybe even a boot camp sergeant to kick you into gear?

If your toxic work situation has turned you into someone you don’t recognize, and you don’t know how to fix it, then work whispering can help. Talk through your situation with someone who can help you sort everything out. Learn about what resources are out there to help someone in your situation. Develop an action plan to move on with your career and your life. Want to get back on the path to success, in your career and your life? That’s what work whispering does.

Maybe it’s a one-time session to share your story and get a reality check. Or you might need several sessions to unravel a knotty situation that can’t be fixed overnight. I listen to your story and offer practical strategies and solutions for your toxic workplace situation.

You may not have heard of a work whisperer before, but I bet you know somebody who needs one…maybe that’s you. Ready to give it a try?

paula-brantner-tech

Contact Us

Paula Brantner, Principal
PB Work Solutions

8121 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
240.242.7713

Have a specific question? Get in touch!





Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

paula-brantner-tech

About Paula Brantner

I’m Paula Brantner and I want to help you solve your problems at work. I’m a workplace lawyer, former nonprofit executive, and social entrepreneur. I’ve counseled thousands of workers, wrote the content for a website that has counseled millions more, and have won awards for websites and organizational innovation. And I love pandas….

Learn More About Paula

paula-brantner-tech

Solutions for a Toxic Workplace

Paula Professional CroppedGot a toxic workplace?

I’m Paula Brantner, and I know what a toxic workplace looks like. When you find yourself in a bad work situation, I can help you sort out what to do next, and find realistic solutions for your workplace problem.

As a lawyer for nearly 25 years, I’ve advised thousands of workers one-on-one, and millions more through the #1 employee rights website, www.workplacefairness.org. But I’m not looking to be your lawyer–there are many fantastic employee rights attorneys who will represent you if that’s what you need, and I can help you find them. There’s a huge gap between the point at which something bad happens to you at work, and the point at which you may need to file a lawsuit. If you find yourself in a toxic workplace situation, then I can help you move forward.

Finding solutions for your workplace problem

Committed to fixing your workplace problem?  Here are some of the solutions I can work with you to provide:

Looking to make your workplace better? Let’s get down to work!