American Society of Employers (ASE) Holds Inaugural AA/EEO Diversity Conference – High Level Speakers Present – Harassment a Key Topic

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, held its inaugural the AA/EEO & Diversity Conference.

Just over 100 HR professionals attended the conference on November 15th. Victoria Lipnic, Acting Chair, U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission, opened the conference. Commissioner Lipnic discussed the 2017 EEOC Performance Report, the efficiencies of the agency’s new online intake system, and the dramatic reduction of the backlog of cases. Acting Chair Lipnic also stated that sexual harassment charges are growing fast and they’ve seen a significant uptick in the amount of web page visits to guidelines surrounding harassment. Later in the day, Gail Cober, Director of Detroit’s EEOC Field Office, presented on Retaliation in the Workplace. She stated that retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination and has doubled since 1998.

Other key speakers included Anne-Marie Vercruysse Welch, Member, Clark Hill, who covered how harassment has been a hot issue in the workplace and how to combat it; Candee Chambers, Executive Director at DirectEmployers, who gave an OFCCP update and discussed how the current leadership vacuum is allowing OFCCP to continue to pursue cases as it had under the Obama administration; Susan DeClercq, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Michelle P. Crockett, Principal and Director of Professional Development, Miller Canfield, discussed topics related to the Department of Justice including USERRA, immigration, ADA, and Title Vll; Annette Tyman, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw, covered the quickly changing landscape of pay disparity laws followed by Patrick Nooren, Executive Vice President, Biddle Consulting Group, provided methodology to identify pay disparity; Bill Osterndorf, President of HR Analytics, covered local and state affirmative action requirements; David Goldstein, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, discussed how much has and hasn’t changed since the OFCCP implemented the Internet Applicant Rule in 2006; Tiffany Buckley-Norwood, Principal, Jackson Lewis, spoke on the issues arising from the intersection of the ADA, Workers Compensation, and FMLA; and Haven Cockerham, President, Cockerham and Associates, focused on diversity and inclusion framework that participants can implement at their employers.

The day ended with John Fox, Partner at Fox, Wang & Morgan, P.C., who presented leading edge thinking around OFCCP’s current approach to statistical analysis and provided pointers on how to be proactive in compliance.

“ASE was very pleased with the turnout for this new event. The caliber of speakers sets this conference apart from many others. Attendees were very engaged and left with the most up to date federal and state compliance updates,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO.

For information on future ASE events, please visit www.aseonline.org.


About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

What employers need to know to remain compliant in 2017 is the focus of Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar series on Jan. 18

Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., returns Jan. 18 to cover the topic of How Labor and Employment Law has Changed Over the Past Year and What You Need to Know to Remain Compliant in 2017.

The past year was a roller coaster ride for employers and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down in 2017, according to Terry Bonnette, a partner at Nemeth Law.

“In mid-2016, the Department of Labor issued new overtime regulations that would have affected 4.2 million exempt salaried employees if those regulations had not been blocked in November by a federal court order. Plus, a Presidential election always brings numerous questions about the new administration’s policies and how they will influence federal agencies, the Supreme Court and multiple areas of labor and employment law – and this election perhaps even more so,” Bonnette said.

At the Jan. 18th Raising the Bar session, Nemeth Law attorneys will discuss how these changes can affect employment practices over the coming year. Topics include:

  • The impact of the new administration on employment, labor and employee benefits law: what employers should expect and what they shouldn’t
  • The current status of the overtime regulations and best practices for employers
  • The EEOC’s new expansive anti-retaliation guidance
  • Transgender employee bathroom access: litigation trends and federal agency guidance
  • Hot Button Issues – the EEOC’s new Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2017-2021
  • Sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII: Are protections for LGBT expanding or contracting?
  • Supreme Court, EEOC and NLRB regulatory and litigation updates

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Management Education Center, 811 West Square Lake Road, Troy, 48098. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. with one 15-minute break. The cost of the event is $75 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.

Celebrating 25 years in 2017, Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Nemeth Law to present annual labor and employment update on Jan. 14

Detroit, Mich. —Dec. 22, 2014— Nemeth Law, P.C., a Detroit-based labor and employment law firm, is presenting its annual labor and employment law update on Jan. 14 at the Detroit Marriott Troy. Founding partner Patricia Nemeth says 2014 was a roller coaster year for Michigan employers who saw the law flip flop on a variety of fronts.

“Employers were perplexed in 2014 on issues such as when they might be required to permit employees to work from home; when they might be required to provide accommodation for pregnant employees; and when they might be required to recognize the marriages of their employees, ” Nemeth said. “As 2014 ends and 2015 begins, much of the law remains unsettled and employers need to understand how their employment practices may be impacted over the coming year.”

The attorneys of Nemeth Law, P.C. will discuss a variety of topics at the 2015 Labor and Employment Law update, including:

• Same sex marriage as recognized under both federal and state law
• Defining what reasonable accommodation is, specifically related to working from home and EEOC updates
• Understanding recent changes to overtime exemptions under new wage and hour laws
• Workers compensation and the status of Michigan’s ‘independent contractor exemption’
• Unemployment compensation and issues impacting entitlement to benefits
• Focus areas of the NLRB
• OSHA’s referral program

The Labor and Employment Law update will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Detroit Marriott Troy, 200 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy 48084. The event is being offered in two sessions: Employment Law at 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Labor Law at 1 to 3:30 p.m. Each session will have a fifteen minute break and registration opens 30 minutes prior to the start time. The cost of the event is $75 for one session or $125 for both and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law, mediation and arbitration and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

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Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar series presents: Managing Pregnancy in the Workplace on Oct. 15

Detroit, Mich. – Sept. 22, 2014 –Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., returns Oct. 15 to discuss how to manage pregnancy in the workplace in light of new, controversial EEOC guidelines.

According to Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law, P.C., the EEOC recently issued new guidelines which may require employers to provide light duty assignments to pregnant employees under certain circumstances. This guidance was issued over objections from two of the five EEOC Commissioners and appears contradictory to current Sixth Circuit (which includes Michigan) precedent as to the extent employers are required to ‘accommodate’ pregnant employees.

“The law around pregnancy in the workplace is rapidly changing. Regardless of the controversy surrounding it though, the EEOC’s new guidance reflects the standards EEOC investigators will apply when looking into current pregnancy discrimination cases,” Nemeth said. “Also, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Dec. 3 on the case of a UPS worker who was forced to take an unpaid leave after she became pregnant, so this is definitely a closely watched issue.”

Managing Pregnancy in the Workplace has been pre-approved by HR Certification Institute (HRCI) for 2.5 HR (general) recertification hours. The program will help employers understand how to manage pregnancy in light of the disagreement between federal courts and the EEOC as to what the law requires. Specific topics to be covered include:

• When an employer has to provide light duty work for pregnant employees
• Because pregnancy is not a disability, when an employer has to provide reasonable accommodation
• Whether an employer can require a pregnant employee to take a leave of absence
• Understanding if leave policies and mandatory work schedules have disparate impact on pregnant workers
• How/if a pregnant employee can use time off and FMLA during the pregnancy

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at the Detroit Marriott Troy, 200 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy 48084. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The cost of the event is $60 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law, mediation and arbitration and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

 

Nemeth Law’s Raising the Bar series presents: Managing Religion in the Workplace on June 5

Detroit, Mich. – May 9, 2014 –Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., returns June 5 to discuss new EEOC guidelines for employers to better understand and manage religious accommodations in the workplace.

According to Terry Bonnette, a partner at Nemeth Law, P.C., there has been a 120 percent increase in the number of religious discrimination cases filed with the EEOC in the past 15 years and a 46 percent increase in the number of cases filed within the past seven years. The financial impact to employers? The EEOC has recovered monetary damages averaging $11 million to $12 million per year for the past three years.

“In March, the EEOC issued guidance to employers for managing requests for religious accommodation in the workplace, specifically as applied to dress and grooming guidelines,” said Bonnette. “Given the spike in religious discrimination claims, the new guidelines and the financial penalties, employers should take the opportunity to review their policies on religious accommodation in the workplace to guard against religious discrimination claims.”

Topics to be covered at the Managing Religion in the Workplace series include:
• Defining religion according to the EEOC
• Clarifying what are enforceable grooming policies, dress codes and appearance guidelines
• Understanding whose responsibility it is when setting flexible work schedules, extra breaks and personal leave
• Defining what constitutes notice that accommodation is needed
• Differentiating between reasonable accommodations and undue burdens
• Exploring the difference between freedom of religion and freedom from religion

Raising the Bar will be held on Thursday, June 5 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Troy Marriott – 200 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy 48084. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The cost of the event is $60 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313.567.5921.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Detroit Attorney Testifies before EEOC in Washington, D.C. on Agency’s Quality Control Plan for Investigations and Conciliations

Detroit, Mich. —March 20, 2013— Attorney Linda Burwell, a founding partner of Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington, D.C. today as part of a round table public meeting to provide input on the agency’s Quality Control Plan (QCP) for investigations and conciliations. Nemeth Burwell was the only management side law firm in the nation invited to be among the roundtable participant groups, which included employer advocacy groups, associations and one plaintiff’s law firm.

The EEOC’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan establishes a framework for achieving the EEOC’s mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination by focusing on strategic law enforcement, education and outreach and efficiently serving the public. The second performance measure of the plan requires the EEOC to approve a QCP, which is currently being developed and is intended to revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency investigations and conciliations throughout the nation. Key points of Ms. Burwell’s EEOC testimony were:

  • The Quality Control Plan should concentrate its efforts on the intake process and assess the clarity of the charge
  • Vague and ambiguous charges that lack specific detail slow the process, result in unnecessary disputes and confuse the issues
  • The Quality Control Plan should develop indices that measure the overall pace of the investigations.
  • The EEOC must concentrate on improving its communication with employers

A nationally recognized speaker and author on employment law, discrimination prevention and risk management, Ms. Burwell often serves as the legal expert on panels involving employment laws and workplace trends. At Nemeth Burwell, she serves as a litigator, arbitrator and consultant, representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law and EEOC matters. Ms. Burwell’s areas of expertise include wrongful discharge, discrimination, non-competition, harassment, interference with contract, equal pay, retaliation, whistleblowers, wage and hours, unfair labor practices, breach of contract, libel and slander, and invasion of privacy. She also counsels management on collective bargaining agreements, pre-employment, discipline, and pre-termination and post-termination matters.

Ms. Burwell is a board member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and an ABA Foundation Fellow. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and is a member of the Michigan, Ohio, Federal, and the United States Supreme Court Bar. She has received numerous honors throughout her legal career and in 2010 was named one of Michigan’s 25 Leaders in the Law by the legal trade publication Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

A transcript of the hearings, including Ms. Burwell’s testimony, will be posted on the EEOC website.

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C: Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.
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Nemeth Burwell’s Raising the Bar Series Presents 2013 Labor and Employment Law Update

Detroit, Mich. —January 2, 2013 — Nemeth Burwell’s Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., will present its 2013 Labor and Employment Law Update on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
The beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to consider recent rulings and trends in employment law and a forward look at where this sector of the law is going, according to Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Burwell.

“The re-election of President Obama has left many employers wondering what effect the election will have on the development of labor and employment policy over the next four years. Will it simply be more of the same, or can we expect any change? For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently adopted a new strategic enforcement plan and the Department of Labor continues to pursue its five year plan for achieving wage and hour compliance. Will these agencies be encouraged to become even bolder, or will our courts keep them in check? Our presentation will address these issues and more,” said Nemeth.

Topics will include:
• Developments in discrimination law: religion, LGBT issues and the expanding reach of the EEOC
• Developments in wage and hour law: The DOL’s five year plan, investigative audits, the settlement of claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court says “No” to the DOL
• Developments in disability, family medical leave and workers compensation law: The ADAAA in court, new FMLA regulations and coordinating entitlements
• Developments in labor law: at-will provisions in jeopardy, off-duty access granted, the increasing presence of the NLRB in non-union settings, and Michigan’s new right to work law
• Legislative agenda: pending and anticipated legislation for the workplace.

Raising the Bar will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd from 8:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. (with one fifteen minute break) at the Troy Marriott, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy 48084. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. The cost of the event is $60 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Amanda Galetti or call 313-567-5921.

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.
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