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7th Annual Colorado Employment Law Summit

Past Event Detail

October 30, 2015
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM MST
The Four Seasons Denver
1111 14th Street
Grand Ballroom
Denver, CO 80202
Registration Fee: $150.00

Join attorneys from the national employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. for a full-day of interactive discussions regarding the latest developments in workplace law, followed by cocktails and networking.

This full-day program is designed for corporate counsel, human resource managers and professionals and other employment law decision-makers, as well as business owners and government contractors.  Participants will have the opportunity to individualize their program by selecting the breakout sessions most relevant to their interests, experience and industries.

 

8:30 - 9:10AM REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST
9:10 - 10:00 AM GENERAL SESSION
Top 10 Employment Law Issues
10:10 - 11:00AM BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1 (CHOOSE ONE)
 

Insights from the EEOC-Denver Field Office Director
Join EEOC-Denver Field Office Director, John Lowrie, for a discussion on EEOC’s national Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) and how the Denver office is actively enforcing these goals.

The Expanding Relevance of the NLRA to all Employers
With some of the most significant changes in decades, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has lengthened its reach into your workplace.   In the previous ten months alone, the NLRB has considerably shortened the election process through the “quickie election rule”, modified the definition of solicitation in the workplace, expanded employees’ use of an employer’s email system during non-working time, broadened the concept of “joint employment” and, most recently, announced the permission of electronic signatures in the election process.    The NLRB is also reaching into and governing nearly all employee policies and employee handbooks.  In light of all the recent changes and the ongoing evolution of the law, the issues and answers are more expansive than one might think. This program, designed for both non-union and union employers, will explore how employers can avoid liability under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), as well as help non-union employers maintain a union-free workplace.

Management Training to Reduce Risk & Liability
In recent years, courts across the country have made it clear that management training is no longer simply a good Human Resources practice – it is a legal imperative.  This presentation will explore the legal case for ensuring your organization provides workplace law training for both supervisors and employees.  We will discuss recent court cases embracing training as an affirmative defense and review training topics and creative approaches your organization can implement. 

Keeping Up With the Government - Where We Are, the Horizon and How to Prepare 
The President, OFCCP, and Congress continue to keep federal contractors busy with what seems to be an ongoing stream of Executive Orders, regulations, and reports.  Where are we now?  What’s on the horizon and how should you prepare?  Join us to put together all the pieces of this new and emerging regulatory framework.  Among other topics, we will cover requirements under the new Pay Transparency regulations, as well as preparations for the Equal Pay Report, Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, and the proposed “Blacklisting” regulations.  Learn what steps to take to ensure you’re in compliance now and ready for the obligations on the horizon.  Don’t miss this opportunity to catch up, and keep up, with federal contractor obligations. 

11:10AM - 12:00PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2 (CHOOSE ONE)
 

Disability Systemic Discrimination Panel
Disability discrimination and systemic barriers in employer hiring processes are two of the EEOC’s top strategic enforcement priorities for 2013-2016.  As a result, we have seen an influx of EEOC systemic disability discrimination investigations, including where the Agency has converted individual claims of discrimination into companywide class-action systemic investigations.  Join EEOC Denver Director John Lowrie, JL Disability Practice Group Leader Frank Alvarez, and JL Systemic Discrimination Leadership Team member Jennifer Seda as we discuss systemic discrimination, get insights into how the Agency investigates these cases, and hear from the experts on best practices to ensure your organization doesn’t become the next target of a disability systemic discrimination investigation. 

Protect Company Secrets and Prevent Runaway Verdicts -- Utilizing Non-Compete, Non-Solicit and Arbitration Agreements the Right Way    
Employers frequently “toss in” non-compete, non-solicit, and arbitration clauses in employment agreements without giving significant thought to content and enforceability.  In this session, we will discuss appropriate (and inappropriate) situations in which to utilize these provisions and how to best draft the provisions to be effective and enforceable.  We also will discuss the risks and rewards associated with non-compete litigation and the differences between arbitration and litigation in the employment law context.    

How to Identify Potential Hidden Barriers in Your Hiring Process
An employer’s hiring process is often the focus of enforcement agencies’ and private plaintiffs’ discrimination claims – and for good reason.  Failing to appropriately use common hiring tools – such as the use of mental and physical qualifications, screening questions, pre-employment “tests” (including physical ability tests), drug screens, and background checks – could place employers squarely in the crosshairs of EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan.  This presentation will explore common perils in hiring systems, current trends in hiring discrimination claims, and traditional and data-driven strategies to evaluate your processes and to minimize areas of potential liability.   

Top 10 E-verify Tips:  How to Navigate Treacherous Waters
E-verify issues top the list of compliance woes facing employers.  E-verify data mining has resulted in interagency referrals, increasing in I-9 audits, wage and hour investigations, and Office of Special Counsel investigations.  The E-verify Monitoring and Compliance Unit is increasing its Desk Reviews and Site Visits. Congress is contemplating mandatory E-verify. State and local E-verify laws are confusing and contradictory. Federal contract debarments resulting from poor compliance practices are on the increase. Whether you are currently using E-verify or are contemplating signing up, we will discuss the steps to be taken by employers to ensure compliance.

12:05 - 1:35PM LUNCH AND KEYNOTE PRESENTATION
Ellen Golombek – Executive Director, Colorado Department of Labor
1:35 - 2:25PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS 3 (CHOOSE ONE)
 

How to Keep Leave Management from Disabling Your Organization
The interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act is more difficult to navigate than ever before, especially when there are state leave laws and benefits issues that complicate many employee leave situations. Human resource professionals and management employees are on the front line dealing with these situations and need the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure compliance with the myriad of rules affecting employee medical conditions and leaves.   Join JL Disability Practice Group Leader Frank Alvarez to explore difficult ADA and FMLA disability and leave management scenarios and provide proactive compliance strategies and best practices.

The Attorney-Client Privilege in the Workplace: When You Need it, What to do to Invoke it and How to Make Sure You Don’t Waive it
The attorney-client privilege is one of the most important tools employers have in protecting sensitive information about internal investigations and employee complaints from disclosure to potential adversaries.  However, the rules for establishing (and maintaining) the privilege can be tricky – particularly when in-house counsel is involved in their dual capacity of legal and business advisors to the company and its HR professionals.  The issue can become even more complicated when third-party consultants are involved.  This session will walk through the details of how to make sure your communications and evaluations concerning HR and EEO issues are protected.

Pay Discrimination: The New Rules
Increased Enforcement, More Reporting Requirements, Big Monetary Settlements and How You Can Protect Your Company

During the past few years, President Obama made eliminating the “pay gap” the Administration’s top civil rights enforcement priority.  EEOC and OFCCP have greatly increased their focus on pay discrimination, using powerful new tools to uncover pay disparities and demand from employers huge monetary settlements.  Join us to learn about the new and effective methods the enforcement agencies are using and the strategy for successful defense against them.

Current Trends in OSHA Enforcement
The OSHA regulatory environment has become increasingly more challenging for companies operating in the U.S.  This session provides a look at OSHA’s recent regulatory and enforcement initiatives.  We will look over the recent top cited standards and enforcement action by the agency, and offer best practices on how to work with OSHA compliance officers.   Panelists will also discuss the new NLRB “joint employer” definition and its potential OSHA implications. 

2:35 - 3:25PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS 4 (CHOOSE ONE)
 

Two Major Developments in Wage and Hour Law: Changes to Overtime Exemptions and New Guidance on Independent Contractor Classifications
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued details on its intent to change the regulations governing the exemptions from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The proposed changes would impact millions of salaried managers, professionals and administrators.  The DOL also recently issued guidance on whether individuals are properly classified as independent contractors, rather than employees, subject to minimum wage and overtime requirements.  This new guidance will lead to more workers being covered and more aggressive enforcement by the DOL.  In this session, we’ll explain the fundamentals of the overtime exemption rules and independent contractor classifications.  We’ll also explore the practical impacts of the changing rules and provide best practices to make sure your company is well prepared for the new landscape of DOL enforcement of these hot issues.

Pregnancy in the Workplace: Recent Developments in the Law
It is crucial that employers understand the rapidly evolving area of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Young v. UPS.  Join attorneys Frank Alvarez and Kristen Baylis as they update you on the expanding obligations for employers to accommodate pregnant employees under federal, state and local laws and offer you strategic takeaways for avoiding pregnancy discrimination claims. Topics covered include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Colorado laws.

Recruiting Best Practices to Minimize EEOC and OFCCP Liability
Do you know what your recruiters are doing?  How do they handle requisitions and disposition candidates?  If your recruitment process is not set up strategically, you may be opening your organization up to significant monetary liability in EEOC investigations and OFCCP audits.  Many recruitment practice decisions that traditionally fall to the Talent Acquisition team such as disposition codes, hiring multiple candidates in a requisition, “crossover” (allowing recruiters to attach candidates to different requisitions), job descriptions, etc. significantly affect EEOC and OFCCP investigations, including who is an “applicant” that should count against you and potentially receive monetary damages and job offers.  In this session, we will discuss how the agencies view these practices, potential risks associated with each, how to communicate these risks to decision-makers, and how to train your recruiting team to understand how your process works and why their role is so critical to protect the organization.

Understanding and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Conducting an Internal Investigation
An employee complains that her co-worker sexually harassed her, or complains that the company is paying women less than it pays men. What do you do now? Learn about the do’s and don’ts of conducting an internal investigation to help your company defend against possible claims filed with the EEOC, the Department of Labor, OSHA, or similar state and local agencies. We will also walk you through the processes involved in conducting an effective internal investigation so you can implement these processes the next time an internal investigation is needed.

3:35PM CLOSING REMARKS
3:35 - 5:00PM NETWORKING AND COCKTAIL RECEPTION