We proudly host an annual series of five 90-minute breakfast briefings to help executives, human resources professionals, managers, and attorneys face today’s most pressing employment law challenges with confidence.
- Taught by expert Employers Council attorneys and highly-respected guest attorneys
- Practical application and real-world solutions for new employment law developments and complex legal challenges
- To the point—just 90 minutes
- Approved for HRCI, SHRM, and Utah CLE credits
Arbitration Agreements after Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (January 23)
On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held that class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable—an issue that had previously been highly controversial. Although the enforceability of mandatory arbitration agreements for individual employees has long been established, the Epic Systems case greatly expanded employers’ ability to reduce the risk of being subjected to protracted and expensive class and collective action litigation. Many employers have been on the fence about whether to adopt arbitration agreements for their employees. The Epic Systems decision should, at the very least, prompt employers to re-evaluate this issue. It’s crucial for employers to recognize, however, that just because mandatory arbitration agreements are legally permitted, that does not mean it’s a given that every employer should adopt them. And, there are still many mistakes employers can make in drafting and implementing arbitration agreements that can render such agreements unenforceable. At this briefing, we will guide you through the latest legal developments and help you answer two questions: should my company implement an arbitration policy for employees, and if so, how should we craft and implement such a policy in a way that complies with the law.
LGBT Legal Issues in the Workplace (March 27)
Few workplace issues are garnering more attention from the courts, the EEOC, and other federal and state governmental entities these days than the rights of LGBT workers. Complicating matters is the fact that there is disagreement among the courts and even within the federal executive branch on how far LGBT rights extend. A landmark 2015 Utah law granting LGBT employees rights in the workplace has yet to be tested in the courts and leaves many employers perplexed as to how to comply with the law, especially when it comes to accommodating transgender/transitioning employees. In this briefing, we will review what’s changed, what’s changing, and what hasn’t changed when it comes to complying with this rapidly developing area of employment law.
Workplace Violence—What Can Employers Do to Prevent it Without Violating the Law? (May 22)
It’s an employer’s worst nightmare—a workplace violence incident involving one or more of its employees. In the aftermath, the employer will no doubt be asking: “What could we have done differently to prevent this?” Although warning signs often exist, employers may hesitate to act for fear of violating an employee’s rights. Or employers may go too far in the other direction—acting too swiftly or too dramatically when an employee’s behavior raises concerns. This briefing will focus on the laws and situations that are most likely to get employers into legal trouble as they try to balance their rights with the rights of their employees, including the ADA, negligence theories, employee privacy vs. employer surveillance/search rights, OSHA’s general duty obligations and OSHA guidance on workplace violence, and using background checks to screen out potentially violent employees.
Addiction at Work (August 21)
Substance abuse affects the workplace in many ways. Employers want to do the right thing by helping their employees who are struggling, while at the same time protecting their workplaces from the negative, and sometimes dangerous, effects of substance abuse. This briefing will focus on the legal issues involved under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, including how to recognize when an employee substance abuse situation implicates the ADA and/or FMLA, employer obligations to accommodate an employee with a substance abuse problem under the ADA (including when such accommodations are not required under the ADA), employer obligations to grant leave to an employee with a substance abuse problem under the FMLA, and how to handle tricky drug testing issues.
Expect the Unexpected—Emerging Issues in Employment Law (November 13)
Sometimes changes in employment law come suddenly and without warning and all you can do is react the best you can. Other times, indicators as to what’s coming are there if you pay attention and know where to look. This briefing will put you in position to be ready for employment law changes that are likely to be coming in the near future. Topics to be covered include the enforcement priorities listed in the EEOC’s 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan (e.g., leave as reasonable accommodation under the ADA, accommodating pregnancy-related limitations under the ADA and Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the rights of gig economy employees), the status of the FLSA white collar exemptions, pay equity laws, religious beliefs in the workplace (both employees’ and employers’), changes at the NLRB, paid sick leave, unlimited paid time off, and various state laws that go beyond the requirements of federal law.
Who Should Consider this Program
Company executives, human resources professionals, in-house counsel, managers, and attorneys
Employers Council staff attorneys and guest attorneys