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  • Overview

    Overview

    2023 Employment Law Update

    Changes in the economy have influenced every aspect of business, from recruiting practices to compensation to reductions in the workforce. Join us at MRA’s premier annual employment law update to gain insights on how to remain resilient and compliant during post-pandemic uncertainty and economic change.

    Date/Time State(s) Covered Location
    Thursday, January 26, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Illinois and Federal In-Person at Harper College - Wojcik Conference Center
    1200 West Algonquin Road, W106, Palatine, IL 60067
    Thursday, February 9, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Register
    Iowa/Western Illinois and Federal In-Person at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center
    2021 State Street, Bettendorf, IA 52722
    Thursday, February 16, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Register
    Wisconsin and Federal In-Person at the Italian Community Center
    631 East Chicago Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202
    Thursday, February 16, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Register
    Wisconsin and Federal Virtual
    Thursday, March 9, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Register
    Minnesota and Federal In-Person at the Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown
    1500 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454
    Thursday, March 9, 2023;
    8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Register
    Minnesota and Federal Virtual

    HRCI and SHRM credits have been applied for.

  • Agendas

    Agendas

    Illinois (1/26/23):

    Time Session Firm/Speaker
    7:15 - 8:00 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast  
    8:00 - 8:10 a.m. Welcome  
    8:10 - 9:30 a.m. Session 1: The Year in Review & the Year Ahead Gary Clark and Kaitlin Phillips, Quarles & Brady
    9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break  
    9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Session 2: Managing Leave Time Within Legal Guidelines Kathryn Hartrick, Hartrick Employment Law
    10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break  
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session 3: It's Not Fair - Risky Labor Practices Michael Paull, Klein, Paull, Holleb & Jacobs Ltd.
    12:00 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch (served onsite)  
    12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Session 4: Cannabis Confusion - Reevaluating Drug Testing Policies and Managing Compliance Today Jennifer Colvin, Ogletree Deakins
    1:45 - 2:00 p.m. Break  
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Session 5: Remote Work is Here to Stay Ann Barry Hanneman, von Briesen & Roper

    Iowa/Western Illinois (2/9/23):

    Time Session Firm/Speaker
    7:15 - 8:00 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast  
    8:00 - 8:10 a.m. Welcome  
    8:10 - 9:30 a.m. Session 1: Employment Law Year in Review & Year Ahead Mark Hudson, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll
    9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break  
    9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Session 2: Navigating the Minefields of Leaves of Absences under State and Federal Law Frances Haas, Nyemaster Goode
    10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break  
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session 3: Performing an Effective and Defensible Internal Investigation Amy Reasner, Lynch Dallas
    12:00 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch (served onsite)  
    12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Session 4: Remote Work is Here to Stay Terri Davis, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll
    1:45 - 2:00 p.m. Break  
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Session 5: Recruiting, Hiring, and Other Healthy Employment Practices Brent Hinders and James Theobald, Hopkins & Huebner

    Wisconsin (2/16/23):

    Time Session Firm/Speaker
    7:15 - 8:00 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast  
    8:00 - 8:10 a.m. Welcome  
    8:10 - 9:30 a.m. Opening Session: The Year in Review and the Year Ahead Christine Liu McLaughlin, Godfrey & Kahn
    9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break  
    9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Session 1A: It's Not FairRisky Labor Practices Joel Aziere, Buelow Vetter
      Session 1B: Recruiting: The Prudent Use of AI and Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Rob Sholl and Michael Gentry, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren
    10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break  
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session 2A: Managing Leave Time Within Legal Guidelines Oyvind Wistrom, Lindner & Marsack
      Session 2B: Layoffs, Furloughs, Reductions ... Oh My! M. Scott LeBlanc, Husch Blackwell
    12:00 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch (served onsite)  
    12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Session 3A: Remote Work Is Here to Stay Craig Papka and Audrey Merkel, von Briesen & Roper
      Session 3B: Protecting the Digital Fortress Scott Reigle, Meissner Tierney
    1:45 - 2:00 p.m. Break  
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Session 4A: "HRParty of One!" Suzanne Watson, Ogletree Deakins
      Session 4B: Tiptoeing Through Immigration Laws When Hiring Kelly Fortier, Michael Best

    Minnesota (3/9/23):

    Time Session Firm/Speaker
    7:15 - 8:00 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast  
    8:00 - 8:10 a.m. Welcome  
    8:10 - 9:30 a.m. Session 1: The Year in Review & the Year Ahead Kate Bischoff, tHRive Law & Consulting
    9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break  
    9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Session 2: Remote Work is Here to Stay Thomas Henke and Kristin LeBre, Fredrickson & Byron
    10:45 - 11:00 a.m. Break  
    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session 3: Labor Practices for All Employers. What's Fair and Unfair? Jessica Nelson and Randi Winter, Spencer Fane
    12:00 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch (served onsite)  
    12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Session 4: Dazed and Confused: What to Do About Marijuana in the Workplace Brent Kettelkamp and Colin Hargreaves, Ogletree Deakins
    1:45 - 2:00 p.m. Break  
    2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Session 5: Conducting Effective Investigations and Climate Assessments in the Evolving Workplace Stephanie Sarantopoulos, Littler Mendelson
  • Sessions

    Sessions

    Illinois (1/26/23):

    Session 1: The Year in Review and the Year Ahead

    Has the past year's events and pending legislation left you wondering how to prepare for the upcoming year? Join us, as we review what has happened over the past year and how it sets the stage for what to expect in 2023.

    Session 2: Managing Leave Time Within Legal Guidelines

    The ADA and FMLA: This session will address the difference between two federal statutes that address employee medical conditions. We will focus on real world examples and solutions for providing accommodations for employees who need them, and includes leaves of absence. We will also address what is required under these laws, what is optional, and how to address suspected abuse.

    Session 3: It's Not Fair—Risky Labor Practices

    This session is designed to introduce non-labor practitioners to the concerns and pitfalls of the applicable National Labor Relations Act sections in a non-union setting. The first half of the session will focus on employee's protected and concerted activity ("PCA"): Explaining what qualifies as PCA and preventing violations of the rule against chilling or retaliating against PCA. The second half will cover how and why non-unionized workforces become intrigued with the idea of a union, the signs of such unionization efforts, and how employers can and cannot respond to such efforts.

    Session 4: Cannabis Confusion - Reevaluating Drug Testing Policies and Managing Compliance Today

    The complexities of complying with myriad state marijuana legalization, lawful off-duty conduct, and drug and alcohol testing laws, combined with the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees, has caused many employers to reevaluate their drug and alcohol testing policies for today’s workplace. In this session, we will discuss updates employers can make to their drug and alcohol testing policies to minimize litigation risk while staying competitive and forward-thinking, and maintaining a safe workplace. This discussion will also address strategies for employers to leverage new drug testing technologies; comply with various state and federal laws, including laws that protect medical and recreational marijuana use or cardholder status; and assess the legality of off-duty employee conduct.

    Session 5: Remote Work is Here to Stay

    Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home or “WFH” became a desirable work arrangement for both employees and employers alike. While beneficial for a variety of reasons, all employers must carefully manage these remote work arrangements and implement WFH parameters that achieve business objectives while complying with federal, state and local laws.

    Iowa/Western Illinois (2/9/23):

    Session 1: Employment Law Year in Review & Year Ahead

    2022 has flown by. We feel like we are past COVID—yet, are we? Having made it through the end of 2022, maybe COVID, a mid-term election, a new year (2023), there are a myriad of changes and upcoming issues to tackle in the employment law arena. This session will highlight the major changes in the employment law landscape and the potential, likely imminent topics for 2023. You won’t want to miss this critical session.

    Key Takeaways:

    1. A concise summary of 2022 employment law changes of importance for your workplace.
    2. A prognostication of 2023 employment law topics likely to change our workplaces.

    Session 2: Navigating the Minefields of Leaves of Absences under State and Federal Law

    Employers are frequently faced with challenging issues related to employee leave. This session will cover real-world examples of how to prepare for, plan, manage, and track employee leave issues. Topics will cover compliance and liability risks associated with leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and related state laws.

    Session 3: Performing an Effective and Defensible Internal Investigation

    Internal Investigations are not only a legal necessity in many cases but serve a practical purpose: this is a tool for identifying and resolving workplace concerns which supports employee health and well-being.

    Learning Objectives:

    • The legal requirements of an investigation.
    • The practical aspects of an investigation.
    • How to write a thorough report that protects confidentiality and privilege.
    • How to close the loop with the relevant parties and tamp down gossip.

    Session 4: Remote Work is Here to Stay

    Remote work is no longer an accommodation, it is a reality. Regardless, if your employees are working from another state or prefer hybrid or remote work arrangements, this session will help ensure you are compliant with all of the requirements of remote work.

    Session 5: Recruiting, Hiring, and Other Healthy Employment Practices

    This presentation is intended to educate an audience on various healthy and effective employment practices. We cover topics regarding recruiting and the stages of hiring a new employee, conducting background checks that are compliant with related laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ), drug testing, and other important considerations regarding employee management.

    Wisconsin (2/16/23):

    Opening: The Year in Review and the Year Ahead

    This session will cover new federal priorities, federal agency actions, federal legislation, and Wisconsin and neighboring state updates. The session will also include a case law roundup that will highlight interesting and important labor and employment court decisions, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade and its impact on employers.

    Session 1A: It's Not Fair—Risky Labor Practices

    In 1935, Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), providing private-sector employees the right to join together for “mutual aid and protection.” A common misconception is the NLRA only applies to unionized workforces. Despite the fact that only 6 percent of private-sector employees belong to a union, the NLRA applies to nearly all private employers. Even without a union, employees are free to engage in “protected concerted activity” over wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. These activities include social media postings, wage comparisons and discussions, and other activities. With President Biden’s endorsement (“I intend to be the most pro-union president leading the most pro-union administration in American history!”), union organizing efforts are increasing. Is your organization prepared?

    Session 1B: Recruiting: The Prudent Use of AI and Criminal Background Checks in Hiring

    In this session employers will learn how to align their hiring practices to minimize legal exposure when conducting criminal background checks and when using artificial intelligence selection tools. Rob Sholl and Michael Gentry will discuss how Wisconsin’s arrest and conviction record, discrimination law, and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act impact an employer’s ability to conduct and act upon criminal background checks. Employers will also learn about the developing regulations surrounding artificial intelligence and how employers can or cannot use it when interviewing candidates.

    Session 2A: Managing Leave Time Within Legal Guidelines

    This session will focus on various legal considerations impacting an employer’s obligation to provide a leave of absence to employees. The session will include a discussion of both the state and federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA). Attorney Oyvind Wistrom will also discuss how the various laws interact, as well as some of the common mistakes employers make in administering employee leave policies and requests. The session will also discuss strategies that employers can implement to manage difficult employees and repeated leave requests, including requests for intermittent leave under the FMLA.

    Session 2B: Layoffs, Furloughs, Reductions … Oh My!

    With the prospect of a recession looming over 2023 like the Wicked Witch over Munchkinland, it’s always good to be prepared for the worst. Whether your organization is considering temporary layoffs or position eliminations, or is preparing for acquisition, it’s essential to know how and when employment laws can be tripped in the process. In this session, Scott LeBlanc of Husch Blackwell LLP will address the federal WARN Act and its state law equivalents, discuss how the disparate impact theory of discrimination law can make even the most straight-forward layoffs more complicated, explain how employment terminations work in mergers and acquisitions, cover the relevant considerations involved with offering severance packages in group terminations, and much more! If you’re confused about COBRA, vexed by VERPs, or ornery over OWBPA, this is the session for you.

    Session 3A: Remote Work is Here to Stay

    Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home, or “WFH,” became a desirable work arrangement for both employees and employers. While WFH may be beneficial for a variety of reasons, all employers must carefully manage these remote work arrangements and implement parameters that achieve business objectives while complying with federal, state, and local laws. Consequently, HR professionals have to navigate the cultural and legal issues associated with employees working remotely. These issues include recruiting and hiring employees working in other states, wage and hour compliance, leave entitlements, home office expense and reimbursements, anti-discrimination laws, notice compliance, and workers’ compensation, to name a few. This valuable session will highlight the key compliance issues and provide best practices for managing remote work issues to minimize liability.

    Session 3B: Protecting the Digital Fortress

    In today’s digital world, we have access to more knowledge and data than at any point in the history of mankind, increasing opportunity and productivity across the board, but this is a double-edged sword: Your business is also more at risk of a data breach than ever before. Loss of consumer trust, damage to your brand reputation, loss of clientele, and loss of productivity are only a few of the consequences breached businesses may face. However, there are ways to protect your company and mitigate the impact of a breach and keep your confidential information safe. Join attorney Scott T. Reigle and learn how to reduce your business’s vulnerability and protect your data.

    Session 4A: "HR—Party of One!"

    Serving as an HR professional is challenging work. Many companies have an HR department composed of several well-trained and knowledgeable HR professionals to help identify and manage legal and compliance issues, keep paperwork in order, help supervisors deal with employee issues, and handle the many other day-to-day issues companies face. But what if it is just you? A one-person HR department having to do it all raises even more challenges. In this session, you will learn more about compliance with several fundamental employment laws and regulations, the practical application of these laws, and suggested best practices for dealing with many of the employment issues that smaller HR departments face.

    Session 4B: Tiptoeing Through Immigration Laws When Hiring

    This session will cover a wide range of immigration issues, including compliance strategies and the use of visa sponsorship to attract and retain talent. Foreign national employee hiring and retention options, including work visa and green card updates, will be covered as well as practical tips on planning for immigration sponsorship and international travel. Employment verification best practices, worksite enforcement trends, and Form I-9 recommendations will also be discussed.

    Minnesota (3/9/23):

    Session 1: The Year in Review and the Year Ahead

    With a DFL-trifecta of the Minnesota House and Senate and the Governor, many employment laws are likely to change over the next two years. Paid leave – an unemployment-like system – and sick and safe time are already in the works with even more laws to change over the coming months. This session will cover what employment laws may change with this legislative session and what to expect from Congress as well.

    Session 2: Remote Work is Here to Stay

    Remote work is no longer a temporary accommodation. It is a current and future reality. Regardless of whether your employees are working from home or in another state, this session will help ensure you are in compliance with applicable employment laws. It will also cover the risks associated with the usage of contractors in other states.

    Session 3: Labor Practices for All Employers. What is Fair and Unfair?

    This fast-paced session will cover the labor law developments that all employers should pay attention to in 2023, even those organizations that do not have unionized workforces. Spencer Fane attorneys Jessica Nelson and Randi Winter will breakdown the current priorities of the National Labor Relations Board, in addition to providing practical guidance for ensuring that your managers do not unknowingly engage in unfair labor practices. They will also provide suggestions for responding to potential union organizing activity among employees, as well as tips for updating employee handbooks and policies that might conflict with recent changes to legal opinions from the NLRB.

    Session 4: Dazed and Confused: What to Do About Marijuana in the Workplace

    Given the challenging legal landscape of marijuana in the workplace, this session aims to provide best practices for employers in handling these often sticky situations.  Additionally, these changes have also caused employers to rethink drug testing and/or revise their respective policies. This session will outline additional considerations for drug testing and troubleshooting drug testing policies.

    Key Takeaways:

    1. How to effectively manage the continually changing workplace landscape of marijuana usage
    2. How to prepare effective drug testing policies

    Session 5: Conducting Effective Investigations and Climate Assessments in the Evolving Workplace

    Assessing when and how an investigation should be done, determining how to manage the communication and process of the investigation, and conducting an effective and meaningful investigation is critical to an employer’s compliance obligations and instilling a healthy workplace. The recent full-tilt shift to virtual video conferencing provides an opportunity to expand an investigator’s efficiency but also poses challenges regarding effective interviewing and information-gathering techniques in the virtual context.

  • Speakers

    Speakers

    Illinois (1/26/23):

    Gary Clark

    Gary Clark
    Quarles & Brady

    Biography

    Kaitlin Phillips

    Kaitlin Phillips
    Quarles & Brady

    Biography

    Kathryn Hartrick

    Kathryn Hartrick
    Hartrick Employment Law

    Biography

    Michael Paull

    Michael Paull
    Klein, Paull, Holleb & Jacobs Ltd.

    Biography

    Jennifer Colvin

    Jennifer Colvin
    Ogletree Deakins

    Biography

    Ann Barry Hanneman

    Ann Barry Hanneman
    von Briesen & Roper

    Biography

    Iowa/Western Illinois (2/9/23):

    Mark Hudson

    Mark Hudson
    Shuttleworth & Ingersoll

    Biography

    Fran Haas

    Frances Haas
    Nyemaster Goode

    Biography

    Amy Reasner

    Amy Reasner
    Lynch Dallas

    Biography

    Terri Davis

    Terri Davis
    Shuttleworth & Ingersoll

    Biography

    Brent Hinders

    Brent L. Hinders

    Hopkins and Huebner

    Biography

    James Theobald

    James Theobald

    Hopkins and Huebner

    Biography

    Wisconsin (2/16/23):

    Christine Liu McLaughlin Headshot

    Christine Liu McLaughlin
    Godfrey & Kahn

    Biography

    Joel Aziere

    Joel Aziere
    Buelow Vetter

    Biography

    Robert Sholl

    Rob Sholl
    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

    Biography

    Michael Gentry

    Michael Gentry
    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

    Biography

    Oyvind Wistrom

    Oyvind Wistrom
    Lindner & Marsack

    Biography

    Scott LeBlanc

    Scott LeBlanc
    Husch Blackwell

    Biography

    Craig Papka

    Craig Papka
    von Briesen & Roper

    Biography

    Audrey Merkel

    Audrey Merkel
    von Briesen & Roper

    Biography

    Scott Reigle

    Scott Reigle
    Meissner Tierney

    Biography

    Suzie Watson

    Suzie Watson
    Ogletree Deakins

    Biography

    Kelly Fortier

    Kelly Fortier
    Michael Best

    Biography

     

    Minnesota (3/9/23):

    Kate Bischoff

    Kate Bischoff
    tHRive Law & Consulting

    Biography

    Thomas Henke

    Thomas Henke
    Fredrickson & Byron

    Biography

    Kristin LeBre

    Kristin LeBre
    Fredrickson & Byron

    Biography

    Jessica Nelson

    Jessica Nelson
    Spencer Fane

    Biography

    Randi Winter

    Randi Winter
    Spencer Fane

    Biography

    Brent Kettelkamp

    Brent Kettelkamp
    Ogletree Deakins

    Biography

    Colin Hargreaves

    Colin Hargreaves
    Ogletree Deakins

    Biography

    Stephanie Sarantopoulos

    Stephanie Sarantopoulos
    Littler Mendelson

    Biography

  • Rates

    Rates

    Rates:

    Location Fee
    Illinois In-Person Member: $225 (before 1/12/23) | $250 (after 1/12/23)
    In-Person Nonmember: $300
    Iowa/Illinois In-Person Member: $200 (before 1/25/23) | $225 (after 1/25/23)
    In-Person Nonmember: $275
    Wisconsin In-Person Member: $275 (before 2/1/23) | $350 (after 2/1/23)
    In-Person Nonmember: $375
    Virtual Member: $250
    Virtual Nonmember: $375
    Minnesota In-Person Member: $275 (before 2/22/23) | $350 (after 2/22/23)
    In-Person Nonmember: $375
    Virtual Member: $250
    Virtual Nonmember: $375
  • Sponsorship

    Sponsorship

    Sponsoring MRA events is a tremendous opportunity to bring your message of business value to our growing membership of organizations HR professionals and business leaders. Our members represent all industries including manufacturing, service, distribution, finance and health care! 80% of event attendees are new at each event offering you the opportunity to network with new contacts. We are very excited about the event this year and hope you can join us!

    For more information on sponsorship, call Laura Kielbasa at 262.696.3346 or [email protected].

  • Virtual Event Guidelines

    Virtual Event Guidelines

    MRA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all event participants and MRA staff.

    To ensure a comfortable learning environment for all event attendees, discussions should be focused on the meeting topic at hand. Expected behavior is outlined below:

    • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
    • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
    • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the online MRA moderator if you notice violations of these guidelines or have concerns about fellow participants.

    Participants violating these Guidelines will be asked to stop any inappropriate behavior and are expected to comply immediately. If the issue continues, MRA reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including, but not limited to, removal of the participant from the public chat, from the event, and/or banning from all future events.

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