2020 Employment Law Update - Wisconsin and Federal

Conferences & Events
Milwaukee, WI
February 20 8:00am - 4:45pm


2020 Employment Law Update - Wisconsin 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. – 8:10 a.m. Opening Remarks
    8:10 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Opening Session: 2019 Employment Law Year in Review: What employers need to know about legal developments and trends
    9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Session 1A: The Dirty Dozen – Twelve of the most common (and avoidable) wage and hour mistakes
    9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Session 1B: Tricky ADA Compliance Issues: Accommodating Mental Health Issues, Leaves of Absences and Managing Performance and Disciplining Employees with Disabilities
    10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Session 2A: Eye on Pay Equity
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Session 2B: Legal Challenges for Dress and Appearance in the Workplace
    12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Session 3A: Ending Employment Relationships and the Aftermath
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Session 3B: Legal Considerations for Working With
    a Culturally Diverse Workforce
    2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break
    2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Session 4A: Clearing the Weeds: Making Sense of Marijuana Legalization Laws
    2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Session 4B: Interplay between FMLA/Leaves/WC and ADA. Navigating Through Leave Abuse
    3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break
    3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closing Session Panel Discussion: Inquiring Minds Want to Know? Ask the Attorney!
  • Sessions


    Opening Session

    8:10 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
    Presented by Bud Bobber, Ogletree Deakins
    2019 Employment Law Year in Review: What employers need to know about legal developments and trends

    Employment law never stands still. No HR professional alone can consistently find, digest and react to all the changes in employment law. This session will summarize the important developments in employment law in prior year, suggest opportunities for employers and call out trends indicated by these developments.

    • The most important court rulings impacting employment law
    • The key developments at the key agencies (EEOC, DOL and NLRB)
    • Patchwork of state law changes across the country

    Session 1A

    9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
    Presented by Keith Kopplin, Ogletree Deakins
    The Dirty Dozen – Twelve of the most common (and avoidable) wage and hour mistakes

    Wage and hour litigation continues to be prevalent in both state and federal
    courts. In this session, we will:


    • Provide an overview of the risks associated with wage and hour practices
    • Review 12 of the most common issues that get employers sued
    • Provide an audit checklist to help attendees catch and correct issues before claims are filed

    Session 1B

    9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
    Presented by Oyvind Wistrom & Laurie Peterson, Lindner Marsack
    Tricky ADA Compliance Issues: Accommodating Mental Health Issues, Leaves of Absences and Managing Performance and Disciplining Employees with Disabilities

    This presentation will focus on several types of accommodation requests that continue to present challenges to employers and will provide hands-on advice and best practices to
    ensure that employers remain compliant with the ADA, WFEA, and the FMLA. Learn how to:

    • Navigate the complexities of accommodating mental health conditions
    • Determine when a leave of absence constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the ADA and WFEA
    • Provide flexible scheduling and medical leaves for employees
    • Address discipline and performance concerns, with a medical condition or disability

    Session 2A

    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Presented by Sarah Platt, Ogletree Deakins
    Eye on Pay Equity

    Equal pay continues to be a key topic for employers—and in the media. In this
    session, we will:

    • Consider the increasing number of state pay equity laws
    • Discuss recommendations for conducting a proactive privileged pay analysis
    • Address state laws prohibiting salary history inquiries and imposing other requirements on employers around pay transparency in the hiring process

    Session 2B

    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Presented by Joel Aziere, Buelow Vetter Buikema Olson & Vliet, LLC
    Legal Challenges for Dress and Appearance in the Workplace

    Tattoos, piercings, and wild colored hair all present challenges for employers. But additional
    issues like gender nonconformity and cultural attire are presenting new challenges for
    employers seeking to establish their organization’s culture and policies, while ensuring
    compliance with state and federal laws. Organizations must balance employee’s rights to
    expressive freedom against the organization’s right to determine its legitimate business
    needs. This presentation will address:

    • Legal issues surrounding dress and appearance in the workplace
    • Tips for preventing unconscious bias and stereotyping in dress codes
    • Tactics to ensure employees are evaluated by their actual performance and not stereotypes
    • Creation of a dress code free from discrimination

    Session 3A

    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presented by Christine Liu McLaughlin & Meg Kurlinski, Godfrey & Kahn
    Ending Employment Relationships and the Aftermath

    The termination of an individual’s employment is never pleasant. Even when the decision is appropriate and necessary, it can be disruptive and difficult. This presentation will cover:

    • Key considerations when evaluating the risks associated with a proposed termination.
    • Best practices when implementing a termination decision.
    • The role of social media when employees separate employment.

    Session 3B

    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Presented by Rob Sholl & Shannon Toole, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.
    Legal Considerations for Working With a Culturally Diverse Workforce

    Learn about important aspects of managing diversity in the workplace, including:

    • LGBTQ rights
    • Language barriers and English-only requirements
    • Investigating employee complaints on religion, politics, and more
    • Immigration reform and no-match letters
    • Accommodations for prayer, pumping, and puppies

    Session 4A

    2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
    Presented by Jonathan Levine, Littler Mendelson
    Clearing the Weeds: Making Sense of Marijuana Legalization Laws

    Legalization of marijuana—whether for medical or recreational use—is mounting across the country and is having an enormous impact on employers. Legalization of marijuana will prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their off-the-job use of cannabis. While its passage is far from certain, legalized marijuana in Wisconsin is inevitable. This presentation will use the experience of employers in other states to prepare your company to address potentially vexing issues such as:

    • Drug testing (whether and what to test for, especially in a tight job market).
    • Accommodations made for employees using marijuana in accordance with state law.

    Session 4B

    2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
    Presented by Denise Greathouse, Michael Best & Friedrich
    Interplay between FMLA/Leaves/WC and ADA. Navigating Through Leave Abuse

    Human resource, safety, and workers’ compensation professionals are on the frontline
    of the most challenging area of employment law—managing injuries, illnesses, and
    disabilities across the continuously changing legal landscape carved out by
    numerous laws. In this fast-paced session, attorney Denise Greathouse will:

    • Provide an update on considerations under FMLA, ADA, OSHA, workers’ compensation, and related employment laws
    • Ask the audience to solve several challenging scenarios, applying what they have learned.

    Closing Session Panel Discussion

    3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Presented by Bud Bobber, Rob Sholl & Meg Kurlinski
    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


    Bud Bobber

    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.


    Keith Kopplin

    Keith E. Kopplin’s practice focuses on employment litigation and employment law matters. Keith 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 human resource matters including discipline and discharge decisions, the Wisconsin and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, wage and hour practices, and workplace accommodations. Keith strives to find creative and cost-effective solutions to some of the most vexing workplace issues, including Family and Medical Leave Act abuse, incidents of off-the-clock work, and reasonable accommodation requests. He has given presentations on numerous topics, including the use of social media by employees, Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, employee handbooks, workplace violence, employee privacy, the hiring process, the Wisconsin and federal Family and Medical Leave Acts, discipline and discharge, and unemployment insurance. Keith also presents customized training programs for employers.


    Oyvind Wistrom

    Oyvind Wistrom is a shareholder and President 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.


    Laurie Petersen

    Laurie A. Petersen is a shareholder and member of Lindner & Marsack, S.C.'s Board of Directors. Her labor and employment law experience covers a broad spectrum of matters for diverse business organizations in a range of industries. Her partnership with a variety of organizations involving a range of issues has prepared her to understand and support her client's business by counseling a strategy that fits the client's goals and philosophy.


    Sarah Platt

    Sarah Platt partners with employers of all sizes to find proactive and practical ways to address issues that could otherwise limit the success of employees and companies. Sarah counsels clients every day through challenging leave and accommodation issues under the ADA, FMLA and state laws. Sarah also often serves as an outside investigator and participates on clients’ crisis management teams to respond to harassment and other internal complaints, including those arising at the highest level of an organization. She frequently provides training to clients, from front-line workers to executive leadership, relating to harassment, accommodations and leave management, FMLA compliance, pay equity and other legal requirements and best practices.


    Joel Aziere

    Joel S. Aziere is President of the law firm Buelow Vetter Buikema Olson & Vliet, LLC. Joel 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.


    Christine Liu McLaughlin Headshot

    Christine Liu McLaughlin is a shareholder and chair of the Labor & Employment Law Practice Group in the Milwaukee office. Christine also is the immediate-past chair of the firm's Women's Leadership Forum and chair of the Diversity Committee. Christine provides counsel on a wide variety of employment and labor issues ranging from interpretation and application of federal and state employment laws to specialized employee transition matters in complex business transactions. Christine has conducted workshops and seminars on various employment law topics in Wisconsin as well as nationally. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of Legal Resource Training, Godfrey & Kahn's interactive training service initiated as a proactive tool to help clients avoid employment litigation. Christine was previously in-house counsel and Director of Employee Relations for the world's leading staffing service. Prior to her in-house experience, Christine was in private practice in Iowa where she focused on litigation with an emphasis on labor and employment.


    Meg Kurlinski

    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.


    Robert Sholl

    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. Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Sholl the 2017 Milwaukee Litigation – Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year." Mr. Sholl represents management exclusively. His employment practice encompasses employment discrimination, workplace harassment, noncompete 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.


    Shannon Toole Headshot

    Shannon M. Toole is an attorney in Reinhart’s Labor and Employment Practice. Shannon assists employers in variety of counseling and litigation matters. Prior to joining Reinhart, Shannon was a Summer Associate at Reinhart in 2018, and worked as a law clerk for the Labor and Employment Practice in 2019. During law school, she served as a legal intern for Legal Assistance to Internationalized Persons Project (LAIP) and for the Hon. William M. Conley at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Shannon was also the Senior Forward Editor for the Wisconsin Law Review and a member of the Wisconsin Moot Court Board.


    Jon Levine

    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, 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, 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. Jon's clients include companies in several industries.


    Denise Greathouse Headshot

    Denise Greathouse is an attorney in the Michael Best and Friedrich’s Labor and Employment Relations Practice Group. Ms. Greathouse represents management exclusively in a full range of labor and employment matters. Her practice encompasses all aspects of employment law, including labor arbitration, employment tort and breach of contract lawsuits, police and fire commission matters, employee separation/ termination matters, unemployment compensation matters, and Social Security Disability matters. She also has experience investigating and consulting clients on matters involving discrimination, workers’ compensation and employee safety and health matters (including mine safety). A former prosecutor who still regularly appears before State and Federal Administrative Agencies and Courts, Ms. Greathouse is experienced handling litigation regarding employment-related claims and OSHA matters.

  • Register



    Member Early Bird: $250 (Deadline: Thursday, February 6, 2020)
    Member Attendee: $325 (After Thursday, February 6, 2020)
    Nonmember Attendee: $375

    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


    Italian Community Center
    631 East Chicago Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53202

  • 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.


WI, Milwaukee - Italian Community Center - Event
631 E Chicago Street
Milwaukee WI, 53202