The legal landscape facing employers seems as difficult to navigate as it has ever been.  Keeping track of the ever-changing patchwork of federal, state and local laws governing the workplace may often seem like a full-time job whether you are a human resources professional, in-house attorney or  business owner.  Change appears to be the one constant.  As President Trump's Administration comes to an end, employers will continue to closely track the changes taking place at the NLRB, the DOL and the EEOC.  At the same time, a number of states will continue introducing new laws and regulations governing workplaces across the country, making it more important than ever for employers to pay attention to the bills pending in the legislatures of the states where they operate.  This complimentary webinar series will focus on a host of the most challenging and timely issues facing employers, examining past trends and looking ahead at the issues most likely to arise.

Conn Maciel Carey’s complimentary 2021 Labor and Employment Webinar Series, which includes (at least) monthly programs put on by attorneys in the firm’s national Labor and Employment Practice, is designed to give employers insight into legal labor and employment developments.

 

To register for an individual webinar in the series, click on the link in the program description below. To register for the entire 2021 series, click here to send us an email request, and we will register you.  If you missed any of our programs from the past seven years of our annual Labor and Employment Webinar Series, here is a link to an archive of recordings of those webinars.

 
 

Wednesday January 20, 2021 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET

California Employment Law Update for 2021: New Legal Requirements and Practical Compliance Strategies Every HR Professional and Manager Should Know

 

Presented by Andrew J. Sommer and Megan S. Shaked

2021 brings significant changes for California employers, from legislation and Cal/OSHA rulemaking associated with COVID-19 prevention to wage and hour developments. This webinar will review compliance obligations for companies doing business in California, as well as discuss the practical impact of these new laws and best practices for avoiding potential employment-related claims.

Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • The new Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard as well as industry-specific legislation on COVID-19 prevention

  • COVID-19-related reporting mandates, following potential exposure in the workplace and in the case of outbreaks in the workplace

  • The new requirement to submit an annual report of employee pay data to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing beginning March 31, 2021

  • Review of the ABC test used in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor for purposes of the wage and hour violations and unemployment claims and new exceptions

  • Other wage and hour and leave of absence legal developments

  • Current minimum wage requirements both statewide and on local level

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 1 PM ET

What Employers Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

 

Presented by Kara Maciel, Eric J. Conn, Fern Fleischer-Daves, and Lindsay DiSalvo

In December 2020, the FDA approved two COVID-19 vaccines on an emergency basis.  As distribution of these vaccines widens and trickles down to all employment sectors, there are a myriad of questions that employers should be considering.  For example, under what circumstances may an employer mandate that their employees be vaccinated?  And even though the federal government has advised that employers may mandate that certain employees be vaccinated for COVID-19, should employers do so?  There are a number of limitations associated with such practice, and it may not always be recommended, especially considering the liability issues that may arise given the lack of long-term safety data.

 

Additionally, if an employer requires vaccinations, how should it respond to an employee who indicates that he or she is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a disability?  What is the impact of the vaccine (if any) on regulatory requirements like exclusion and return-to-work criteria and COVID-19 safety protocols?  Can an employer require contractors to be vaccinated?  Join us for a webinar regarding “COVID-19 – Vaccination Issues for Employers.” 

During this webinar, Conn Maciel Carey’s OSHA and Labor & Employment attorneys will discuss these important questions: 

  • Who decides prioritization while vaccine supplies are limited? 

  • May an employer mandate that some or all of their employees be vaccinated? 

  • Should companies require contractors, temporary employees and vendors be vaccinated? 

  • May a worker refuse to be vaccinated for medical, religious or ethical reasons? 

  • How do we handle an employee who insists on working remotely indefinitely? 

  • When all our workers are vaccinated, must everyone continue social distancing and wearing masks in the workplace?

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Employment Law Update in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Illinois

 

Presented by Dan C. Deacon and Ashley D. Mitchell

The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia have enacted or are considering a host of changes that employers need to keep track of in 2021, such as revisions to discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, labor laws, and workplace safety and health regulations. For example, employees in the District of Columbia began collecting paid leave benefits in 2020 under D.C.’s Paid Leave Act, which provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to bond with a new child, six weeks of paid family leave to care for an ill family member with a serious health condition, and two weeks of paid medical leave to care for one's own serious health condition. Maryland introduced several new laws in 2020, including revisions to its discrimination laws, new requirements for employers to comply with when conducting mass layoffs, and facial recognition technology limitations during employee interviews. Both Maryland and Virginia introduced new safety and health laws as well. These include Maryland’s commitment to develop workplace heat stress regulations and Virginia’s Emergency Temporary Standard regulating COVID-19 in the workplace, which was the first of its kind throughout the entire country.  

While the New Year does not bring about as many changes for Illinois employers in 2021, Illinois employers should be aware of an already existing minimum wage increase that takes effect in 2021. Moreover, there are a host of laws that took effect at various points in 2020 with which employers must ensure compliance. Indeed, in 2020, employers were faced with an expanded Illinois Human Rights Act that applies beyond the physical workplace, covers non-employee contractors and protects against discrimination based on perceived (in addition to actual) protected status. There were also special new rules enacted that apply to restaurants, bars and coffee shops, as well as disclosure requirements that will necessitate notifying the Department of Human Rights of adverse judgments in employment discrimination or harassment matters. Finally, the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act was amended and the signed “trailer bill” has clarified what employers should do if they wish to prohibit the use of marijuana as part of their workplace drug and alcohol policy.

Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Which policies and procedures should be reviewed and/or revised;

  • Minimum Wage Increases

  • What type of harassment training must be provided to employees and when;

  • What steps Illinois employers should take if they wish to continue drug testing for cannabis;

  • Tips to comply with D.C’s Paid Leave Act, and the increased minimum wage

  • Key workplace controls and steps to comply with Virginia’s Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard

  • Steps to comply with Maryland’s revised discrimination laws and new laws related to facial recognition technology during employee interviews and Maryland’s Mini-WARN Act

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Withdrawal Liability and Pensions

Presented by Mark M. Trapp

This webinar will address the significant challenges faced by companies participating in multiemployer plans. Specifically, it will help unionized employers understand and analyze what is often the most critical challenge facing their business – multiemployer pension withdrawal liability.
Participants in this webinar will learn about: 

  • Specific strategies to address this issue

  • The latest developments in litigating withdrawal liability assessments, including the determining the highest contribution rate and calculating the credit for a prior partial withdrawal

  • Current legislative environment for multiemployer pension plans and issues

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 1 PM ET

ADA Website Compliance Issues - Best Strategies for Employers

 

Presented by Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan Shaked

The worldwide pandemic has not slowed down lawsuits filed against hotels and other places of public accommodation alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Indeed, hundreds of lawsuits continue to be filed against hotels for their failure to identify and describe accessible features at their properties in sufficient detail on their websites. In a new twist, many of these lawsuits now also allege that Online Travel Agencies (“OTAs”) such as Orbitz or Expedia fail to provide information about the accessible amenities of the hotel, including its rooms, to individuals with disabilities, or fail to allow an individual with a disability to book an accessible guestroom. While it may seem counterintuitive that a Hotel would be responsible for the information provided on the OTAs website, that often is the case.

A ton of ADA lawsuits also continue to be filed alleging that hotel websites cannot be used by individuals with visual or hearing impairments. Thus, it is extremely important that businesses ensure the accessibility of their websites while also providing an appropriate “accessibility statement” explaining to users the steps you have taken to improve your website’s accessibility.

Unfortunately, there is no sign that these types of lawsuits are slowing down. On the contrary, serial plaintiffs continue to file dozens of these lawsuits each and every day. This presentation will present practical tips and cost-effective strategies for managing the risk of ADA-related litigation in this ever-evolving area of the law.

 

During this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • How to draft an appropriate website accessibility statement;

  • What accessible features to list on your website to reduce your legal exposure;

  • What questions to ask OTAs to ensure that they are not creating liability for your property;

  • Best practices for ensuring that your website is accessible.

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 1 PM ET

What to Expect from the Biden Administration on the OSHA/MSHA and Labor and Employment Fronts

 

Presented by Amanda R. Walker, Nick Scala, and Lindsay DiSalvo

President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021 and his administration is sure to usher in significant changes for employers.  During the Trump Administration, the federal government focused on deregulation and the rules and regulations that were promulgated by federal agencies tended to minimize the regulatory burden on employers.  For example, shortly into Donald Trump's presidency, Congress repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act and the Department of Labor ("DOL") promulgated a joint employer regulation limiting the circumstances in which such a relationship will be found (this rule was partially vacated in September 2020).  In the safety and health context, OSHA passed a regulation that narrowed the injury and illness information required to be submitted by covered employers on an annual basis per a rule originally passed in the Obama Administration.  While MSHA significantly curbed its significant enforcement actions, and largely moved on from Obama era enforcement tools such as Rules To Live By and monthly targeted Impact Inspections, but also left the door open for the Biden Administration to carry on rulemaking efforts for Crystalline Silica exposure in mines.     

 

We expect the Biden Administration's DOL, including OSHA and MSHA, to look much more like the agencies under President Obama, even bringing back some of the Obama era initiatives suspended or altered during the Trump Administration.  Initial actions taken by the Biden Administration will likely be focused on addressing the ramifications of COVID-19 and the economic recovery, which, in and of itself will have substantial ramifications for employers.  In addition, the regulated community is likely to see an increase in enforcement, as well as efforts to pass regulations that were in the works during the Obama Administration, like the proposed rule on workplace violence.  Employers are also likely to see a shift in agency practices and priorities.

Specifically, participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Potential changes in approach to combatting COVID-19

  • Predictions as to impact on leadership at the relevant federal agencies (OSHA, MSHA, EEOC, etc.)

  • Potential regulatory priorities and changes in the regulatory landscape

  • Impact on agency enforcement efforts and initiatives

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 1 PM ET

The State of the Law Regarding Marijuana, Drug Testing and Background Checks

 

Presented by Dan Deacon, Aaron Gelb and Ashley D. Mitchell

The green wave continued to roll through America during 2020, as several new jurisdictions legalized marijuana in some form. However, new regulatory developments regarding medical and recreational marijuana have created a host of compliance concerns for employers. 35 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation giving medical marijuana usage the green light. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Several states have also enacted laws making the possession of small amounts of the drug a civil, not criminal, offense. Although marijuana is currently still illegal under federal law, for the first time in fifty years, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to remove marijuana from the Schedule I controlled substances list in the Controlled Substances Act. In sum, it seems to be only a matter of time before marijuana is legalized in some form throughout the entire country.

 

However, with those changes comes the potential for more employees to be under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs at the workplace.  So what can employers do to maintain a safe workplace? What restrictions are there for testing employees for drug use? Can employer really impose a drug-free workplace policy in light of these seemingly pro-marijuana laws?
 

Amidst the changing marijuana laws, employers must also tread carefully when conducting background checks on prospective or current employees.  Not only are certain crimes prohibited from being considered during employment background checks, there are numerous federal, state and local nuances that employers must navigate – most notably the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

This webinar will explore the changing legal landscape concerning marijuana, analyze potential issues related to zero-tolerance policies and review tips for developing effective drug testing and background check policies. More specifically, you will learn:

  • The changing legal landscape regarding medical and recreational marijuana in states around the country and the District of Columbia

  • How state marijuana laws affect your federal compliance obligations under the DOT and other agencies

  • Which state laws provide explicitly for employee non-discrimination protections

  • Whether medical marijuana usage may qualify as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or state disability discrimination laws

  • How to address off-duty use of marijuana in states where it is legal

  • An overview of both Federal and state background check laws and various state and local nuances

  • Tips to conduct a legally compliant background check

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

​Click here to register for this webinar.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Employee Misconduct Defense, Discipline, and Employment Law Issues

Presented by Mark M. Trapp and Ashley D. Mitchell

Disciplining employees, a critical tool in enforcing workplace rules, has the potential to create problems, especially when relationships deteriorate and emotions run high. Even in situations where an employer is disciplining for the right reason, if it is handled incorrectly, a lawsuit or labor grievance could turn out to be costly. But in circumstances that warrant discipline, employers cannot just sit back. Productivity, employee morale, workplace culture, and meeting goals are just some of the many considerations impacted by an effective employee discipline program. Consistent employee discipline can also benefit employers in litigation, union grievances, and inspections and investigations by the EEOC and OSHA.

This webinar will give you a blueprint to lawfully discipline employee and mitigate the risk of future litigation. Participants in this webinar will learn about:

 

Participants in this webinar will learn:

  • The legal implications of disciplining employees

  • Tips for drafting effective discipline policies

  • Effective investigations into performance issues and misconduct

  • Strategies for carrying out effective discipline in a legally sound manner

  • Ways that employee discipline can be used offensively in litigation

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Tuesday, September 21, 2020 at 1 PM ET

Employee Handbooks, Training and Internal Audits - Proactive Steps Employer Can Take to Protect Themselves

 

Presented by Aaron R. Gelb and Beeta B. Lashkari

While few, if any, employers had time to develop state-of-the-art policies or revamp their training programs in 2020 for matters unrelated to COVID-19, they would be wise to consider taking such proactive steps as the world returns to some semblance of normalcy. As employees begin, once again, to focus on more mundane matters, they would do well to remember that a well-drafted, up-to-date employee handbook tailored to your organization is an essential element of your compliance program. Effective and engaging training is necessary to communicate your policies and priorities to your employees and to ensure your managers understand their roles and what is expected of them. A state-of-the-art handbook and top-shelf training will be of little value, however, if your employees and/or managers are not following those policies, so it is equally important that you conduct compliance audits to ensure your organization is walking the talk.

Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Practical considerations that go into drafting and revising handbooks, including your primary objectives

  • Must-haves in every handbook

  • Which policies and procedures should be reviewed and/or revised

  • Best practices for training in the digital age

  • How training can and should support your overall compliance program

  • Tips for conducting internal compliance audits

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 1 PM ET

NLRB Update

 

Presented by Kara M. Maciel and Mark M. Trapp

OSHA compliance issues have been long ignored in the due diligence process for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.  With OSHA’s new focus on follow-up inspections and Repeat citations, and expanding the concept of successor OSHA liability, it is a topic that should no longer be left out of the due diligence process. This webinar will explain the current landscape of successor liability under the OSH Act, explain what safety and health obligations a new employer may assume as a result of past conduct by a prior employer, and provide tips and strategies for managing OSHA compliance related due diligence.

 

Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Successor and Repeat Liability Based on Prior Employers’ Violations

  • Successors’ Duty to Address OSHA Penalties and Abatement of Predecessors

  • Requirements to Transfer and Retain a Predecessor’s Safety Records

  • Safety-related Due Diligence & Other Strategies

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Avoiding Common Pitfalls of Non-Complete, Trade Secret and No-Rehire Provisions in Employment Agreements

 

Presented by Jordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked

After the Obama/Biden Administration’s efforts to “modernize” the way the government regulates chemical process safety, we saw much those endeavors rolled back, stalled, or amended as the Trump Administration advanced its de-regulatory agenda.  As the regulatory ping-pong ball bounces back the other direction the regulated community is left to wonder again what will come of OSHA’s and EPA’s plans for process safety.

As the Biden Administration begins to make its mark in this arena, we will be tracking rulemaking and enforcement from OSHA, EPA and the CSB, and whether and how far these agencies will go back to the previous policies to modernize the applicable regulations. 

This webinar will review the status and likely future of OSHA’s PSM Standard and EPA’s RMP Rule, as well as other major process safety developments from the federal government, state governments, and industry groups.

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 1 PM ET

Recap of Year One of the Biden Administration

 

Presented by Kara Maciel, Eric J. Conn, and Nick Scala

As we transitioned to a new Biden Administration, questions swirled about what the Department of Labor would look like in a Biden Administration, and we all made predictions about how DOL’s priorities would shift, who would be appointed to key positions, what would come of Trump-era DOL policies. Now, a year into the Biden Administration, we will check on those predictions and take stock of the lay of the land at Biden’s DOL, evaluating how the Department and its agencies have changed in 2021, from the status of presidential appointments at DOL, EEOC, NLRB, OSHA, and MSHA, to those agencies’ rulemaking, policymaking, and enforcement activity.  And of course, we will make more predictions about what employers can expect from the Biden Administration’s DOL over the remainder of this presidential term.

Participants in this webinar will learn about:

  • Biden Administration’s DOL Regulatory Agenda, including rulemaking and policy setting priorities around COVID-19 and other topics

  • Status of Presidential Appointees in the Department of Labor and key agencies like EEOC, NLRB, OSHA and MSHA

  • Enforcement initiatives and emphasis programs at those same DOL agencies

  • Predictions for the Department of Labor over the next three years

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Click here to register for this webinar.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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