12th Annual California Employment Law Update
October 11-13, 2017 | Costa Mesa, CA
CONFERENCE SNAPSHOT: At CELU 2017 local California employment attorneys will offer plain-English guidance on the implications legislative and regulatory developments and emerging HR trends will have on your compliance obligations.
Register today and save! Early Bird rate expires July 18, 2017. Save $200 on each additional attendee.
California’s leading employment law conference will celebrate its 12th anniversary with a powerful new agenda crafted specifically for California HR professionals and employers.
As a CELU attendee, you will:
- Discover best practices for paper and e-storage, meeting mandatory notice, policy drafting requirements, and more
- Implement your action plan for conducting thorough and legal workplace investigations under California law
- Experience powerful lightening round talks on benefits and wellness in a post-ACA world, predictive scheduling, and job outlooks for the California market
- Get an inside look at the latest state and federal laws, court rulings and policy updates that will impact your workplace in the years ahead
- Determine how to legally manage the use of recreational and medical marijuana and e-cigarettes among your employees
- Learn how to manage employee performance and disciplinary documentation now that annual appraisals are falling by the wayside
- Get the scoop on new compliance risks under equal pay legislation, 2-tier minimum wage system and other breaking wage and hour updates.
- Access practical tips for striking a legal balance when it comes to drafting and enforcing dress, grooming and bathroom use policies
- Crack the code on preventing unconscious bias and bullying in your workplace so you can avoid legal consequences
- Tap strategies to overcome tricky leave administration challenges involving CFRA, Paid Sick, Kin Care, and PDL laws
- Learn how to effectively accommodate invisible disabilities under ADA/FEHA
- Network with other California professionals and discover how they are tackling their toughest state-specific compliance and management challenges
- Get exclusive Q&A with the state's top employment law attorneys
- Earn critical HR recertification credits toward professional development
Your 2016 Speakers - 2017 Speakers coming soon!
Your California Faculty
Lindsay A. Ayers, Esq.
Partner, Orange County
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP
Lindsay A. Ayers advises and defends California businesses in labor, employment, and general business matters. She is an experienced trial attorney and has represented clients in matters involving employment, unfair competition, fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, securities, and fraud. She also has experience representing clients in government regulatory actions involving the EEOC, DFEH, and SEC, among others. Ayers has practiced in federal and state courts throughout California.
Jennifer Darling, Esq.
Associate, Employment Practice Group
Jennifer Darling has substantial experience representing public and private employers in a wide array of employment and labor relations matters ranging from single plaintiff lawsuits to wage and hour class actions. Darling represents clients in all stages of litigation in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and in arbitration. Common claims include discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, and violations of the California Labor Code, Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. She also provides antiharassment and other training to supervisors, managers, and employees.
Joan S. Farrell, JD
Senior Legal Editor
Joan S. Farrell, JD, is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Farrell writes extensively on the topics of workplace discrimination, unlawful harassment, retaliation, and reasonable accommodation. She is the editor of the ADA compliance manual—ADA Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR. Before coming to BLR, Ms. Farrell worked as in-house counsel for a multistate employer where she represented management in administrative matters and provided counseling on employment practices.
Michelle Lee Flores, Esq.
Michelle Lee Flores focuses her practice on all aspects of employment litigation, including jury and bench trials, arbitration, mediation, and prelitigation negotiations involving sex, race, religion, age and disability harassment and discrimination, wage and hour violations, including class actions, and wrongful termination. She also advises clients on employment compliance, internal investigations, discipline, terminations, reductions in force, and wage and hour matters. She is an advisory board contributor to the California Employment Law Letter, and was most recently named a 2016 California Super Lawyer.
Veronica Gray, Esq.
Partner & Employment Practice Group Chair
Veronica Gray is a prominent trial attorney with 4 decades of experience litigating and negotiating employment issues for her clients. Gray provides counseling, advice, and litigation services to private and public companies and public entities in a broad array of employment and labor related matters. She has taken on leadership roles in many professional and philanthropic organizations on a local and international level with a focus on microenterprise and children's education. Gray is also a passionate photographer and has donated her photography to many nonprofits to support their fund-raising efforts.
Mark Jacobs, Esq.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Mark Jacobs focuses on defending employment-related lawsuits and administrative complaints on a variety of issues, including harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. He represents employers in both state and federal courts as well as before state and federal agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). He regularly conducts in-house management seminars and training sessions for executives, supervisors, managers, and Human Resources professionals in all aspects of labor and employment law.
Marc Jacuzzi, Esq.
Simpson, Garrity, Innes, & Jacuzzi, P.C.
Marc Jacuzzi has represented numerous employers as defendants in civil rights actions, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and other state discrimination statutes. He has also represented clients in trade secret misappropriation claims, wage claims, wrongful termination claims, unfair business practices claims, noncompetition claims, contract disputes, and various tort claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jacuzzi’s practice also involves employment law counseling, and he regularly advises clients regarding all aspects of the employer/employee relationship.
Danielle Moore, Esq.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Danielle Moore represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and wage-hour class action lawsuits, as well as employment handbook and personnel policy preparation, and general preventive advice, including hiring, discipline, and termination practices. Moore has experience litigating matters in state and federal courts, state administrative tribunals, and in arbitration. She also regularly conducts management training and lectures on employment issues and teaches an employment law course at San Diego State University.
Mark Schickman, Esq.
Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
Mark Schickman concentrates on employment and labor law, litigating every type of employment matter, handling charges before California and federal administrative agencies, and providing advice in avoiding liability for discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, union-related charges, and all other aspects of the employment relationship. He represents California on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors and has served as president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and as governor of the State Bar of California. He is also the editor of the California Employment Law Letter.
Ryan D. Wheeler, Esq.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Ryan Wheeler’s practice includes counseling and defending employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Specifically, he regularly counsels employers on compliance with and implementation of federal and state leave of absence laws, including the California Family Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Pregnancy Disability Leave, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Todd R. Wulffson, Esq.
Managing Partner, Orange County
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP
Todd R. Wulffson has focused his practice on counseling and defending businesses in labor and employment matters for over 25 years. In addition to private practice, from 2006 to 2010, he served as General Counsel and SVP of Human Resources to Palace Entertainment, overseeing the SEC filings and legal and human resources issues for a company with over 12,000 employees at 40 locations in 11 states. Wulffson currently assists clients ranging from local sole proprietorships to large, multinational corporations. He has considerable experience representing employers in the entertainment, manufacturing, banking, hospitality, financial services, and retail industries.
Cathleen Yonahara, Esq.
Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
Cathleen Yonahara represents and advises clients in all areas of labor and employment law, including Title VII, the ADA, ADEA, FEHA, FMLA, CFRA, and the California Labor Code. She appears in state and federal court and before government agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, the California Labor Commissioner, and other agencies. She counsels clients on all aspects of the employment relationship, including employment, severance, and confidentiality agreements; independent contractor agreements; personnel policies; employee handbooks; and internal investigations. She is the assistant editor of the California Employment Law Letter.
Your 2017 Location
The Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
The Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
686 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Book your reservation online here
Room Rate: $199
Ask for BLR room block
Reservation cut-off date: Tuesday, September 26th
Your 2017 Agenda
Wednesday, October 11 | Pre-Conference Workshops
California Recordkeeping Round-Up: Best Practices for Paper and E-Storage, Meeting Mandatory Notice, Posting, and Policy Drafting Requirements, and More
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Recordkeeping—in both paper and electronic formats—is something California HR professionals should continuously address, as each year brings about updated recordkeeping requirements that add to the laundry list of existing recordkeeping requirements you must meet under state and federal laws. And, recordkeeping is just one piece of the compliance pie. You’ve also got to ensure that you’re up to date on mandatory workplace postings and that you are distributing written notices to employees as required by state and federal law. On top of that, you’ve got to ensure that you have policies in effect to keep up with new legislative requirements.
This pre-conference workshop is your one-stop shop for all things related to employment recordkeeping, mandatory posting and written notice requirements, and policy drafting tips in light of new and existing California and federal requirements.
- The key recordkeeping updates you’ll need to make for the coming year based on recently enacted and pending legislation
- Best practices for digital recordkeeping and what you must still keep in paper format—and for how long under state and federal law
- Mandatory notices you must post for your workforce, including recommendations on where to post them
- Which employers AB 2337 impacts and the new obligation this law creates to provide notice in writing, both at the time of hire and upon request, to take time off for matters related to domestic violence or stalking
- Mandatory written notices and forms that must be distributed to new hires and additional notices that must be provided in writing when certain events occur such as upon termination or changes in rate of pay.
- The rundown of wage and hour recordkeeping requirements you face, the biggest compliance trouble spots to watch out for, and successful approaches to time records that show non-exempt workers’ meal and rest breaks and commission sales agreement requirements
- Best practices for complying with AB 2535, which revised California Labor Code Section 226, and relates to your itemized wage statements
- Tips on how to draft a written discrimination and harassment policy that complies with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s recently enacted regulations
Workplace Investigations in California: Your Action Plan for Probing Complaints, Interviewing Witnesses, Reaching Reasoned Conclusions, and Taking Effective, Legal Action
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
HR is legally required to thoroughly investigate every complaint of unlawful conduct that crosses your desk, even when the complaint seems without merit. You want to investigate in a timely manner and limit your liability for keeping a guilty party on the payroll. If you act too quickly, though, you run the risk of cutting some key corners. The secret to conducting a successful inquiry is to get your complete investigation plan in place before the complaint ever hits your desk—because as you well know, in HR it’s never a question of if, but when.
This pre-conference workshop will bring you up to speed on how to conduct efficient, effective, legally compliant workplace investigations here in California.
- What to do first when an employee comes to you with a complaint or allegation
- How to handle those common requests for “complete confidentiality” and “I don’t want you to do anything about this, but…”
- What you should and shouldn’t do before the investigation is concluded
- How to separate a complainant and the alleged wrongdoer without inviting retaliation claims (from either side)
- Interviewing tips to help you get to the truth
- Strategies for resolving those “he said, she said” situations
- When you should consider bringing in an outside investigator
- What to do after the investigation is over to minimize your legal risks under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and other California or federal laws
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 | MAIN CONFERENCE
Registration & Breakfast
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.
Hot Topic Lightning Round Talks
8:05 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
CELU kicks off with three dynamic and timely talks tackling some of the most interesting workforce challenges facing California employers in 2017 and beyond.
- The Future of Work: Outlook for California Businesses
8:05 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.
The automation of essential job functions, the gig economy, no more performance appraisals, upskilling, the list goes on—the so-called “Future of Work” is a topic that continues to garner attention. CELU 2017 kicks off with an inspiring talk on how the workplace is changing, whether it’s for the better, and the legal risks those changes could present here in California.
- California Benefits and Wellness in the Post-ACA World
8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.
Here in California we’ve got the Healthcare Marketplace. But, with the threat of repeal to the federal Affordable Care Act, what do California workplaces need to know to ensure compliance with applicable benefits and wellness requirements? This talk delivers timely insights into navigating your California benefit and wellness plans in the post-ACA world.
- Predictive Scheduling: The Practical Impact of Newly Enacted Fair Scheduling Ordinances on ‘Clopenings’ and Other Scheduling Issues
8:50 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
California always seems to the leader with emerging legislative trends—and the issue of predictive scheduling is one where the state, once again, has taken the lead nationally. Following the passage of San Francisco’s Predictable Scheduling and Fair Treatment for Formula Retail Employees ordinance, the city of Emeryville followed suit. How does predictive scheduling work under the types of ordinances being passed in California? And, what can your organization do to ensure that you’re in compliance with emerging requirements concerning the scheduling of your shift workers’ hours? This timely talk will provide valuable insights into the growing predictive-scheduling trend and best practices for staying on the right side of the law.
Labor and Employment 360: Inside Look at How the Latest California and Federal HR Laws, Court Rulings and Policy Updates Will Impact Your Workplace
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
How will employment-related legislative, regulatory, and case law developments at the state and federal level impact California workplace policies and practices for the rest of 2017 and into 2018? You’ll get the answer during this concise, comprehensive session designed to brief you on the most critical updates California HR managers should know about. You’ll learn how President Trump’s picks for Department of Labor secretary, commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and National Labor Relations Board chair will likely shape employment policies nationally, and how those policy and enforcement-based initiatives will fit into current state agency-based policy directives from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
Plus, you’ll learn:
- New California employee handbook updates to make for 2018
- The most noteworthy state and federal court rulings that impact your California employment practices
- The impact newly signed presidential executive orders, such as the highly controversial immigration order, are having on California workplaces
- And much more!
Networking and Refreshments Break
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Drug Testing and Smoking Bans: Tips and Legal Limits for Controlling the Use of Marijuana, E-Cigarettes, and More
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
How far can your pre-employment drug testing policies go here in California? What are the best practices for making job offers conditional on successfully passing a drug test? And, if a worker uses medical marijuana or engages in recreational marijuana usage—now legal under Proposition 64—what impact might that have on the offer or any subsequent enforcement of a drug-free workplace policy in the event you hire that worker?
This session also will cover:
- Tips for mastering pre-employment drug screenings without running afoul of state and federal law
- What to do if an employee’s drug test comes back positive for marijuana usage
- When workplace safety concerns generally trump an employee’s right to smoke marijuana
- The latest updates on 2016’s law on smoke-free workplace protections
- Practical insights into how to treat “non-smoking” devices, such as e-cigarettes in your workplace, and much more
Annual Appraisal Apocalypse: How to Manage Employee Performance and Disciplinary Documentation When Yearly Reviews Are Falling by the Wayside
11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
More than one-third of U.S. companies are replacing traditional annual performance reviews. Companies like Adobe, Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte, Dell, and General Electric have opted for informal, regular check-ins between employees and their managers. But, what impact does the replacement of traditional performance reviews with real-time feedback have on best practices for ensuring you’ve got proper documentation in place to back up employment decisions concerning discipline, demotions, promotions, and discharge here in California?
This session will cover:
- How to strike a balance—so you keep proper documentation of employment-based decisions in place even if you opt to increase the frequency of performance discussions and eliminate ratings altogether
- Strategies for training supervisors and managers to continue to document performance-based issues as necessary even if they aren’t completing annual reviews anymore
12:35 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.
Wage and Hour Alert: New Compliance Risks Under Equal Pay Legislation, 2-Tier Minimum Wage System, Court Rulings on Breaks and On-Call Time, and More
1:40 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.
CELU 2017’s California Wage and Hour Updates is designed to deliver the latest insights on the new—and downright complex—2-tier minimum wage system, which resulted in the adoption of two new minimum wage rates (one for small employers; the other for large employers), fair pay requirements, and best practices for managing meal and rest breaks and on-call pay-related obligations.
- How SB 1063 amends the Fair Pay Act concerning the performance of substantially similar work
- Equal pay pitfalls to avoid related to race, ethnicity, and past salary information
- The ongoing challenges the new 2-tier minimum wage system presents for California workplaces
- Which organizations are “small employers” and which are “large employers” under the new 2-tier minimum wage system
- Best practices for complying with 2-tier minimum wage requirements
- The practical impact the salary threshold increase due to a pending minimum wage increase will have on how you apply the state and federal standards for purposes of determining whether an overtime exemption’s salary basis requirement can be met
- Where the state’s salary threshold for highly compensated and exempt computer professionals stand—and how these differ from federal law
- Why the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) could be your worst nightmare in the event an employee claims violations of meal and rest break rules, minimum wage and overtime requirements, timely payment of wages at termination, or technical errors on your itemized pay statements—and practical strategies to protect your company against liability
- Best practices for tracking break time that a court or the DLSE would consider work time under regulations and recent rulings
- How to count hours worked for employees with outdoor workplaces who are entitled to mandatory heat illness recovery periods
- The facts of the recently decided California Supreme Court case of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc.—and why the employer’s actions were legally challenged and what the result of the court’s ruling means for your workplace
- Practical strategies for meeting off-duty rest break requirements under the state’s LaborCode Section 226.7 and Wage Order 4-2001 (Wage Order 4)
- Whether you can make employees stay on call during rest breaks
Networking and Refreshments Break
3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Self-Expression in the California Workplace: How to Strike a Legal Balance in Drafting and Enforcing Dress, Grooming, and Bathroom Use Policies
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
How far can an employee go to express himself or herself in your workplace? How far can your employment policies go to control workers’ dress, grooming, and other activities under California and federal law? And, when does an employee’s or a group of employees’ conduct toward someone on the basis of how they express themselves constitute harassment under state and federal law? The issue of self-expression encompasses many areas, including gender identity, religious dress, grooming, and other appearance-based characteristics.
This session will brief you on the latest legal risks related to self-expression in the workplace and offer practical strategies for navigating your obligations with relative ease.
- Labeling requirements for single-user restrooms to comply with the recently enacted AB 1732
- The protections California employees are afforded based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity—and how far those protections extend
- How to tell if an expression is religious or cultural in nature and whether it makes a difference for purposes of determining whether FEHA or Title VII protections apply
- Best practices for ensuring that your workplace is bias- and harassment-free and that all workers are treated with respect and allowed the opportunity to engage in self expression so long as doing so doesn’t violate a legitimate business policy
Day 1 Adjourns
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 | MAIN CONFERENCE
Unconscious Bias, Micro-Aggressions & Bullying: How to Establish a Proven Prevention Plan and Avoid Legal Consequences
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
If underlying, unconscious bias leads to patterns or practices that have an adverse effect on a protected worker or a class of employees, the organization could face legal scrutiny under state and federal employment laws, including FEHA. Also, micro-inequities and micro-aggressions are subtle acts of discrimination that can breed legal claims, and they could lead to claims of unlawful bullying or harassment.
This session will explore:
- How unconscious bias may show up in hiring and other employment practices
- The definition of a micro-inequity and examples from the employment setting
- How to spot a micro-aggression in your workplace
- The protections California employees may be entitled to under state and federal law for unconscious biases that affect the terms and conditions of employment
- The anti-bullying training now required under AB 2053, and the scope of that training
- Strategies for fostering a work environment that stimulates inclusiveness and promotes acceptance of diversity
CFRA, Paid Sick, Kin Care, and PDL Laws: Strategies to Overcome Tricky Leave Administration Management Challenges
9:05 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
What are the top leave administration and tracking challenges related to the stringent California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the state’s pregnancy disability leave (PDL) law, as well as under the state’s kin care and paid sick leave requirements? Find out during this comprehensive look into how to conquer the most confusing leave-related conundrums under California’s myriad leave-protection laws. We’ll explain leave and benefit traps employers of all sizes need to avoid in California so you can develop sound administrative procedures that withstand scrutiny if called into question by regulators, a judge, or a jury.
This session will also include comprehensive summary outlining general compliance requirements for providing and administering CFRA, paid sick, kin-care, and pregnancy disability leave here in California.
- How to comply with the state’s paid sick leave and kin care laws
- Leave-tracking strategies that work for managing your obligations under California’s PDL
- Tips for managing state disability insurance (SDI) and paid family leave (PFL) here in California
- Additional requirements that may apply based on where you operate or your employees live within California, e.g., the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance in San Francisco
- How PDL, CFRA/FMLA, paid sick leavw, and other leave laws interact
- And much more, including practical examples of how leave and benefits-related laws impact small-to-mid size employers’ obligations in California
Networking and Refreshments Break
10:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Invisible Disabilities: What’s Generally Protected, What Isn’t and How to Provide Accommodations in Compliance with ADA/FEHA
10:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) cover physical and mental impairments that substantially limit employees from performing major life activities. But, it’s an ongoing challenge for HR that not all disabilities are readily apparent. Mental health related issues, such as those stemming from bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other conditions recognized under the DSM-5, as well as intellectual or cognitive impairments resulting from autism and other conditions, may be invisible. Also, employers often have questions about whether alcoholism or drug abuse may result in protections under ADA/FEHA.
This session will take a deep dive into:
- The types of protections California employees with “invisible disabilities” may be entitled to under ADA/FEHA
- Functional limitations employees with invisible, including psychological and cognitive impairments may experience and how to tell if such impairments would impact the ability to perform essential job functions
- Workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment for a mental health-related condition, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- When such accommodations would likely be or not be deemed undue hardships based on California case law
- How to manage day-to-day productivity and communication when someone is tardy or absent frequently, gets into interpersonal conflicts, has trouble concentrating or following direction without legal missteps under state and federal leave and disability laws
- How to deal with concerns that a medication an employee is prescribed to treat a mental health-related condition could pose workplace safety risks
- How to manage GINA and HIPAA-related compliance obligations when communicating with supervisors and coworkers about an employee’s medical condition or accommodation
- Best practices for dealing with employees struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol
How to Register
Bringing colleagues to CELU? Additional attendees from the same organization are just $699 each – a $300 savings!
(Note: $699 discount rate for main conference only. Additional charge for preconference workshops)
And registering them is easy!
To add registrants with the same preconference session and main conference selections as the primary registrant, simply click Add to Cart and adjust the number in the Shopping Cart’s “Update Quantity” box (noted by the red arrow below) to reflect the TOTAL number of attendees from your organization (you plus your colleagues). Then, click Proceed to Checkout and your multiple attendee discounts will be calculated automatically.
To register multiple attendees for different course selections than the primary registrant, click the Continue Shopping button (noted by the red arrow below) to return to the previous screen where you can choose your additional attendee’s course selections. Repeat these steps for each additional attendee. Then click Proceed to Checkout and your multiple attendee discounts will be calculated automatically.
NOTE: All applicable discounts will be calculated later and an updated Grand Total will be presented for your approval prior to final checkout.
For additional help with registration, please call 800-727-5257.