"The Google Diversity Manifesto: What Does It Mean for Human Resources Professionals?”
Categories: Membership Meeting
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Brief Synopsis of the Program: This presentation is intended to educate Human Resources representatives on the impact of the open discussion among employees of diversity issues in today’s society. We will focus on how Human Resources representatives can address these conversations and diversity issues in the workplace without violating applicable law. We will also discuss recommended actions that organizations can take to reduce the potential for legal liability resulting from open discourse regarding diversity issues. Such actions to be discussed include the implementation of appropriate policies and training for all employees.
1. To discuss the protections that non-supervisory employees have under the National Labor Relations Act and how diversity-related communications (i.e., the Google Diversity Manifesto) may or may not invoke protection under the National Labor Relations Act or other rights, such as First Amendment rights.
2. To discuss policies and practices that organizations can implement to encourage positive discussions about diversity issues.
3. To discuss training points to prepare supervisors for handling diversity issues and to educate supervisors on the potential legal liability for failing to properly handle diversity-related issues.
4. To discuss training points to educate all employees on the organization’s approach to diversity issues.
SPEAKER: Elizabeth Wente, Attorney with Spencer Fane, LLP assists employers in employment counseling and employment litigation matters. Elizabeth’s primary focus is providing counseling and risk management services to assist clients in reducing their potential risk for employment-related litigation claims in the future.
To reduce such risks, Elizabeth advises employers on issues such as policy drafting, handbook reviews, hiring decisions, drafting employment agreements, discipline and termination decisions, drafting separation agreements, reductions in force, misclassification issues, providing leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and accommodating employees with disabilities.
Elizabeth also conducts internal investigations for employers and internal audits of employers’ human resources practices in order to identify potential areas of improvement. Further, she assists clients in developing and conducting training programs for supervisors and non-supervising employees regarding issues such as harassment and discrimination, employers’ obligations under the FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act, best practices for supervisors, updates on employment law issues, and wage and hour issues.
Elizabeth also represents employers in litigation matters including handling administrative charges and lawsuits regarding various employment claims such as discrimination and harassment claims, wrongful termination in violation of public policy claims, and non-competition disputes. Additionally, she assists employers with traditional labor issues such as unfair labor practices charges and arbitrations.
SPEAKER: Paul Satterwhite, Attorney with Spencer Fane, LLP helps employers interpret and understand the constantly changing landscape of employment laws to help the employers he works with manage their employment law risks. He focuses his practice on risk management so that the employers he works with can focus their efforts more on the operation of their businesses and less on the management of employment disputes and legal claims.
As part of this risk management approach to employment law, Paul provides clients with practical human resources counseling and he develops and delivers supervisory training programs to employers of all sizes. He works closely with clients to determine the appropriate risk management approach for each particular situation.
In addition to human resources counseling and risk management, Paul regularly works with employers to defend employment-related lawsuits, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He works with unionized employers to develop strategies for union negotiations and handles collective bargaining negotiations for clients.
Paul has defended wage and hour class actions and collective actions and he regularly works with clients on wage and hour risk prevention. He defends and prosecutes restrictive covenant disputes, and has significant experience providing labor and employment-related counsel in corporate transactions.