As a leader, it is important that you understand annual changes in employment law and human resources best practices, as these changes affect employers around the country each year. Over 1,500 people attend the ELU conference annually, where the most significant employment law developments of the year are covered. Our HR experts and labor law attorneys strip away the legalese and provide you with practical, timely, and critical advice to minimize employment law liability.
Who should attend
This conference is for business owners, managers, supervisors, in-house counsel, and human resources professionals
November 12-13 (8:30-12:30)
Day One Agenda
Federal Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Update – Drew Hintze, Esq
2020 has been a year for the record books. With an upcoming election, the federal government has pushed forward on several regulatory proposals affecting employers. The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a flurry of new employment rules and relief programs. And, while all this goes on, the courts have been busy interpreting old laws in surprising new ways. This session will discuss these changes and other items employers need to be aware of to remain compliant in the year ahead.
Drew Hintze is an employment law staff attorney in the Employment Law Services department of Employers Council. He provides legal advice and representation to employers regarding wage-and-hour issues, discrimination, unemployment, and other employment law matters. Prior to joining the Employers Council, Drew litigated cases in private practice and worked as an Assistant City Attorney for the Denver City Attorney's Office. He received his Juris Doctorate and master's in legal administration from the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law and his bachelor's in finance from the University of Iowa.
What to Do When Your Employee Becomes a Social Media Pariah – Curtis Graves, Esq.
Social media provides a great way for your employees to exercise poor judgment, sometimes with disastrous results. While your first impulse may be to terminate employment with extreme prejudice, doing so could land you in hot water. Learn which social media communications are protected and what you can do when employees believe the world needs to know their every opinion.
Curtis Graves manages Employers Council's Labor Relations department. In this role, he negotiates collective bargaining agreements, responds to unfair labor practice charges, participates in arbitrations, and advises members on all aspects of labor and employment law. Curtis also advises on legal issues and drug use by employees and regularly trains human resources professionals, managers, supervisors, and employees on the topics of drug use, civil rights, and unemployment compensation. In addition to local media, Curtis has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, and Al Jazeera to discuss employment law and how it relates to recreational marijuana in Colorado.
The Impacts and Implications of Equal Pay Laws, Alex Bellanti, Esq.
Equal pay laws are about more than just numbers on a spreadsheet. This session will discuss the primary trends in equal pay laws throughout the country and their broader implications in the workplace. We will cover important topics such as what constitutes a “substantially similar" position and how pay equity laws could potentially impact succession planning, compensation planning, and company culture overall.
Alex Bellanti practiced plaintiff's side employment law for nearly five years before joining Employers Council in 2018. She specializes in wage and hour law, discrimination and the law of EEO, and general employment law advising and legal briefing. Alex is licensed to practice law in Colorado and Oklahoma.
Day Two Agenda
BREAKOUT -- State Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Update
In the past few years, state and local governments have shown increased interest in passing new laws governing workplace matters. Please join one of our state and local employment law experts for a cutting edge breakout session about the latest employment law news from your backyard:
- Arizona – Jaimie Graczyk, Esq.
- Colorado – Chad Trulli, Esq.
- Utah – Katie Hudman, Esq.
Arizona – Jaimie Graczyk
Jaimie Graczyk joined Employers Council in December 2016 as an employment law attorney. Prior to her service with Employers Council, Jaimie worked in-house for an automotive corporation in Detroit focusing on employment law and human resources. She also interned at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Phoenix District Office and a prominent labor and employment law firm in Phoenix, focusing on Title VII civil rights, the ADA, and the FMLA.
Colorado – Chad Trulli
Chad Trulli joined Employers Council as a staff attorney in the Employment Law Services Department in 2020. He has practiced employment law in Colorado for 15 years, focusing primarily on the laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and federal leave protections. Prior to joining Employers Council, Chad represented clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and in multiple state and federal courts. He holds a degree in Sociology from Purdue University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.
Utah – Katie Hudman
Katie Hudman is an attorney with Employers Council. Since 2004, she has focused her practice on employment law and has trained company leaders and HR professionals on effective employee discipline and documentation, discrimination, harassment, family and medical leave, overtime pay, drug testing, and disability accommodations. Prior to joining Employers Council, Katie worked in private practice and clerked for the Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel and of the Utah Supreme Court.
Safety in Uncertain Times: Keeping Your Employees and Organization Healthy During the Pandemic – Jennifer Vold, Esq.
COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for HR in managing employees' health and safety while meeting organizational needs and avoiding legal liability. This presentation will discuss employers' pandemic obligations and best practices under state and local laws and guidance to help focus employers on what they really need to know to get through 2020 and beyond safely.
Jennifer Vold joined Employers Council in 2006 as a staff attorney tasked with handling risk management. She focuses primarily on assisting employers with workers' compensation, OSHA and general safety and wellness considerations, as well as managing those services. Additionally, Jennifer advises employers on a variety of employment law issues and represents management in administrative proceedings before several agencies. Prior to joining Employers Council, Jennifer was a litigation attorney for eight years, practicing in the areas of civil, commercial and employment litigation. She received both her bachelor of arts degree, in 1994, and her law degree, in 1997, from the University of Minnesota.
Changing the Conversation — Navigating the Legal Challenges in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policies – Julia Paris, Esq.
Many companies are focusing their efforts on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Even with the best of intentions, however, it's easy to make a misstep in this complex area. This presentation identifies common mistakes in creating diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, and practices, and offers practical advice on achieving these goals while minimizing legal risk.
Julia Paris is an attorney in the Southern Regional Office for Employers Council. Julia is a Colorado native and graduated from Palmer High School in 1995. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics (with a focus on Business and Accounting) from Colorado College and her Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Following law school, she worked for the national office of the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel, in Washington, D.C. After returning to Chicago, Julia practiced law in the Tax-Exempt Organizations group of a national firm. Julia later returned to Colorado Springs to raise her family, where she served for several years in a legal compliance role with the University of Colorado, and then as an attorney with a local law firm.
Is this our new normal? Considerations for conducting investigations during a global pandemic – Michelle Sturgell, Esq. SPHR
Companies are learning fast how to cope with the wide-ranging effects (and collateral consequences) of COVID-19, including how to conduct business in these unprecedented times. Naturally, workplace investigation efforts are not immune from this struggle. This session will focus on best practices for conducting a workplace investigation during these challenging and changing times. Topics include: deciding when and what to investigate, who should conduct the investigation, how to communicate and preserve privacy, as well and the trends among claims in the last year.
Michele Sturgell is the Manager of Investigations at Employers Council. Before coming to Employers Council, Michele was a trial lawyer for nearly 11 years, specializing in indigent criminal defense and completing over 70 jury trials. Michele earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Denver in 2001 and her law degree from Arizona State University in 2004. Michele is a certified Title IX investigator, Senior Professional in Human Resources, and is currently working toward her M.B.A. at the University of Colorado-Denver.