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News & Events


SEMINAR | 32nd Annual Labor and Employment Seminar (Seattle)

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Lawyers for Employers®

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Best Practices For Best Employers™ Seminar

How to Become a Best Workplace Starting Today!
Best employers stay current on trends in employment law to avoid disruptive and expensive audits, charges and lawsuits. Please join us for our 32nd Annual Labor and Employment Seminar on September 9 as we team with Puget Sound Business Journal; Lake Washington Human Resource Association; and Parker, Smith & Feek to discuss current employment trends.

This annual seminar, geared toward employers, managers, human resource professionals and corporate counsel, is part of our ongoing Employment Law School For Managers® series.

This seminar has been pre-approved for 4.5 general CLE credit hours in Washington and 5 HR Certification Institute credit hours.

September 9, 2014


7:30 – 8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8 – 8:10 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

8:10 – 9:15 a.m. Annual Labor and Employment Law Update — Lessons for Best Employers
Laura T. Morse, Lane Powell PC
It can be hard to keep up with all the changes in employment law this year. From the U.S. Supreme Court to the City of Seattle and everywhere in between, employers are facing a litany of new rights and obligations. We will cover changes in state law, including Washington’s new recognition of reasonable accommodation claims based on religion, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new guidance on pregnancy in the workplace, the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions regarding contraception in Hobby Lobby, the recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, Seattle’s new minimum wage law and much more.

9:15 – 10 a.m. Revenge Is Sweet, but Has a Bitter Aftertaste The Continued Surge in Retaliation and Whistleblowing
D. Michael Reilly, Lane Powell PC, and Edward Rhone, Parker, Smith & Feek
It’s the fastest growing legal claim facing employers and in this session you will learn through a review of recent cases: (1) the newest arguments employers can use to defend retaliation cases; (2) developments that dramatically expand the rights and remedies of the would-be whistleblower; (3) the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Nassar decision; and (4) the generic defense to a retaliation claim and how employers can negate an inference of “causation.”

10 – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 – 11 a.m. How to Handle Mental Disabilities in the Workplace Without Losing Your Mind
Katheryn Bradley and Craig A. Day, Lane Powell PC
Katheryn Bradley will address how to comply with laws governing mental disabilities in the workplace, including what triggers the interactive process and what may be considered reasonable accommodations for mental disabilities. She will also address when an employer can demonstrate an undue hardship or direct threat and when an employer may terminate an employee with a mental disability. Craig Day will address how to manage short- and long-term disability policies and other benefits that may be due under retirement plans, equity plans and other nonqualified plans for employees who may be on disability leave or terminated because of a disability.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Employment Unplugged — The Effects of Mobile Technology on All Phases of the Employment Relationship
Jacob M. Downs and Kelly M. Lipscomb, Lane Powell PC, and David Stenhouse, DS Forensics, Inc.
Is your company using mobile technology in the employee-recruiting process or performing reference checks? Do you expect your employees to be available outside of work hours by way of a mobile device? Are these devices provided by the company or owned by the employee, and who owns the device and data both during and after employment? What safeguards are in place for when an employee misplaces a device holding company data? This session will: (1) discuss the benefits and detriments of using mobile technology in all phases of the employment relationship; (2) explore the practical application of having a “Bring Your Own Device” policy; (3) assess the technology security systems that may be beneficial to protect your company; and (4) provide you with the tools and knowledge to interface with IT and risk management to develop an effective approach to securing your company’s data.

12 – 1 p.m. Lunch

12:30 – 1 p.m. Weed at Work — Will Your Drug-free Workplace Policy Go Up in Smoke?
Michael B. Harrington, Lane Powell PC
On November 6, 2012, Washington state became a national trailblazer when voters approved I-502, an initiative that legalized the recreational use of marijuana. As of December 6, 2012, it no longer violates state law for adults over the age of 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana. And beginning July 8, 2014, adults of the legal age are able to purchase marijuana in state-approved retail stores. However, employees shouldn’t break out the Doritos® just yet — federal law still says that marijuana is illegal. What does this mean for your drug-free workplace policy and how do you make sure that your employees are at the top of their game when they are at work?

1 – 1:15 p.m. Break

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor — More Tips to Avoid the Litigation Arena
Sarah Swale, Lane Powell PC
We can’t teach you to shoot an arrow or throw a sack of flour, but we can give you the tools to avoid litigation in areas that might not be on your radar screen, including: will Seattle’s new minimum wage affect my salaried employees? Is it ever okay to favor a particular gender in my hiring practices if the job demands it? Can my female employee get the year of protected leave she is requesting? Let us help you before you volunteer as tribute.

We outgrew our previous venue and moved to a new location this year.
Motif Seattle

Emerald Ballroom
1415 Fifth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
Please click here for directions.
(Please note that parking will be at your own expense.)

Cost for this seminar is $125 prepay online; $150 at the door. This seminar sold out last year, so early registration is encouraged.

Questions? Contact:
Kelsey Lamon

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.