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Employment Law Update 2019 (Full Day Program)
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This event has now reached capacity. If you want to be on a wait list in case there are any last minute cancellations, please email us at

When: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Where: Washington Plaza Hotel - Grand Ballroom A
10 Thomas Circle, NW
Washington, District of Columbia  20005
United States
Contact: DC SHRM

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DC SHRM Employment Law Update 2019 - Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm =- Washington Plaza Hotel

Registration is now closed. This event has reached capacity.
If you want to be on a wait list in case there are any last minute cancellations,
please email us at

DC SHRM 2019 Employment Law Update 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

RECERTIFICATION CREDIT - This program is approved for 6 hours of SHRM and HRCI Business recertification credit.


Our annual employment law update has always been one of our most popular monthly meetings. Based on the numerous emerging and important issues, we have expanded our meeting into a full day program. We are excited to welcome six different speakers, each presenting for an hour on a different topic PLUS Anne Gilson and Kevin Hyer will join together for a closing session to wrap up the day and discuss other emerging issues in a panel format.

This year's topics will include Harassment, Apprenticeship, Hiring Ex-Offenders, Marijuana, and more!

Register now—and check back as final details on speakers and topics are added!

REGISTRATION FEES - Early Bird Pricing

$125 Members 
$160 Non-members

Registration includes breakfast and lunch. Early Bird Registration Pricing ends October 2 - afterward fees increase by $15.

Refund Policy:  Refund requests must be made via email to No refunds will be provided for this event after September 6.



8:30 – 9:00 AM          Registration / Breakfast / Networking

9:00 – 9:10 AM         Welcome & Introduction

9:10 – 10:00 AM       Session 1: Developments in US Apprenticeship and the Need for a System Architecture – Bob Lerman

Apprenticeships represent a cost-effective approach to upgrading skills, raising job quality, and widening routes to rewarding careers. Until recently, the budget for US apprenticeships was minimal and apprenticeships were limited mainly to construction occupations. This presentation describes the history of the US apprenticeship system, including the youth apprenticeship initiatives of the early 1990s and the upsurge of interest in and funding for US apprenticeships since 2015. Presidents Obama and Trump as well as many governors have embraced the goal of expanding apprenticeships. What are the key challenges to expansion? After this presentation, attendees will:  

  • Learn more about why apprenticeships are cost-effective; 
  • Understand the scope of current efforts at expansion; 
  • Appreciate the need for a well-conceived architecture to achieve a large scale, effective US apprenticeship system.

10:00 – 10:10 AM        BREAK

10:10 – 11:00 AM     Session 2: Harassment and Retaliation – Carole Jordan

These two areas of EEO and employment law continue to cause significant challenges for employers and HR professionals. For decades, both workplace harassment and retaliation have been recognized as types of conduct that could lead to employer liability. However, in recent years we have seen harassment and retaliation gain even more attention as several harassment disputes have been highly publicized and retaliation has remained the number one type of charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for several consecutive years.  What’s at risk?  Potential employer liability and potentially devastating attendant monetary and reputational damages. After this presentation, attendees will:

  • Understand the role that HR professionals can play in minimizing risk.
  • Learn tips for how to handle two of the most emotionally-charged matters that arise in disputes in the 2019 workplace.  

11:00 – 11:10 AM          BREAK

11:10 – 12:00 PM     Session 3: HR & Immigration: Hiring and Retaining Top Foreign Talent in Today’s Contentious Immigration Climate – Becki Young

In today’s constantly shifting immigration climate, it is critical that businesses and human resources professionals stay abreast of policy changes or potentially face serious, even criminal, consequences. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of I-9 compliance, including common mistakes and oversights that leave organizations scrambling in the face of audits, as well as best practices for maintaining employment records. Attendees will learn about the recent resurgence of SSA no-match letters, which notify employers of mismatches between their records and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA). The return of no-match letters, which were received by over 575,000 employers since March, is confusing and troubling employers across the country. This session will clarify what these letters mean and how to respond to them. In addition to heightened concern over immigration enforcement, employment-based visa approvals are becoming increasingly difficult to secure under the Administration’s enhanced scrutiny. As such, employers and hiring managers may need to explore new options to recruit the specialized workers they need. This session outlines the various visa types available to foreign workers in the U.S. and the available options for workers who do not make the H-1B lottery or for whom the previously expected visa type is not available. This session will also cover the recent changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and what they mean for employees and their immigration benefits. After this session, HR professionals will be able to:

  • Understand the I-9 process including enforcement, procedures and tips to protect their corporations as well as immigration policy changes that may impact compliance, such as changes to DACA and TPS.
  • Recognize and respond to a no-match letter and what the resurgence of this program may mean for the future.
  • Understand the different non-immigrant visa types available to foreign workers and the options available in the event that an employee is not selected for the H-1B lottery or receives an unexpected denial.

12:00 – 12:55 PM        LUNCH

12:55 – 1:00 PM       Afternoon Introductions

1:00 – 1:50 PM         Session 4: Justice-Involved Jobseekers – Gerald Grimes

Current economic conditions are forcing employers to take a look beyond typical stereotypes and stigmas associated with jobseekers with criminal records. Information vital to understanding the issues regarding citizens with criminal background issues and why it makes good business sense to hire them will be discussed. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how the hiring of ex-offenders can expand talent pools.
  • Analyze employment trends and EEOC guidance regarding hiring this population.
  • Discuss employer misgivings (negligent hiring, safety and brand reputation) regarding hiring ex-offenders.

1:50 – 2:00 PM            BREAK

2:00 – 2:50 PM        Session 5: Major Developments in Wage and Hour Law – Jennifer Curry

If wage and hour issues had not already been tricky and daunting enough, these have been turbulent years for wage and hour laws, with major developments arising on a regular basis.  Today, employers are not only expected to understand the basics of federal wage and hour law, but to master the minute details as well.  This session will cover updates on the foundation of wage and hour law as well as new rules and regulations for implementing those laws.  By the end of the session you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of how to comply with the law and avoid wage and hour legal risks.

2:50 – 3:00 PM            BREAK

3:00 – 3:50 PM        Session 6: Marijuana & the Workplace: Medicinal Use, CBD, and Other New Issues for Employers – Jack Blum

In the 25 years since California legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996, two-thirds of states have legalized medicinal marijuana under state law. In the District of Columbia and more than 10 states, marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use under state law. In addition to marijuana, CBD is now legal under state and, in some circumstances, federal law, and is recognized as a potentially effective treatment for anxiety, pain, depression, epilepsy, and other conditions. The increasing societal and medical recognition of marijuana and CBD present novel questions for employers and a need to reexamine drug policies. Employers must consider whether and to what extent they must or should permit or reasonably accommodate employee off-duty medicinal marijuana and CBD usage. On the other hand, employers must appreciate the risks they face from accommodating employee drug use, even where legally required. By thew end of this session you will:

  • Analyze when employers may be required to reasonably accommodate employee off-duty medicinal marijuana or CBD usage.
  • Review the need for potential changes to policies regarding pre- and post-employment drug testing, reasonable accommodations, zero tolerance for drug use, and related matters.
  • Evaluate issues that employee marijuana use creates in specific workplaces including federal government contractors, unionized workforces, DOT-regulated employers, and safety-sensitive positions.

3:50 – 4:00 PM            BREAK

4:00 – 4:50 PM         Closing Panel: EMPLOYEE EXPECTATIONS & ACCOUNTABILITY– Kevin Hyer & Anne Gilson

4:50 – 5:00 PM         Closing Remarks


Jack Blum is an attorney in the Labor and Employment group in Polsinelli’s Washington, D.C. office.  Jack has experience across the labor and employment law spectrum.  He defends employers from class, collective, and single-plaintiff discrimination and wage and hour claims, conducts internal investigations into the most sensitive of allegations (including sexual harassment allegations in the #MeToo era), advises government contractors regarding OFCCP compliance and guides clients through OFCCP audits, and counsels clients on risky and high-stakes employment decisions such as terminating senior executives and alleged whistleblowers and others who have engaged in protected activities.  Jack enforces employers’ rights under noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and confidentiality agreements and helps employers take aggressive action to prevent and redress data breaches and the theft of trade secrets by employees.  Jack guides employers through the execution of major workforce changes like reductions in force and employee group FLSA exemption and 1099/W2 re-classifications.  Jack provides practical, business-focused advice to employers about novel and cutting edge personnel policy issues, including drug policies, social media policies, paid family leave strategies, and whistleblower/sexual harassment reporting policies.  Jack also has extensive experience advising clients on independent contractor classifications and defending those classifications when challenged by private plaintiffs or government agencies.

Jennifer Curry is a Shareholder in Baker Donelson with a specific focus on clients in the health care industry, and also represents the construction and general business industries. An experienced litigator, Ms. Curry represents employers in disputes involving discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent retention and supervision, wrongful discharge, defamation, and non-compete and nondisclosure agreements. Ms. Curry advises and defends employers on all manner of employment and compliance issues, including crisis management, internal investigations, sexual harassment and discrimination, Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing claims, WARN Act and Mini-WARN Act requirements, and federal contractor obligations. She routinely appears before state and federal courts and agencies throughout the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Curry devises practical strategies for clients navigating employment claims and disputes, and where advisable, she recommends and provides representation in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation and settlement negotiations. Ms. Curry has been named a Rising Star by Maryland Super Lawyers in the area of Employment Litigation every year from 2013 – 2018.

Anne Gilson is the Director of Human Capital Solutions for OneDigital. Anne holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has more than 25 years of internal and external consulting experience. She is an energetic, highly-motivated, results-oriented senior human resource professional with diverse experience in Fortune 100, growth companies, non-profit, small or family-owned as well many start-up organizations. Anne’s Human Resource management spans national and international retail, insurance, and financial services in both public and private organizations. Prior to OneDigital, she managed an HR consulting firm and before that, worked for the General Electric Company facilitating large organizational change and integrations. She spent her early career as a HR leader building learning platforms and leading HR processes and proven practices.

Gerald Grimes is Project Manager at the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s (MOED) Northwest Career Center. The Northwest Career Center is one of Baltimore’s One Stop Career Centers and features within its structure The Reentry Center, where staff and partners assist ex-offenders and others with criminal background issues with 21st century employment preparation, job search and placement assistance, skills training opportunities, barrier removal services, educational supports and access to computers and computer training. Prior to MOED, Mr. Grimes’ career path has been in education and training, with a strong slant toward business and business enterprise. He was Director of Placement and Instructor/Manager at the Baltimore Urban League’s Information Processing Training Center, where he taught employability skills as well as remedial math and English. He also placed graduates of the program in regular, full-time jobs. Mr. Grimes received his BA degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin. He attended graduate school at Loyola College in Maryland, in the Executive MBA program and he is also a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.

Kevin Hyer, Esq. SPHR-SCP is a member of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel, LLP’s Labor Relations and Employment Law Practice Group in their Center City Philadelphia office. He is a SME on minimizing employment practices liability (EPL) and avoiding third-party intervention (TPI) who has experience in both HR and labor and employment (L & E) law.  Prior to joining Obermayer, a prestigious 125 lawyer full service firm founded in Philadelphia in 1904 with 10 offices across 5 states, Kevin spent 10 years representing both employers and employees in sophisticated organizations. His expertise flavored from being a L & E attorney identifying with HR includes negotiating collective bargaining agreements in a first chair capacity, assisting clients administer union contracts to best optimize management's rights, coaching executives on developing subordinate managers' leadership abilities to align with proactive and reactive ER strategies, conducting high level investigations, leading union avoidance campaigns, filing & defending administrative charges, arbitrating grievances, designing blueprints for effectively working with powerful unions when organized, and providing counsel and training on local, state and federal L & E laws and policy trends. Kevin has a proven track record of improving employee satisfaction in both unionized & non-unionized settings as evidenced by metrics demonstrating a reduction in grievances, turnover and better working relationships with all leadership levels. Kevin earned his J.D. from the University of Baltimore in 2007 with a focus in L & E law. In addition to being a member of both the DC Bar Association and the DC SHRM chapter, he is a member of the American Bar Association's L & E Law Section, Association of Corporate Counsel, SHRM, and Labor and Employee Relations Association, among other professional organizations.

Carole Jordan is an employment lawyer with extensive experience handling issues related to the workplace. She currently has her own law practice in Washington DC - The Law Office of Carole L. Jordan.  In this practice Ms. Jordan represents clients on a wide spectrum of human resources and employment law issues. Ms. Jordan’s experience spans work in both the private and public sectors.  Prior to establishing her law firm, Ms. Jordan worked in a Fortune 50 corporate legal department. This work included managing the company’s employment practices group and employment compliance group in which she provided advice, counsel and advocacy on employment and human resources matters.  Ms. Jordan also spent several years as a lead trial attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  Ms. Jordan has conducted numerous training programs on a myriad of issues related to the workplace and has appeared as a presenter on employment law matters at various legal, business and professional programs and conferences.

Dr. Robert I. Lerman is an Institute Fellow at Urban Institute, Emeritus Professor of Economics at American University, and a Research Fellow at IZA in Bonn, Germany. Dr. Lerman was one of the first scholars to examine the economic determinants of unwed fatherhood and to propose a youth apprenticeship strategy in the U.S. His published research covers family structure, inequality, income support, and youth employment and development. In the 1970s, he worked as staff economist for both the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the US Department of Labor. His 1990 publication with Hillard Pouncy, “The compelling case for youth apprenticeship” and his subsequent studies for the Progressive Policy Institute influenced public policy, ultimately leading to School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 and to recent initiatives of the Obama and Trump Administrations to expand apprenticeships. He has testified before congressional committees and served on the National Academy of Sciences panel on the U.S. post-secondary education and training system. Dr. Lerman founded the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship and is on the board of the International Network for Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP). He is currently Principal Investigator of US government-funded evaluations of apprenticeship demonstration grants and projects on building occupational competency frameworks for apprenticeship and expanding youth apprenticeship. He earned an A.B. at Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in economics at MIT.

Becki YoungBecki L. Young, co-founder of Grossman Young & Hammond, is a seasoned business immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience in the field.  She has facilitated the sponsorship of foreign professionals, trainees, interns and individuals of "extraordinary ability." She regularly provides immigration law advice to clients in a broad range of industries. Ms. Young is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She frequently speaks at legal, business and hospitality conferences, and regularly contributes insight through published articles and commentary.  She is highly recommended by Chambers & Partners and recognized as a Leading Legal Practitioner in Corporate Immigration by Who's Who Legal. Grossman Young & Hammond is rated Tier 1 National and Washington, D.C. for Immigration Law by US News & World Report / Best Lawyers. She is also recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in immigration by Washingtonian magazine.


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