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2019 Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hyatt Regency Reston
1800 Presidents Street
Reston, VA 20190

Registration fee is $150 and includes breakfast, lunch, cocktail reception, parking and materials. Register now, space is limited.

Join a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys from Jackson Lewis P.C., along with guest speakers from the government contracting firm Smith Pachter, for a full day of presentations, interactive discussions and practical solutions addressing pressing labor and employment developments specific to government contractors. 

This unique, fast-paced, intermediate-to-advanced level seminar is designed for in-house counsel, management and human resources professionals.

Jackson Lewis reserves the right to refuse participation to anyone other than a bona fide management representative.

Plenary Sessions

Unconscious Bias and Affirmative Action Programs
What is unconscious bias, and how does it affect federal contractors’ efforts to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans? Each of us has preferences and attitudes – unconscious biases – that we may be unaware of and that affect our perceptions, actions, and decisions. Left unchecked, these unconscious biases can lead to disparities in the workplace, including in areas where OFCCP focuses its efforts (such as hiring and pay equity). We will discuss affirmative action requirements, unconscious bias, and “bias busters” that contractors can consider including in their affirmative action programs.

Immigration Update: The New Reality
Immigration remains a key priority of the Trump Administration. Just after the inauguration, President Trump announced many initiatives to limit legal immigration and increase enforcement of existing immigration laws. Nearly three years later, employers are now seeing the full effect of these changes. From restrictions to visa issuance and denials of employer petitions for temporary foreign workers, to a 300% increase in worksite enforcement investigations by ICE, employers need to know how the new immigration reality impacts them.   

Investigations 101: Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations in the Government Contracting Space
A good investigation can be key to defending your company from many allegations, including discrimination and harassment. Performing a comprehensive investigation in the government contractor context can be impacted by challenges unique to the space. Join us for a discussion of some of the most common issues seen and strategies for managing them and your related exposure.

Building a Successful Government Contracts Compliance Program 
Performing a federal contract requires a significant compliance effort to meet regulatory requirements as well as contractual commitments. The regulatory obligations include assessing sales practices for gifts and gratuities, labor and employment practices, government data protection, material sourcing and socio-economic considerations for subcontracting. Evaluating the necessary level of compliance and establishing a successful compliance program is a necessary cost of doing business with the U.S. government. We will discuss best practices for finding the right level of compliance efforts and effective means to measure, detect and react to noncompliance.     

Data Privacy and Security: Recent News and Current Concerns 
Following in the wake of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, California has enacted a comprehensive data protection regulation that will have a wide reaching impact, directly or indirectly, on all industries. What are the essential provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), why does it create heightened concerns about data breaches, and how will it raise the bar for data privacy and security practices of businesses across the country?

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same . . . Examining OFCCP’s Regulatory Agenda and Latest Enforcement Priorities
From issuing new directives, increased technical assistance, renewed emphasis on disability and protected veteran issues and more, today’s OFCCP is among the most active of any in recent memory. But have all of these changes impacted the way OFCCP enforces compliance with the affirmative action regulations? Does OFCCP still scrutinize hiring practices? Is pay equity still a focus of compliance reviews? Join us for this timely session as we answer these questions, explain the latest OFCCP developments, the Agency’s new initiatives and its current enforcement practices. 

Breakout Sessions

The False Claims Act: What Has the Trump Department of Justice Been Up To
As we enter the Trump Administration’s fourth year, False Claims Act enforcement is as aggressive as it has ever been. While the Department of Justice has issued guidance about cooperation credit in FCA cases, and it continues to seek dismissal of some declined cases, the first half of this year saw DOJ announce nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in recoveries. The Courts have also been active. The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the FCA again this year, resolving a circuit split about the FCA’s statute of limitations in favor of whistleblowers. Lower courts have been just as busy, especially in interpreting the Supreme Court’s 2016 Escobar decision. All of this signals that FCA litigation remains a significant risk to anyone doing business with the government. This session will provide an overview of the FCA and its history, discuss recent enforcement activity, analyze recent court cases, and finally provide practical advice to help government contractors avoid or limit liability under the FCA. 

What Should (and Shouldn’t) Be in Your Handbook
Between legal requirements and contract provisions impacting the employment relationship, employers can lose sight of the importance of its employee handbook. This session offers a comprehensive overview of personnel policies every government contractor needs, mistakes to avoid in drafting policies, and how to identify and correct exposure areas. 

Beyond Non-Competes: Understanding Employer Rights Even Without an Enforceable Non-Compete
Many employers do not use non-compete agreements, and even well-drafted non-compete agreements may not be enforced. But all hope is not lost! This session will explore employee obligations during and post-employment, employer’s rights, and different options and strategies for protecting your business even though you may not have an enforceable non-compete agreement.

What’s New in Employee Benefits
This session will cover the latest developments in retirement and health and welfare plans to help you plan for 2020. Topics will include legislative changes, Affordable Care Act planning opportunities, and the latest class action litigation trend.

Commercial Items Procurements
In 1994, the government enacted the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act to address, among other concerns, the growing number of commercial companies reconsidering selling to the government due to the regulatory burdens. The government stated a preference for the purchase of commercial items to reduce the need for government-funded research and development, minimize acquisition lead-time, and simplify the procurement process. Now, 25 years later, we will discuss how commercial item contracting has evolved and recent developments based on Congress’s renewed interest in the subject.

Service Contract Act and Executive Order 13706 Compliance Challenges
Learn about the latest, ask your questions, and share your experiences with the always challenging Service Contract Act and Executive Order 13706 (Federal Contractor Paid Sick Leave) and related requirements. In this interactive session we will be discussing compliance challenges, the current enforcement environment including DOL audit “hot spots,” and best practices including subcontracting and building a robust internal compliance program.

 

Agenda

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:30 – 8:35 a.m. Welcome
8:35 – 9:10 a.m. Unconscious Bias and Affirmative Action Programs 
9:10 – 9:45 a.m. Immigration Update: The New Reality
9:45 – 10:10 a.m. Break
10:10 – 10:45 a.m. Investigations 101: Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations in the Government Contracting Space 
10:45 – 11:20 a.m. Building a Successful Government Contracts Compliance Program 
11:30 - 11:55 a.m. Privacy and Data Breach Concerns for Government Contractors
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.  Lunch
Breakout Sessions:  
1:00 – 1:40 p.m. The False Claims Act: What Has the Trump Department of Justice Been Up To OR What Should (and Shouldn’t) Be in Your Handbook
1:45 – 2:25 p.m. Beyond Non-Competes: Understanding Employer Rights Even Without an Enforceable Non-Compete OR What’s New in Employee Benefits 
2:30 – 3:10 p.m. Commercial Items Procurements OR Service Contract Act and Executive Order 13706 Compliance Challenges 
3:10 – 3:30 p.m. Break
Plenary Session:  
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same . . . Examining OFCCP’s Regulatory Agenda and Latest Enforcement Priorities 
4:15 – 5:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception