Equal Pay, LGBT Rights, Social Media Among Topics at ABA Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2012 — What are employers doing to ensure equal employment opportunity compliance and reduce potential risks of class actions? What are current best practices for employers regarding LGBT employees? Can hiring managers rely on their own searches of social media in making decisions about criminal convictions? These questions and many others will be the focus of the National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity Law on March 21-24 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
The meeting will bring together nationally recognized speakers, including judges; private practitioners; representatives from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice; and executives from Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., McDonald’s Corp., BP America Inc. and other companies.
Jacqueline A. Berrien, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will present the luncheon keynote remarks from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. on March 22.
Conference highlights include:
“Discussion with Government Lawyers on Litigation of Systemic and Pattern or Practice Cases” — Plaintiff and defense lawyers will question top government attorneys about litigation alleging that employers have systematically engaged in discriminatory activities by means of policies and procedures. Speakers include: P. David Lopez, general counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; and M. Patricia Smith, solicitor of labor, U.S. Department of Labor.
March 22, 9 – 10:45 a.m.
“A Place at the Table? Legislative and Other Developments in LGBT Legal Rights” — Panelists — including Shannon P. Minter, National Center for Lesbian Rights — will address the status of laws affecting LGBT employees, including recent statutory developments, legal theories relating to discrimination claims and pending legislation.
March 22, 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
“Equal Pay: Proving or Disproving the Existence of Unlawful Pay Bias” — This session will address how and whether the Obama administration — especially through new guidance and enforcement efforts — and the private bar can establish the existence of pervasive pay discrimination, or whether employers can show that existing pay differences are not due to unlawful employer conduct. Speakers include: Commissioner Chai Feldblum, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Pam Coukos, U.S. Department of Labor; and Chris Wilson, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor.
March 22, 2:45 – 4 p.m.
“Advanced E-Discovery Panel — Using Backdrop of a Race Discrimination Lawsuit” — E-discovery issues found in race discrimination lawsuits regarding confidentiality and privilege characteristics that do not exist in the paper world will be discussed by panelists, including Judge Elizabeth D. LaPorte, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Experts will provide practical advice in dealing with the ongoing challenges faced by attorneys representing employers and employees.
March 23, 8 – 9 a.m.
“Litigating Race Discrimination Cases in the 21st Century” — Federal District Court Judge Edward M. Chen, along with trial lawyers representing plaintiffs, defendants and unions, will discuss alleged racial generalization, jury selection, peremptory challenges and whether the current political landscape has affected the litigation of race discrimination lawsuits.
March 23, 9 – 10:15 a.m.
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Workplace Issues Relating to People with Criminal Convictions in the Digital Age” — Many employers believe they need to consider applicants’ criminal convictions or records in order to protect their businesses, customers and employees. How do regulations and laws restrict employers from using the results of criminal background checks in making employment decisions? Where is the line between legitimate employer interests and legal protections for job applicants? This panel of experts will discuss these and other important questions. Commissioner Stuart J. Ishimaru, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is among the speakers.
March 23, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
“Evolving Discrimination Issues in Work-Life Balance Law” — Current law does not require employers to accommodate employees’ desire for work-life balance, even as exempt employees and highly compensated individuals are under pressure to work longer and longer hours. This panel will explore whether the employers’ conduct is discriminatory or retaliatory, and will debate the contours of discrimination and family leave laws, demographics, stereotyping and social policy. Speakers include Commissioner Constance Smith Barker, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
March 23, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
“The San Francisco Tweet — Social Media Communications as Protected Concerted Activity under the National Labor Relations Act” —This panel — which includes Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel, National Labor Relations Board; Edward Loughlin, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and lawyers from both union and management — will discuss the traditional labor law principles that every employment lawyer must know to navigate and debate issues presented by the use of social media.
March 24, 10 – 11 a.m.
The conference brochure provides a complete list of meeting programs and speakers.
There is no charge for media covering this event. For media credentials and more information please contact Maria Gutierrez at 202-662-1091, Maria.Gutierrez@Americanbar.org.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
- 30 -