Human Resource Law 2016-10-14T19:32:29+00:00

Human Resource Law

Below you’ll find descriptions of each workshop session associated with the Human Resource Law track. For questions, contact Lori Jo Goff at or 502-848-8727.

L1: Minimizing Company Exposure in Government Audits and Investigations
– Wendy Hyland | Attorney, Fisher & Phillips
– Todd Logsdon | Partner, Fisher & Phillips
– Mark Gomsak | Associate, Fisher & Phillips

Discuss best practices for handling unplanned government investigations with tips on process and procedure for the best possible outcome.

L2: Special Employment Law Topics for Religiously-Affiliated Employers
– Elizabeth Muyskens | Attorney, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
– Allison Cooker | Attorney, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Religiously-affiliated employers have unique defenses available to them in judicial proceedings. In order to make the most of these defenses, religiously-affiliated employers need to pay particular attention to their governing documents, job descriptions, employee handbooks and other personnel documents. During this session, we will provide an overview of the defenses available to religiously-affiliated employers in employment suits and suggest proactive steps that can be taken now to increase their likelihood of success.

L3: Getting Worker Classification Right
– Jeff Calabrese | Practice Group Leader, Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group,
Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Are your workers employees, contractors, interns, or volunteers? The legal status of each of your organization’s workers is critical for compensation and tax purposes. Misclassification, moreover, can result in government investigations, lawsuits, legal fees, and poor morale. Unfortunately, employers don’t always appreciate the significance of this determination – or the rigorous criteria used to make the right call. Attendees will gain a better understanding of why this issue is so important, understand the classification factors used by judges and government regulators, and learn proactive measures to stay compliant and “do right” by their workforce.

L4a: Mock Employment Jury Trial (Part 1)
Mitzi Wyrick | Attorney, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP

The job of a human resources professional can be demanding and stressful, especially when an employment dispute results in litigation. Not only will you be expected to testify at depositions and trials, but the jury will scrutinize and second-guess your company’s decisions and actions. In this session you will have a chance to be a juror and sit in judgment in the mock trial of an employment case. In the first hour the employer and the employee will present their cases to you. Each will be represented by counsel who will make opening statements, call witnesses (including company witnesses), cross-examine the witnesses for the other side, and then make closing arguments, asking you to find for their respective clients.

L4b: Mock Employment Jury Trial (Part 2)
Mitzi Wyrick | Attorney, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP

In the second half of the mock trial, the “judge” presiding over the case will give you written jury instructions just like you would receive in a real trial, along with a verdict form.  Then the real fun begins.  You will split up into panels of twelve “jurors” and will deliberate and try to reach a verdict.  After deliberations, each jury panel will announce its verdict and explain why they reached that verdict.  Through this process, it is hoped that you will learn how future litigation with your employees might be seen through the eyes of others and, as a result, make decisions that will help keep you and your company out of court.

L5: The Top Employment Cases and Legislation of 2016
– Mauritia Kamer | Stites & Harbison, PLLC

One of the greatest challenge in HR is keeping up with the volume of decisions that courts make and determining which cases are truly important for you to understand. Through engaging discussion and fact pattern development, participants will learn and explore the top cases/legislation over the past year. We will deal with how these cases impact your workplace. In this session you will also learn practical applications of the underlying principles from the decisions which will give you a list of issues to consider once you return to your organization. Participants will: Learn about the latest impactful court decisions in employment law, Gain an understanding of how the respective decisions will alter the execution of HR functions going forward, and evaluate case law to assist HR in reviewing existing policies and procedures to identify potential areas of necessary alteration as a result of these new cases.

L6: Background Screening: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Organization
– Debra Keller, FCRA Advanced Certified  | VP of Operations & Compliance, Reference Services, Inc.

In today’s litigious environment, performing background checks is more important than ever. An employer can improve applicant quality, reduce employee theft and violence AND protect themselves from negligent hiring, which is very much in the headlines today. However, not understanding what makes a background check truly comprehensive or the differences between bad data and good data can almost render a background check useless. Additionally HR professionals are challenged to keep up with the ever changing regulatory environment regarding the use of criminal records and consumer reports, while there’s NO education provided on background screening. This presentation covers comprehensive reports, data sources, credit reports and many legal compliancy problems and how to avoid them. It is a must attend for all HR professionals who are responsible for talent management, hiring & recruiting or compliance practices in their organization.

L7: Emerging Issues in Protections for LGBT Employees
– Allison Moreman | Attorney, Jackson Kelly PLLC

While states differ on their recognized protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals, the federal landscape is expanding to provide a more inclusive environment in the workplace with federal benefits and protections. Changes in rules, regulations, and EEOC and court interpretations of existing laws are changing the landscape of employment issues affecting LGBT employees. As employers are navigating these issues in recruiting, hiring, promoting, firing, benefits, and payroll, they need to be aware of these landmark decisions at the federal level. This presentation examines emerging issues and questions employers may have related to protections for its LGBT employees. We will provide an overview and update of laws, including benefit issues, combating sexual orientation discrimination, as well as common workplace issues employers may face with gender identity, including confidentiality, dress and appearance, restrooms/lockers, and insurance/benefits.

L8: Oh No…Please Tell Me You Didn’t!
Lynn Ingmire, SHRM-SCP, SPHR | President/Owner, Essential HR Partners, LLC
– Marian Ahl | EEI Advantage LLC

Following a brief explanation of the EEOC and its role in preventing harassment/discrimination in the workplace and an overview of compliance concerns and issues from the perspective of the employer, the workshop participants will be presented with three vignettes of workplace examples of current hot buttons for the EEOC. The EEOC investigator will probe into the issues as presented to bring out facts of the case. At the conclusion of the vignette, the workshop participants will determine if there is probable cause for additional investigation or if the case should be dismissed. To conclude the session, the EEOC investigator will provide explanation of the laws protecting employees which were portrayed in the vignettes. There will also be a summary of the good intentions in each case that may take the organization into court.

L9: What HR Professionals Should Know About the Recent Trends in NLRB Decisions and Guidance
Cynthia Effinger| Attorney, McBrayer Law Firm
– Stephen Amato | McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC

The National Labor Relations Board has been on a tear in recent years, broadening labor protections while giving employers very little else in return. The trend recently has been toward increasing the sphere of protection afforded to employees under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Employee actions on social media, employee complaints and particularly employee handbooks have all been the subject of increased focus by the NLRB in both decisions and guidance. Additionally, the NLRB recently adopted a new standard for joint employer liability, further increasing the headaches of employers. This presentation will discuss the trend toward an expanded definition of “concerted activities” and what employers should be aware of with regard to their employee handbooks.

L10: Working on Overtime: Preparing for DOL’s Changes to FLSA Overtime Regulations
– LaToi Mayo | Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, P.C.
– Jay Inman | Associate, Littler Mendelson, P.C.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division, proposed sweeping changes to the regulations that govern the “white collar” overtime exemptions. In September 2016, these rules should be finalized. This session will provide guidance on the proposed regulations and practical steps on how employers can respond and prepare to these proposed changes. During the session you’ll learn: The latest on when the final regulations should be announced. The substantive changes in the exemption standards proposed by the DOL. How these changes will affect your exempt employee classifications. And, practical considerations for addressing these anticipated changes.