The Employers Counsel Network (ECN), a group of attorneys from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada who specialize in employment law matters, is meeting April 24-26 in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn about the latest developments from Congress and the Obama administration that are of importance to employers.
The attorneys, who represent employers on all types of workplace issues, will hear speakers outline the latest developments affecting employers, including presentations from government officials representing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Here’s a look at the speakers and what they will cover:
- EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic is slated to discuss the agency’s enforcement plans. Areas targeted in the EEOC’s latest Strategic Enforcement Plan include discriminatory class-based recruiting and hiring processes, issues affecting immigrant and migrant workers, equal pay issues, policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights, and systemic harassment. She’s also expected to address emerging areas of the law including certain Americans with Disabilities Act issues, pregnancy accommodations, and LGBT coverage under sex discrimination laws.
- NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon will address NLRB enforcement activity and what employers can expect next from the Board. In his position, Solomon guides policy on issues of high interest to both union and nonunion employers. He is expected to discuss the application of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to social media and other workplace policies. The attorneys also can expect an update on the Board’s defense of legal challenges to its rules changing union election procedures and requiring private employers to post notices of rights under the NLRA.
- Michael Aitken, vice president of governmental affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management, will speak on the 113th Congress and President Barack Obama’s second term. Aitken will examine issues of interest to employers, including deficit reduction and tax reform, which may affect employer-sponsored health care as well as pension and fringe benefit plans. He also will discuss other legislative issues and provide an analysis of current federal regulatory activity.
- Laura Seeman, an official with OSHA’s whistleblower programs, will offer a look at the newest developments in whistleblower protection. OSHA enforces whistleblower provisions of more than 20 statutes, and updates to several whistleblower rules are expected in the coming months. The agency also recently announced a new initiative concerning an alternative dispute resolution program.
- ECN member David Fortney, cofounder of Fortney & Scott, LLC, in Washington, D.C., and editor of Federal Employment Law Insider, will give an update on enforcement initiatives of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Fortney will offer the latest on the OFCCP’s new Disability (Section 503) and Veterans (Section 4213) regulations and talk about the agency’s latest approach to compensation and discrimination enforcement.
ECN members write and edit their state Employment Law Letter. The annual conference provides them with a chance to compare notes and catch up on the latest practices and legislative and regulatory developments affecting their clients and readers.