Human Resource Law 2017-07-11T02:28:59+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: Legal Remedies for HR Headaches
– Cynthia Effinger | Associate, McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC

There are a host of questions that H.R. personnel perennially have to consider when employment practices potentially intersect with employment laws. The potpourri of topics in this session will cover a litany of daily headaches for H.R. personnel, providing practical best practices for understanding where the lines are drawn and how to deal with common questions. This session is strategically-tailored to the legal concerns of H.R. personnel, crafted from real-life questions presented to employment lawyers.

L2: Social Media Networking Sites and Employment-related Decisions
– Stacy Miller, M.A., J.D. | Attorney, Member, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Employees are increasingly turning to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to share information about their jobs. To the chagrin of companies everywhere, employees are also using social media sites to complain about their jobs. More and more, employers are having to make tough decisions about when and how to discipline employees for negative posts, blogs or tweets about work. While employees should think twice before making work-related posts on social media sites, employers should think, too, before taking disciplinary action that could run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). But that doesn’t mean employers are powerless to protect themselves against employees’ online activity. In this session, we will discuss National Labor Relations Board’s position on social media policies and related discipline and discuss ways to lawfully address employee social media use.

L3: Are You in Compliance? The 411 for Managing OSHA Investigations/Inspections and an Update on OSHA Recordkeeping and Retaliation Rules
– Todd Logsdon | Partner, Fisher Phillips

In this presentation, attendees will learn the importance of employers being ready to effectively deal with an OSHA inspection by asserting their legal rights, while at the same time staying on top of any OSHA inspection in order to minimize potential citations as well as significant penalties. This is designed to help employers be prepared and exercise their legal rights – prior to, during and after inspections – with the goal of minimizing the company’s OSHA liability. Attendees will also receive an update on the final rules on recordkeeping that have dramatically increased all employers’ reporting requirements, while at the same time exposing them to retaliation claims.

L4A: Mock Employment Jury Trial (Part 1)
Mitzi Wyrick | Partner, 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 | Partner, 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: Run, Hide, Fight: Dealing with Active Shooters and Other Workplace Violence
– George Adams | Partner, Fisher Phillips

Many companies have hired consultants to perform “active shooter training” in response to highly publicized tragedies. This is a good idea, but workplace shootings are relatively rare; are you prepared for more common types of workplace violence? Do you understand your legal risks, rights, and obligations? This presentation will discuss a wide range of issues, including evaluating your workplace for risks, protecting isolated workers, understanding “parking lot gun laws” and concealed carry issues, executive protection, evaluating and dealing with angry employees, preparedness and prevention, and other difficult issues.

L6: Employment Law Case and Legislative Update for 2017
– Mauritia Kamer  | Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

The most significant court decisions and legislative actions for the past year will be covered as well as their application and implications for employment practices and litigation. Presentation will include the latest decisions on the meaning of “qualified” under the ADA, a discussion of best practices in managing the medical certification process, and when employee comments trigger the accommodation interactive process. Issues involving transgender employees in the workplace and other legislative developments on the horizon.

L7: How Much Is Too Much?
– Laurie Kemp, JD | Attorney, Kightlinger & Gray
– Toni Ahl | President, EEO Advantage LLC

What should a response to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contain? What should you include and what should you leave out? When do you need to get outside counsel involved and when should you handle in house?   When considering what to include in an effective position statement, there are several steps that a Respondent should consider before providing its response. Consideration should be given to the pertinent facts and policies to be initially addressed. In April 2016, the EEOC began providing copies of position statements to Charging Parties and/or their Counsel. Additionally, EEOC now uses a digital charge processing system which allows access not previously given. Participants will be given some tips for preparing effective position statements and some best practices for responding to EEOC. Hear the viewpoints of a very experienced Labor and Employment Attorney, Laurie Kemp, and a former EEOC Investigator, Toni Ahl.

L8: Religious Freedom at Work
– LaToi Mayo | Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
– Leila O’Carra | Special Counsel, Littler Mendelson PC
– Jay Inman | Attorney at Law, Littler Mendelson PC

We will provide an up-to-the-minute update on evolving trends in protected time off and the accommodation of employees’ religious beliefs. We will discuss how accommodation obligations differ based on the reason for the accommodation request. Our presenters will discuss common misconceptions and areas where they see well-intentioned employers err in handling leave and accommodation requests and will provide guidance on how to improve the way you and your team manage these requests. Please join us for what is certain to be a timely and lively discussion.

L9: I Have to Do an Investigation – Now What?
Lynn Ingmire, SHRM-SCP, SPHR | President/Owner, Essential HR Partners, LLC
– Laurie Kemp | Partner, Kightlinger and Gray
– Toni Ahl | President, EEO Advantage LLC
– Jennifer Wheatley, SHRM-SCP, SPHR | President/Owner, CenterPointHR, LLC

Knowing where to begin and what to do can be a daunting task when you are confronted with an issue that requires an investigation. Conducting a thorough investigation is more than asking who, what, when, where, how and why. Interviewing a variety of people with different personalities, educational levels and in various positions within the company also presents some interesting issues. You will be hearing from Lynn Ingmire, Jennifer Wheatley, Laurie Kemp an Toni Ahl. Together this group has over a century of experience in conducting interviews and investigations. Each of the panelists will provide you with some practical tips for interviewing and conducting the actual investigation. You will also have an opportunity to address the panelists with those burning issues you’ve had, but were afraid to ask.

L10: The Trump Transition: Changes in Employment and Labor Law Under President Trump and a Republican Congress
– Mark Gomsak, Esq. | Attorney, Fisher Phillips

After eight years of President Obama, what can employers now expect under a Trump Administration? Well, President Trump is unapologetically pro-business, promises extensive de-regulation, has the authority to appoint new federal agency leadership, can sign executive actions and repeal those of his predecessor, and has a friendly Republican Congress with which to work. It is, therefore, safe to say we can expect a sea-change in labor and employment law and how it’s enforced. In this seminar, we will explore the statutory, regulatory and enforcement priorities and changes being pursued by President Trump and the new Congress and how they will impact employers now and in the near future.

L11: Drug and Alcohol Testing and Substance Abuse in the Workplace
– Elizabeth Muyskens, Esq. | Attorney, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
– Allison Cooke, Esq. | Attorney, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Substance abuse continues to be prevalent in our society, and workplaces are no exception. In this session, we will discuss considerations for private sector employers before choosing to implement a drug or alcohol testing policy, and will address legal implications and practical tips for pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, and post-accident testing policies, particularly in light of ADA requirements and recently-revised OSHA regulations. The session will also review regulatory requirements and recent judicial developments relating to prescription drug use, alcoholism, and persons in rehabilitative drug treatment programs.

L12: Kentucky Labor and Employment Law Reform – Right to Work and Beyond
– Robert Hudson, J.D. | Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC

The General Assembly’s 2017 session was historic in the area of labor and employment relations. In addition to right to work enactment and prevailing wage repeal, comprehensive reform has been proposed by business groups. This presentation will explain the implications of the proposals which passed in 2017, together with a prediction of important items likely to pass in 2018.

L13: Implementing a Successful Tobacco-free Policy at the Worksite
– Melinda Ickes | BREATHE, University of Kentucky

Improving employees’ health results in higher productivity and lower healthcare costs for employers. Tobacco-free policies create an opportunity to reduce tobacco use among employees and promote a healthy place to work. This session will focus on ways your organization can become tobacco-free or improve adherence to current tobacco-free policies. We will share evidence-based policy implementation strategies based on the 3Ts Model: Tell, Treat, Train. Attendees will be introduced to model tobacco-free policies, successful implementation and compliance strategies, and methods of evaluating outcomes. Attendees will draft elements of an action plan to advance tobacco-free policy at the worksite.