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 we begin Year 3 of the Trump Administration, 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, led by Conn Maciel Carey’s labor and employment attorneys, 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.

 

To register for an individual webinar, click the registration link in the program descriptions below. To register for the entire 2019 Employment Series, click here to send an email request, and we will get you registered. If you miss any of the programs this year or missed any in prior years, here is a link to our webinar archive.

 

January 22, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

California Employment Law Update for 2019: New Legal Requirements and Practical Compliance Strategies Every HR Professional and Manager Should Know

Presented by Andrew J. Sommer & Beeta B. Lashkari

In the final days of California’s 2018 legislative session, Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a variety of employment bills, including a flurry of new laws addressing the #MeToo movement and increased efforts to address harassment and discrimination in the workplace.  While many of the new laws impose additional requirements on employers, a few clarify the reach of existing employment laws or carve out exceptions to wage and hour requirements for certain industries.  This webinar will review compliance obligations for companies doing business in California, as well as discuss the practical impact of these new laws and recent court decisions and best practices for avoiding potential employment-related claims.

Participants will learn about the following:

 

  • Expanded anti-harassment training requirements covering both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees

  • Limits on confidentiality of settlement agreements involving certain types of claims for sexual assault, harassment and discrimination

  • Limits on releasing claims of discrimination and harassment as a condition of employment, continued employment or in exchange for a raise or bonus

  • Expansion of privilege protections to cover communications with prospective employers about sexual harassment

  • New training requirements for hotels regarding human trafficking

  • Clarification of the existing prohibition against considering an applicant’s salary history

  • Clarification of existing lawmaking construction contractors liable for their subcontractors’ wage violations

  • New exceptions to meal period requirements for certain motor carriers and rest period requirements for certain employees in the petroleum industry

  • Temporary carve-out from PAGA liability for construction employees covered by collective bargaining agreements

  • New requirements concerning lactation accommodations

  • Significant new court decisions concerning the independent contractor relationship, wage and hour requirements and the enforceability of existing California law prohibiting employers from volunteering personnel information to immigration authorities 

  • Current minimum wage requirements both statewide and on local level

 

The webinar will also address steps employers can take to achieve compliance including evaluating current personnel practices and updating employee handbooks, employment agreements and training protocol.

Register here.

February 20, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

#MeToo Movement Update: Practical Strategies for Training, Investigations, and Discipline

Presented by Kara M. Maciel and Lindsay A. DiSalvo

 

In 2017, we saw the proliferation of the #MeToo Movement with a slew of high-profile allegations of sexual harassment and assault and tens of thousands of people, mostly women, voicing their own experiences on social media using the hashtag “Metoo”.  Its momentum continued into 2018, with more people coming forward to make allegations of sexual assault and harassment and the Movement’s purpose becoming an even more prominent and influential topic of discourse.  Its significance and impact has not slowed and its influence and impact is likely to be felt into 2019 and beyond.  So, what does this mean for employers?

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, the amount of sexual harassment claims filed with the EEOC increased by almost 14% in FY 2018 versus FY 2017.  In addition, the EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits against employers in FY 2018, which is more than a 50% increase in EEOC suits challenging sexual harassment compared to FY 2017.  Thus, it is more important than ever for employers to ensure they are effectively preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the work environment through their policies, training, and investigative procedures.

Participants will learn about the following:

  • The legal standards for sexual harassment and their nuances

  • Elements of an anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure

  • Elements of a sexual harassment training program

  • Best Practices for investigating complaints of sexual harassment 

  • Recommendations for how to respond to sexually harassing conduct

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. 

Register here.

March 13, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Withdrawal Liability & 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 will learn about the following:

  • Specific strategies to address this issue as well as the latest developments in litigating withdrawal liability assessments 

  • Current legislative environment for multiemployer pension plans and issues

  • Recently-ended work of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

April 16, 2018 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Guide to Responding to 11(c) Safety Retaliation Complaints and Notices of Alleged Hazards/Employee Safety Complaints​

Presented by Kate M. McMahon and Lindsay A. DiSalvo

When OSHA receives a complaint related to employee safety and health or a severe injury report, one action by OSHA is to give the employer an opportunity to respond before it takes the more extreme action of opening an inspection.  In addition, when OSHA receives an allegation of retaliation, it must provide the employer a chance to explain why the action of which it is accused was legitimate or did not occur as alleged.  These responses are an opportunity for the employer to provide sufficient information to avoid an inspection or litigation of a retaliation claim.  A strong response could appease OSHA’s concerns and resolve the complaint or report in a favorable manner for the employer.  However, these responses can also create a written record of admissions to which OSHA can hold the employer accountable, and any supporting documentation may be closely scrutinized and used to create liability.  Thus, employers must be strategic about the information they share at this early stage and should ensure there is a procedure in place for managing and developing these responses.   

Participants will learn about the following:

  • The types of complaints and incidents that lead OSHA to request information from the employer

  • Specific prohibitions of Section 11(c) (OSHA’s anti-retaliation law) and how retaliation complaints are evaluated

  • Strategies employers can use to effectively respond to Section 11(c) complaints, Notices of Alleged Hazards, and RRI requests

  • Proactive measures employers can take to avoid employee complaints

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

May 15, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Hot Topics Involving Disability Access Laws – Websites, Animals & Allergies

Presented by Kara M. MacielJordan B. Schwartz and Megan S. Shaked
 

In the past few years, plaintiffs have filed hundreds of lawsuits across the country alleging that owners and operators of hotels, restaurants, stores, and other places of public accommodation have been using websites that are inaccessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  This is on top of the hundreds of other “brick and mortar” lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging that certain physical components of hotels, restaurants and stores violate the ADA.  As if this were not enough, places of accommodation also continue to be faced with tricky and complex issues regarding service animals and customer allergies, both of which also often result in contentious lawsuits.  This webinar will present practical tips and tricks for managing the risk of litigation in this ever-evolving area of the law. 

​Participants will learn about the following:​

  • The broad scope of disability access laws and how employers are most often affected

  • Practical tips on website accessibility

  • Guidance on accommodating service and emotional support animals

  • Best practices when dealing with customers with severe allergies and autoimmune conditions such as celiac

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

June 12, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Summer Loving – Managing Relationships in the Workplace, Nepotism and Other Interpersonal Issues

Presented by Andrew J. Sommer and Megan S. Shaked

Is love in the air?  Even in the age of dating apps, romantic relationships still often blossom at work.  How does an employer navigate these waters while protecting company productivity and morale and managing potential risk associated with such relationships? 

 

​Participants will learn about the following:​

  • Best practices for managing romantic relationships in the workplace

  • The do’s and dont’s of handling familial relationships within an organization

  • How to best manage interpersonal issues when they arise

  • The pros and cons of “love contracts” and other common policies

  • Tips for recognizing and avoiding potential risk of inappropriate relationships

  • Guidance on responding to related complaints of favoritism, harassment, and other related issues

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

July 17, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Best Practices for Protecting your Company's Primary Assets: Its Workforce, Trade Secrets and Customer Relationships​

Presented by Jordan B. Schwartz and Daniel C. Deacon

The protection of trade secrets and confidential and proprietary Information are essential for companies.  As a result, employers must be vigilant against the continued threat of such information being compromised.  Proprietary and confidential information is at particular risk during times of significant employee movement.  Proactive companies should address this risk and appropriately protect and preserve data, as well as develop proactive policies for employee separations, such as requiring confidentiality agreements and non-compete and/or non-solicitation agreements.

 

Participants will learn about the following:

  • How to identify trade secrets and determine who has/should have access

  • How to understand where data resides, how it is being used and accessed, and how your company can best protect it

  • Best practices for requiring employees to enter into non-compete/non-solicit agreements upon hire

  • Practices for safeguarding your company’s information upon an employee’s termination

  • Tips for hiring employees who may be subject to restrictive covenants with their former employer

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

August 13, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Joint and Multi-Employer, Independent Contractor, and Temp Labor OSHA and Employment Law Issues

Presented by Jordan B. SchwartzEric J. Conn and Lindsay A. DiSalvo

Employment relationships can take many forms, and employers’ perceptions of their legal responsibilities for certain workers is not always reality.  An employer may classify workers as temporary workers or independent contractors, but that does not mean the Dept. of Labor will agree.  This is particularly challenging due to continuous changes in the law relating to these types of employment relationships.

One particular area in flux over the past several years has been the joint-employer standard, significantly expanding in the Obama-era NLRB decision in Browning-Ferris, but in the wake of change through an ongoing NLRB rulemaking.  Similarly, the boundary between employees and independent contractors has also been a moving target.  Although the prior Administration took the view that a majority of workers should be treated as employees in its guidance to employers, the Trump Administration has signaled a change in direction.

​Even where there is not a legal employer-employee relationship, companies may have certain safety and health obligations and potential liabilities depending on their role at multi-employer worksites or the use of temporary workers. Protecting temporary workers and enforcing the responsibilities of host employers and staffing agencies was a priority of OSHA in the Obama Administration, and the Temporary Worker Initiative it initiated continues today.  OSHA has also continued to defend its multi-employer worksite enforcement policy through legal challenges.

 

​Participants will learn about the following:

  • The current joint-employer standard and the NLRB’s rulemaking

  • Criteria used to evaluate the employer-employee relationship

  • Guidance on how to clearly establish an independent contractor relationship

  • Lawfully and effectively managing temporary workers at your workplace

  • How OSHA applies its multi-employer worksite enforcement policy

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

September 18, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Strategies for Success in Collective Bargaining

Presented by Kara M. Maciel and Mark M. Trapp
 

This webinar will focus on strategies for success in your company’s next contract negotiations. Specifically, we will discuss how to effectively prepare for collective bargaining, as well as successful execution of the company’s strategy at the table, with particular emphasis on “big ticket” items such as withdrawal liability and ongoing participation in a multiemployer fund, maximizing savings on wages and benefits and regaining flexibility in the workforce.

Participants will learn about the following:

  • Keys to effectively prepare for bargaining

  • How to prioritize and formulate strategies on difficult economic and operational issues

  • How to utilize appropriate tactics and techniques to reach a solid agreement incorporating the company’s desired changes

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

October 24, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Marijuana and Drug Testing Update

Presented by Aaron R. Gelb and Daniel C. Deacon

Recent state regulatory developments regarding medical and recreational marijuana have created a host of compliance concerns for employers. While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation giving medical marijuana usage the green light. Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. And, several states have enacted laws making the possession of small amounts of the drug a civil, not criminal, offense.

The web of varying state laws regarding when and how an employer can drug test an employee and what drugs an employer may test for further compounds these challenges, requiring that employers maintain a delicate balance between business objectives, employee rights, and state and federal laws.  Given the growing social acceptance of marijuana use, employers are struggling to develop and effectively implement workplace policies that address employee drug use without lessening the pool of talented employees.  What may be permissible under law may not necessarily be good for the business. 

This webinar will explore the changing legal landscape concerning marijuana, review tips for developing effective drug testing policies, and tips for handling employees who test positive marijuana in states where it has been legalized to some extent.   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

  • How to address off-duty use of marijuana

  • When and how to drug test an employee

  • How to develop and manage workplace drug testing policies

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

November 13, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Trust the Process:  A Deep Dive into Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Presented by Aaron R. Gelb and Daniel C. Deacon

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship.  Generally, reasonable accommodations can include modifications or adjustments to a job application process, modifications or adjustments to the work environment or to the manner or circumstances under which the position is customarily performed, or modifications or adjustments that enable a disabled employee to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.  When an employee requests a reasonable accommodation, his or her employer must engage in a back-and-forth exchange of ideas and information in an effort to determine whether and how the employee can be accommodated.  While this interactive process sounds simple, employers often fall short of what the law requires, resulting in costly and unnecessary investigations and/or litigation. 

Participants will learn about the following:

  • The interactive process generally

  • The different type of accommodations employers must consider

  • The limitations on the accommodation obligation

  • The benefits employers will realize from making a good faith effort to engage in the process even if they ultimately fail to identify a reasonable accommodation that works for both parties

  • A detailed review of the mistakes most often made by employers when dealing with requests for accommodation

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

December 17, 2019 10:00am PT 1:00pm ET

Workplace Violence and Sexual Harassment - OSHA and Employment Law Issues

 

Presented by Aaron R. GelbLindsay A. DiSalvo and Megan Shaked

Nearly 2 million American workers report being victims of workplace violence each year, and many cases go unreported. At the same time, the #MeToo movement has brought renewed focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. While there are no OSHA standards for workplace violence or sexual harassment, the General Duty Clause requires employers to provide employees a place of employment free from recognized serious hazards. Over the years, OSHA has issued General Duty Clause citations to employers after incidents of workplace violence or harassment.

Recently, one OSHA Regional office initiated an inspection after a pediatric services employee was sexually assaulted by a client’s father after complaints were made to the employer by other employees about the alleged abuser.  The EEOC, meanwhile, continues to focus on sexual harassment, having recovered nearly $70 million for employees claiming sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement in FY 2018, up from $47.5 million in FY 2017.  The question remains, however, whether OSHA will expand efforts to investigate and/or address sexual harassment, particularly in those workplaces where it is foreseeable or preventable.

 

Participants will learn about the following:

  • Enforcement priorities relative to sexual harassment and workplace violence at the EEOC and OSHA

  • Best practices related for designing effective anti-harassment policies, developing manager & employee harassment training programs, and implementing compliant investigation procedures

  • Tips for creating an organizational culture in which harassment is not tolerated and ensuring employees are held accountable

  • Steps that employers can take to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program

 

This program is valid for 1.00 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

Register here.

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