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HR Comply 2018 | Limit Liability & Drive Success

HR Comply 2018 | Limit Liability & Drive Success

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HR Comply 2018 | Limit Liability & Drive Success

November 14-16, 2018 | Paris Las Vegas Hotel

HR Comply
(formerly the Advanced Employment Issues Symposium) is the nation’s leading human capital management conference for HR professionals, executives, and in-house counsel. The superior content and expert presenters will help you get ahead of workplace policy updates with a one-stop, all-bases-covered overview of breaking updates and proven best practices.

Get the Latest Developments on:

  • Preventing harassment claims
  • Accurately managing employee overtime
  • Mitigating FMLA abuse
  • Understanding the latest regulations for employee drug testing
  • Sparking employee engagement efforts
  • Abiding by new ADA and EEOC protections
  • Adjusting your health care policy for a post-ACA world
  • Preparing for new workplace realities, like telecommuting
  • Adapting your human capital management program for Millennial workers


PRECONFERENCE - November 14, 2018

Continental Breakfast/Preconference Registration
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Choose from Full and Half-Day Workshops:

(Full day) FMLA Master Class: Advanced Leave Management Training
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (lunch on your own from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Presented by Susan Fentin, Esq., Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
This intensive all-day workshop is designed to teach you how to master FMLA fundamentals and apply your knowledge to the type of real-life, fact-specific situations that arise in every life. You’ll learn how to determine who’s eligible for FMLA Leave; how to ensure compliance with applicable notice requirements; the steps to take to prevent, spot, and thwart FMLA abuse; and how to manage overlapping—and often confusing—leave and accommodation requirements under FMLA, the ADA, and workers’ compensation. Then, you’ll work with other attendees to come up with answers to real-life scenarios so you can demonstrate your command of the myriad issues you need to be able to spot and address concerning, reduced schedule and intermittent leave, return to work, performance issues, and much more.  You’ll learn:

  • FMLA eligibility rules—how to tell when leave must be granted
  • How to obtain the appropriate information on the medical certification to provide you with the information you need to determine if an illness or injury constitutes a serious health condition
  • FMLA notice and deadline requirements
  • Practical strategies for curbing FMLA fraud and abuse stemming from intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • Legal strategies for mastering tricky FMLA issues, such substituting various types of paid leave for FMLA leave, when job reinstatement rights apply, Department of Labor investigations into your FMLA administration practices, and more
  • How to manage intersecting compliance obligations under FMLA, the ADA, and state family and pregnancy disability leave and workers’ compensation laws
  • How to “issue spot” and work through every day issues that you’re likely to be faced with concerning:
    • Insufficient or unreturned medical certifications and fitness-for-duty evaluations
    • Intermittent leave and reduced schedule leave tracking and how to spot and prevent FMLA abuse
    • How to count FMLA leave and pay during holidays and office shutdowns
    • Performance issues that happen to coincide with a protected employee’s request for FMLA leave
    • How to handle situations when an employee can’t return to work at the expiration of his or her leave or can only return with restrictions but can’t perform the essential job functions

(AM only) Immigration & I-9 Recordkeeping: How to Evaluate Documentation for Employment Eligibility & Reverification, Correct Errors and Omissions, Avoid Discrimination Claims, and Respond to ICE Audits
Presented by: Elaine Young, Esq., Kirton McConkie
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
This intensive workshop is broken up into 3 sections designed to provide you with the tools necessary for ensuring ongoing I-9 recordkeeping compliance as well what you need to know to prepare for ICE audits and avoid discrimination charges stemming from your Form I-9 practices. You’ll learn how to:

  • Ace your Form I-9 completion obligations for new employees and rehires, includingbest practices for ensuring that yourcompletion and re-verification on the current Form I-9 (commonly referred to as the SMART I-9) comply with federal requirements
  • Self-audit your I-9 recordkeeping practices by evaluating the documentation you have on file and correcting errors and omissions with respect to Sections 1, 2, or 3 of the Form I-9 so you can minimize legal liabilities
  • Manage ICE audits and raids—what you must do, what you may refuse to do, and how to effectively and humanely manage your workforce and avoid discrimination claims

(PM only) Employment Policies and Procedures Drafting Workshop
1:30  p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Cathleen Yonahara, Esq., Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
What are the essential employment policies and procedures that should be included in your employee handbook for the coming year? This hands-on workshop will teach you key language to include—and the issues to steer clear of—regarding your company’s employment policies and procedures. You’ll learn how to draft policies and procedures concerning leave administration, ADA accommodations, hiring and pre-employment screening practices, and much more. We’ll cover:

  • At-will employment
  • Harassment prevention and anti-retaliation including compliant procedures for reporting
  • Reasonable accommodation requests due to ADA-protected disabilities
  • Pregnancy-based accommodations
  • Hiring practices—how to avoid asking questions that are unlawful
  • Labor relations, including social media usage and confidentiality
  • Fragrances and allergens in the workplace
  • Discipline (to allow you, as the employer, the most flexibility)
  • Internal hiring/anti-nepotism
  • Drug testing/use/zero tolerance policies
  • Varied forms of paid and unpaid leave, e.g. paid sick and family and medical leave—and leave policies for employers not covered by FMLA, but who want to offer some equivalent form of medical/family leave
  • Parental/bonding leave (distinct from maternity/pregnancy leave)
  • Moonlighting/anti-moonlighting (which can  of particular importance when dealing with employees on FMLA leave)
  • Premium pay/use of time off during holiday periods
  • Treatment of accrued leave on termination (payout/forfeit/accrual cap)
  • Absenteeism/job abandonment/no-call, no-show
  • Harassment
  • Employee travel/compensation for travel time
  • Inclement weather/business disruptions
  • Telecommuting, remote work, and flexible work arrangements
  • Social media use, privacy, and security
  • BYOD
  • Workplace violence

MAIN CONFERENCE DAY 1 - November 15, 2018

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Hot Topic Power Talks 
9:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
HR Comply’s “Hot Topic Power Talks” are designed to provide insightful and sophisticated commentary on some of the most interesting workforce challenges facing employers for 2018 and beyond.

Biometrics: The Business Benefits and the Risks to Your Legal Compliance ‘End Game’ 
9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Employers are starting to use biometrics to track employees’ work time and behaviors. Biometrics may be valuable for driving business results, but at what legal costs? This talk will provide a the latest on the potential benefits of using biometrics for employee monitoring and the legal risks of liability related to privacy that every workplace needs to consider when rolling out and managing biometric screening practices.

Arbitration Agreements: What to Use Them for and When to Steer Clear 
9:35 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.
Employers have a strong interest in getting their employees to sign arbitration agreements as condition of hiring.  After all, getting them to agree to your terms could mean the difference between years of defending costly legal claims in court and a “one-and-done” hearing before an arbitrator to determine whether their legal claims have any merit and whether they are entitled to any damages as a result. But, a new bill that’s been introduced in Congress seeks to bar arbitration of sex discrimination or harassment claims. The bipartisan legislation—“Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act” (S. 2203; HR 4570)—includes a downright scary provision for employers: If this act becomes law, courts would have the authority to invalidate an entire arbitration agreement if it includes terms requiring an employee to arbitrate sex discrimination disputes. This timely Hot Topic Power Talk will provide valuable insight into the types of issues to steer clear from including in your arbitration agreements given the current status of court rulings and legislation that has already been enacted or is likely to take effect.

HR’s Data Security and Notification Game Plan in the Event of a Breach
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
S.B. 2179 has been introduced in Congress. Known as the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2017, this law would have a sweeping impact on how businesses manage their data security and breach notification practices. That’s because it would standardize how data breaches must be reported and replace close to 50 state-based laws addressing the issue.  What personally identifiable information (PPI) is most vulnerable to hacking, and what are some of the best practices cybersecurity experts recommend for ensuring that confidential and sensitive data your workplace stores as a matter of doing business is well protected to guard against damaging and potentially financially devastating data security breaches? This Hot Topic Power Talk will brief you on where new state and federal data security and notificationlegislation stands and provide best practices for protecting PPI.

Networking & Refreshments Break
10:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Foundations in HR Compliance
Today’s Biggest Recruiting and Hiring Pitfalls—and How to Avoid Them
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Cathleen Yonahara, Esq., Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
Researching candidates on social media, inquiring about criminal background, asking applicants to disclose salary history, requiring pre-employment medical examinations—these are just a few of the sticky areas employers grapple with when recruiting and hiring new employees. This session is designed to provide the most up-to-date information on how to recruit and hire without running afoul to the law. You’ll learn:

  • Do’s and don’ts for conducting background checks, including the latest on “ban-the-box” laws now in effect
  • How to use social media for sourcing and recruiting—and what never to use it for
  • What you legally can and can’t ask during the interview
  • How to evaluate the wording of your employment applications to identify areas that could leave your company vulnerable to legal liabilities, including the latest on laws taking shape nationwide that ban inquiries into salary history
  • Best practices for managing the pre- and post-offer phases of the hiring process, so you don’t spark liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other federal laws

Legislative/Regulatory Updates and Trends

Paid Sick, Parental & Family Leave Hotbed: Multi-State Updates for Mastering Emerging Compliance Obligations
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Legally mandated paid sick leave is gaining support in states and municipalities around the country. Currently, at least eight states and the District of Columbia have paid sick leave laws on their books, two of which will first take effect in 2018. Plus, you still need to juggle your existing obligations relating to PTO and family leave. Given this uncertain yet highly active environment, now is the time to anticipate the changes that you might need to make to your existing policies if paid sick leave comes to your jurisdiction. During this session, you’ll learn how the recent developments related to paid sick leave affect your daily operations and workplace policies and get best practices for administering PTO—from accurately accounting for partial day absences to instituting vacation time caps—and how to identify other policies that could be affected by mandatory paid sick leave. We’ll cover:

  • What an effective, legal PTO policy generally looks like
  • Where paid sick leave laws have passed or are being considered
  • Requirements employers may be subjected to concerning carryover and notice/posting requirements
  • PTO administration best practices, including:
    • How to correctly account for partial-day absences under your PTO policy
    • The kinds of notice you need to give exempt workers before forcing them to use accrued PTO during furloughs
    • What paid vacation vs. PTO can mean when it comes to overtime pay for nonexempt employees
    • The lowdown on “use it or lose it” policies
  • Tactics for combining PTO leave with protected leave under FMLA
  • Smart moves regarding cashing out unused time and examples of when PTO counts as a wage under state law
  • What’s new from the Trump Administration regarding paid leave, and what might be coming
  • PTO and the exempt employee: When you can dock pay
  • Legal ways to institute caps on vacation banks
  • How PTO works when an employee is eligible for pregnancy disability leave or paid family leave
  • And much more!

HR Management Solutions

Flexible Work Arrangements: Talent Development Considerations and Legal Policies for Today’s Distributed Workforce 
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Michael D. Haberman, Omega HR Solutions, Inc. and Jonathan Mook, Esq. DiMuro Ginsberg PC
Today’s workers aren’t necessarily keeping the same hours that you do or working down the hall from you. Many organizations have policies that provide for flexible work arrangements, with remote telecommuters or in-house staff working compressed workweeks or engaging in job sharing. What are the benefits and potential legal drawbacks to flexible work arrangements? And,  how can HR keep a handle on everyone to ensure they’re properly trained on workplace policies and practices, including tracking hours, and to make sure that you’re complying with notice and posting requirements for your distributed workforce. This session will focus on the top legal pitfalls to avoid when it comes to managing flexible work arrangements, including how to ensure you’re in compliance with the individual laws that may apply to employees working in multiple states on individualized schedules, and more.You’ll learn:

  • Why some organizations are starting to pull back on letting employees telecommute
  • Answers to questions such as: 
    •  Is there a link between retention and the flexibility of telecommuting?
    • Which types of workers should generally be considered as candidates for working remotely and which shouldn’t?
    • How do you know if your telecommuters are actually working effectively?
  • The case for “agile teams” and collaboration when rolling back telecommuting—and whether telecommuting rollbacks may lead to massive employee unhappiness and/or departures
  • How to attract and retain talent if you’re in a second-tier city and want employees to work on-site
  • How to tell if telecommuters are less engaged than on-site workers
  • Examples of organizations where telecommuting is going strong
  • What constitutes a disability that may merit a flexible work arrangement as an ADA accommodation
  • How to properly record hours worked for nonexempt telecommuters, job sharers, and those working compressed workweeks
  • Whether you may pay employees afforded fexible work arrangements less than other employees
  • Key issues concerning workers’ compensation
  • Telecommuting and other flexible work arrangement agreement essentials
  • When it may make more sense to consider job sharing vs. full-time employment
  • How to effectively address flexible work arrangements in your company’s employee handbook
  • How to evaluate job duties to determine whether on-site attendance or a specific schedule is an essential function of the job
  • The potential hidden costs of flexible work arrangements
  • How to get the best performance out of employees working through flexible arrangements
  • How to equitably evaluate work performance and work quality regardless of whether an employee works a traditional, in-house schedule or works different hours remotely

Lunch, Networking & Exhibits
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Foundations in HR Compliance
Management Training that Can Help HR Avoid Legal Risks
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
This session will provide you with the nuts and bolts on what to train supervisors and managers to do—and not do—with respect to many every day issues, including:

  • Employee time cards and working “off the clock”
  • Documenting performance issues
  • Managing interpersonal conflicts among team members and tips for dealing with difficult employees
  • How they should respond to requests for references
  • Social media monitoring
  • And much more!

Legislative/Regulatory Updates and Trends

Federal Contractors’ Latest Compliance Hurdles—and How to Avoid OFCCP Fines and Penalties
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

HR Management Solutions
Personality and Aptitude Tests: Weighing the Rewards Against the Legal Risks
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Pre-employment personality and aptitude tests can be an effective way to determine whether a job candidate possesses the types of traits and skills necessary to excel in the role. But, it’s important to only conduct such employment testing when you have a firm grasp on how hiring decisions based on test results could leave your company vulnerable to legal risks. This session will teach you:

  • How to ensure that your pre-employment testing procedures are legally defensible in the event the organization is legally challenged about the basis for its decision
  • Risk avoidance strategies concerning the use of big data in hiring decisions
    • Examples of how an algorithm could have a disproportionate impact on a segment of your applicant pool
    • And more

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibits Break
2:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

2:40 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.

Foundations in HR Compliance
#MeToo and #TimesUp: Bullying and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Training
2:40 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
Presented by Susan Fentin, Esq., Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp explosion has raised questions about the effectiveness of traditional anti-harassment training. Companies have been conducting anti-harassment training for years. Why is it that sexual harassment training has not worked? How can HR ensure that managers and employees understand their company’s position on unlawful harassment? This session will review the elements of a successful anti-harassment training and cover strategies for ensuring that your workplace is free from all forms of illegal harassment. Topics to be covered include:

  • Signs of a “dangerous” workplace culture that might leave your company particularly vulnerable to harassment claims
  • Why the involvement of senior management is critical to the success of an anti-harassment program
  • The role of civility in preventing bullying and harassment
  • What supervisors need to know and understand about their obligations
  • How to ensure that employees feel free to complain about inappropriate conduct in the workplace
  • How to encourage bystander intervention and the role that can play in addressing problematic conduct
  • Why a respectful workplace is the foundation for a harassment-free environment
  • The key differences between supervisor, coworker, or client/vendor harassment and how to handle each
  • Employers’ obligations when a complaint of harassment is brought forward – what to do and what not to do
  • The significance of a complete anti- discrimination/harassment policy

Legislative/Regulatory Updates and Trends

Equal Pay: Evaluating Pay Plan Fairness and Competitiveness
2:40 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
Employers used to have near-total control over pay data and pay conversations. Those days are ending. Many cities and states have passed laws prohibiting questions about a job candidate’s salary history, with more enacting similar bans all the time. Federal contractors may not retaliate against employees or applicants who ask about pay or disclose information about what they, or others, are making. And, social media discussions about pay, as well as pay-data websites (such as Glassdoor), make it easy for employees to find out salary information that used to be highly private. There’s no fighting the pay-transparency tide—the only question is how you, as an employer, can ride it successfully (and without triggering a costly lawsuit). This session will delve into the challenges of forced transparency and related issues, and how you can transition to pay transparency while avoiding legal pitfalls. You’ll learn:  

  • What pay transparency is, what forced transparency means, and who’s affected by it
  • The latest trends and updates on pay transparency
  • The importance of pay program design, the new measures of pay equity in a transparent world, and how to set pay rates without knowing a candidate’s pay history
  • The benefits of a transparent compensation program and potential downsides to pay transparency
  • Laws that protect employees who discuss compensation and any limits on those protections
  • How to move from pay conversation confidentiality to openness if you’re considering the transition—and how to avoid legal issues and pitfalls in the process
  • How to turn negatives into positives, and communicate the transition effectively to employees

HR Management Solutions
Severance Agreements: When to Use Them and How to Minimize Legal Risks and Make the Transition as Seamless as Possible  
2:40 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
You’re letting one or more workers go—should you offer severance? If so, how much? And will the severance payment and agreement fully protect you from the possibility of a future lawsuit? While a signed severance agreement can provide some protection from future litigation, it’s not an ironclad guarantee—and some risks simply cannot be waived. Additionally, if you go about it wrong, you may actually be increasing your lawsuit risks. This session will discuss how severance agreements can be used to minimize legal risks and make a clean break when an employee needs to go. You’ll learn:

  • The keys to severance agreement compliance—what you can say, what you should never say, and everything in between
  • Whether it’s a good idea to allow someone to resign (rather than being terminated) to avoid having to explain a firing to future employers
  • Writing you should draft in support of any severance or separation agreement
  • The types of claims you’re permitted to release with proper monetary consideration—and the ones you simply can’t
  • Pointers on how to best communicate with your employees about their severance agreements, what they can and can’t do, and ways to answer common questions
  • Tips for handling employees who may become combative or litigious when faced with termination
  • Language that should be included in every severance agreement
  • Special rules that apply to older workers—who’s protected by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, and the practical impact these rules have on your severance agreements
  • How to avoid any hint of coercion in your conversations with departing workers
  • What to do when an employee refuses to sign—or threatens to sue
  • Practical strategies on how to review your company’s severance agreements before you need them
  • How ERISA may apply to severance
  • Severance health benefits, which raise COBRA interaction issues
  • And more 

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
HR Comply’s roundtables are designed to give you the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with conference peers and our expert facilitators on some of today’s most challenging HR and legal-related issues.

Networking Reception
5:00 p.m.

MAIN CONFERENCE DAY 2 - November 16, 2018

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

BLR Solution Demo: and BLR Handbook Builder
7:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
Join BLR's sales team for a dynamic demonstration showcasing the power of BLR's resources. You won't want to miss this high-energy talk where we'll announce the conference raffle winner. You must be present to win, so we hope you can join us!

7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote
8:00 a.m. –  9:00 a.m.

Breakout Sessions
9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.

Foundations in HR Compliance
HR Recordkeeping: Best Practices for Paper and E-Storage, Meeting Mandatory Notice, Posting, and More
9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Recordkeeping—in both paper and electronic formats—is something HR professionals need to continuously address, as each year brings about new and updated requirements that add to the already existing laundry list of records you must retain under federal law. 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 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 place to keep up with new legislative requirements. This foundations-based session is HR Comply’s 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 federal requirements. You’ll learn:

  • Key recordkeeping changes and additions 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 how long you need to maintain records under federal law
  • Mandatory notices you must post for your workforce, including recommendations on where to display them
  • 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
  • Examples of state wage and hour recordkeeping requirements you also need to consider

Legislative/Regulatory Updates and Trends

Marijuana in the Workplace: Tolerate or Terminate? Your Legal Rights and Limitations in Policy Development and Enforcement
9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Presented by James Reidy, Esq., Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, PA
Employers face a complex web of compliance concerns under newly enacted state laws as they try to navigate drug testing policymaking and recreational and medical marijuana usage. And, employers need to maintain a delicate balance between business objectives, employee rights, and ADA requirements. Given the current state of things, it’s clearly in an employer's best interest to be proactive on this issue. Workplaces assume a great deal of these costs in the form of absenteeism, increased healthcare expenses and lost productivity. On the other end, each employee who recovers from a substance abuse disorder saves a company more than $3,200 a year. This session will focus on the current regulatory landscape concerning drug testing and policy enforcement concerning recreational and medical marijuana usage. You’ll learn:

  • The ins and outs of developing a comprehensive drug-testing program designed to give you the information you need to make informed and legal hiring and other employment decisions of California-based employees
  • When an employer may conduct drug testing on prospective and current employees
  • Drug-testing testing policy essentials, and instances when enforcement of zero-tolerance policy language may spark legal issues under federal law 
  • How to train supervisors and managers on warning signs that someone might be under the influence 
  • The action plan for addressing a situation when you suspect an employee is drunk or high at work 
  • What to do if an applicant or a current employee demands to be retested because the test revealed a false positive result
  • How to address the off-duty use of marijuana
  • How medical marijuana laws interact with unemployment and workers’ compensation-related benefits
  • Whether medical marijuana usage may qualify as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
  • How to develop and manage drug-testing policies and practices in light of the current legal landscape
  • How to decide if your organization should test for marijuana
  • What to do if an employee tests positive for marijuana usage 
  • The role of fitness for duty evaluations, and best practices for workplace safety

HR Management Solutions
Performance Management for the Multi-Generational Workforce: How to Give Them What They Want and Decrease Your Legal Risks
9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Millennials, now the largest segment of the U.S. workforce, crave real-time feedback and coaching. This could be a reason why more than one-third of U.S. companies have replaced 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? This session will cover:

  • Whether there’s a divide in how today’s multi-generational workforce expects to receive coaching and mentoring opportunities as part of your performance management strategy—and how to ensure that you’re meeting the needs of the varied segments of your particular workforce
  • 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
  • And more

Networking & Refreshments Break
10:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Breakout Sessions  
10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

Foundations in HR Compliance
How to Avoid Your Biggest Pre- and Post-Termination Legal Risks: Documenting Your Reasons, Addressing Claims for Unemployment, COBRA Notifications, and More
10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
“He or she has got to go.” That may be the sentiment that supervisors and managers and perhaps an employee’s coworkers share. But, does HR have its “legally defensible ducks” in a row to terminate the worker without sparking a lawsuit? And, is HR prepared to provide the departing worker with COBRA and any other notifications he or she is legally owed under the law? This session will provide you with critical insights into the types of pre- and post-termination mistakes employers make that increase the odds of EEOC charge filings and subsequent—and costly—litigation. You’ll learn:

  • How to ensure that you’ve got the proper written documentation to back up the adverse employment action
  • How an employee’s protected class status could be used to fuel a claim for unlawful termination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other federal laws
  • How to discipline or terminate an employee on protected leave under FMLA, the ADA, or workers’ compensation law without sparking legal liability—the key questions to ask before you take action
  • How to evaluate whether a similarly situated employee outside the employee’s protected class could be used as a “comparator” in legal proceedings to show that you treated them more favorably than the worker you just fired
  • When it’s worth contesting a departed worker’s claim for unemployment compensation—and when it’s not
  • COBRA notice requirements
  •  What you should never say if a prospective employer asks you to give a reference for the terminated worker

Legislative/Regulatory Updates and Trends

Healthcare on the Fringes: The Complexities of Keeping ACA-Era Costs Down and Benefit Plan Offerings Consistent with Your Business Strategy 
10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
Right now, the ultimate fate of the Affordable Care Act remains to be seen, and the $69 billion proposed merger between CVS and Aetna is being billed as a potential game-changer in terms of how medical treatment is rendered. What’s the practical impact of the latest healthcare plan trends—both inside and out of the political arena? Employers need to balance the goal of providing the workforce and their dependents with affordable, quality health care options against what works best for the financial bottom line. This session will delve into what businesses can do to improve plan offerings to make them more cost friendly—so employees truly recognize their value—while ensuring their alignment to underlying business objectives.

HR Management Solutions
Anxiety, Workplace Stress, and PTSD: HR's ADA Accommodation and Performance Management Roadmap
10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.
When must you accommodate an anxious or stressed-out employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? How long do you keep an employee’s job open? What if your workplace is the cause of the worker’s stress or anxiety? And, perhaps most crucially, what should you do when you suspect a mental condition is affecting an employee’s job performance? Mental disabilities may not be as readily apparent as physical ones, so your obligations to provide reasonable accommodations for conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stress are not always clear-cut. But, legally, your responsibilities are the same. This session will cover:

  • The latest on your legal obligations concerning stressed out, anxious workers who may be suffering due to ancillary mental conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression
  • How to master the practical challenges that arise in workplaces every day concerning time off, requests for accommodation, and other issues when employees are stressed out or in a panicked state
  • The limits on what you can ask for in terms of documentation when an employee claims he or she is entitled to disability protection under federal law
  • The game plan for addressing a claim that workplace stress is behind an employee’s performance, conduct, or attendance issues
  • What to do if an employee has a panic attack while at work or claims the reason s/he can’t report to work is because of panic attacks
  • How to deal with performance issues and safety concerns when an employee is on treatment medication
  • How to handle claims that non-industrial PTSD—from military service or other life experiences—is interfering with his/her ability to perform essential job functions
  • How to properly address accommodation requests unique to anxiety disorder and PTSD, including the “need” for the employee to bring therapy or companion animals, or psychiatric service dogs to work
  • How FMLA impacts employees with anxiety disorder or PTSD and those caring for family members with this or a similar diagnosis 
  • Tips for helping employees perform when fatigue, concentration, short-term memory, or cognitive functioning is impacted

Moderated Q&A Panel: Your Employment Law Questions Answered
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Our skilled panel of employment attorneys is ready to address your specific concerns before you head home to implement the compliance best practices and strategic insights you’ve learned at HR Comply 2018!

Wrap Up Announcements
12:30 p.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Conference adjourns

*Agenda Subject to Change



Susan FentinSusan Fentin
Senior Counsel
Skoler, Abbott & Presser P.C. 

Susan Fentin is Senior Counsel with the Springfield labor and employment law firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College and graduated magna cum laude from Western New England College School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.  Ms. Fentin specializes in preventing and defending claims of employment discrimination and helping companies develop policies and practices that comply with the myriad of state and federal laws governing employment.  She has routinely been named a SuperLawyer by Boston Magazine, and from 2010 to 2014, she was named one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Massachusetts by the prestigious Chambers USA.  In 2015, she was recognized as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Massachusetts.  She is also Editor of the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter and is a frequent presenter of webinars on a variety of subjects in addition to Master Classes on the FMLA and ADA for BLR.

Michael HabermanMichael D. Haberman
Vice President, Co-Founder
Omega HR Solutions, Inc. 

Michael D. Haberman is Vice-President and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc., a consulting and services company offering complete human resources solutions. Prior to Omega HR Solutions Mr. Haberman founded MDH Consulting, a Human Resources consulting firm working with small to mid-sized companies. Before consulting, he held positions in HR management at two Atlanta based corporations.

Mr. Haberman has a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside; a Master's of Science in Industrial Relations from Georgia State University and is certified both as a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM-SCP.  He is currently a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, where he has served on the official Blogger Squad for the last 6 national conferences. He is also a member of the Atlanta-SHRM chapter.

He is the author of a Human Resources blog found at Omega HR Solutions, Inc. which has been recognized several times as a top blog in human resources and is often republished in other publications. He has been named a top digital influencer in Human Resources and writes extensively on the future of work and HR.

Mr. Haberman has gained a reputation as a compliance expert. He speaks on a variety of subjects to business associations and business based civic clubs and presents webinars on a monthly basis on a variety of HR subjects. He has also spoken on a national basis on the subject of HR futurism and the things that HR departments need to be prepared for in the year 2020 and beyond.

On the educational front he has been teaching HR certification preparation for over 18 years, currently for the University of Georgia.

Jonathan MookJonathan R. Mook, Esq.
DiMuro Ginsberg PC 

Mr. Mook is a nationally recognized practitioner in employment law and has written two treatises on the Americans with Disabilities Act, Americans with Disabilities Act: Employment Rights and Employer Obligations and Americans with disabilities Act: Public Accommodations and commercial facilities, both published by LexisNexis. He represents employers and businesses on matters relating to employment law, business torts and business disputes.

Mr. Mook frequently counsels employers on issues involving compliance with the ADA and accommodating disabled employees, as well as other employment related matters. He is a co-editor of the Virginia Employment Law Letter and is a regular contributor to several legal publications, including Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin. He is included in Best Lawyers in America (2017) for employment law.

Mr. Mook is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bars, and is a member of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar and has been a member of the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities. Mr. Mook earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.

James P. Reidy, Esq.James P. Reidy, Esq.
Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, PA

James (Jim) P. Reidy is a shareholder at Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, PA in Manchester, NH where he is the chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. Mr. Reidy earned his B.A. from Assumption College in 1980, his M.P.A. from Northeastern University in 1981, and his J.D. (cum laude)from New England School of Law in 1989. He has extensive experience handling matters before the NH Department of Labor, the NH Commission for Human Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor as well as several other state agencies. Mr. Reidy is admitted to practice in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Sections. He is the Manchester Area Human Resource Association V.P. of Legal and Legislative Affairs, former Legislative Affairs V.P. for the NH State (HR) Council, member of the NH Business and Industry Association (BIA), chair of the NH High Tech Council’s HR Exchange, moderator of NHLABORNET, and the editor of Good Company, Sheehan Phinney’s quarterly e-newsletter. Mr. Reidy is also one of the editors for BLR’s monthly New Hampshire Employment Law newsletter. He writes, lectures and presents seminars on a wide range of employment law topics. He has been a workplace law resource for several media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, WMUR, NPR, NH Business Review and Business NH Magazine.

Most recently he was asked to present again this year at the Society for Human Resources (SHRM) Annual Legal and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., as well as their national convention in Chicago, IL.

Cathleen Yonahara, Esq.Cathleen Yonahara, Esq.  
Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP 

Cathleen Yonahara, a partner with San-Francisco based Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP, received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She concentrates her practice on employment and labor law.  Ms. Yonahara has successfully represented employers in courts and before various government agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the California Labor Commissioner.  She has litigated all types of employment matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, violation of California Family Rights Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and wage and hour violations.

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Yonahara’s practice also includes providing advice and counseling to employers on all aspects of the employment relationship in order to avoid potential legal disputes.  She advises employers on the myriad legal requirements facing California employers including anti-discrimination and harassment laws, family and medical leave laws, wage and hour compliance, and proper classification of independent contractors and exempt employees.  She conducts audits of her client’s employment practices, policies and agreements to ensure compliance with federal and state employment laws, and drafts employee handbooks and personnel policies, and employment, arbitration, confidentiality and severance agreements.  She is an experienced speaker and trainer on labor and employment law matters, such as, complying with California employment laws, preventing sexual harassment, legally managing leaves of absences, and wage and hour compliance. She is also the assistant editor of the California Employment Law Letter and a contributing author to 50 Employment Laws in 50 States.  

Elaine Young, Esq.Elaine Young, Esq.
Kirton McConkie

Elaine Young currently serves as International practice group chair at Kirton McConkie. She manages U.S. work visa processes for the firm’s clients, including large multinationals, small businesses, public entities, and individual investors. Her practice also includes worksite compliance, unique payroll tax issues that employers face when transferring employees across borders, and helping employers secure long-term work visas for their expatriate employees abroad. Ms. Young writes the immigration columns for the Federal Employment Law Newsletter and Utah Employment Law Newsletter, and edits the Immigration chapter of BLR’s HR Guide to Employment Law. She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law, and then practiced in the U.S. tax group of a global firm in New York before joining Kirton McConkie in 2004.

Your 2018 Location

Paris Las VegasParis Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Experience everything you love about Paris, right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. At Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, you are transported to the City of Lights with all the same passion, excitement, and ambiance of Europe’s most romantic city, with all the sizzle of the entertainment capital of the world.


Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
3655 S Las Vegas Blvd. 
Las Vegas, NV 89109

  • Room rate $175/night + $26 daily resort fee
  • Hotel cut-off date is Saturday, October 13, 2018
  • Reservation Center: 1-877-603-4389 and reference BLR 2018
  • Reservations URL: coming soon
  • Hotel website: