Wrap Up of SHRM Atlanta Conference: Part 3

by Michael Haberman on March 19, 2012 · 0 comments


This is Part 3 of my wrap up of the SHRM Atlanta conference. The sessions I followed were still in the Law and Legislation track.

First up was Manage Your Employees or Get Out of the Way! (Ten Rules for Helping Your Managers Prevent Costly Lawsuits.) presented by Chad Shultz of Ford & Harrision LLP. Chad’s rules were sound non-legalistic methods dealing with communication, fairness, respect and of course documentation. His first rule is “Hope is not a strategy.” This is oh-so-true! You cannot wish problems away. To conclude his fine presentation Chad presented everyone with a book and made the offer that he will come present his session to your supervisors FREE of charge. It that interests you then click through on his name.

Next up was Using Arbitration Agreements to Avoid Class and Collective Actions Particularly in the Wage/Hour Context presented by Jeffrey Mokotoff of Ford & Harrison LLP. In today’s environment where there is an increasing enforcement effort on the part of the USDOL in respect to wage & hour violation it is important to have enforceable arbitration agreements signed by employees that prohibit them from filing class action suits. Often if a company has made a mistake in one employee’s wage and hours they have probably made that same mistake with other employees. That provides a happy hunting ground for plaintiffs attorneys. But with enforceable arbitration agreements that prohibit class action suits a company can limit the damage from their mistakes.

Following that session came Employee Theft in a Digital Age presented by Margaret Hanrahan of Ogletree Deakins and Gary Berger, who is their IT guru. Their message was that there are many, many ways that your data and critical information can be stolen from you either by employees or by others. You have to be ever vigilant and to have protocols in place to protect the company. Technology has made it easier to steal, as an example, a thumb drive that is 8 gigs in size can hold over 80,000 documents. So you need to be aware what people are downloading and why.

After lunch was The Emerging Pitfalls of the ADAAA with a Focus on Expanded Leave Requirements presented by Jon Gumbel of Ogletree Deakins. Jon’s presentation can be summed up with his statement of what ADAAA means to him which is Assume Disability and Attempt to Accommodate. To Jon he says disability has gone beyond the EEOC, it needs to be treated as affirmative action. There is going to be an increasing amount of attention paid to this law with an increasing number of disability suits. So pay attention!

The last session of the day was 5 Critical Employment Law Issues Affecting HR Professionals Now presented by Dionysia Johnson-Massie, Mary Sharp and Traywick Duffie all of Littler Mendelson PC. Unfortuately I was unable to attend this session much to my dismay. I will have to wait until the presentations are sent to attendees before I can report on this one.

For my Twitter comments, and for the comments of other attendees, from the conference you can search for #shrmatl12 on Twitter and look through that archive.

The final wrap up of the conference appearing tomorrow will be on the marketplace and the conference in general.

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