When it comes to looking for a new job, interviewing can be the most intimidating part of the process. But interviewing doesn’t have to be nerve-inducing. It’s a great opportunity to let your experience shine and a major step in your career.
Get to know Northwell’s interview process and hear from our recruiters about their best advice to help your next interview be a success.
What is the Northwell Health interview process?
While our most common steps are outlined above, the process may vary given the variety of positions at Northwell. Our Talent Acquisition team is also always looking to improve the candidate experience with innovative technology. This means that candidates aren’t limited to traditional phone screens and in-person interviews. Text message screening and on-demand or live video interviews are common to make interviewing as convenient as possible for the candidates. It is important to note that Northwell recruiters will always have an @northwell.edu email address and our communications will always be clear that they are from Northwell Health.
Phone interviews are usually the first opportunity for candidates to leave an impression with our recruiters. “A phone interview should be taken just as seriously as an in-person interview. The same rules apply: professionalism and proper articulation,” says Marisol Antunez, a senior recruiter with our Talent Acquisition team. “Make sure you have good service so there is no static or a chance the call would drop.”
Beyond one-on-one interviews, candidates may also be asked to come on-site for a panel interview. “Northwell is an extremely collaborative culture, meaning panel interviews may be common for clinical roles,” advises Robin Moreno, senior recruiter. But she sees panel interviews as a benefit for our candidates. “Don’t be intimidated. Look at it as an opportunity to network with several people that you may potentially be working with one day.”
How can a candidate prepare for an interview?
When it comes to preparing for an interview, our recruiters all had the same advice: come prepared!
“Be on time, and do your research,” suggests Shannon Skaee, senior recruiter. “Often times doing your research can be what sets you apart from other candidates which may help drive decisions in the end.”
Recruiter Jennifer LaPolla agrees, “Familiarize yourself with the job description for the role. You should be ready to answer, ‘why do you want this job?’ and reading the description will help you answer that question.”
Other advice? Be confident about your skills. Review your own resume ahead of time so you can provide short, organized examples of your experience as well as transferrable skills. At Northwell, we value being Truly Ourselves so letting your personality shine in your interview can also help leave a positive and memorable impression on the interviewer.
Looking at Glassdoor can be another great resource for candidates. Previous candidates share their interview experience and give insight into what can be expected. While each interview is different, candidates can also leave examples of questions they were asked during their Northwell interview. Here are some of the most common:
What’s your experience in the medical field?
What are some ways you can help improve patient experience?
Tell us about a time when you were faced with a difficult or upset patient. How did you handle it?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What qualities do you have that would help you succeed in a stressful and busy environment?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
After your interview, don’t forget to send a thank you note to your everyone you interviewed with along the way while you wait for your recruiter to reach out regarding next steps.
Now that you know what it’s like to interview at Northwell, it’s time to apply! Explore jobs today.
When it comes to delivering care at home, there are several career opportunities available. In addition to providing clinical home care visits, nurses can also work as home care registered nurse liaisons, which is a vital role that helps our patients understand how to prepare for their path to recovery before they leave the hospital.
What does a career as a home care RN liaison entail?
These nurses meet with patients and their families to explain the different types of care and services Northwell offers to help patients recover once they leave the hospital. They also coordinate with the facilities and Northwell Health at Home to schedule visits and to ensure the patient has a smooth transition from care in our hospitals to care at home.
This unique nursing position lets nurses enjoy autonomy while still getting a lot of time with patients. “I’ve been with Northwell since 2012 and have flourished in this position ever since,” says Madeleine Cotroneo, a home care RN liaison with Northwell Health at Home. “With over 15 years of home care experience, I was looking to utilize my experience to help influence and evolve the patient’s transition from the hospital to their home and step away from bedside care.”
And as a home care RN liaison, nurses like Madeleine are able to do just that. Some of their day-to-day responsibilities include:
Assessing the patient to recommend the appropriate services
Communicating with doctors, therapy staff, social workers, and other healthcare professionals to better understand the patient’s needs
Explaining the options for services to the patient and family
Speaking to the physician to ensure continuity of care
“Speaking with the patients and their families is my favorite part of the job,” says Candie Decker, home care RN liaison. “Transitioning home after a hospital and rehab stay can be scary for the patients and their families. I like to think I assist with a smooth transition and put their minds at ease.”
Other advantages of the job? Home care RN liaisons work at multiple locations within a region, allowing them to meet and connect with different people. Following a traditional work week also guarantees them weekends off to spend time with their family and friends.
As a registered nurse for 25 years, Candie has found working in home care to be the most rewarding, especially her current position: “I highly recommend a RN liaison position to any nurse who enjoys working directly with people and who wants to make a difference in the lives of their patients.”
How to strive and thrive on alternate work schedules
From more time spent with your family during the day to running errands without the crowds, there are a lot of advantages to working nights and weekends. We asked some of our Northwell Health team members who work shifts other than days about how they make the most of their alternate schedules.
Their tips? Technology, helpful neighbors and flexible spouses are just some of the things helping our team members manage their social lives and family time, including childcare.
Anacleto Bristol Ward Clerk, Emergency Services, Plainview Hospital
“I let [friends] know my time constraints and I reconcile my calendar with them. My phone’s calendar app is invaluable for this. I color code it with colors for work, night/social life and ‘me time.’”
Lucy Grant Administrative Supervisor, Northern Westchester Hospital “I have been doing this for 29 years. When the kids were young, my husband was there. I also was lucky enough to have a neighbor who babysat.”
When it comes to adjusting to a new shift, getting adequate sleep and shifting from work to family/social time and back, our team members suggested blackout curtains, preparing meals ahead of time and being organized about scheduling. Here are their tips and tricks for staying healthy:
Patrick Wang ED Technician, Emergency Department, LIJ Medical Center “Power nap on your breaks. Keep in touch with your friends and family but understand that you also need time to yourself to decompress. Everyone needs some alone time to ease their mind.”
Caitlin Vega Registered Nurse, Brain Injury Unit, Glen Cove Hospital “Avoid coffee after a certain time during the night and eat fruits instead. Work out, try to eat right and drink a lot of water.”
No matter what one’s work hours may be, balancing multiple priorities is a universal goal. We asked our shift workers how they make the most of their time off. Several said that doing chores and running errands when most people are at work frees up the rest of their time for what matters most: family, friends and healthy activities.
Amanda Zilnicki Registered Nurse, Emergency Department, Peconic Bay Medical Center “I sleep, clean, do yardwork, do homework, or go to the beach or gym. Great time because no one is home to bother you and public places aren’t as crowded.”
Natasha Vasquez Registered Nurse, Labor & Delivery, Southside Hospital
“I plan once a month group mommy dates and once a month date night with the hubby.”
Denise Walker Supervisor, Patient Access Services, Emergency Department, Peconic Bay Medical Center “I love riding my motorcycle, and during the day and during the week I get the most time in. When it’s a weekend, my husband and I will go for a ride and stop different places and enjoy the island. I also get the shopping done.”
Overall, we learned that our team members have impressive goals, are incredibly organized with their schedules, and are focused on healthy habits. With these helpful tips, they’re able to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle outside of their alternate work schedule.
Are you Made for delivering care on an alternate schedule? Apply today!
Black History Month: Celebrating our differences in healthcare
At Northwell, we stand united together, celebrating our differences and respecting each other being Truly Ourselves. February is Black History Month, and we sat down with Kaye-Lani Brissett, Project Manager at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health and Bernard Robinson, MHA, Regional Director at the Center for Emergency Medical Services to learn about their background, leadership journey, inspirations and the importance of reigniting humanism in healthcare.
What is your ethnic background and family origin?
BERNARD: I am African American. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. My family can be traced to Harlem, Mississippi and Virginia. KAYE-LANI: I was born in Jamaica, Montego Bay and came to America when I was six years old to live with my father. Both parents were born and raised in Jamaica, Montego Bay.
When did you know wanted to work in healthcare?
BERNARD: I have always been drawn to the medical field. My father is a retired FDNY EMS Lieutenant. I remember him telling me stories of operating at the emergency scene. I knew then that I wanted to do the same. KAYE-LANI: Growing up I was surrounded by family members working in the healthcare field. Through their influence I knew I wanted to be in healthcare as well. Although I thought nursing was my route, I still have a passion to help and care for others. I soon discovered the option of obtaining my Masters in Health Administration and having the option to help and care for people.
What’s the best part of your job?
BERNARD: For me, the best part is being able to affect change that impacts the entire organization. When I was a paramedic, my decisions would impact one patient at a time. As a director, I’m able to develop polices, and make decisions that will impact every one of our EMTs, paramedics and the patients. KAYE-LANI: The best part of my job is that I have the pleasure of being a part of a faith-based initiative called Bridging Communities of Faith and Health. This enables me to practice my passion for helping clergy. leaders by coordinating educational programs, lectures and training for their congregations and surrounding community.
What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month”?
BERNARD: It makes me reflect on the contributions that black people have made to this country. It’s a chance for all Americans to celebrate and remember what black people have been able to accomplish and contribute, in spite of the circumstances we’ve faced. KAYE-LANI: When I think about “Black History Month” I think about the triumphs, resiliency and people putting their life on the line to enable change for their community and country. I think about change makers and like-minded people coming together and hearing the stories of people who have paved the way for the people.
Is there a specific leader from history and/or present day that inspires you?
BERNARD: Rev. Jesse Jackson is an inspiration to me. I was a teenager when he ran for President and I remember how he would encourage everyone, young and old, when he spoke. He inspired me to believe, “I am somebody.” My current day inspiration is Robert F. Smith. For a black man to return to a historically black college/university and wipe out the debt of the graduating class stands as a reminder of how far we’ve come. KAYE-LANI: There are quite a few inspiring and fearless leaders that I look up to, especially Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker and Maya Angelou.
Why, more than ever, do we need to reignite humanism in healthcare?
BERNARD: It is important that we not only conduct business but that we are an active part of the communities we serve. My department has been establishing relationships in many communities through various projects. We have been operating as an Explorers Post in Hempstead Village for eight years, helping to introduce high school students to the world of EMS through training and mentoring by our EMTs and paramedics. We just started a second program at Lenox Hill Hospital and a third will be starting in Queens. We also hold food and clothing drives and other great community-based projects, such as our Packages of Hope initiative where our staff hands out care packages to homeless men and women who they encounter while working. We have great relationships with the communities we serve, and that’s what healthcare should be about. KAYE-LANI: Reigniting humanism in healthcare is essential because human beings are at the core of everything healthcare related. It is imperative that the people we care for and employ are protected. As Ella Baker said “Give light and people will find the way.” At the Katz Institute for Women’s Health I do this by coordinating educational lectures and trainings for houses of worships to educate and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Northwell Health celebrates Lunar New Year and welcomes the Year of the Rat
Written by: Bridges Asian BERG Co-Chairs
Lunar New Year Traditions
Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is one of the most important traditional festivals in certain Asian cultures such as Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. It is also a time for families to be together and celebrate a year of hard work and wish for a lucky and prosperous coming year.
Red is the main color for the festival, as it is believed to be a “lucky” color. Red lanterns are also displayed in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with pictures and writings representing prosperity.
In Chinese culture, New Year’s Eve dinner is called “reunion dinner” and is believed to be the most important meal of the year, where families sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Certain foods are eaten during the New Year’s Eve dinner, because of their symbolic meanings, based on their names or appearances, like fish, sticky rice cake, oranges, dumplings, noodles, as they symbolize abundance, fortune and longevity.
To wish someone Happy New Year in Mandarin, say “xīn nián kuài lè” (新年快乐) and in Cantonese, “Gong Hey Fat Choi” (恭喜发财).
In Korean culture, Lunar New Year is referred to as Seollal or Gujeong. During Seollal, it is customary to visit family to show respect to the elders by taking a deep bow to those senior to them as a form of greeting; this is called sebae. The celebration lasts for three days, starting the day before and ending the day after the Lunar New Year.
Seollal comes bearing many gifts for the family which can vary from money to hangwa (traditional sweets and cookies), shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, or gift sets of meat or fruits. It is also a time for the entire family to gather and play traditional games like yunnori. It is played by throwing four sticks and moving your game markers around the board depending on the number of up-facing sticks. Each team has four markers and the first team to get all four of their markers around the board wins.
During the celebration, a traditional clear soup, called tteokguk is served. It is made with sliced rice cakes, beef, egg, vegetables, and other ingredients. The clear broth is believed to symbolize starting out the year with a clean mind and body.
To wish Happy New Year in Korean, say “sae hae bok manhi bah doo seh yo” (새해 복 많이 받으세요), which means hope you have much good luck in the new year.
Northwell Celebrates Lunar New Year Traditions
On January 25th, for the tenth consecutive year, contingents from Northwell Health, members of the Bridges Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) and Community Relations marched in the Lunar New Year Parade in downtown Flushing, New York. The parade is the highlight of Lunar New Year celebrations in Flushing, including dragon dancers, kettle drummers and fireworks. The march draws a considerable number of spectators each year.
Spanning a total of 15 days, the Lunar New Year is a joyous time of renewal marked by gatherings with family and friends, elaborate feasts, parades, fireworks and gift giving. 2020 is the year of the Year of the Rat (or Mouse) and it marks the return of spring and reunion of family.
Northwell’s Bridges Asian BERG leads, Suki To and Lulu Liu, collaborated with Lenox Hill Hospital’s Human Resources department, Northwell’s Diversity and Health Equity (D&HE) Site Council, and team members from Lenox Hill’s cafeteria to provide a taste of traditional foods served during the Lunar New Year. This included Chinese, Japanese and Korean rice cakes, traditional New Year candies, dry fruits and tea tastings.
Members of the Chinese Association of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research (CAFI), led by President Dr. Dan Li, and the Feinstein’s Diversity Committee, celebrated the Lunar New Year with a luncheon for members who also sang traditional New Year songs. The Feinstein workforce were invited to share a special New Year cake and learn more about the holiday.
We also hosted a packing event, to prepare giveaways to be distributed during the parade in Flushing. Team members assisted by helping to pack bags and red envelopes filled with a special chocolate gold coin. Red envelopes are usually gifts presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or holidays. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is a symbol to ward off evil spirits. The envelopes are usually given to children by the elder of the household.
During the packing event, Northwell Health’s Lunar New Year mascot made a surprise appearance!
Northwell Health and members of its Bridges Asian Business Employee Resource Group (BERG), wish you good health, good luck and an abundance of happiness throughout the year.
An Appointment With: Emily Kagan-Trenchard, VP, Digital & Innovation Strategy
When Emily Kagan-Trenchard started her career at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2007, she was responsible for overseeing and modernizing their website with a new look and feel. She quickly saw the critical role that our digital tools play in the way we deliver care to our patients. From there, Emily embraced the opportunity to continue to expand Northwell’s digital footprint, eventually joining our corporate digital marketing team.
Today as vice president of digital and innovation strategy, Emily helps to lead the Digital Patient Experience (DPX) team who are setting the vision for our patient-facing digital tools to enhance their overall experience.
We sat down with Emily to discuss the innovative work of our DPX team.
Tell us about the Digital Patient Experience team and how they impact the organization.
We know that our patients want to access tools and services from Northwell in the same ways they manage the rest of their life – through simple, seamless apps and websites. The DPX team is focused on innovations that help us care for patients in this brave new digital world. We’re a group of architects, engineers, designers, researchers, analysts, strategists and more, all dedicated to building a connected digital experience for Northwell, especially within the ambulatory experience. From booking online to digitizing forms, paying a bill to reaching customer support, we’re making it possible for patients to easily complete these tasks online, and manage their care all in one place.
What are some innovative projects you are currently working on?
We recently launched the Northwell app, which allows patients to manage their personal information, book appointments online with a growing list of doctors, see past and upcoming appointments, pay bills, find care, connect to Follow My Health and more. While this app unlocks essential features for our patients, it’s really just the start of what will be possible.
A few other innovative initiatives include:
Developing a completely virtual check-in process, and already have a pilot program where you can complete your doctor’s office forms digitally at home.
Testing several kinds of biometric identification tools so that one day patients can check into a doctor’s visit with nothing but a selfie – the same way Face ID technology opens our phones.
Developing tools that will help personalize a patient’s visit such as nicknames, hobbies or interests – so they are remembered wherever they go at Northwell.
Why is having a team like this important to Northwell and our patients?
Technology has the potential to make so many complex things simple, understandable and stress-free. The DPX team identifies new technologies and trends, evaluates how technology could help us better care for our patients, and then drives the development of solutions. A critical part of what we do is make sure that patients’ feedback is incorporated every step of the way, and patient feedback is one of our most important measures of success. The DPX team keeps the patient voice at the table, shaping every part of how we care for the patient in the digital world.
What attributes do you look for in your team members?
Our team is a great place for people who like to solve puzzles. There are no easy answers in the work we do, and we are challenged to find clever solutions. Our team looks like many modern software development teams. We have IT roles such as software engineers, architects, systems analysts and QA testers. We have a strong user experience practice that keeps human-centered design at the heart of all our products. These include roles like visual and interface designers, user research and testing. We have analytics and strategy roles such as business and data analysts, who work at understanding how our products perform and identify where we have opportunities to improve or develop new features. And then we have a whole group of team members who ensure that we provide new products and features on a regular basis; these roles include product owners, project managers, and scrum masters.
What is your advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell?
My advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell is that just about anything it possible here. People sometimes think of healthcare as just what takes place in a hospital or doctor’s office but, there is so much that happens behind the scenes both before and after those moments of care, to make it all possible. And because healthcare is at a really dynamic point in its evolution, people who have skills and perspectives from other industries have a real opportunity to bring fresh thinking to the work. I will also say, as a person who has had a long tenure with Northwell, it’s a great place to grow your career. I get to do work that makes a meaningful impact on our communities, and within an organization that’s always looking to be better tomorrow than it was yesterday.
Meet the winners of Northwell’s Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. Regional Spirit Award
Northwell’s Center of Equity of Care awarded its first-ever Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Awards. This system-wide award recognizes team members who are making a difference in our communities, locally or abroad, through service.
Four winners were chosen from nominations that came in from all around Northwell telling stories of goodwill, humility and compassion. Nominators highlighted how each team member embodies Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “D.R.E.A.M:”
D – Dedicates time and talent to projects that fulfill the needs of underserved communities
R – Respects all people and advocates for diversity, inclusion and health equity
E – Embodies our Northwell values: Truly Compassionate, Truly Innovative, Truly Ambitious, Truly Together and Truly Ourselves
A – Attitude that displays kindness and compassion for others
M – Mentors and inspires others to pay it forward
The winners were recognized at a special reception and awarded $1,000 to be donated on their behalf to an organization of their choice!
Josephine “Josie” Guzman has volunteered her time as a co-chair of the Bridges LatinX BERG and member of the Diversity and Health Equity System-Site Council. She has developed and implemented programs at Lenox Hill Hospital, such as the “Vida SI, Diabetes NO!” (Life YES, Diabetes NO), a bi-lingual, long-term health program designed to address diabetes. In partnership with her BERG co-chair and members, Josie recently coordinated “Rise Against Hunger,” a global service initiative where team members across the organization gathered and packed over 20,000 meals to be served to various communities across the world.
Beyond Northwell, Josie spends her time volunteering, preparing 200+ meals a week to distribute to homeless individuals in Manhattan and coordinating a Christmas event to feed and provide gifts to over 1,500 individuals who are either homeless or living in shelters. She’s also a member of RAIN, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide services for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and physically challenged.
Bernard Robinson, Regional Director, Center for Emergency Services
Bernard Robinson dedicates most of his time with projects that fulfill the needs of underserved communities through charity and education. Every year, Bernard organizes annual food and winter clothing drives within Northwell’s Center for Emergency Services (CEMS) department to serve charities in Nassau County and Queens. During Thanksgiving, the entire CEMS team also partners with a church in Hempstead, NY to prepare and serve meals. His work experience also led him to starting an Explorer’s Post in Hempstead Village that allows students from the Village to train with, learn and be mentored by EMTs and Paramedics. It was also Bernard who presented the idea for Northwell’s Bridges African American/Caribbean Business Employee Resource Group to participate in the African American Heritage Parade in Harlem, NY.
Bernard embodies all of Northwell’s values on a daily basis. Through his innovation, his department’s leadership is able to communicate with their staff of over 800 EMTs and Paramedics through weekly meetings via a livestream platform. He has also established a “virtual suggestion box” which gives each team member a voice by allowing them to give feedback through a link which is then sent directly to leadership. In addition to his community outreach, he has also organized CEMS’ “Bring Your Child to Work Day.”. Bernard often says, “As an EMS agency, we should be a part of the communities we serve.” He works extremely hard at establishing relationships throughout his region and encourages his team members to do the same.
Nicholas Hernandez, MD, Northwell Plainview Hospital, Academic Hospitalist, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Dr. Hernandez is the true definition of a caring, compassionate and empathetic physician with a genuine passion for helping others. This passion is not limited to patients in the hospital, but extends to communities at large through his volunteering and community service. Though born and raised in New York, he has always maintained a strong connection with his ancestral home of Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria struck, Dr. Hernandez was dedicated to becoming a part of the Northwell team deployed to Puerto Rico to assist those devastated by this disaster. He spent two weeks selflessly providing patient care under dire circumstances at the Caguas Hospital in San Pablo, Puerto Rico. Dr. Hernandez participated in the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program sponsored by the Zucker Hofstra School of Medicine for underrepresented students interested in a career in health care. This program is designed to provide exposure to the numerous career paths available in the healthcare industry while enhancing the skills that will set up students for success. Dr. Hernandez was also invited to be the keynote speaker for the closing ceremony for the NERA-HCOP Program, designed to assist college minority students in becoming more competitive applicants for medical school by providing various enrichment courses.
Josie Ruiz, Executive Assistant, North Shore University Hospital Administration
Josie Ruiz has been a vital component to the success of Northwell Health’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program. In her role as co-chair, she has supported the Center for Equity of Care in coordinating program logistics, managing entertainment and guest speakers, and leading volunteer efforts throughout the program. Josie has been a huge advocate for all team members at North Shore University Hospital. Her annual efforts of organizing Adopt a Family, a holiday program designed to support families in need who have experienced a tragedy or crisis during the past year, have gained the support and participation of over 3,000 team members at her site. She has even been known to have donated her own time and money to assist families who were not selected through this program. Josie was selected by the Center for Equity of Care’s senior leadership team as this year’s recipient.
The winners of this year’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Awards not only embody the spirit of his dream but exemplify Northwell’s values. We thank them for their tireless commitment to our Northwell team and our communities.
Announcing our new Advanced Clinical Provider Mentorship Program
In early 2020, Northwell Health launched its first Advanced Clinical Provider (ACP) Mentorship Program cohort. This one-year structured elective program is for new hire nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The first cohort consisted of 20 mentors and mentees from both in-patient and ambulatory practice environments. The ACPs in the program will develop clinical and non-clinical skills essential to a successful career in healthcare management.
The program aims to enhance the skills development process during the onboarding period for nurse practitioners and physician assistants by emphasizing organization and self awareness. It also aims to bring value to the organization through continuous employee engagement, retention and recruitment of top ACP talent.
As part of our goal to identify and address non-clinical and clinical knowledge gaps for new hire ACPs, reciprocal partnerships will be created with a focus on developing a support system for ACP employees, especially outside their specialty and site. It will also include a focus on transition to practice so ACPs know how and when to advocate for themselves, increasing their autonomy in our health system.
It is the policy of the organization to provide equal employment opportunity and treat all employees equally regardless of age, race, creed/religion, color, national origin, immigration status or citizenship status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, genetic information or genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, partnership status, victim of domestic violence, sexual or other reproductive health decisions, or other characteristics protected by applicable law.