Employment Law During President Obama's Administration
President Obama and the Democratic Congress are proposing a number of dramatic changes to the employment discrimination statutes. There are proposals
in Congress to "uncap" damages under Title VII, to expand the FMLA, and to eliminate mandatory arbitration programs, just to name a few. This segment
will discuss these and a number of other legislative ground-breaking proposals directly related to labor and employment law.
The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)
In 2007, the House of Representatives passed EFCA. That same year, the Senate Republicans successfully filibustered the legislation, which President Bush said
he would veto even if it had passed. President Obama is a strong supporter of the proposed legislation, and with the Democrats gaining greater control in the
Senate, it appears probable that EFCA in some form will become law. EFCA does, among other things, allow Unions to obtain bargaining rights for employees based
on signed authorization cards, as opposed to a secret ballot election. EFCA would also require mandatory arbitration if the parties do not reach agreement on a
first contract. Every employer will need to understand the legislation and immediately begin preparations for coping with the upcoming revolution in labor law.
The New ADA
On January 1, 2009, the new amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act took effect. These changes are intended to substantially expand the application
of the ADA, and grant greater protection to persons who are disabled or perceived as disabled. In this segment, we will discuss what these amendments will
mean for employers and employees.
The Wage and Hour Tsunami Continues: How Should Employers Respond?
The number of suits alleging violation of the wage and hour law (FLSA) continues to skyrocket. The issues are numerous - working off the clock,
working through lunch, working at home, misclassifying jobs as exempt from overtime - and expensive settlements are running in the tens of millions
of dollars; some are in the hundreds of millions. Is there anything an employer can do to avoid, or at least reduce the risk of these cases?
The answer is "Yes," and the presenters will discuss what to do.
Retaliation — the New Claim du Jour in the Aftermath of White v. Burlington Northern
The Supreme Court's White decision in June 2006 opened the floodgates for retaliation claims, and the "flood" has begun. Like wage and hour claims,
retaliation claims are becoming a big favorite among plaintiffs' lawyers. Following White, employees are claiming retaliation for things such as the
employer opposing an unemployment claim, issuing a citation for an unleashed dog, and threatening to undermine an employee's marriage. Employers must
address the growing retaliation threat. This segment will discuss the most recent developments in retaliation law and things businesses can do
to address it.
Supreme Court Update
The U.S. Supreme Court has recently decided, and will soon decide, a number of important employment law issues, including whether a discrimination plaintiff
can introduce "me, too" evidence of other employees allegedly discriminated against, and whether an EEOC Questionnaire constitutes a "charge" of discrimination.
The very latest Supreme Court rulings, and what they mean for employers, will be analyzed in this segment.
Practical Issues in Employment Litigation: What Wins and Loses Cases for Employers
Almost every employer can tell one or more "horror stories" of an employment law case "gone south." It could have been a huge verdict against the employer,
a court sanctioning an employer, the employer winning but paying a staggering sum in attorney fees, or some other disastrous result. In this segment, the presenters
will discuss what wins and loses cases, when to settle, and when not to, and why employers get "blindsided" at trial.
Babyboomers Are Now Called "Plaintiffs"
As babyboomers age and lifespans increase, the number of people in the "protected age group" - 40 and over - is growing dramatically. At the same time, employers
seek ways to "create opportunities" for less senior workers to advance. Other employers look for ways to cut costs. As a result, older employees often find themselves
out of a job, and not very happy about it. Age discrimination cases present special problems and different risks for employers, all of which will be reviewed
in this segment.
FMLA — A Migraine Headache (Serious Health Condition?) for Employers
Employers are close to unanimous — the FMLA (sometimes called the "Fridays and Mondays Leave Act") creates more problems for them than any other federal
law governing employment. Court decisions interpreting the FMLA are all over the map. The Department of Labor's regulations are woefully out of date. In this
part of the program, we will discuss the latest FMLA cases and what employers can do to "treat" their FMLA headache.
Legal Updates on Harassment
Courts continue to wrestle with the issue of what is and is not unlawful harassment. The newest and most important harassment rulings will be discussed
The National Labor Relations Act in the Electronic Age
The NLRB is presently confronting a number of issues that will shape the future of labor law. Some of these issues include: whether employees
can use an employer's e-mail system for union solicitation; whether an employer must include the employees' e-mail addresses on the Excelsior list
provided to the union; whether an NLRB notice-posting can or must include posting on the employer's intranet system; whether an employer can
prohibit use of its e-mail for union business. Non-union employers who think the NLRA has nothing to do with them are in for a surprise.
The Latest, Most Important State Law Developments, Including Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, Change-In-Control Agreements and New Theories
State courts and state legislatures are becoming more aggressive in regulating the employer-employee relationship. The increase in "job-hopping" presents
challenges in the area of trade secrets, non-competes, and other restrictive covenants. This segment will discuss the latest developments at the state level.
IAML Open Forum to Include Employee Privacy Issues
So that everyone's employment law questions can be answered, there will be an "open forum" session that will provide
you with an opportunity to ask questions regarding topics that were not covered in the Advanced Conference agenda.
Please note: Because of the dynamic changes taking place in employment law, IAML will make
every effort to ensure that the program content presented is timely and includes all new
significant developments in the area of employment law. Therefore, we reserve the right to modify
the curriculum and/or instructors when such changes are deemed beneficial.