2020 Employment Law Update - Illinois and Federal

Conferences & Events
Palatine, IL
January 30 8:00am - 4:15pm


2020 Employment Law Update - Illinois and Federal
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Conference Details

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    Almost every decision made as an HR professional is fraught with legal landmines that can bring frustration, fear, and lawsuits. Join our legal experts as they untangle misconceptions and eliminate confusion. At MRA’s annual Employment Law Update you will walk away with an understanding of the latest employment-related legal developments and how to deal with them effectively.

    HRCI/SHRM credits applied for.

    Note: Make sure to register first and then add the event to your calendar.

  • Agenda


    Schedule Sessions
    7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration / Continental Breakfast
    8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Opening Remarks
    8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Session 1: Mind the Gap: Pay Equity Issues and Trends
    9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Break
    9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Session 2: Interplay between FMLA/Leaves/WC and ADA
    10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break
    10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Session 3: A Summary of IDHR/EEOC Developments & Recent Notable Employment Cases in the Seventh Circuit
    11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
    12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Session 4: Solving the Recreational Cannabis Conundrum in Illinois
    1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Break
    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Session 5: Employee Handbook 2020: Review, Revise, Repeat! Not Again...
    3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break
    3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Closing Session Panel Discussion: Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Ask the Attorney!
  • Sessions


    Session 1

    8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
    Presented by Doris Brosnan, von Briesen & Roper, s.c.
    Mind the Gap: Pay Equity Issues and Trends


    1. Trends in pay equity legislation and regulations.
    2. How to identify and address potential pay discrimination liability.
    3. Conducting pay equity audits and identifying legitimate factors in pay disparities.

    Session 2

    9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
    Presented by Michael Paull, Klein, Paull, Holleb & Jacobs Ltd.
    Interplay between FMLA/Leaves/WC and ADA

    Employee requests for leave and workplace accommodations are the most common employment issues employers face. The Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Workers Compensation requirements provide a thicket of ramifications and procedures, some of which are inconsistent with each other, for employers to navigate. The session will provide guidelines for working your way through the thicket. We will spend a short time covering the basic premises of each law, and the bulk of the time discussing:

    • Real world situations and how best to handle them;
    • How to strategically use both the FMLA and ADA to manage employees on leave;
    • How and when to contact medical professionals and when not to; and
    • The most common mistakes made navigating these laws and how to avoid them.

    Session 3

    10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    Presented by Robert T. Bernstein, Laner Muchin, Ltd.
    A Summary of IDHR/EEOC Developments & Recent Notable Employment Cases in the Seventh Circuit

    In this session, I will cover an overview of recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act as well as recent noteworthy EEOC settlements. I will also cover a discussion of recent notable employment cases in the Seventh Circuit and their legal and practical impact on employers.

    Session Takeaways:

    • Hiring decisions should to the greatest extent possible be based on objective facts and criteria to best protect an employer in the event they receive a discrimination claim based on these types of decisions.
    • Employers must respond to workplace harassment perpetrated not only by employees, but also by customers, contractors, vendors and other visitors to the employer’s business.
    • The distinction between horseplay/teasing on the one hand and "sexual discrimination" will likely not be a compelling argument for an employer to make when the actions at issue are only directed at one sex, regardless of which sex.
    • While previous 7th Circuit decisions have often cited the need for work environments to be “hellish” in order to be actionable, the 7th Circuit has more recently relied on a lower standard in the racial harassment setting.
    • District courts in the Seventh Circuit have held that obesity is not a disability but the Northern District has recognized that there may be valid obesity-related claims under the "regarded as" prong of the ADA.
    • In retaliation cases, the timing of the employment decision as it relates to the underlying complaint or protected action of an employee matters, so an employer should at least factor this into their decision-making processes.

    Session 4

    12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Presented by Gary Clark, Quarles & Brady LLP
    Solving the Recreational Cannabis Conundrum in Illinois

    Recreational use of marijuana is legal in Illinois as of January 1, 2020, and the new law has significant implications on employers and the workplace. This session will help you navigate the do's and don'ts for your workplace drug and alcohol policy and answer critical questions regarding your ability to drug test for marijuana and revoke offers or terminate employees that test positive. It will also offer practical advice for avoiding the legal traps in current testing technology and how to handle situations where employees are suspected of being under the influence in the workplace. Finally, the session will also discuss how to handle lawful and unlawful drug use in the workplace in light of all the changes, including awareness of various state laws that are implicated by employee drug use.

    Session 5

    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    Presented by Alisa B. Arnoff, Scalabrino & Arnoff, LLP
    Employee Handbook 2020: Review, Revise, Repeat! Not Again...

    The Employee Handbook - a personnel tool that can help or harm a business with what it says, or what it does not say. And the rules keep changing, requiring pretty much constant vigilance over what is in a handbook and how much is in a handbook. This presentation, the final substantive one of the day, promises an entertaining, interactive and informative discussion of the latest handbook issues, including:

    • Must an employer tell its employees how to report perceived wrongdoing to an outside agency?
    • Does the catch-all phrase "and other characteristics protected by federal, state and local law" provide adequate protection in an equal employment opportunity policy?
    • How much do we have to inform employees about "accommodation?"
    • How big a deal is recreational marijuana use, really?
    • What is this "Section 7" stuff my attorney keeps harping about?
    • Which wins - the "not a contract disclaimer" or the "thou shalt do X" provision?
    • What must an employer do when it makes changes to a personnel handbook?

    Closing Session Panel Discussion

    3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
    Presented by Alisa B. Arnoff, Scalambrino & Arnoff LLP; Doris Brosnan, von Briesen & Roper, s.c.; and Rob Bernstein, Laner Muchin, Ltd.
    Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Ask the Attorney!

    Finish the conference by asking any unanswered employment law questions you have. Submit your questions in advance or at the event and this panel of attorneys will discuss and share their expertise.

  • Speakers


    Doris Brosnan

    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.


    Michael Paull

    Michael Paull has worked exclusively as a labor and employment lawyer. His labor experience includes litigation before administrative law judges, arbitrators, National Labor Relations Board hearing officers, and regional and federal level National Labor Relations Board offices on topics including unfair labor practices, bargaining unit determinations, and election objections. Michael’s labor experience includes responding to picketing, preparing for strikes, and conducting or assisting with numerous successful election campaigns in units ranging in size from twenty to 850 voters. Michael also devotes a significant portion of his practice to negotiating and providing advice in the administration of labor contracts.


    Rob Bernstein

    Rob Bernstein’s, partner at Laner Muchin, practice has been concentrated in defending employers in employment disputes and proceedings throughout the country, counseling employers on their day-to-day labor and employment issues, training management on a host of labor and employment topics, drafting and negotiating employment and non-competition agreements, drafting employee handbooks and corporate policy manuals, as well as handling collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and a variety of other labor and employment matters on behalf of employers.


    Gary Clark

    Gary Clark's practice focuses on all areas of labor and employment law, particularly employment-related litigation. His experience includes defending class actions under ERISA, the FLSA, the ADA and Title VII as well as high stakes complex litigation, such as EEOC enforcement actions, whistleblower matters and unfair competition/trade secret misappropriation matters. Gary also serves as a trusted business advisor and provides daily counsel on employment matters for numerous clients, including a global IT consulting firm and various educational and non-profit institutions. Gary employs a results-oriented approach that emphasizes crafting creative legal solutions to meet business needs.


    Alisa Arnoff

    A Chicago native, Alisa Arnoff is a founding member of the Chicago law firm of Scalambrino & Arnoff, LLP, which will celebrate its 28th anniversary this year. Alisa concentrates her practice in the areas of employment and labor law, representing privately and publicly held companies throughout the country. She also provides preventative counseling in avoiding and handling employee disputes. A big part of her practice is consulting with clients concerning everyday workplace problems, such as recruitment and selection, employee morale, absenteeism, productivity and separation from employment. Her litigation practice entails representation in employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract and wrongful discharge disputes, wage and unemployment security and wage-hour proceedings, among other matters. Other law firms regularly retain Alisa to conduct workplace-related investigations. Alisa also represents private schools with respect to student discipline and academic matters.

  • Register



    Member Attendee: $150
    Nonmember Attendee: $180

    Cancellation and Refund Policy:
    Attendee substitutions may be made at any time and are encouraged when the original registrant cannot attend. If you must cancel or reschedule, please notify us at least three (3) business days prior to the program to receive a full refund of the program price. Cancellations or date changes made less than 3 business days prior to the program will incur the full registration cost.

  • 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 and exhibit booths, call Katie Chapman at 262.696.3365 or katie.chapman@mranet.org.

    Signature Sponsors:

  • Facility


    Harper College Wojcik Conference Center
    1200 West Algonquin Road
    Palatine, IL 60067

    Complimentary parking is available in Lot 14, located adjacent to the Conference Center. If Lot 14 is full, there is additional parking in Lot 10, 11 and 12. Handicap parking is available in Lot 14.

  • Accommodations and Special Requests

    Accommodations and Special Requests

    Please contact us at 800.488.4845 or registrations@mranet.org in advance for any accommodations, special requests, or dietary needs. Nursing mothers, please ask the MRA representative at the front desk or the program instructor to show you our private area. Food and beverages provided at conferences, programs, and Roundtables will vary. If you have any special dietary needs (gluten-free, vegetarian, allergies, etc.), please contact the MRA location in advance, so we can provide an appropriate meal.


IL, Palatine - Harper College - Wojcik Conference Center
1200 Algonquin Rd
Palatine IL, 60067

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