Labor & Employment Law Academy 2011

September 28, 2011

Academy Overview

In today's workplace, it is imperative to understand the far-reaching effects of employment laws and regulations that impact each and every business. Failure to do so may result in significant administrative fines or costly legal judgments.

The Academy program is your one-stop solution. This program will provide participants with a comprehensive review of employment laws -- from screening and hiring, to wage and hour issues, to performance management and terminations.

Presented by recognized leaders in employment law and human resources, the Academy will focus on practical workplace applications that will prepare you to deal with the real-life issues you face every day.

HRCI Recertification Credit: These programs have been submitted to the HR Certification Institute.

Program Agenda
8 - 8:30 a.m.  Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 - 11:30 a.m.  Program

September 29, 2011
Retaliation and Whistleblowers
Presented by Michael D. Billok, Esq.

Has your company moved an employee who made a complaint about another employee's insensitive comments, thinking that separating the employees might improve the situation? Ever reprimanded an employee for making complaints related to workplace safety? Although unintentional, both actions may bring retaliation and whistleblower laws into play. While the total number of complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have increased by 38% in the past 19 years, retaliation complaints have climbed by 226% over that same time period -- and for the first time ever in 2010 eclipsed all other forms of discrimination reported to the EEOC. This presentation will cover what employee complaints are protected activity, and what employers should -- and should not -- do when an employee makes such a complaint to avoid charges of retaliation.

Practical Advice on How to Satisfy Wage and Hour Obligations
Presented by John M. Bagyi, Esq., SPHR

In the wake of the Wage Theft Prevention Act and aggressive enforcement efforts by the United States and New York Departments of Labor, a solid understanding of wage and hour laws is a necessity. This presentation will include a brief overview of those laws as well as recent enforcement efforts and provide practical tips and advice on what employers should do pro-actively to provide reasonable assurance of compliance and avoid potential liability. Among the topics to be covered -- calculating regular rate of pay, deductions from wages, preliminary and postliminary work, off-site work, and meal periods.

October 26, 2011
Successfully Managing Employee Leaves of Absence under the FMLA, ADA and NYHRL 
Presented by Sanjeeve K. DeSoyza, Esq.

Have you properly designated a requested leave? Has the employee provided you with necessary medical documentation? What are your obligations once an employee's 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act has expired and she's still not ready to return? These are just a few of the questions you may be faced with when an employee is out on a leave of absence. Accommodating the absence without breaking the bank or overburdening the rest of your workforce can be a tough balancing act. This program will offer practical guidance on successfully managing leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and New York's Human Rights Law.

Update on Social Media in the Workplace: What You Need to Know
Presented by John M. Bagyi, Esq., SPHR

The explosion in the use of social media has fundamentally transformed the way in which people communicate. With this has come innumerable human resources and employment law concerns, including those related to hiring, harassment and other inappropriate online behavior. Constrained by a web of overlapping federal and state laws as well as employee relations concerns, employers must proceed with caution in addressing social media issues. This presentation will help you navigate these concerns by providing practical guidance on the use of social media in hiring, the development of a social media policy, lawfully monitoring/screening online activity, what to do when inappropriate online behavior is brought to your attention, and when you can and cannot discipline an employee for online behavior.

November 29, 2011
How to Conduct Lawful and Effective Workplace Investigations
Presented by John M. Bagyi, Esq., SPHR

Regrettably, investigations into workplace harassment, theft and other forms of employee misconduct are all too common in today's workplace. As a result, HR practitioners and managers must be prepared to conduct an investigation when called upon to do so. This 3-hour presentation will provide a comprehensive survey of key issues related to investigations and provide practical advice on some of the more difficult ones including, where to start an investigation, conducting workplace searches, handling difficult witnesses or those who refuse to participate, making credibility determinations, and concluding the investigation and documenting your findings.