Cultural Bias: How is the Legal Profession Responding to Immigration, LGBTQ,
and Sexual Harassment Issues?

Rebecca Bernhard and Melissa Raphan, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, with client panelists

This panel addressed current topics of interest with regard to diversity in the legal profession, including in-house counsel obligations to create and maintain an inclusive culture. The panel discussed the legal anti-discrimination requirements with respect to immigration issues, the #metoo movement and current trends in LGBTQ protections. This panel provided useful tactics to strengthen company culture and eliminate implicit biases, starting with legal departments and filtering outward to executives, managers, and employees.

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Leaves and Accommodations Update

Marilyn Clark and Jack Sullivan, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, with client panelists

Managing the maze of legal mandates that potentially apply when workers become ill or injured is a daunting task. This session examined the interplay between federal, state, and local laws - including the FMLA, the ADA, workers’ compensation, and sick-leave ordinances - to help employers understand and identify overlapping compliance obligations. The panel explained common pitfalls employers face in the leave context, offering practical tips and tools for preventing leave abuse (including handling thorny issues with intermittent leave) without raising the risk of retaliation or interference claims.

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Drab to Fab:  Employee Evaluations Get a Makeover

Jillian Kornblatt and Claire Smith, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, with client panelists

Performance evaluations can have a major impact on employee performance and morale, and can be critical to the outcome of employment litigation.  Yet all too often they end up written as some variation of “meets expectations.”  This session analyzed how evaluations can influence employment claims and offered practical guidance for attendees to share with managers on the front lines of drafting these critical documents.

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2018 Wage and Hour Update: Trending Topics and Challenges

Ryan Mick, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, with client panelists

While other topics have made headlines, wage and hour issues remain the #1 litigation risk for employers across the country.  This session explored administrative developments, continuing compliance challenges, and litigation trends to help companies identify and address the pitfalls that can expose employers to wage and hour liability.

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Buy American, Hire American?

Saiko McIvor and Ieva Aubin, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

This session provided immigration updates under the current administration and practical tips for employment of foreign workers including:

  • Consideration for Hiring Foreign Workers.
  • Employer Sanction and Form I-9.
  • Temporary Work Visas Overview, Eligibility Requirements, Timeline, Travel and Family.
  • Green Card Sponsorship Timing, Means and Visa Backlog.
  • RIF and Termination of Foreign Workers and Special Considerations.
  • Effect of Company Re-organization.

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Payroll Problems You Do Not Want (But May Have)

Tim Goodman and Katina Peterson, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Payroll taxes and reporting are complicated and mistakes are easy to make.  This session addressed:

  • Common mistakes:  Nonqualified plan contributions, bonuses, group term life and other fringe benefits, withholding, and more.
  • Reporting processes and penalties:  Form W-2, Form 1095-C, and more.
  • Audit risks:  Federal and state payroll tax audits.

As part of the discussion, the panel reviewed the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impact on payroll. 

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Is Your Noncompete Agreement Enforceable?

Aaron Goldstein and JoLynn Markison, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, with client panelists

Proposed legislation banning noncompetes has become a key feature of many recent state legislative sessions. The panel discussed current trends in the enforceability of noncompete agreements, recent laws, as well as pending legislation that could impact the enforceability of standard noncompete agreements.

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