The event of the year for every employment law professional
The Institute will provide an update on everything new and significant in employment law. You will have a chance to experience great education from major players in employment law in and around Pennsylvania. The Employment Law Institute keeps you at the forefront by making sure you know what's new. Join us for this rich educational experience!
How do the new developments impact your practice and your clients?
The Employment Law Institute 2020 brings you comprehensive updates, insights and practical advice – and the opportunity to tailor your own personalized agenda through numerous breakout session options in addition to the plenary sessions.
- Post-Epic Arbitration
- Managing Employment Challenges in an Age of Opioids, CBDs and Medical Marijuana
- Independent Contractor or Employee
- Restrictive Covenants
- Artificial Intelligence
- ADA Accommodations
- Developments in LGBT Employment Rights
- Immigration Law
- The Risks of Background Checks
- Trade Secret Claims
- Off-Duty Conduct
- Flexible Work Arrangements
- Navigating the FMLA
- Privacy in the Workplace
Create your own program - so many great topics
The Institute offers so many breakout session options, this year through webinars, addressing significant employment law topics from numerous angles - all designed to provide you with information and practice tips to make you better at what you do. Tailor a program to your specific needs by selecting the sessions that matter to you and your practice. This is just one of the many features that make this Institute an outstanding investment of time in your professional development.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
8:30 – 9:30 am
Year in Review: What’s New in Employment Law
Mr. Seymour, Mr. Torchia
Have you stayed abreast of the recent employment cases during the past year? The Institute will kick off with a spirited point/counterpoint exchange between Rick Seymour and Mike Torchia who will examine some of the most interesting and significant employment law cases of the year. You will learn the holdings of the recent cases and take away practical advice on how these changes impact your clients in 2020.
9:40 – 10:40 am
Settlement Strategies and Tips
Judge Caracappa, Judge Strawbridge, Ms. Abrams, Ms. Malloy
In this practical, interactive discussion, prominent magistrate judges and experienced litigators will share concrete strategies and tips for achieving success in settlements.
10:50 am – 11:50 pm
So You Think Your Investigation Is Privileged (ETHICS)
Ms. Derewicz, Ms. Maley
Internal investigations are critical to employers’ compliance with both legal standards and best practices. Increasingly, employers are looking to attorneys to conduct their most sensitive investigations, often with the expectation that the findings will enjoy privilege from disclosure in any subsequent litigation. Many clients are dismayed to learn later that investigations may not be privileged. We will focus on best practices in structuring investigations, steps investigating attorneys may take to preserve privilege to the extent possible, and how attorneys should advise their clients with respect to privilege issues.
12:30 – 1:30 PM
The Next Generation Spoliation: The New Rules for Mishandling Evidence
Attend for a discussion on how the 2016 Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Nos. 24, 26 and 37 have been interpreted by federal courts, with a focus on: • the “intent to deprive a party of evidence” spoliation standard • the requirement of “reasonable” preservation efforts • when does negligent mishandling of evidence result in spoliation under the new standards?
1::40 – 2:40 PM
Enforceability of an Arbitration Agreement
Mr. Karpf, Mr. Nolan
Arbitration is an increasingly popular form of Alternative Dispute Resolution and many business now require a provision in their employment agreements. Learn how to draft an enforceable arbitration agreement or what to look for to attack the validity or enforceability of the agreement.
2:50 – 3:50 pm
Managing Employment Challenges in an Age of Opioid, CBDs, Medical Marijuana, Drugs & Alcohol
Ms. Flitter, Ms. Kirshenbaum, Ms. Rosenblum
The opioid crisis has created significant challenges for employers. It is estimated that on average, U.S. employers lose $10 billion per year from lost work and lower employee productivity due to the opioid crisis, which has also caused employer health plan expenditures to skyrocket. We will provide practical advice on mitigating the risk of disability discrimination claims, managing FMLA leave and supporting employee recovery. We will discuss how to talk to employees about suspected drug abuse and the importance of tailoring employer responses based on business need, the law and the individual’s circumstances.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
8:30 – 9:30 am
Making the Most of Evidence in Your Employment Cases
Chief Judge Sanchez, Judge Heffley, Judge Rice, Ms. Mattiacci, Mr. Torchia, Mr. S. Console (moderator)
Here is your chance to take away practical tips from the judges on the best use of evidence in your employment cases. Hear the candid discussion of the judges about strategies to make the most of your evidence.
9:40 – 10:40 AM
EEOC Update from the Regional Director
Find out the latest developments in EEO law and EEOC litigation from the Philadelphia Regional Attorney. Always a crowd pleaser!
10:50 am – 11:50 am
Managing the Media (ETHICS)
Ms. Bond, Ms. Rubel, Mr. Simon, Mr. Goldshaw (moderator)
The media can be a powerful force in shaping public perception. There can be strategic advantages, as well as disadvantages, to having the media take an interest in your legal matter. If you have a case that garners media attention, how can you manage the media within the ethics rules? Come to hear a discussion on: • navigating Rule 3.6 • communicating in a way your message can be heard • do’s and don’ts when it comes to talking to the media • managing media inquiries • having a plan for when the media comes calling • working effectively with third party partners such as PR firms and crisis agencies.
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Blurred Lines Between Work and Play: Employer Regulation of Off-Duty Conduct
Ms. Humma, Mr. Pedrow
How far can employers go in taking action against employees based on off-duty conduct? Using fact patterns and examples, we will focus on how employers may address: • off-duty criminal activity • off-duty marijuana use • off-duty conduct statutes • social media activity • moonlighting • relationships.
1:40 – 2:40 pm
Managing Your Workplace After COVID-19
Mr. Ezold, Ms. Grubbs
With the concerns regarding the spread and impact of COVID-19, many of your clients moved to remote working environments. Discussions will include a walk-through of the employment laws effected by a remote working environment.
2:50 – 3:50 pm
Flexible Work Arrangements
Ms. Barish, Mr. Bell, Ms. Tiernan
Technology is transforming the workplace. Many employees, not just Millennials and Gen Z workers, want or expect a flexible work schedule. But what are some pitfalls with that flexibility? Is regular attendance even an essential function of the job? When must you adjust work schedules or permit work from home as a reasonable accommodation to an employee’s disability? When is leave an FMLA issue? Learn when flexibility, or the lack of flexibility, in schedules could implicate employment or wage and hour laws.
Other Session Available as Webcasts throughout the Year:
Managing Employee Leave and Accommodation Under the FMLA, ADA and Local Leave Laws
Ms. Moretzsohn, Ms. Turenne
It can be difficult for employers to manage employee leave requests with so many overlapping and rapidly changing laws. Employers need to understand the interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state and local leave laws. We will cover: • the distinctions between a “serious health condition” and a “disability” • the process for identifying a medical issue as FMLA and/or ADA qualifying • details about intermittent leave and reasonable accommodation • when job protection is required. You will need your cell phone for this informative and interactive session!
Navigating the Murky Waters of the FMLA: The Tough Issues
Ms. Burke, Ms. Greenspan
Take a peek at recent FMLA opinions from across the country, including FMLA abuse, employer’s use of third-party administrators, the re-certification process, answering the question of whether plaintiffs can really obtain summary judgment on interference claims, and delving into damages issues, including the nature of proofs required for the “good faith” defense and avoiding liquidated damages.
My Employee on Leave Is Doing WHAT on Facebook: Using Technology to Detect, Confront and Prevent Leave Abuse
Employees fraudulently taking leave impacts an employer’s bottom line, company resources and the morale of the employees who are working harder to cover the work of employees on leave. The use of social media, video surveillance and other technology, if properly utilized, can effectively detect and prevent leave abuse. What can employers do if an employee is posting on social media while on leave, or is otherwise suspected of leave abuse? What are the legal risks? Take away the guardrails needed to successfully use technology to confront leave abuse.
Fighting the War for Talent, Protecting Business and Employee Interests Through Restrictive Covenants
Mr. Bogan, Mr. Haller
Join us for a discussion of the changing legislative environment for restrictive employment agreements, particularly non-compete provisions. We will also explore the recent case law developments and practical tips for drafting, enforcing and defending post-employment restrictions.
No-Hire/No-Poach Agreements: The Latest Developments
Mr. Nahass, Ms. Nentwig, Mr. Worley
The rapidly evolving law surrounding no-hire/no-poach agreements has the potential to affect businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries. We will provide important, practical updates on current Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission guidance regarding such agreements, the eff orts of various states’ attorneys general to initiate investigations and enforcement actions against violators, the impact of recent no-poach cases in Pennsylvania and across the country, and real-world examples designed to facilitate discussion.
Litigating Trade Secret Claims Beyond Injunctive Relief
Mr. Krause, Ms. Moylan, Mr. Nofer
Employment lawyers are often accustomed to litigation seeking immediate injunctive relief through a TRO or preliminary injunction where a departing employee has misappropriated confidential information and/or violated contractual agreements. But what about circumstances where injunctive relief does not make sense or is not available? We the look at the pros and cons of not seeking injunctive relief in such claims, best practices for prosecuting and defending trade secret claims under such circumstances, and some of the common mistakes/traps that practitioners may make.
Arbitration 2020: The Post-Epic Fallout
Explore the U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the arbitration of employment disputes, the issues the Supreme Court has left open, the impact on new state statutes regulating the arbitration of employment claims and key case law developments regarding the arbitration of employment disputes.
Private Arbitration Decisions: A Discussion About Practical Do’s and Don’ts When Proceeding in Arbitration
Judge Blewitt, Judge Stengel (Ret.), Ms. Meyer, Mr. Lantis (moderator)
Because of the efficient resolution of disputes and overwhelming approval by the United States Supreme Court, the use of private arbitration in employment matters continues to rise. In this session, we will have a moderated discussion with some of the area’s best arbitrators about how to make the most out of your arbitration. The topics that the panel will discuss include how to approach the initial conference, whether filing a motion for summary judgment is really a good idea, whether to submit oral or written closings, and everything in between. The panel will examine strategies that are effective, as well as some that fell flat.
Settlements: What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong
Mr. Candiello, Mr. Gold
Come to hear experienced practitioners share their tips to avoid the many pitfalls to a successful settlement. Gain a better understanding of what to do and what not to do during a settlement.
Title VII Employment Discrimination 101
Come to understand the following core Title VII subjects: • protected employee and covered employee thresholds • conduct prohibited by Title VII • common employer defenses • potential remedies and damages • recent developments.
Developments in LGBT Employment Rights: Pending Landmark US Supreme Court Cases & More
Mr. Anderson, Ms. Klitsch, Mr. Gonzalez-Pagan, Mr. Ude (moderator)
In October 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in three appeals in which the Court is asked to address the rights of LGBT workers under federal antidiscrimination law. While these decisions are almost certain to be landmarks, they are only part of the landscape. Pennsylvania courts consider interpretations of federal antidiscrimination statutes when interpreting Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act and local antidiscrimination laws – but federal interpretations are not binding. We will address those laws through textual analysis, theory and practicality. This session is intended to help ensure that employers and employees and the attorneys advising them understand their respective rights, responsibilities and choices.
The Issues of Ageism in the Workplace
Mr. Ewan, Mr. Macey
The issue of ageism in the workplace—the telltale signs that age has been considered in workplace decisions, how to use that to the benefit of the employee, and how to counsel employers around such issues.
Workplace Sexual Harassment: Proving It, Defending It
Attend to hear practical solutions on how to resolve workplace harassment disputes. Examine the legal issues regarding workplace harassment, including: • what constitutes illegal harassment • what a good anti-harassment policy looks like • what lawyers representing employers and employees need to know about investigations and responses to complaints • potential defenses and damages under existing law.
Fallout of a #MeToo Complaint: Dealing with the Alleged Abuser
How does an employer adequately investigate an allegation of harassment and deal fairly with the alleged abuser? What are the concerns that an employer should raise? Learn the best practices to prevent a lawsuit from the alleged harasser.
Retaliation Claims: When to Raise Them and What May Make Them Stick
Ms. Michael, Mr. Munshi
The success or failure of a retaliation claim often turns on one thing: timing. During this session, you will hear from a plaintiff-side attorney and a defense-side attorney on critical issues including when an employee engages in protected activity, how an employee may maximize the protected activity’s significance and how employers should or should not respond to an employee’s complaints to best prepare for resolution or litigation.
Closing the Pay Gap: How the Courts Are Deciding Pay Equity Cases
Gender pay equity has become an increasing concern in many workplaces. Attend to review the recent case law in this area as well as understand how to advise your clients.
Fifty for Fifty: The Fifty Biggest State and Local Employment Laws of the Past Year
In a fast-paced presentation, we will discuss the fifty most significant state and local employment laws enacted in the past year. Grouping these state and local laws by topic, we will discuss trends and practice changes affecting mid-Atlantic based employers. Laws limiting inquiries about salary history, mandatory leave laws, ban the box legislation, mandatory harassment prevention training, mandatory anti-harassment policy language, pay equity legislation and changes in restrictive covenant law, will all be discussed.
Artificial Intelligence Is Coming to Your Law Firm: How to Get Ready for It
While law firms and corporate law departments have not been among the first to embrace artificial intelligence, AI will soon play a significant role in how we all practice law. We will discuss what AI is, how it is beginning to impact the practice of labor and employment law, and steps today’s lawyers need to take to ready themselves for the coming revolution.
When ICE Comes Knocking (and More): Employment and Immigration Law in the Trump Era
Anyone who reads the news knows that immigration enforcement is on the rise under President Donald Trump’s administration. Increasingly, that has required employment law specialists to address issues affecting the employers they represent. We will discuss how to prepare employers for potential worksite investigations by ICE and USCIS. We will also educate attendees regarding the Department of Justice’s enforcement of unfair immigration related employment practices and reverse national origin claims. Delve into complications that multi-national employers face due to long wait times for employment-based work visas and the rise of “employment-based immigration litigation” as a potential solution. We will also provide updates regarding hot-button topics like the new “public charge” rule and the status of litigation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) and temporary protected status (“TPS”) programs.
A 20/20 View of Ethical Issues in Employment Law (ETHICS)
Mr. Campolongo, Ms. Dee
Join us for an engaging discussion on: • what happens when a background check on an employee comes back clean, but their social media suggests otherwise? Ethical implications can leave you scratching your head • the ethics of “attorney’s eyes only” agreements between counsel – take ‘em or leave ‘em? • are you up to speed on issues of accommodating employees who are neurodivergent? • can you really get sanctioned for doing an interview calling the defendant’s conduct “fraud”? maybe • friending judges on Facebook and elsewhere. Good idea? Bad idea?
Social Media and Other Hot Topics for Public Sector Employees and Employers
The wide-spread use of social media presents unique issues for public sector employers, employees, and the unions representing public sector employees. We will deal with such issues as: when a public sector employer or employee can object to a member of the public taking photos and videos of employees for dissemination on social media; when a public sector employee can be disciplined for social media posting; and when a public sector employee can object to their image being used by the employer. Additionally, we will address other recent issues impacting public sector employment.
Best Practices to Handle the Hiring Process
Are you wondering what questions you can ask a job applicant? Unsure what to do with the criminal background check report you received for an applicant (or if you even should have asked about criminal history)? Thinking about checking out an applicant’s Instagram or Twitter account? If these are questions you find yourself asking as you hire new employees, join us for an informative session on best practices for hiring.
The Risks of Background Checks: To Check or Not to Check
Mr. Benedetti, Ms. Galbally, Ms. Hartman
Background checks in the employment context have increasingly come under fi re. The use of such checks has been tested under an evolving legal landscape, including under Title VII, Pennsylvania’s Criminal History and Information Act, and the City of Philadelphia’s Ban-the- Box ordinance. More recently, the propriety of background checks has been challenged under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We will address the background check minefield that employers must navigate in order to limit liability.
Tee Up for Termination: Tips for Avoiding Wrongful Discharge Claims
Come to understand litigation avoidance strategies in the context of termination. Learn the legal basis for wrongful discharge claims under federal and state discrimination law and how to effectively manage thorny personnel situations while avoiding claims. Topics will be related to employment termination, including unemployment compensation, COBRA, and separation agreements.
Wage and Hour Law Basics
Come to hear a discussion on the basics of FLSA litigation, including: • FLSA basics• White collar exemptions • independent contractors • settlement of FLSA suits.
Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law
Ms. Rawitt, Mr. Winebrake
The past 12 months have brought about significant changes in federal and state wage and hour law. We will summarize the most important changes and describe what you should look out for in the months ahead. Topics will include: • recent Third Circuit opinions addressing the FLSA • impact of the PA Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Chevalier v. GNC • importance of the PA Supreme Court’s anticipated opinion in Heimbach v. Amazon.com • summary of the Trump Administration’s recent changes to the FLSA regulations • recent/anticipated amendments to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Age and accompanying regulations.
Independent Contractor or Employee? How Does the New Gig Economy Fit into the Picture?
Ms. Bell, Ms. Reger
We will discuss the independent contractor vs. employee issue, how that may change given the new leadership in the Department of Labor and how the new “Gig Economy” is impacting these classifications from both the employer and employee side. We will review the types of employees, i.e. intern, temporary and permanent employees and contrast it with the independent contractor for a discussion on misclassification. Then we will examine the Gig Economy concept and see how it fits into the present model and where the legal landscape appears to be on these new workers.
All attendees will receive the course materials as a digital book. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $80. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Printed versions of the course book will not be distributed at the course; please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.
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