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2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR

Product Code: VEM09262023

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2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR

Program Length: 12 hours

There are dozens of state and federal laws that HR professionals must understand and must apply in a company’s day-to-day activities. Compliance with employment laws and regulations not only helps avoid legal and financial repercussions, but also builds employee trust and confidence. This master class will offer an overview of the major federal laws and areas of legal concern, including:

  • Discrimination and harassment, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • Employee leave, including the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), state leave, and nonmandatory leave;
  • Fair and equal pay, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA);
  • Recognizing and preventing retaliation;
  • Hiring considerations, including background checks, employment applications, interviews, selection and testing, and employment verification;
  • Determining when an accommodation is “reasonable” and navigating the interactive process;
  • Legally enforceable employee contracts and handbooks;
  • Privacy concerns;
  • Employee rights and employer duties for maintaining a safe workplace;
  • Managing a successful progressive discipline program;
  • Creating good documentation; and
  • Downsizing, including layoffs and furloughs, and termination.

Master employment law as it applies to your day-to-day HR duties by attending this upcoming interactive virtual workshop!

By attending, you'll learn how to:

  • Identify crucial elements of essential employment laws;
  • Distinguish when those employment laws apply in your day-to-day HR functions;
  • Implement legally sound hiring, discipline, and termination policies and procedures; and
  • Use knowledge gained about employment laws to keep your organization in compliance.

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR


*All Times are in Eastern

Day 1: Learning the Laws

12:00 p.m.–12:05 p.m.
Speaker Introductions and Opening Remarks

12:05 p.m.–1:05 p.m.
Discrimination: ADA, ADEA, GINA, PDA, Title VII

Federal fair employment laws protect employees from discrimination based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, and genetic information. Discrimination, for the purposes of employment law, is any workplace action such as hiring, firing, demoting, and promoting based on a prejudice of some kind that results in the unlawful treatment of protected classes. This session will cover:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against a qualified person with a disability because of the disability, association with someone with a disability, or because the employer takes an adverse action against an employee who's perceived as having a disability, even if he doesn't actually have a disability. The ADA applies to the same employers as Title VII.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against people age 40 and older. The ADEA covers private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments (including school districts), employment agencies, and labor organizations.
  • Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on genetic information. GINA also restricts employers’ acquisition of genetic information and strictly limits disclosure of genetic information.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, and national original. Additionally, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which is part of Title VII, prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

1:05 p.m.–1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Federal Leave: FMLA & USERRA

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides eligible employees with between 12 and 26 weeks of leave for needs related to their own serious health conditions, care of covered family members with serious health conditions, child bonding, and forms of family military leave. The FMLA was enacted primarily to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families dealing with serious health conditions. However, the requirements of the FMLA are extensive and complex, and administration of individual leave requests under the law can be one of the more difficult tasks in human resources management.

In addition to FMLA leave, employers must comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 when employees are called to active services and when they return. USERRA governs the leave and reinstatement requirements for military personnel. The law contains specific requirements for protected leave, rules for benefits employees are entitled to during military leave, and the requirements for reinstatement back in the civilian workforce.

This session will introduce both the FMLA and USERRA and cover basic employer obligations under each.

2:00 p.m.–2:15 p.m.
State Leave and Nonmandatory Leave

Many states mandate employers to provide leave beyond federal requirements. Additionally, employers can choose to offer leave that isn’t required by law. This session will review considerations for sick leave, jury duty/witness service leave, domestic violence leave, vacation, personal days, and holidays.

2:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.–3:15 p.m.
Fair and Equal Pay: FLSA, EPA, Lily Ledbetter, NLRA

Several laws affect compensation issues at the federal level. This session will cover:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes key employment standards in a number of areas including minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping, and employing younger workers. In general, the FLSA applies to most employees for work done for most employers, although there are certain exceptions.
  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA), which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women who perform substantially equal jobs under similar working conditions. The EPA applies to all employers covered by the federal FLSA.
  • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restarts the statute of limitations period for workers' claims of pay discrimination under Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act. Under the law, an unlawful employment practice occurs not only when a discriminatory pay decision or practice is adopted but also when the employee becomes subject to the decision or practice, as well as each additional application of that decision or practice. In other words, each time compensation results from a past discriminatory pay decision or practice.
  • The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which governs labor relations in private companies that meet certain revenue standards. Under the NLRA, all employees—whether union or nonunion— are allowed to partake in certain “concerted activities,” including getting together to talk about their wages.

3:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Retaliation includes any adverse action taken against an employee for filing a complaint, supporting another employee’s complaint, or engaging in other protected activity under a variety of laws. Part of what makes retaliation claims so dangerous is that there are an infinite number of ways for an unwitting employer to do something that looks like retaliation even though it isn’t intended to be. In fact, to prevail on a retaliation claim, there’s no requirement that whatever the employee complained about in the first place was actually illegal. In fact, it’s not unusual for an employee’s retaliation claim to survive even after the underlying claim of discrimination or harassment is dismissed. This session will review the laws prohibiting retaliation, discuss different forms of retaliation, and how to avoid and prevent retaliation.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Q&A Session

Do you have any lingering questions or want to revisit a concept or two from earlier in the day? Use this time to get your questions answered before today’s workshop comes to a close.

Day 2: Hiring & Post-Hire

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

At every stage of the hiring process, employers must be careful not to illegally discriminate against applicants for the position. Since discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, and disability, any indication of bias in the hiring process might lead to serious legal repercussions.

For example, even a seemingly innocuous question during the interviewing stage such as “when did you graduate from high school?” can potentially lead to a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This session will look at legal obligations as well as what to do and not do regarding:

  • Background checks, including arrest records, criminal convictions, and credit reports;
  • Employment applications;
  • Preparing for and conducting interviews;
  • Selection and testing, including measuring capacity and propensity to successfully perform a job, drug testing, and avoiding disparate impact; and
  • Employment verification (Form I-9 process).

1:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. -1:45 p.m.
Providing Reasonable Accommodation—What’s ‘Reasonable’?

Both Title VII and the ADA require reasonable accommodation. Once you are aware there is a need or request for accommodation, you need to figure out if there’s a reasonable accommodation that will work for you and the employee. But to what lengths must you go to provide reasonable accommodation? Do you have to provide the specific accommodation requested by the employee? How do you determine whether accommodation is an undue hardship? In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine whether an accommodation is reasonable.
  • Gauge when you have done enough.
  • Determine the financial commitment contemplated under the law.
  • Train supervisors to spot when performance issues may signal a need for an accommodation.

1:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m.
The Interactive Process: From Request to Resolution

Part of determining if there is a reasonable accommodation that will work for you and your employee or applicant is going through the interactive process. In this session, you will learn:

  • When the process should begin
  • Who should be involved in the discussions
  • What kinds of information you need for the analysis
  • Requesting medical documentation
  • Duty of good-faith participation
  • GINA and HIPAA factors to consider for disability accommodations
  • How to document your efforts

2:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Employee Contracts

The employment relationship is, by its very nature, a contractual one. When an employer does choose to enter into a formal contract with an employee, there are certain provisions that should be included to protect the employer's interests and ensure its enforceability. This session will cover the basic elements of a contract as well as considerations for drafting legally sound and enforceable employee contracts, including executive employment agreements, restrictive covenants (noncompete, non-solicitation, and nondisclosure agreements), and separation/severance agreements.

3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Employee Handbooks

Employee handbooks are widely used by employers as an efficient way to communicate basic information to employees about company policies and the employment relationship. Some policies may simply provide general notice and details of employee rights as required by state and federal laws. Other policies in the employee handbook may provide additional information about the company and its mission; discuss employee benefits such as paid time off; clarify expectations of staff, including workplace conduct, timekeeping, attendance, and other important issues; and even provide legal protections to the employer itself. This session will cover how to properly draft an employee handbook to be a valuable communication tool and steps to avoid the legal problems that can arise when the handbook is not properly drafted.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Q&A Session

This is your chance to ask any remaining questions you may have about the information covered in today's training. Take advantage of this opportunity to get clarification from the presenter.

Day 3: Privacy, Safety, Discipline, Termination

12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m.
Privacy Concerns

Federal, state, and local laws provide a basic source of protection against invasion of privacy by private parties, including employers. Additionally, privacy laws may limit privacy rights that would otherwise exist under common law or other statutes. This session will review privacy concerns related to:

  • Video surveillance
  • Electronic privacy
  • Health-related privacy concerns
  • Searches
  • Employee’s personal information
  • Employer’s private information

12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Maintaining a Safe Workplace: Employee Rights & Employer Duties

Keeping a workplace safe from injury and illness is not just a moral obligation—it is the law. By incorporating safety programs into business processes, a company can significantly reduce costs and frequency of violations, accidents, injuries, medical charges, and workers’ compensation premiums. This session will review:

  • The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which establishes a set of uniform national standards for workplace safety and health practices throughout the country;
  • Employee rights;
  • Employer responsibilities; and
  • Workplace violence.

1:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. -1:55 p.m.
Progressive Discipline

Employee performance is a major contributor to an organization's success or failure. Because of this, it is important for employers to manage employee performance and to promptly address poor performance and unacceptable employee conduct. In many cases, clear communication about expectations and prompt, appropriate discipline when needed can turn employee performance around. Progressive discipline is designed to provide fairness in the workplace for employees and give employers guidelines by which to handle employee issues. In this session you will learn:

  • The advantages and disadvantages to progressive discipline;
  • How to implement a progressive discipline program;
  • How to identify a problem and communicate expectations;
  • Steps to follow;
  • How to document disciplinary action in warning notices; and
  • Tips for successful progressive discipline policies.

1:55 p.m. -2:15 p.m.

Good documentation is important for many reasons. One of the most important is that when supervisors and managers generate as much as handwritten notes, they're creating potential litigation exhibits that could have significant consequences down the road. Documentation can mean the difference between winning and losing an employment-related lawsuit. Good documentation also can make employment-related claims less of a headache. This session will cover best practices for documentation.

2:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.–3:00p.m.
Downsizing: RIFs, Layoffs, Furloughs

When downsizing, adequate planning and preparation are crucial to minimize your legal risks. This session will review alternatives to consider before implementing a reduction in force (RIF), the basics of furloughs and layoffs, and key legal considerations, including:

  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). WARN is a federal law requiring employers of more than 100 employees to give written notice at least 60 days before any plant closing or mass layoff. Some states may also have "mini-WARN" laws that apply to smaller employers.
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A common legal complaint is that employers chose to lay off employees to prevent the employees from getting benefits under an employee benefit plan, which is illegal under ERISA. This issue is raised most often when the employees you let go happen to be the ones with the highest benefit costs.
  • COBRA. This federal law requires most employers that sponsor group health plans for their employees to allow certain employees and their dependents who would otherwise lose coverage under the plan due to termination of employment or certain other events—such as a layoff—to pay to continue that coverage for a specified period of time.

3:00 p.m.–3:30p.m.

Termination, while often unpleasant, is simply a necessary part of the employment relationship. Fortunately for employers and employees alike, employment is generally considered at will, which means that either the employee or the employer may terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason—any legal reason, that is. Of course, as with nearly all legal principles, there are limits to the at-will principle. In addition to the laws governing why termination may occur, employers may also be required to abide by specific practices regarding how termination can occur. This session will review:

  • At-will employment, including common exceptions;
  • How to say “You’re fired”;
  • Exit interviews; and
  • Best practices for managing the process.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Q&A Session

Use this time to ask any remaining questions you may have about the information covered in today's sessions or earlier in the course. Get customized advice and leave this training with no questions unanswered.

Agenda subject to change

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR


September — Class Schedule (Eastern time)

September 26 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
September 27 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
September 28 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR


September 26-28, 2023 

Beverly A. Williams
Labor & Employment Law Attorney, Wong Fleming P.C.

Beverly A. Williams is a Partner in Wong Fleming, a global law firm headquartered in Princeton, NJ, and author of Your GPS to Employment Success: How to Find and Succeed in the Right Job. She is admitted to practice in New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and New York federal district courts.

Prior to her ascension to Vice President, Corporate Employment Law Services, Beverly was promoted to roles of expanded responsibility in an environment of constant change at ADP, Inc., one of the largest global providers of business process outsourcing solutions.

Ms. Williams has considerable experience in defending employment discrimination cases, where she has taken a key role in developing discovery, litigation and settlement strategies, trial preparation, interaction with clients and drafting legal memoranda and sensitive communications. Currently, she concentrates her practice in Employment and Labor Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Beverly is an arbitrator and trained mediator, and also provides employment, labor and HR consulting and training services to management and labor professionals.

Ms. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Douglass College-Rutgers University, Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law.

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR

Frequently Asked Questions

What computer set-up do I need to attend this class?

This will be hosted on Zoom. Attendees should have access to a computer that has a microphone and speakers/headphone connection to participate. There is also an option to dial in if needed. You can read the full system requirements for Zoom by visiting You can also test your system by visiting

For the best overall and highest quality connection experience we recommend using the Zoom Meetings application, but if you cannot download or run the application, you may join via a Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari web browser by going to, clicking on “Join a Meeting” at the top of the window, and entering the meeting information; please be sure to enter your full name when prompted. You can also click on the link provided and choose “Join from Your Browser” at the bottom of the window (just cancel the app initiation as needed). For complete instructions see

2023 Employment Law 101 Virtual Master Class: Essentials for HR

Credit Information

HR Certification Institute HRCI

SHRM Preferred Provider

The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

HR Certification Institute’s® official seal confirms that Business & Legal Resources (BLR) meets the criteria for pre-approved recertification credit(s) for any of HRCI’s eight credentials, including SPHR® and PHR®. This Program has been approved for 10.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at
These credits expire 12/31/23.

Business & Learning Resources (BLR) is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 10.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the SHRM Certification website at
These credits expire 12/31/23.

Business & Learning Resources (BLR) is recognized by HCI to offer recertification credits toward a 3-year HCI Certification. This program is valid for 10.5 HCI Credits. For more information about recertification, please visit the HCI Certification website at