ASE's Employment Law Workshop will consist of two Plenary sessions and three sets of breakout sessions. Attendees can attend one session in each set of breakouts.
Morning Plenary: Legislative Update: Federal and Michigan
Afternoon Plenary: Ask the Panel: Everything You Wanted to Know From Your Legal Counsel and Didn’t Want to Pay For
Morning Breakout Sessions - 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
BK-1: What Actions Can I Take When an Employee is on FMLA Leave and Not Get in Trouble?
Anne-Marie Vercruysse Welch, Member, Clark Hill
FMLA was enacted as, and still is, a worker protection act. Many practitioners are frustrated because they feel they must wait until the expiration of FMLA to take any action against the employee, or personal liability could attach for FMLA retaliation or interference. This session will review various methods for controlling leave and reducing abuse while taking actions that may impact the employee, from discipline to termination. Participants will learn to navigate the technical aspects of FMLA and develop strategies to deal with the various issues that may arise under FMLA.
BK-3: Immigration Update – NAFTA, H1-Bs, DACA, and More
Alexandra V. LaCombe, Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Immigration processes are still operating as normal yet waiting for the ceiling to cave. The current administration has threatened to scuttle NAFTA, limit H-1Bs, not deal on the DACA issue, and more – all important issues to employers. This session will review the actions of the current administration and provide participants with a deeper understanding of everything that could potentially occur.
Mid-Morning Breakout Sessions - 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
BK-4: When Hiring Becomes Problematic in Your Organization?
James B. Perry, Member, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Many employers think that unless they are a federal contractor, hiring issues are not within the purview of the EEOC. However, the EEOC Bass case on systemic hiring practices, the Texas Road House case on age discrimination in hiring, and multiple ADA cases show otherwise. Interviews, surprise tests given by managers, and even the situation of “the manager told me to hire this person” can be very problematic. This session will discuss the liabilities associated with hiring practices and what employers should do and have to do to defend their ultimate hiring decision. Participants will learn hiring best practices to reduce potential liability.
BK-6: Why Worry About Unions Under the Trump Administration?
Frank T. Mamat, Shareholder, Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.
Union membership has decreased greatly over the years, and unions are under attack by the Trump Administration. The NLRB is taking a 180-degree turn. The Janus case before the U.S. Supreme Court could spell a death blow on public union funding. Yet micro-union organizing is growing as Boeing in South Carolina just discovered, and Millennials (the largest segment of our current workforce) support unions. This session will provide participants an update as to union and NLRB activity under the Trump Administration and provide guidance as to how the Janus decision will impact private sector unions.
Afternoon Breakout Sessions - 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
BK-7: When are Others’ Employees Considered my Responsibility?
Sheryl A. Laughren, Partner, Berry Moorman PC
Randy Barker, Partner, Berry Moorman PC
Joint responsibility obligations arise for many daily. Whether the NLRB, OSHA, EEOC, IRS or other agencies have a claim against the employer is dependent how the joint employment was established and managed. This session will provide participants with scenarios of joint responsibility where liability could arise for the employer and what policies and practices should be in place to reduce the potential hit of when a complaint, agency investigation, or lawsuit arises.
BK-8: Performance, Performance, and More Performance
S. Rae Gross, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Every organization conducts performance reviews and appraisals. However, this tool is one of the most complained about by managers and employees. Managers complain because they do not want to have difficult conversations and want to be perceived as the “good guy.” Employees complain because they don’t like criticism. Yet, disciplining an employee who has excellent performance reviews becomes very problematic. If performance reviews are on a scale, and managers are not trained, a systemic issue could arise. Participants will learn the ins and outs of how performance reviews can lead to employer liability if not done properly.
BK-9: Managing the “Tug of War” Between Proactive Diversity & Inclusion Efforts and Legal Risk Concerns
Terry Bonnette, Partner, Nemeth Law PC
For many employers, there is a divide between the cutting-edge world of proactive diversity efforts and the tension that often arises when viewing those programs under the lens of legal risk. The push to drive a harmonious workplace and diversity initiatives can get caught in the legal quagmire of legal risk assessments as companies grapple with questions such as, should the company conduct unconscious bias training? Should the company have Employer Resource Groups, and if so, which ones? What does it say about our organization if we don’t have them? Should our D&I programs be measured, and if so, how? Can I cloak that information in the attorney-client privilege? How should D&I messages be communicated externally and internally? Participants will learn the gray answers to the above questions as well as strategies and tactics to build a proactive diversity program.