Law and Legislation Sessions
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In an ever changing legislative environment, HR professionals must understand critical legal issues that affect day-to-day business decisions. These sessions will highlight policies and practices which focus on key employment law issues that affect the way HR professionals conduct business. Updates may also be included on new legislative laws or actions impacting the work environment.

Tuesday, April 29 | 10:45am - 11:45am
A Plaintiff's Lawyer's Look at HR: Real-Life Examples of How HR and Management Actions Can Cause, and Avoid, Liability

Speaker: Steven Wolfe, The Buckley Law Firm, LLC

Examples of management and HR practices that can subject the company to liability in employment lawsuits: suspicious over-documenting of an employee file; failure to investigate employee discrimination or harassment complaints; failure to terminate or discipline alleged discriminators or harassers; making performance improvement plans unreasonable; terminating employees before expiration of a performance improvement plan; changing stories about the reasons for the employee’s termination after an EEOC charge or lawsuit is filed. Examples of management and HR practices which have, in my experience, prevented lawsuits or prevented liability: being forthright with employees about performance issues; raising performance issues with employees when they first arise; telling employees the truth about the reason for their termination; apologizing.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an understanding of the HR and management actions that make a case attractive to a plaintiff's lawyer
  2. Gain an understanding of the HR and management actions that make a plaintiff's lawyer decline a case
  3. Improve day to day practices, using knowledge of real-world examples from cases discussed in presentation

Tuesday, April 29 | 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Don't Lose Your Footing -- LOA Management to Avoid the Missteps

Speakers: Amy Loggins, Taylor English Duma LLP, Scott Porter, Turner Broadcasting & Stephanie Aferiat, The Home Depot

HR professionals are more likely now to get lost in the proverbial Bermuda Triangle than ever. An employee needs a leave of absence for a workers compensation injury that has left her unable to lift even 5 pounds. Is it an ADA issue? FMLA? What about workers compensation? Am I required to provide light duty? Reassignment? A leave of absence? If so, for how long? If managing employees on medical leaves of absence is taking more time than managing employees actively at work, this may be just what you need. Hear from a panel of senior human resources and legal professionals with extensive experience in this arena and who have established strong processes in their own companies. Leave with practical pointers you can use in your daily work.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will leave with practical pointers on the relevancy of various laws to medical leaves of absence and how to ensure compliance.
  2. Attendees will understand the far-reaching impact of the new ADA and the few years of legal developments since Jan. 2009, if they do not already.
  3. Attendees will obtain information and knowledge to help them proactively spot and manage LOA issues.

Monday, April 28 | 11:45am - 12:45pm
5 Critical Employment Law Issues Affecting HR Professionals Now

Speakers: Dionysia Johnson-Massie, JD, Littler & Gavin Appleby, JD, Littler

Human resource professionals confront a constantly changing legal landscape. A single court decision interpreting the ADA or an issue implicating an employer’s social media policy can require the re-evaluation of a previously accepted HR policy or procedure. Significant changes to the ADA, the shifting requirements for government contractors, and the increasing use of social media all require new approaches to human resource management. In this fast-paced, highly interactive session, we will engage in a lively discussion, using realistic scenarios to address these 5 critical employment law issues affecting HR professionals now: using social media as “evidence” to make employment decisions, stress as a disability under the ADAAA, risks associated with “bring your own device” policies, the impact of our aging workforce, ensuring that diversity programs are compliant and other issues.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will learn of risks related to the use of social media in making employment decisions
  2. Attendees will have a better understanding of reasonable accommodations for stress under the expansive ADAAA
  3. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to protect against claims of discrimination in an aging workforce .

Tuesday, April 29 | 8:00am - 9:00am
Facebook, Twitter and E-mail May Be More Addictive Than Alcohol Or Smoking. Is Your Company Prepared?

Speaker: Todd Van Dyke, Jackson Lewis LLP

One study concluded that Facebook, Twitter, and email may be more addictive than alcohol or smoking.  Not surprisingly then, millions of employees communicate daily via social media.  These changes have not gone unnoticed by the federal government, state governments and the court systems.  They have become increasingly active in this constantly evolving area of the law.  They have been busy proposing and creating new laws and rules, as well as reinterpreting old ones, all in an effort to catch up with social media’s impact on the workplace.  Attend this seminar so these rapid changes do not catch you off guard.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Using Social Media in the Hiring, Discipline and Termination Process
  2. Understanding Employer liability for employees’ misuse of social media
  3. Regulating social media and monitoring compliance & providing practical steps for avoiding social media risks

Monday, April 28 | 3:40pm - 4:40pm
Manage Your Employees or Get Out of The Way! (Ten Rules for Helping Your Managers Prevent Costly Lawsuits)

Speaker: Chad Shultz, Gordon & Rees, LLP

This seminar will address what every HR professional can do to help her managers avoid costly litigation.  It will outline and discuss ten basic rules that provide a good framework to empower each manager to be effective and thereby prevent employment-related lawsuits.  These rules assist managers with managing not the high-performing employees (who are easy to manage), but the lower-performing ones who consume most of a manager's time and resources.  They have been drafted by two veteran employment attorneys who are convinced that most employment-related lawsuits don't involve even a modicum of discrimination, but just plain poor management habits that allow poor-performing employees to run amuck.

Learning Objectives:

  1. What causes employment-related lawsuits?
  2. What it takes to be a good manager
  3. How you can empower your managers to be the best they can be

Tuesday, April 29 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Employee Discipline & Discharge: Strategic Tips for Pulling the Weeds

Speaker: Greg Hare, JD, Ogletree Deakins

A few disgruntled employees can drag down the morale of your entire workforce.  How can your management team weed out the poor performers and malcontents who are preventing your team from maximizing results? When is discharge warranted, what dangers are lurking, and what can HR do to protect the company? This session will highlight which management tactics work, and which should be avoided!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Best Practices in HR – learning how to evaluate employee relations pitfalls while consistently enforcing company policies
  2. Risk Management – weighing whether to incur the cost of paying severance monies
  3. Legal Compliance – learning how to legally terminate employees in compliance with applicable laws

Monday, April 28 | 10:30am - 11:30am
ACA Requirements, Management and Compliance, Oh My! Preparing for 2014
Speakers: Mike Psenka, Equifax & Kristin Lewis, Equifax

We're well into 2014 and preparation for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in full swing. By now, employers should have determined their approach, implemented systems to manage the legislation, and begun tracking eligibility for all employees. For those organizations that are behind: prepare to face lofty non-compliance penalties and fines. Are you on target to meet the 2015 ACA requirements? Join workforce expert Mike Psenka to find out. He'll discuss the processes, procedures, and infrastructure that employers should have in place today and best practices for implementing them. Plus, he'll provide legislative updates and share the ways in which other organizations are responding to the law.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain insight into where their organization should be in terms of preparing for 2015
  2. Identify best practices and strategies for ensuring that their organization remains compliant
  3. Gain knowledge as to how other employers are responding to the ACA

Sessions and speakers are subject to change.

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