Whit Selert is senior of counsel at the law firm Fisher & Phillips, which helps clients navigate the rules and regulations that govern the employer-employee relationship: hiring, firing, workplace safety, discrimination, harassment and union issues. The firm is coordinating with Las Vegas to provide free HR training to downtown businesses.
What is the most interesting case you’ve handled?
Years ago, I represented a nationwide department store chain in a slip-and-fall claim brought by a wonderful 94-year-old woman who had shopped with that store every Tuesday for years. I ended up resolving the case by agreeing that the woman could enter the store a half-hour early every Tuesday for the rest of her life. She was so excited that her friends would have to watch through the window as she received this special privilege.
If you could change one thing about Southern Nevada, what would it be?
I would accelerate the pace of change and investment in the downtown and Arts District corridors. There is such a high concentration of talent in this community. Building an authentic urban environment where that talent can flourish is exciting, and experiencing it on foot is one of my favorite things to do.
What has been your most exciting professional project?
Wading into the often-contentious public-sector labor-relations arena is always exciting, and we’ve had several significant recent successes helping public-sector employers rein in and save hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term costs and liabilities.
What do you do after work?
I like to go to Frankie’s Tiki Lounge, walk my dog, build things in my garage and goof around with geometry.
Describe your management style.
Give responsibility, and reward those who can effectively and efficiently discharge that responsibility.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I assume we will still be one of the top labor and employment firms in the country, and I hope I’m still giving advice and guidance to help good businesses and good people do the right thing.
What is your dream job, outside of law?
It’s a toss-up between race car driver and beachside paddle board rental agent — because why not?
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Southern Spain or northwest Africa, because the layers of culture upon culture upon culture over such a long period of time makes for very complex and interesting communities.
Whom do you admire?
Leonardo da Vinci, because why wouldn’t you admire a multitalented vegetarian genius who mastered math, engineering, art and philosophy?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who drive and text. I don’t want to die while you try to type “lol” with your thumb.
What is something people might not know about you?
I was an Arabic linguist, interrogator and counter-intel agent for the U.S. Army.