Wednesday, May 10
Wednesday, May 10
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Reductions in Force Master Class

The economic slowdown and fear of recession has caused companies across all industry sectors to restructure their operations and eliminate certain unprofitable lines of business, culminating in significant reductions in force. Is a business restructuring or reduction in force in your organization’s future? The Reductions in Force Master Class will provide you with the critical skills and an essential understanding of the recommended practices your organization can employ to effectively right-size while avoiding legal risk. We will also provide you with the forms, checklists, and legal surveys you need to get through this detailed process to help ensure that your restructuring is compliant and implemented correctly.

Speakers: Terri Solomon, Kerry Notestine

AA
Wednesday, May 10
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Conducting Lawful Investigations in the Evolving Workplace

This year, Littler’s three-hour investigations session will address strategies for conducting effective investigations in our changing workplace. This program goes beyond lecturing, providing a unique interactive approach that gives participants an opportunity to get hands-on experience with some of the finer points of responding to allegations of workplace misconduct. Participants will also receive feedback from colleagues and experienced Littler attorney-facilitators regarding investigation and response strategies that address current workplace challenges.

Speakers: Jennifer Youpa

Attendance will be limited to ensure the quality of the experience.

HR
Wednesday, May 10
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Inclusion, Equity & Diversity 2.0 – A Panoramic View and Update of IE&D's Hot Issues

From “Me Too” and #BLM to Anti-Woke legislation, the Inclusion, Equity & Diversity space is continually in flux. In this session, Littler’s subject matter experts will share their top five insights on developments raising continuous challenges for the employer community, including evolving issues relating to pay equity and pay transparency, Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, ESG reporting, affirmative action, and IE&D focused litigation as well as ongoing initiatives and related systemic investigations by the EEOC. This session also will serve as a springboard for a “deeper dive” on these issues during this year’s Executive Employer.

Speakers: Barry Hartstein, Alyesha Dotson

AA
Wednesday, May 10
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Autopsy of a Wage and Hour Class Action

You’ve seen the headlines: “Jury Awards Plaintiffs Millions in Off-the-Clock Class Action” or “Employer Prevails in Misclassification Collective Action.” But those headlines are written after years of litigation, and long after the challenged wage and hour practice was implemented. In this insightful program, we will conduct a post-mortem examination of several high-profile wage and hour class and collective action trials. We will examine how strategic decisions made during the litigation impacted the result. Wage and hour litigation is inevitable. If we take the time to truly understand what happened to other employers in prior litigation, we can learn important lessons from their successes (and failures) and use that knowledge to prepare employers to avoid (or at least better defend against) future claims.

Speakers: Keith Jacoby 

IH
Wednesday, May 10
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
15-Minute Break
Wednesday, May 10
4:15 PM - 6:15 PM
#WhyWomenLeave … Presented by Littler’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI)

Women have had it! By age 50, women only make up 20% of the legal profession. When women are most experienced, most productive, and most achieving, why are they leaving? This session will explore this trend, its causes and what employers can do to implement policies and practices for supporting and retaining women in leadership and as they progress in their professional careers.

Speakers: Celeste Yeager

AA
Wednesday, May 10
4:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Hospitality and Retail Industry Roundtable

The hospitality and retail industries continue to be a focal point for aggressive legislation, rulemaking, and litigation drastically impacting an employer’s workplace operations. This roundtable session will facilitate discussion and benchmarking on the issues of greatest concern to hospitality and retail industry employers. While we invite dialogue and questions, the group will be ready to address trending issues, such as: inflation and the rising minimum wage, the challenge of maintaining adequate staffing levels, compliance challenges related to delivery services of food and goods, and many more. 

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a lively and informative conversation!

Speakers: Dan Boatright, David Jordan, Kate Wilson, Stacey James

AA
Wednesday, May 10
4:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Federal Contractor Roundtable

Our wildly popular roundtable returns providing Littler's federal contractor clients a forum to share issues and strategies with one another and hear from Littler's most experienced affirmative action/OFCCP compliance attorneys. Panelists will facilitate interactive discussion on new developments and perennial issues. The list of topics will include new developments in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, such as the impact of OFCCP’s compliance certification requirements, changes in audit selection methods, audit trends, and emerging OFCCP initiatives.

Speakers: David Goldstein, Chris Gokturk

AA
Wednesday, May 10
4:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Healthcare Roundtable: Post COVID? What is Keeping Healthcare Employers Up at Night?

This will be an interactive session with healthcare employers to discuss leading topics impacting the healthcare industry and developments that are on the minds of healthcare employers, including, the increase in union organizing, workplace safety, the effects of the NLRB joint employer rule, mandatory staffing ratios and a frank discussion about the most critical issues affecting the healthcare industry.

Speakers: Yvette Gatling

AA
Wednesday, May 10
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Welcome Reception and Innovative Products and Services Showcase (open to all attendees)
Wednesday, May 10
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Dinner (open to all attendees)
Thursday, May 11
Thursday, May 11
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Breakfast
Thursday, May 11
8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
General Session: The Littler Report

The landscape of work continues to extend out to new horizons. The upheaval of a global pandemic may be receding into the background, but we continue to see economic uncertainty and the pandemic’s impact, dramatic legal change, and a multi-dimensional increase in expectations for employers. At Littler, we are clear-eyed and forward-looking in the face of this churn and change, sharpening our focus on the important work you do to make work a place where people and purpose can thrive.

This year’s Executive Employer General Session will offer insight into the legal and social trends that are creating uncertainty, urgency and, yes, opportunity in the world of work—from union organizing to reductions in force, pay transparency, ESG, generative AI and the continuing endeavor to foster inclusion, equity and diversity. We will explore, together, what it means to re-work our perspectives and strategies, reconnect employees with their work and workplace, refocus on our shared purpose, and redefine the tools and strategies that will take us into the future. Join us as we continue our 40-year tradition of working alongside you to meet the present and future challenges facing your workplace and help you and your employees thrive.

Speakers: Erin Webber, Paul Weiner

This session is not eligible for CLE or HR credit.

AA
Thursday, May 11
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM
30-Minute Break
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Operationalizing Privacy: Building a Privacy Program to Manage the Explosion of Privacy Laws

With the expansion of data collection and the parallel proliferation of privacy laws, employers must contend with an increasing number of overlapping privacy regimes. These laws range from niche, but high-risk, laws on biometrics, artificial intelligence, and surveillance to comprehensive data protection laws, such as the European Union’s GDPR, the California Privacy Rights Act, and Brazil’s General Data Protection Law. Complying with the myriad demands of these laws for HR data can no longer simply be a legal department or HR department “problem.” This panel will discuss creating and maintaining comprehensive privacy programs supported by, but independent of, the legal department, operationalizing privacy to comply with the California Privacy Rights Act, the GDPR, and national data protection laws, and provide attendees with a ready-to-use framework for developing and strengthening privacy programs at their organizations.

Speaker: Zoe Argento

AA
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Reaching the Unreachable Employee – How to Connect with the New Generation of Workers

Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to manage the new generation of workers. These workers are highly tech savvy, seek purpose in social causes, want complete schedule flexibility and are happy to join a union. The ability of employers to connect with this generation of workers through traditional means has proven exceedingly difficult. This session discussion will include discussions by in-house counsel who have developed and implemented a fully flexible work schedule system for all employees, and a vice president of human resources where most employees consist of the younger demographic. We will discuss the significant workplace relations challenges, including union organizing, presented by this demographic, as well as tools we have found helpful with these workforces.

Speakers: Stefan Marculewicz

AA
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Benchmarking Settlement Techniques and Strategies

Have you ever wondered how other companies settle labor and employment matters or what they are paying to settle them? This interactive workshop will walk through settlement hypotheticals and allow you to benchmark and compare your settlement and valuation strategies using anonymous polling technology. Instant polling results will enable you to see how your settlement strategies compare to those of your peers, and to obtain valuable information regarding average settlements and legal spend for various labor and employment matters.

Speakers: Jeremy Hawpe, Kim Miers

IH
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Eat Those Leave of Absence Toads! A Playbook for LOA Headaches (Especially Benefits)

Managing leaves of absences is challenging enough for even the most organized HR teams. Add in keeping track of employee benefits, payment of premiums, COBRA considerations, ACA compliance, and life and disability benefit issues, and cleaning out your deleted email files seems much more doable by comparison, leaving that benefits toad sitting on your desk unattended. In this session, our panelists invite you to Eat that Toad! Or simply tackle the logistics of managing benefits for employees on leaves of absences and mitigating the often-expensive risks of not paying attention to the details.

Speakers: Anne LaWer

AA
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
How a Handbook Can Evolve to Protect the Company While Meeting the Needs of a Remote Workforce

Handbooks and other employee policies have been the backbone for employee relations, rights, and responsibilities for years. But when you look at your employee handbook, do ask yourself: “We’re a fully remote workforce with no physical worksites – why does our handbook still have a no smoking policy? And a policy about searching employee desks? And an inclement weather policy?” This session will explore the evolution of employee handbooks in the new post-pandemic remote/hybrid world of work and show what policies can assist you and your HR team going forward.

Speakers: Amber Spataro

HR
Thursday, May 11
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
A Global Approach to International Noncompete, Nonsolicit, Confidentiality and IP Agreements

The non-compete and restrictive covenant laws of every country are unique, and organizations typically tailor their restrictive covenant templates to comply locally in each country. However, the laws from country to country that regulate employee restrictive covenants break down into just a handful of distinct types. In this session, we will discuss a streamlined strategy for drafting and enforcing non-competes and other restrictive covenants around the world.

Speakers: Don Dowling

IH
Thursday, May 11
11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
15-Minute Break
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Strategies for Creating a Speak-Up and Accountability Culture to Reduce Risk and Retain Talent

In recent years, we have seen a profound shift in the employer-employee relationship. Employees are seeking a different value proposition from their employers that includes flexibility, better wages, wellness, work-life integration, opportunities for growth, equity, and inclusion. With this workplace transformation and on the heels of #MeToo and a national racial awakening, employees are sharing their workplace concerns more often and more publicly. Drawing from the insights and experiences of several global companies, this session will cover:

  • Trends in employee workplace complaints
  • How to effectively triage and respond to internal complaints
  • Strategies for avoiding reputational harm
  • Building a well-defined escalation process, including when to notify and engage the board
  • Approaches to investigator training and cultural competency
  • Accountability following an investigation

Speakers: Lisa Kathumbi

AA
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Secure Act 2.0 Got You Feeling Insecure? Face the 401(k) Challenges and Find Workable Solutions

We will address the challenges for administering your company’s 401(k) plan considering the last-minute enactment of the biggest and most significant 401(k) Act changes in over a decade. Littler’s retirement benefits attorneys will discuss the implications of the changes, including: automatic enrollment changes, long-term part-time employee exclusions, required minimum distributions for those over age 72, student loan match contributions, age 50 and older catch-up contributions and the Rothification of contributions. We will discuss the practicable solutions for 401(k) plan sponsors in design and administration for 2023 to 2025.

Speakers: Melissa Kurtzman, Mark Grushkin

AA
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Accommodation Aftershocks: How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Workplace Disability Accommodations

During 2022, most U.S. businesses steadily ramped up their return-to-office efforts, reasoning that the pandemic had largely ended and that it was time to “live with COVID” and “return to normal.” However, the return to the physical workplace has often proceeded in fits and starts, marked by the emergence of new COVID variants and other respiratory viruses, the prevalence of “long COVID,” growing numbers of employee requests for workplace accommodations based on both physical and mental health conditions, and proliferating state and local requirements. In a nutshell, what we have “returned” to feels very different from what we left. This session will review how COVID-19 has reshaped disability accommodation practices, including evolving assumptions about the reasonableness of proposed accommodations and the emerging case law in this area.

Speakers: Devjani Mishra

AA
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Slaying the Dragon: How to Combat Reptile Theory Before, and During, Trial

Reptile theory has become a game-changing strategy for plaintiff's lawyers. It is a trial strategy that attempts to use whatever possible to make a jury so angry at an employer that it awards excessive fees. But what exactly are “reptile theory” and the “lizard brain” that plaintiffs’ attorneys tap into in order to turn a jury against a defendant? In this interactive presentation, the audience will learn a bit about the science behind the “lizard brain,” and will be able to see how their own sensibilities can be tested when asked to be “jurors” listening to a persuasive plaintiff’s argument.

Speakers: Ryan Griffitts, Helene Wasserman

IH
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Putting Global Trends to Work

All employers were forced to implement changes at a rapid speed over the last few years. In this session, we will look at the global trends and issues that we anticipate will shape 2023 and beyond, as well as strategies global employers can implement to address these issues in a sustainable way. This will include providing a global perspective on:

  • Quiet quitting to quiet hiring
  • Working time and location (including the four-day working week and getting remote work to really work)
  • Boomerang employees
  • The importance of workplace culture and IE&D
  • Attracting and retaining Gen Z and older employees who may be coming back to the workplace

Speakers: Stephan Swinkels

AA
Thursday, May 11
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Show and Tell: Pay Transparency and Disclosure Requirements Go Primetime

Pay transparency laws are building momentum across the country California, Colorado, New York, and Washington have some of the most stringent and detailed requirements for job postings and pay disclosures for applicants and employees. Whether your company is based in only one state or many, with an increasingly remote workforce, pay transparency laws likely apply to you. We will provide practical advice for multi-state compliant job postings, including pay bands, commissions, and benefits information. We will discuss how these new laws affect recruiting, including executive-level recruiters, pay equity lawsuits, and classification of employees and labor contractors.

Speakers: Denise Visconti, Joy Rosenquist, Stephen Fuchs

AA
Thursday, May 11
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Lunch Session: 2023 Employment Law Update

A perennial favorite at the Executive Employer Conference, this fast-paced, highly entertaining, special lunchtime session provides a unique opportunity to understand the latest court cases, legislative and regulatory activity and crucial developments that will affect your workplace and your responsibilities. As in the past, we have assembled a terrific panel of Littler attorneys from across the country and from multiple practice areas who will guide you through the maze of new developments and prepare you for the challenges ahead.

Speakers: Bruce Sarchet

This session is not eligible for CLE or HR credit.

AA
Thursday, May 11
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
15-Minute Break
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Show Me the Money! Incentivizing the Workforce of the Future

Employers are constantly thinking about new and creative ways to recruit and retain talent and motivate behavior, for sales forces and beyond. Employers are under tremendous pressure to allocate their limited financial resources for maximum impact, and sales and compensation leadership sometimes make promises that legal and human resources either don’t know about, or struggle to understand. We will look ahead to what types of incentives might be most impactful for Generation Z, and discuss practical tips for reviewing both traditional and non-traditional incentive plans. We will identify potential legal pitfalls when developing and reviewing incentive programs, and consider approaches for mitigating risks.

Speakers: Stacey James

AA
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Much Ado About OSHA

The majority of employers we work with are constantly unprepared and feeling at their most vulnerable when OSHA shows up at their worksite, and even more so when the visits are related to an accident or injury. Times have changed over the last couple of years. In 2021, there was a drastic increase in OSHA’s budget. The number of OSHA inspectors grew 19% in fiscal year 2022, ending several years of minimal growth or losses, according to agency data. This session will be presented as an interactive play of a mock OSHA inspection relating to an injury with a new-age robot. The panelists will be playing different roles, and the acts will include pauses after each scene and at key parts to discuss what employers should and should not do at each stage of an inspection.

Speakers: Alka Ramchandani-Raj

AA
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Global Whistleblowing Changes and How to Turn a Compliance Issue into a Business Opportunity

From the global financial crisis through the COVID-19 pandemic, whistleblowing has been high on the agenda for regulators and legislators, meaning that employers have also had to sit up and take notice. This session surveys recent and forthcoming global trends and changes including the EU whistleblowing directive (still only partially implemented) and explores how companies can approach compliance with whistleblowing laws as an opportunity for greater openness and risk management, while also ensuring that it doesn’t become a tool for abuse.

Speakers: Stephan Swinkels

AA
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Stop! Thief! Protecting Confidential Information and Trade Secrets in the New World of Work

The days of working for a single employer for decades have long passed. In fact, one in five workers plan to switch jobs this year. While such “job-hopping” tendencies may have benefits for employees, they create a host of significant new risks for employers. In this session, our panel of experienced attorneys will provide an in-depth analysis of the specific steps every business should be engaging in immediately – from initially identifying an entity’s trade secrets and areas of greatest risk, to enacting physical and electronic safety measures and creating an appropriate response plan in advance – before a key executive or manager departs with sensitive information.

Speakers: Michael Royal, Don Myers

AA
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
New Theories, New Tactics: Managing Business Risk Under the NLRA

NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo has demonstrated her commitment to partnering with the union community at the expense of the legal right employees have under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to work directly with their employers without a union between them. This includes pursuing new legal theories and litigation tactics designed to silence employer speech and impose on employers provisions of the PRO Act Congress was unwilling or unable to pass. Littler’s Traditional Labor Law attorneys will discuss these efforts and various steps employers in all industries should be taking now to understand and mitigate business risk under the NLRA. This session will benefit both non-union and unionized employers.

Speakers: Brooke Niedecken, Jonathan Levine, Tanja Thompson

AA
Thursday, May 11
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Who Wants To Be a Paid Sick Leave SME?

Mandated paid leave requirements at the state and local level continue to be adopted and amended at a steady pace, further complicating managing leaves and absences. Employers are left scratching their heads wondering how to comply with paid sick leave, mandatory PTO, paid family and medical leave, and a host of other laws. This fast-paced session will address some of the most difficult issues facing employers in the paid sick leave world, including the newest trends and how to manage all these requirements.

Speakers: Adam Fiss, Stephanie Mills-Gallan

AA
Thursday, May 11
3:15 PM - 3:45 PM
30-Minute Break
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Marijuana, Opioids, and Wine All Day – Managing in an Era of Legalization, Abuse, and Remote Work

Changing marijuana laws, the ongoing opioid epidemic, and reduced oversight of remote workforces have employers worried their employees may be working while impaired – and feeling unsure about what they can do about it. More than 100,000 Americans have died of overdoses in each of the last two years, and the U.S. Surgeon General has suggested employers stock medications to reverse opioid overdoses at the workplace. A few jurisdictions now protect workers engaged in the recreational use of marijuana from adverse job actions, regardless of job duties.

In this session, we will discuss:

  • How changing marijuana laws impact the workplace
  • How to identify and respond to employee substance abuse and impairment in a legally defensible way
  • How to develop programs to recognize and respond to these evolving issues
  • How to minimize the risk to your operations when employees bring drug and alcohol issues to work

Speakers: Nancy Delogu, Jennifer Znosko

HR
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Somebody’s Watching Me!

Data is the new oil. We live in a digital world, and we are constantly creating data and leaving traceable online footprints. We begrudgingly accept that our social media apps, smart devices, and search engines are monitoring our activity to ensure that we receive targeted advertising for that thing our colleague was just messaging us about. It’s no surprise that employers are making use of similar technology in the workplace. This is particularly prevalent given the increase of remote and hybrid work in the aftermath of the pandemic. Join us as we discuss the benefits and risks of the proliferation of employee monitoring and surveillance.

Speakers: Brittney Torres, Michael Chichester

AA
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
From the ‘Judge's’ Bench: A Report Card on 2022-2023 FMLA/ADA Developments

This interactive panel session will feature attorneys who dedicate their respective practices to leave and accommodation issues across the country. These panelists will present on key developments in the FMLA and ADA space, and then rank and discuss their respective (and sometimes competing) views on the anticipated importance of those developments now, and in the months and years to come. These developments will include noteworthy case law, agency enforcement realities, and trends and recommended practices as employers emerge from the last three years focused on the pandemic to find themselves in both new, and sometimes familiar, territory in the leave and accommodation space.

Speakers: Alexis Knapp, Jeff Nowak

AA
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Behind the Headlines: The Real State of Union Organizing and What Employers Should Be Doing

Unions received generous news coverage in the past year and a half, but are unions truly making a comeback? In this session, Littler’s Traditional Labor Law attorneys go beyond the headlines and hype and explain the real state of union organizing. The panelists will share their top take-aways from recent organizing campaigns and NLRB litigation – the causes, themes, and targets employers should account for as part of a comprehensive approach to labor relations. Attendees will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the current union environment and the steps their organizations can take to better advance their philosophies on employee engagement.

Speakers: Brooke Niedecken, Jonathan Levine, Tanja Thompson

AA
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Answers to the Expat Riddle – How Do We Deal with the Employment of Non-U.S. Expats in the U.S.?

In this session, we will tackle some of the most common questions that arise when employees from foreign entities are performing work in in the United States. We will take on these issues in a multidisciplinary fashion, dealing with issues such as:

  • Recommended practices in structuring compensation packages
  • Tax equalization issues
  • Visa options for employers (including the hidden tax impact of different types of visas)
  • Social Security totalization issues for employees on short- and long-term assignments
  • Transferring employees between foreign and U.S. entities
  • I-9 compliance issues
  • Alternative ways to structure benefits for employees from different countries

Speakers: William Weissman

AA
Thursday, May 11
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Are Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Jeopardy? Updates and a Practical Plan for the Future

Does the FTC’s proposed new rule place restrictive covenants in jeopardy? Is the DTSA the new wave of protecting your client and customer relationships? Get the latest updates on restrictive covenant and trade secret laws across the United States. The session will start with a lively discussion and debate regarding the FTC’s proposed ban on non-competition agreements, followed by practical advice concerning the future of restrictive covenants and trade secret protection.

Speakers: James Witz, Melissa McDonagh

AA
Thursday, May 11
5:00 PM - 5:15 PM
15-Minute Break
Thursday, May 11
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Special Session: The New Era of Divided Government: What Are the Implications for Employers?

Although Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans reclaimed control of the House in the 2022 mid-term elections, both parties hold razor-thin majorities and gridlock reigns supreme on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is attempting to navigate a divided government as it works to curb inflation, confirm its nominees, respond to House Republican oversight, and carry out its policy priorities in its remaining two years. At the same time, progressive states are moving full steam ahead on several consequential labor and employment policy issues. Please join WPI (Workplace Policy Institute) panelists and special guests for an in-depth discussion of these dynamics and a behind-the-scenes look at which legislation may advance, which regulations will hit a roadblock, and what employers should prepare for leading up to the 2024 presidential election.

Speakers: Michael Lotito, James Paretti

This session is not eligible for HR credit.

AA
Thursday, May 11
6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Special Dinner Event
Friday, May 12
Friday, May 12
7:00 AM - 7:30 AM
Morning Yoga
Friday, May 12
7:00 AM - 7:30 AM
Wes Fastiff Memorial Walk
Friday, May 12
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Special Session: Stuck in the Middle: Finding Your Voice Between a Red Rock and a Hard Blue Place

In 2023, it seems no corner of life is safe from political polarization. Overlapped with a rapidly-changing legal framework that gives corporate entities personhood and therefore a voice in the socio-political sphere, these trends put employers – and their in-house counsel and HR departments – between a rock and a hard place.

How can counsel and HR guide an employer’s journey as a corporate person in responding to heightened expectations from leadership, customers, and employees in an authentic and honest way– when the expectations conflict like night and day? How can we craft thoughtful responses to employee and customer expectations with leadership who feels the urge to create a political persona for themselves? Can we stand strong for a politically divisive viewpoint at the expense of our employees’ expectations? 

Join us to explore how to navigate through sociopolitical turmoil without platitudes, without throwing fuel on fires, and without losing your voice between a red rock and a hard blue place.

Speakers: Claire Deason, Alyesha Dotson

This session is not eligible for CLE or HR credit.

AA
Friday, May 12
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
15-Minute Break
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
The Rise and Risks of Leveraging Contingent Workers

Employers are leveraging contingent workers at an increasing rate, and the disrupted labor market has led new workers into the freelance market. From high talent/high choice to daily delivery, from traditional employers to new platform business models, this area of law is exploding. To keep up with this growth, state and federal agencies are issuing new rules and increasing enforcement efforts. In this session, members of Littler’s Contingent Worker Practice Group will provide strategic and practical insights about how to navigate these issues, design contingent worker programs, and mitigate risk.

AA
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Comparing Apples to Oranges: How USERRA's Comparability Standard May Impact Employee Benefits

This session will discuss an emerging issue under USERRA: When is an employer required to provide the same benefits, such as pay, to employees on military leave as it provides to employees on other types of leave? The session will examine the current state of the law and where this issue may be going.

Speakers: George Wood

AA
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
What’s Old Is New Again: The Boomer Boom and Age Discrimination in the Workplace

According to a recent survey by AARP, 80% of older workers report they have experienced or observed incidents of age discrimination. At the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of older workers staying in the workplace is expected to grow exponentially by the end of the decade. These statistics point to the possibility of a coming “perfect” litigation storm—rapid growth in the number of older workers remaining in the workforce and a widely held belief that employers discriminate against older workers. The EEOC also alleges that despite decades of research finding that age does not predict ability or performance, employers continue to fall back on precisely the ageist stereotypes the ADEA was enacted to prohibit. This panel will examine the latest data and litigation trends to provide employers with what can be done to minimize risk and increase compliance.

Speakers: Susan Fitzke

AA
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Understanding the Risk, Strategy, and Impact of Providing Abortion-Related Employee Benefits

Employers face unprecedented uncertainty following the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Following the Dobbs decision, employers have struggled with how to provide access to reproductive health care for employees in states where such care is now limited or unavailable. This session will provide an overview of the current state of the law and legal and practical considerations when amending plans to provide medical travel benefits. We will also discuss the interplay between state laws criminalizing abortion (and aiding and abetting abortion) and state regulation of insurance and benefits, ERISA preemption, the constitutional right to travel, and the dormant commerce clause.

Speakers: Sarah Bryan Fask

AA
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
A Brave(ish) New World: The Challenges of Sustainably Managing and Engaging a Global Workforce

Employers need to reimagine how to engage their global workforce in new and different ways to balance the sometimes-competing interests of maximizing profitability, ensuring legal compliance, and advancing ESG initiatives demanded by employees, customers, and shareholders. Domestic and foreign companies alike participate in a cross-border economy and are faced with the challenge of engaging a workforce that can be in virtually every corner of the globe and has increasing influence on the strategy and leadership of a company. This session will explore these seismic shifts and the fundamental impact employees have on the way business is done. The panelists will address the legal, ethical, reputational, and cultural challenges faced by employers with a geographically diverse workforce and provide strategies for truly engaging a global workforce in ways that will instill a culture of compliance and mitigate legal, brand, and reputational risk.

Speakers: Brittney Torres, Jeremy Sosna

AA
Friday, May 12
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Attracting, Retaining, and Accommodating Neurodiverse Employees – The Benefits and Business Case

Neurodiversity is the belief that neurological conditions like autism spectrum disorder should be recognized and respected instead of viewed as flaws or defects. This past year the U.S. CDC released a report finding that about 1 in 44 U.S. children have been identified as having autism spectrum disorder and an even greater number are diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, or anxiety. Despite the prevalence of neurodiverse conditions across the globe, neurodiverse individuals have often been left out of the employment market due to stigma or misperceptions about their abilities. In this discussion, panelists will share their recommendations for retooling hiring processes, making accommodations, and training employers to work with neurodiverse candidates and employees as well as highlighting the benefits that organizations that have prioritized support for their neurodiverse employees have seen.

Speakers: Mindy Caterine

AA
Friday, May 12
11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
15-Minute Break
Friday, May 12
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Law and Order: Cutting-Edge Science in Criminal Background Check Decisions

After transitioning to an “individualized assessment” model for criminal background checks, employers still have questions. How does someone trained in HR meaningfully apply the statutory factors for reviewing criminal checks, and what do those factors really mean anyhow? How do employers balance the competing risks without feeling like every decision is just made on “gut instinct?” This session aims to educate even the most “in the know” attendees about legal developments and the cutting-edge academic research regarding recidivism and the risks – and benefits – of hiring individuals with criminal records.

Speakers: Rod Fliegel

AA
Friday, May 12
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Arbitration Update: Is it Smooth Sailing After Viking River and How Do We Avoid New Challenges?

2022 was an incredibly active year in arbitration. From amendments to the Federal Arbitration Act, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Transportation Worker Exemption, the Supreme Court’s PAGA decision, California AB51, and continued mass arbitration efforts by plaintiffs, employers had to navigate many rogue waves. This session will address how trial courts are enforcing the Viking River Cruises decision, discuss new challenges to the e-signature process, explore whether more amendments or other changes may be coming for the FAA, and provide practical advice to employers on the use of arbitration agreements.

Speakers: Robert Friedman

IH
Friday, May 12
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Don’t Be the 401(k) Fiduciary With a Multimillion Dollar Settlement—Lessons from ERISA Class Actions

Do you offer employees a 401(k) plan? It could be a ticking timebomb. Thanks to coordinated efforts from sophisticated plaintiffs’ firms that have discovered that 401(k) plan service-provider fees and investment returns easily amount to millions of dollars per year for even modest-size plans, 401(k) plan sponsors are in the crosshairs of large ERISA class action suits challenging their fiduciary practices regarding service provider fees and investment choices now more than ever before. There are new strategies available that can help employers avoid ERISA class actions altogether and, if they draw one, be much better prepared to defend it and avoid paying a huge settlement.

Speakers: Wesley Stockard

IH
Friday, May 12
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
With a Little Help From My Friends – A Pragmatic Playbook for AI Adoption in HR

AI-driven tools are the future of HR operations. Employers big and small are under pressure to make smart, cost-driven choices when selecting AI tools for use across the entire employment lifecycle, from talent attraction and recruitment to performance assessment, employee development, and even attrition analysis. Simultaneously, regulators are increasing their scrutiny of these tools, and starting in 2023, employers will face onerous AI regulation in New York, California and beyond. This panel will deliver what business leaders need right now: a practical guide to mapping out an intelligent AI investment strategy, evaluating AI tools and uses, understanding the nuances of emerging AI laws, and balancing the benefits of AI implementation with the litigation and compliance risks that are emerging at local, state, federal and global levels.

Speakers: Niloy Ray

This session may qualify for partial CLE ethics credits in certain jurisdictions.

AA
Friday, May 12
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Supporting Employees with the Four Ms: Menstruation, Miscarriage, Maternity and Menopause

In this session we will cover a range of workplace issues that are hot topic areas across the globe including:

  • Menstruation – from free period products to menstrual leave
  • Miscarriage – fertility, egg freezing, IVF and surrogacy
  • Maternity – family leave, flexibility and benefits
  • Menopause – education, conversation and benefits to support employees in this stage of life

There is an increasing awareness of the impact of employee health during the key life stages of the Four Ms, which affects both men and women.

As government's debate the introduction of menstrual leave, menopause-specific employment rights and extensions to family leave and benefits, this panel will take a practical look at why employers that want to drive forward their IE&D strategy should be exploring these topics.

Speakers: Naomi Seddon

AA
Friday, May 12
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Boxed Lunches
Friday, May 12
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
It’s the Little Things: A Focus on In-House Ethics Fundamentals

In-house counsel focus on a myriad of significant issues but can’t ignore the fundamentals. This will be a panel discussion dealing with several ethics-related topics, including who is your client, what are your supervisory obligations, how to protect the attorney/client privilege and avoiding inter-corporate conflicts of interest.

Speakers: George Wood

This session may qualify for CLE ethics credits in certain jurisdictions.

 

IH
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