Thursday, February 21, 2019 (8:10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
8:10 to 9:30 a.m.
Opening Session: Employment Law Year in Review
Bud Bobber, Ogletree Deakins
Employment law never stands still. No HR professional can consistently find, digest, and react to all the changes in employment law. This session will summarize the important developments in employment law in the last year, suggest opportunities for employers, and call out trends indicated by these developments.
- Supreme Court rulings impacting employment law
- Key developments at the EEOC, DOL, and NLRB
- Wisconsin law updates
9:45 to 10:45 a.m.
Breakout Session 1A: Hiring Best Practices – Practical Advice and Liability Avoidance
Doris Brosnan & Geoff Trottier, Von Briesen & Roper
In this tight labor market, it is even more important for employers to follow smart recruiting and hiring processes in order not to miss out on good candidates or expose themselves to legal liability. This session will cover:
- Attracting diverse and qualified applicants
- Avoiding background checks and interviewing pitfalls
- Using social media and other technology in recruiting and hiring
- Special issues in a tight labor market: requiring past salary history; status of immigration law and hiring of foreign nationals; and temp employees
9:45 to 10:45 a.m.
Breakout Session 1B: Policies and Practices to Reduce the Risk of EEOC Claims
David Hertel & Jennifer Krueger, Husch Blackwell
Discrimination complaints continue to be the number one litigation concern facing employers. This session will cover policies and practices that help reduce and manage the risk of discrimination claims being filed with the EEOC and other government agencies. This presentation will include the following:
- Recent developments for types of policies employers are implementing and how best to draft them
- Best practices for avoiding discrimination in your hiring process
- Key aspects of investigations of internal complaints
- What is really important when training supervisors and managers
- New state laws on discrimination and harassment and how to avoid liability
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 2A: Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence – What’s Your Strategy?
Rob Sholl, Reinhart Boerner VanDeuren
Workplace violence is a tragedy that can often be prevented by taking the proper measures to ensure the safety of all. This session will provide useful information to help you plan for and protect against the potential of violence in your workplace.
- Common forms of workplace violence
- Situations that may make your workplace vulnerable
- Legal issues related to workplace violence
- Steps employers can take to help prevent workplace violence
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 2B: Getting Lost in the Weed
Joel Aziere, Buelow Vetter Buikema Olson & Vliet
The 2018 midterm elections saw a rise in states permitting lawful use of cannabis. Currently, 30 states permit medical marijuana and an increasing number of states are legalizing all uses of cannabis. These changes likely require employers to change their long-standing drug policies and practices. Joel will provide insights as to the challenges employers may face in the near future. We will discuss:
- Will employers be able to maintain a drug free workplace?
- Is an employer required to allow employees to use medical cannabis in the workplace?
- Is medical use of cannabis considered a reasonable accommodation?
1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 3A: Immigration Update: What Employers Need to Know
Kelly Fortier, Michael Best & Friedrich
As expected, immigration policies and priorities shifted in 2017 and continue to change under President Trump’s administration. Understanding the impact of these changes can help U.S. employers’ hiring, retention, and compliance efforts. This presentation will cover:
- Increased enforcement activities, including practical tips on preparing for potential work-site investigations and I-9 audits
- Current work visa processing trends and challenges
- Potential changes to the H-1B , TN, and DACA programs
- International employee mobility issues
1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 3B: Legal Guidance for HR in Navigating the New Trend of Social Responsibility
Oyvind Wistrom & Laurie Petersen, Lindner Marsack
We all have a social responsibility and a role to play as good corporate citizens. This session will focus on what it means to conduct business ethically and to be sensitive socially, culturally, and economically.
- What drives the emphasis on corporate citizenship and social impact?
- Engaging the workforce and the role individuals play in corporate citizenship
- Implementing reward, development, and career path alternatives that advance social responsibility
- Incorporating social responsibility into HR initiatives
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Breakout Session 4A: When Acronyms Collide: Managing the Intricacies of ADA, WFEA, FMLA, WFMLA, and WC
Meg Kurlinski, Godfrey & Kahn
When addressing employee requests for leave and workplace accommodations, employers are often forced to consider the legal ramifications of disability laws, family and medical leave laws, and worker’s compensation requirements. This presentation will address common scenarios where legal acronyms collide, including:
- When and how employees return to work following the completion of leave
- Leave as a reasonable accommodation following the exhaustion of FMLA and WFMLA
- How to assess competing medical paperwork
- Requests for light duty, reduced work schedules, and intermittent leave
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Breakout Session 4B: #MeToo - Navigating the New Era of Workplace Harassment
Jonathan Levine, Littler Mendelson
You see the hashtags everywhere - #MeToo, #TimesUp. Concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace have grown more acute following the recent wave of public scandals, and you don’t need to be in Hollywood or Washington, D.C. to feel the ripple effect. In this session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices to keep your company out of the news, manage legal risk, and foster the right corporate culture. Topics will include:
- National legal trends
- Updating workplace policies, practices, and internal complaint procedures
- What training should managers, decision makers, and other employees receive?
- How to investigate and control the impact a complaint may have on the workplace and your business
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Closing Session: The Sea Change in Employment Law From Federal-Level Enforcement to a Patchwork of State and Local Laws
Keith Kopplin & Sarah Platt, Ogletree Deakins
Gridlock at the federal level promises continued expansion of employment regulation at the state and local level. Learn how to manage in this changing employment law landscape. In this session, we will discuss:
- The most challenging state and local laws
- Emerging trends
- Compliance strategies
Bernard J. ("Bud") Bobber is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Ogletree Deakins. For over 30 years Mr. Bobber has advised and defended employers on their most challenging and high-stakes employment law issues. He represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country in all areas of employment law, with particular focus on wage and hour, trade secrets/noncompete, employee benefits and employment discrimination matters. Mr. Bobber has extensive experience in the defense of class action cases. He also routinely represents clients in labor arbitrations and in unfair labor practice charge proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Bobber received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois. Mr. Bobber has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America® for over 13 consecutive years. He was also selected for inclusion in the 2005-2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists. He was elected by colleagues in 2018 to be inducted as a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Best Lawyers named Mr. Bobber the 2015 Management-Employment Lawyer of the Year, the 2017 Management-Employment Lawyer of the Year, and the 2018 Management-Labor Law Lawyer of the Year.
David C. Hertel has represented management in all aspects of labor and employment law. A significant part of his practice is representing management in labor contract negotiations, unfair labor practice proceedings, labor grievances and arbitrations, and responses to union organizing efforts. David also regularly defends employers in employment litigation involving discrimination and wrongful discharge, including sex, age, race and disability discrimination actions. In addition, he has extensive experience in representing employers in complex occupational safety and health proceedings, wage and hour proceedings and covenants not to compete litigation. As a partner in Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation Industry unit, he represents businesses in the manufacturing, technology and transportation industries; in addition, he has extensive experience in representing commercial construction, financial, food and insurance companies, as well as employers in the healthcare industry. David represents clients before the U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, as well as in state and federal courts.
Jennifer Krueger provides services for a wide range of labor and employment and commercial litigation matters. Her main areas of focus include providing counseling and advice for compliance with state and federal laws, as well as labor and employment disputes involving the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act. She also serves as vice chair of Husch Blackwell’s Data Retention and Management Group, and assists clients with information governance by drafting and implementing document retention policies and schedules. While in law school, Jennifer spent time as a law clerk at the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a law clerk for the Honorable Patrick Haughney at the Waukesha County Circuit Court. She also served as a research assistant for Dean Joseph Kearney at Marquette University Law School.
Doris Brosnan is a Shareholder and Leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and focuses exclusively on assisting clients with employment issues. Doris regularly advises health care, corporate and public sector clients on dealing with disloyal or difficult employees, accommodating disabilities in the workplace, harassment, workplace violence, FMLA, and the development of effective employment policies and practices. She regularly assists clients in preparing and implementing employee transition plans, including employment due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, severance agreements, business closings and reductions-in-force, and business reorganizations. Doris has defended schools in significant Title IX matters and regularly advises high schools and universities on Title IX compliance. She also assists clients in achieving employment objectives by providing immigration services, with an emphasis on business immigration. In addition to providing counseling on litigation avoidance, Doris defends employers in all types of employment-related litigation, including agency discrimination and wage claims, arbitrations, and multi-party employment litigation before federal and state courts. Doris also helps employers litigate to protect their confidential business information from disclosure by disloyal executives and salespeople. Doris advises hospitals and health care systems on a wide range of medical staff questions, including credentialing, employment and privilege, terminations and suspensions, peer review issues, and required reporting.
Geoff Trotier is a Shareholder in the Labor and Employment Law Section at von Briesen & Roper. Geoff proactively assists businesses of all sizes and complexities as well as municipalities and school districts in many diverse labor and employment issues, including drafting, enforcing and litigating non-compete agreements; avoiding and defending discrimination claims; Advising on reasonable accommodation and return-to-work issues; advising clients on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues; resolving Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other wage/hour disputes; and providing training in human resource matters. Geoff works closely with clients to devise and implement litigation avoidance strategies, and frequently defends employers in matters involving discrimination, non-compete agreement enforcement, trade secrets, FMLA disputes, wrongful termination, OSHA, whistleblower claims, and wage and hour suits. With his track record of success in front of government agencies and in court, Geoff’s strategies have saved significant money for both private and public sector employers.
Joel Aziere, president at Buelow Vetter, primarily defends employers in litigation involving all aspects of labor and employment cases, ranging from grievance arbitration to NLRB proceedings and actions before state and federal agencies. Joel defends employers in a variety of cases filed in state and federal court, including disputes involving discrimination and harassment, wage and hour issues, employment contracts, enforceability of non-compete clauses, whistleblower protections and wrongful termination. He has successfully defended numerous private employers in unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB, discrimination charges before the EEOC and ERD, and wage and hour claims before the Department of Labor and Wisconsin Labor Standards Bureau. Joel has represented clients in administrative, state and federal courts throughout the United States, including, but not limited to, the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and California. Joel also provides day-to-day advice on the full range of labor and employment topics, including counseling private employers during union organization and decertification campaigns.
Jon Levine has a national practice focusing on representing employers in all areas of labor-management relations, including litigation before the National Labor Relations Board and in state and federal courts. Jon’s notable successes include Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce v. Doyle, Case No, 10-C-0760 (E.D. Wis. 2010) in which the court struck down a provision of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act prohibiting employers from conducting mandatory meetings with employees to discuss issues related to union organizing. He also handled Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce v. Milwaukee County, 431 F.3d 277 (7th Cir. 2005) in which the court struck down the Milwaukee Labor Peace Ordinance, a law that limited the rights of employers to oppose efforts of unions to organize their employees. Additionally, Jon counsels clients on best business and employee relations practices, complex business transactions and the related issues arising from mergers, acquisitions, and workforce reductions, and other types of business restructuring.
Keith Kopplin, shareholder with Ogletree Deakins, assists clients in resolving wage and hour class and collective actions, defending employment discrimination claims, responding to government audits, and improving workplace policies and procedures. He also provides day-to-day counseling to employers regarding a wide range of HR matters including discipline and discharge decisions, the Wisconsin and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, wage and hour practices, and workplace accommodations.
Sarah Platt, employment attorney with Ogletree Deakins, provides proactive counsel to employers regarding hiring, discipline, accommodation, leave, and termination issues to avoid litigation and creates a strong record to defend employment actions should litigation arise. She has experience drafting strong employment policies to comply with state and federal laws and guide employee conduct; investigating and responding to harassment complaints; preparing affirmative action plans to comply with federal contracting requirements, and conducting pay equity audits to help employers proactively assess their risks.
Kelly Fortier is a Partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP and Chair of the firm’s immigration practice group. Kelly helps employers of all sizes meet their staffing needs by managing the immigration issues they face in hiring foreign nationals in the United States and moving employees around the globe. She handles compliance issues for corporations that transfer dozens of employees into and out of the United States each year, as well as small companies seeking to bring in a few key hires from abroad. Kelly also specializes in immigration-related worksite enforcement defense, including I-9 audits and training. Kelly’s work in immigration has been recognized by leading legal publications, including Law360 and Chambers USA.
Meg Kurlinski is a shareholder in Godfrey & Kahn’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Meg assists clients with a variety of labor and employment matters, including the management of day-to-day employment matters, drafting and enforcing restrictive covenant agreements, administering family and medical leave laws, advising on federal and state discrimination claims, conducting unlawful harassment investigations, and drafting affirmative action plans. Meg also counsels clients regarding the employment and labor matters that are related to business sales, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate restructuring, including employment and labor due diligence, employee selection and retention, employment agreements, and reduction-in-force issues. In addition, Meg regularly conducts workshops and seminars on employment law topics for clients and other employment law professionals.
Laurie A. Petersen is a shareholder and Board Member with the law firm of Lindner & Marsack, S.C. Ms. Petersen’s practice covers a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters for clients in a range of industries including Employment Policies and Practices, Unfair Labor Practices, College Bargaining, Employee Discipline and Discharge, Employment Discrimination and Litigation, and Wrongful Termination among many others. She has extensive experience litigating before various courts and federal and state agencies. She also counsels employers on all aspects of labor and employment law and has developed numerous employee and supervisory training programs, as well as employee handbooks, for her clients. Ms. Petersen is on the Executive Committee of Worklaw® Network and a frequent lecturer on a wide array of labor and employment topics. She has taught continuing education courses at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Outreach Programs and at Marquette University on safety and health, affirmative action and human resources management. Ms. Petersen has held an adjunct faculty position at Marquette University Law School where she taught employment discrimination law. She is recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal as a 2017 Women in the Law Honoree.
Oyvind Wistrom is a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors with the Milwaukee law firm of Lindner & Marsack, S.C. Mr. Wistrom’s practice is focused primarily on the litigation of employment claims, equal employment matters, and the development and oversight of personnel policies and procedures. Mr. Wistrom also devotes a significant portion of his practice to assisting and counseling companies in various employment matters, including discharge and discipline issues, non-compete and other employment contract matters, wage and hour disputes, worker’s compensation and family and medical leave issues, as well as individual rights and responsibilities in the workplace. He is a frequent speaker on various employment related matters and has written numerous articles on employment law topics. Mr. Wistrom has also successfully litigated innumerable cases before various state and federal agencies, as well as in both state and federal courts. This litigation experience has included securing dismissals or summary judgment in approximately 60 cases venued in state and federal court, as well as serving as first chair in approximately 10 jury trials.
Robert K. Sholl is a shareholder in Reinhart’s Labor and Employment and Litigation practices. He advises and defends employers in the full range of labor and employment law matters. Mr. Sholl represents management exclusively. His employment practice encompasses employment discrimination, workplace harassment, non-compete agreements, whistleblower and breach of employment contract lawsuits before state and federal agencies and courts. He defends employers in unemployment and worker’s compensation hearings, wage/hour disputes and employee health and safety disputes. His traditional labor practice includes collective bargaining, unfair labor practice hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, and labor arbitrations. Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Sholl the 2017 Milwaukee Litigation – Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year."