2013 All Hands Meeting
December 5th Main Session
HR/Employment Law Track Agenda

Obama II: EEOC & DOL Enforcement Initiatives

Fred Alvarez & Eric Dreiband
Jones Day

With the President's re-election behind it, the Obama Administration at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is fully staffed and executing on a broad agenda that it developed before the election. The EEOC is advancing an ambitious enforcement program built on its newly adopted Strategic Enforcement Plan, emphasizing allegations of "pattern and practice" discrimination and adverse impact theories, including its controversial guidance on criminal convictions and other background checks. The OFCCP is rolling out new strategies on compensation discrimination, expanding affirmative action requirements for disabled employees (including numeric "utilization" goals) and pursuing class-based hiring discrimination cases.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Employment Separations and Releases

Linda Inscoe
Latham & Watkins LLP

Terminating employees and contractors involves consideration of a host of issues. What support do you have for the termination decision? How much do you need? What risks does this worker present? Does a termination put your company at risk of a suit for misclassification of a contractor? Does it put your company at risk for an employment class action suit? Should you offer severance for a release? If you do offer severance, there are additional considerations, including limitations on your ability to secure a release. This session will examine the practical and legal realities of terminating employees and contractors, and the legal limitations on your ability to cut off future claims.

Current Trends in Investigations

Debra Fischer
Bingham McCutchen LLP

Did you know that the NLRB does not want you to tell an employee to keep their participation in an investigation confidential? Are you up on the other legal developments affecting investigations? This session will explore how the NLRB, the EEOC, state agencies, the courts and legislature have impacted the manner in which investigators conduct their investigations over the past year. We will include a discussion of how the latest developments in anti-discrimination law may affect investigators and investigations. In addition to the basics, hear about current investigation trends established as a result of these developments.

The Secret to Recruiting and Retaining the Very Best and Brightest Talent

C. Matthew Schulz

Where do you find the very best and brightest talent? How do you keep your valued employees? Silicon Valley employers need the very best and brightest talent to develop new technologies and successfully compete in the market. The global labor market includes not only talent home-grown in America, but also highly skilled professionals born outside the US. The secret to recruiting and retaining the very best and brightest talent includes meeting the immigration needs of those born in other countries, whether bringing newcomers to the US or transferring Americans to work abroad. This session will examine current US immigration laws to understand the tools we have to work with today. We will explore proposed changes to US immigration law and how this could dramatically change how employers compete for talent, including the "startup visa."

Wage & Hour Class Action Developments

Doug Dexter
Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Wage and hour class actions continue to proliferate in California. We will discuss recent court opinions potentially limiting the scope and availability of these actions. The session will address cases authorizing arbitration clauses that my limit availability of class litigation. We will also discuss court clarifications of the requirements to establish a class and substantive wage law. Finally, we will discuss the effect of recent legislation upon wage actions.

Employee Benefit Issues at 30,000 Feet -- And How to Keep Them There

Sarah Lowe & Mark Stember
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

What in-house counsel really need to know about employee benefits to avoid and manage material risk to the company. A company’s benefit plans – particularly 401(k) and health plans – can lead to litigation, government enforcement, adverse publicity and diminished morale. Knowing both the key pressure points and the essential steps for reducing those risks enables in-house counsel to manage the company's benefits-related risk profile. This presentation will discuss "flight plans" for [in-house] counsel with respect to 401(k) and health plans - including the evolving Affordable Care Act – highlighting what's essential to know in order to avoid and manage risk.

The Art and Science of Restrictive Covenants in California: What Can and Should Employers Do?

Daniel Pyne & Karen Reinhold
Hopkins & Carley

Employee mobility is an established feature of the workforce in Silicon Valley. This mobility presents challenges for employers, particularly technology companies, both when hiring employees and when those employees are departing. Employers use various types of restrictive covenants in employment agreements in an attempt to protect their confidential information and to prevent their former employees from unfairly competing with them. This session will review the state of the law regarding non-solicitation clauses, anti-poaching provisions, and “no-hire” provisions and will explore how these various restrictive covenants often play out in litigation for the hiring employer, as well as the employer losing the employee.

Please Note: Program details are subject to change without notice

Participating Law Firms & Companies