Employment Law Update - Wisconsin and Federal

HR Compliance
Harassment Prevention
Workplace Violence
Milwaukee, WI
| 11 Sessions


Employment Law Update - Wisconsin and Federal
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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.

    6.5 HRCI/SHRM credits applied for.

  • Agenda


    Schedule Thursday, February 21, 2019
    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. – 9:30 a.m. General Session: Employment Law Year in Review
    9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 1A - Hiring Best Practices – Practical Advice and Liability Avoidance
    1B - Policies and Practices to Reduce the Risk of EEOC Claims
    11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 2A - Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence – What’s Your Strategy?
    2B - Getting Lost in the Weed
    12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 3A - Immigration Update: What Employers Need to Know
    3B - Legal Guidance for HR in Navigating the New Trend of Social Responsibility
    2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. 4A - When Acronyms Collide: Managing the Intricacies of ADA, WFEA, FMLA, WFMLA and WC
    4B - #MeToo - Navigating the New Era of Workplace Harassment
    3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closing Session: The Sea of Change Shift in Employment Law from Federal Level Enforcement to a Patchwork of State and Local Laws


  • Sessions


    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 and Laura Ferrari, 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
    Jenifer Ciralsky and Stefanie Tripoli, Littler Mendelson P.C.

    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
  • 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.

    David Hertel

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    Keith Kopplin

    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

    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

    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

    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 Petersen

    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

    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 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. 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."

    Laura Ferrari

    Laura Ferrari is an attorney in Reinhart’s Labor and Employment practice. Laura counsels employers in a variety of matters that arise in all stages of the employment relationship. This includes assisting employers maintain compliance with federal and state laws, including the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Diabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and in providing support when litigation or other disputes arise. She also assists in the defense against discrimination and wage and hour claims, preparation of employment and non-compete agreements, review and crafting of policies, and drafting of severance agreements.

    Jennifer Ciralsky

    Jennifer L. Ciralsky is a shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C. She advises and represents employers in a broad range of employment law matters arising under federal and state law, including claims based on Title VII, The Family and Medical Leave Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act, The Fair Labor Standards Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. She appears before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division and in federal courts defending management in employment litigation and administrative charges, particularly in the area of discrimination. Additionally, Jennifer counsels clients in wage and hour and FMLA compliance, discipline and terminations, and affirmative action obligations.

    Stefanie Tripoli

    Stefanie Tripoli is an associate at Littler Mendelson P.C. who advises employers in a wide range of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state law. She has successfully represented employers before various federal and state agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Workforce Development.

  • Register



    Member Early Bird: $250 (Deadline: Thursday, February 7, 2019)
    Member Attendee: $325 (After Thursday, February 7, 2019)
    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!

    Note: MRA is a nonprofit, 501©(3) tax-exempt organization. All sponsorship donations for events are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

    For more information on sponsorship and exhibit booths, call Angela Fischer at 262.696.3418 or angela.fischer@mranet.org. Click here to secure your spot.

    Signature Sponsors:





    Gold Sponsors:









    Silver Sponsors:

  • Facility


    Italian Community Center
    631 East Chicago Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53202


Thank You to our Sponsors!

Signature Sponsors:





Gold Sponsors:









Silver Sponsors:

Event Sessions

February 21
7:15 AM - 8:00 AM
Registration and Breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Opening Session: Employment Law Year in Review
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Session 1B: Policies and Practices to Reduce the Risk of EEOC Claims
Session 1A: Hiring Best Practices - Practical Advice and Liability Avoidance
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Session 2A: Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence: What is Your Strategy?
Session 2B: Getting Lost in the Weed
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Session 3A: Immigration Update: What Employers Need to Know
Session 3B: Guidance for HR in Navigating the New Trend of Social Responsibility
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Session 4B: #MeToo - Navigating the New Era of Workplace Harassment
Session 4A: When Acronyms Collide: Managing the ADA, WFEA, FMLA, WFMLA, and WC
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Closing Session: The Sea Change in Employment Law From Federal-Level Enforcement


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