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2016 Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar Debrief

On April 14, 2016 – before a full house – we hosted our annual Employment & Labor Law seminar for clients and employers.

Joe Whelan’s session focused on the new Department of Labor “Persuader” rule, NLRB updates, what constitutes a proper bargaining unit, the impacts of quickie elections and the latest statistics from the EEOC.  Did you know that in 2015 44.5% of all EEOC claims filed were retaliation claims and that only 1.1% of all claims were for equal pay?

Meghan Siket explained the proposed FLSA overtime regulations and how the proposed changes would impact employers.  Meghan also went into detail about reclassification options and reminded audience members to conduct internal reviews of employee classification and compensation systems.  Don’t miss Meghan’s June 22 seminar, on Mastering Employee Leave Management and Compliance [approved for 6.25 recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute].  Register by phone 800-727-5257 or by email service@blr.com.

Tim Cavazza walked us through the ins and outs of the 2015 Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act, with an eye toward the sweeping changes taking effect on July 2, 2016.  Whether you come from state or municipal government or private sector business, these changes will likely affect you.  In addition to making the Act applicable to “municipal agencies”, the legislation also changes the definition of “personal information” to include certain “health insurance information”, “medical information”, and email addresses.  It also expands a covered entity’s obligations to protect such personal information from unauthorized disclosure and to promptly notify all Rhode Island residents affected by an actual or threatened security breach.

Sara Rapport, our go-to attorney for all things education, spoke largely about FERPA and HIPPA compliance.  For instance, she talked about exceptions to the prohibition on disclosure without consent, and the impact of Title IX on FERPA disclosures in post-secondary institutions.  Sara also discussed applicable state law in place to protect student health records.

Matt Parker emphasized how important it is for employers to understand pregnancy accommodations and parental leave and the ways in which the two concepts overlap.  He discussed in detail FMLA leaves, the ADA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the RI Parental & Family Medical Leave Act, the RI Fair Employment Practices Act, MA Parental Leave, RI Temporary Caregiver Insurance, and MA Earned Sick Time.

Our guest speaker, Dennis Aiken, a retired FBI agent [34 years] now in private practice [10 years], along with our partner and former U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Robert Corrente, closed the seminar with an entertaining yet sobering session about conducting internal investigations.  Not reacting at all, acting unfairly, or not properly investigating a variety of claims of employee wrongdoing can be extremely costly and can ruin your company’s [or your] reputation.  But do you have the expertise, the tools, the time to manage an investigation?

To reach a Whelan Corrente attorney directly, click on the Attorney Profiles page.

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