Breaking Barriers in 2020: The Seen and Unseen

Categories: Seminar and Workshop


2020 Memphis & St. Louis Regional Seminar

October 29, 2020

9:00 am – 3:45 pm (central time)


Breaking Barriers in 2020:  The Seen and Unseen

Obstacles to Equal Employment Opportunities in the Workplace



This seminar has been approved for 5 HRCI & SHRM Credits and CLE is being sought in Arkansas, Tennessee (already approved), Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Illinois.  Federal Investigator and Counselor Refresher credits are available with the completion of an additional quiz.



EEO Implications from the Use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Pauline Kim, Law Professor, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO

In out increasingly technology-driven workplace, the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is used for making hiring and employment decisions based on evaluating thousands of pieces of information about an individual.  The use of Big Data and AI has the potential to reduce bias and help employers make more objective employment decisions; however, if these tools are not designed to promote fairness, they can create unintended barriers to equal employment opportunity.  Learn how to effectively use tools of Big Data to eliminate bias in employment decision-making processes.

2020 Legal Updates

Carol Miaskoff, Associate Legal Counsel, US EEOC, Office of Legal Counsel

The EEOC’s leading national expert will discuss the most important legal and caselaw updates in 2020.  Recent decisions from the U. S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts throughout the country, will be discussed and the impact of those decisions to your organization will be shared.


Hot Topics and Evolving Issues for Breaking Barriers in 2020

William A. Cash, Jr., Area Director, US EEOC Little Rock Area Office

Daniel Herrington, Partner, Labor & Employment, Friday, Eldredge & Clark, Little Rock, AR

Cynthia Nance, Dean Emeritus, University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, AR

These three outstanding lawyers will engage in a dynamic discussion on actual cases that have addressed barriers in employment.  Their lively and engaging discussions are highly informative as each takes a position as either:  Plaintiff, Defendant or EEOC and argues these cases from those standpoints.   This session will provide you with keen insight into how actual cases could impact your organization. 


The Gold Standards of Harassment Investigations:  Cognitive Interviewing

Holly Cole, Area Director, US EEOC Oklahoma City Area Office

Natascha DeGuire, US EEOC Kansas City Area Office


Conducting a proper harassment investigation is essential for removing barriers to equal opportunities in the workplace and creating a workplace that is civil, safe and inclusive for all employees.  However, often an employer is not equipped to conduct those interviews that involve victims or bystanders that have experienced trauma.   Ineffective questioning can result in an incomplete or inaccurate investigation.   Cognitive interviewing, originally developed in criminal law enforcement, is evolving as a new and valuable tool for effectively investigating workplace harassment matters.  You will learn the neuro-physiological bases for the cognitive interview as well as accepted techniques for conducting those thorough investigations.

Appearance Discrimination

Debra Finney, Outreach & Education Coordinator, EEOC Memphis District

Travis Nicholson, Deputy Director, EEOC Houston District

How someone looks and how they are seen can be a barrier to equal opportunity in the workplace.  Discrimination based on a person’s physical appearance is gaining momentum with the growing trend of acceptance of physical expression.  However, employers must be aware of the federal EEO laws that could govern various issues surrounding appearance.  Discover how an employer’s appearance standards should be framed with an eye toward how they are viewed under the laws enforced by EEOC.