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Employee Relations Interest Group - Legal Update for 2018
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*FREE to HRMAC Members* Are you beginning your planning for 2018? Join us to receive some updates for the coming year!

When: Wednesday, January, 17, 2018
8:00 AM Networking & Registration; 8:30 AM -10:00 AM Program
Where: Vedder Price
222 North LaSalle Street
15th floor
Chicago, Illinois  60601
United States
Contact: Marguerite Allegretti

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Legal Updates for 2018

THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN THE PRESENT to take a fresh look at how your company handles the topics which will be covered in our upcoming Legal Update!!
Everybody, it seems, is talking or tweeting about sexual harassment right now.  What started in Hollywood has spread across the country like wildfire as a surprising number of prominent celebrities, executives and politicians have been accused of using their power and/or influence to sexually harass others.  Not surprisingly, employers are seeing an uptick in complaints as policies, procedures and investigation practices are being closely scrutinized.  

Our 3 Panelists—an EEOC trial attorney, an in-house attorney, and a management side employment lawyer—will share their unique perspectives on how to develop best-in-class policies and procedures and what to do when responding to complaints of harassment and/or discrimination.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE  – ADA after FMLA: What’s Changed?
Our panel will discuss recent developments regarding leaves of absence in the Seventh Circuit (IL, IN and WI) in the wake of the court’s Severson v. Heartland decision.  The court, for those who may have missed the details of the decision, promulgated a long-awaited bright line rule regarding when and for how long an employer is expected to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation.  While the law appears to be settled in the Seventh Circuit—for now, at least—there remain a number of practical considerations that our panelists will discuss and debate regarding leave as a reasonable accommodation.  


The Trump administration continues to make changes that will impact the American workplace: from revising the salary basis for overtime eligibility, to filling vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Our panelists will provide updates on these and other recent developments, such as the status of:

o Sexual orientation discrimination laws in the Seventh Circuit and beyond
o Class action claims against employers for violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act
o Non-Compete Agreements in Illinois


Elizabeth N. Hall, Shareholder and member of Vedder Price’s Labor and Employment group.

Ms. Hall represents a wide range of employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, as well as in arbitral forums, defending them against various employment-related claims. She also regularly provides clients with practical advice regarding a variety of employment issues including risk management, employee discipline and discharge, conducting workplace investigations, accommodating disabilities and pregnancy, workplace violence, managing leaves of absence, workforce reductions, employment agreements, policy and handbook development, and wage and hour compliance.

Laura Liss, Chair of Patzik Frank and Samotny’s Employment Law Practice Group. 

She provides both legal and practical business advice on all phases of employment-related decisions.  She regularly serves as a sounding board for business owners, executives and human resources professionals and assists them in successfully and efficiently navigating the various employment laws that affect their businesses.  One of the things that drew Laura to PFS is the role the firm plays as outside general counsel to many middle market companies.  PFS’s approach to client service appropriately reflects companies’ universal goal to minimize conflicts in the workplace that often lead to costly litigation.  Laura received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Rich Mrizek, Trial Attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Chicago District Office.

With the Commission, Richard has litigated discrimination cases concerning race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, and retaliation. Rich has worked on significant class litigation, including, successfully obtaining an $11 million settlement for racial harassment and discrimination claims in EEOC v. Yellow Freight, and a $10 million settlement of racial harassment and discrimination claims in EEOC v. Roadway Express.  Prior to joining the EEOC, Rich worked in the Labor and Employment group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. Rich received a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Katie Riley, Senior Counsel, Labor and Employment for the Kraft Heinz Company

Katie provides proactive, practical counsel to the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, supporting over 24,000 employees in the United States and Puerto Rico. Katie previously held the role of Senior Counsel, Compliance, for Kraft Foods Company, where she applied her extensive investigations expertise to lead the Internal Investigations team. Katie has counseled management and human resource professionals on all aspects of employment and labor law, including discrimination, harassment, personnel policies and handbooks, wage and hour issues, disciplinary issues, collective bargaining, union representation petitions and hearings, and unfair labor practice charges and hearings. Katie received a B.B.A. from St. Mary’s College and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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The Employee Relations Interest Group is sponsored by



This program is pending approval for 1.5 credit hours towards PHR/SPHR/SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) as well as 1.5 professional development credits (PDC's) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification.