2013 Employment Law Update: Critical Issues Impacting Michigan Employers

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Walsh College, Novi

Join us for this fast-paced program to understand recent employment law developments that are critical to your workplace. Learn what works – and what doesn’t – with regard to disability in the workplace, NLRA impact on non-union employers, aggressive EEOC enforcement, and rapidly growing retaliation and whistleblower claims. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend a comprehensive update about these top employment law issues currently challenging employers.


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
ADA and FMLA Enforcement Trends
Continued challenges in accommodating employee disabilities and the increasing complexity of coordination with the FMLA and GINA, as examples, can catch employers in the cross-fire if they do not keep abreast of the changes and prepare well.

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
NLRA Developments for Non-Union Employers
The National Labor Relations Act impacts non-union employers in areas as diverse as social media, handbooks, and internal investigations and employers must educate themselves on these recent, expansive enforcement initiatives to avoid getting tripped up.  

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
EEOC Enforcement Initiatives
Expect continued aggressive enforcement initiatives by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on issues such as criminal background checks, compensation, discrimination and harassment. Learn why your organization’s EEOC strategy must expand beyond responding to individual complaints.

12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Retaliation and Whistleblowers Claims
Retaliation and whistleblower claims continue to be the fastest growing type of employment claim. This program will update you on the expanding types and scope of these claims.  It will also teach employers how to avoid empowering an employee or former employee with these types of allegations.

Donald P. Lawless is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor and Employment Law Department in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has 25+ years of experience working with employers to meet their labor and human resource objectives in compliance with applicable laws. The focus of his practice is in the pharmaceutical, higher education, food processing, and service industries. Mr. Lawless’s labor law practice includes contract negotiation, grievance arbitration, and defense of unfair labor practice charges. He advises employers on developing and implementing union avoidance strategies and responses to organizing activity. He works with clients on the broad range of civil rights compliance and defense matters with subspecialties in OFCCP compliance and audits, Occupational Safety and Health, and all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including employment and facility and program access.

Keith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. His practice is almost exclusively devoted to traditional labor matters and assisting employers navigate issues under the NLRA. He has extensive experience in labor matters including collective bargaining, union organizing, defense of NLRB unfair labor practice charges, and labor strategies for mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations. Mr. Brodie also counsels clients regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employment discrimination investigations and claims, employee hiring, discipline and termination, and reductions in force and WARN compliance.

Kelly Petrocelli is a senior attorney in the Grand Rapids, Michigan office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department. Ms. Petrocelli focuses her practice on defending employers in litigation initiated by employees in federal and state court, and before administrative agencies. She also counsels employers on personnel policies, disciplinary issues, and compliance with Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, EPA, and equivalent state statutes prohibiting discrimination.