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Employee Relations Interest Group - Legal Update for 2018
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*FREE to HRMAC Members* Are you beginning your planning for 2018? Join us to receive some updates for the coming year!

 Export to Your Calendar 1/17/2018
When: Wednesday, January, 17, 2018
8:00 AM Networking & Registration; 8:30 AM -10:00 AM Program
Where: Map this event »
Vedder Price
222 North LaSalle Street
15th floor
Chicago, Illinois  60601
United States
Contact: Marguerite Allegretti

Online registration is available until: 1/17/2018
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Legal Updates for 2018

THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN THE PRESENT to take a fresh look at how your company handles the topics which will be covered in our upcoming Legal Update!!
Everybody, it seems, is talking or tweeting about sexual harassment right now.  What started in Hollywood has spread across the country like wildfire as a surprising number of prominent celebrities, executives and politicians have been accused of using their power and/or influence to sexually harass others.  Not surprisingly, employers are seeing an uptick in complaints as policies, procedures and investigation practices are being closely scrutinized.  

Our 3 Panelists—an EEOC trial attorney, an in-house attorney, and a management side employment lawyer—will share their unique perspectives on how to develop best-in-class policies and procedures and what to do when responding to complaints of harassment and/or discrimination.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE  – ADA after FMLA: What’s Changed?
Our panel will discuss recent developments regarding leaves of absence in the Seventh Circuit (IL, IN and WI) in the wake of the court’s Severson v. Heartland decision.  The court, for those who may have missed the details of the decision, promulgated a long-awaited bright line rule regarding when and for how long an employer is expected to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation.  While the law appears to be settled in the Seventh Circuit—for now, at least—there remain a number of practical considerations that our panelists will discuss and debate regarding leave as a reasonable accommodation.  


The Trump administration continues to make changes that will impact the American workplace: from revising the salary basis for overtime eligibility, to filling vacancies at the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Our panelists will provide updates on these and other recent developments, such as the status of:

o Sexual orientation discrimination laws in the Seventh Circuit and beyond
o Class action claims against employers for violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act
o Non-Compete Agreements in Illinois


Aaron R. Gelb, Shareholder and member of Vedder Price’s Labor and Employment group.

He represents employers in all aspects of equal employment opportunity, wrongful discharge and labor relations litigation before federal and state courts and federal, state and local fair employment and administrative agencies. Mr. Gelb regularly counsels employers regarding a variety of labor and employment issues such as discipline and discharge, handbook and/or policy development/revision, disability accommodations, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other types of leaves of absence, harassment and other workplace investigations and management training.

Laura Liss, Chair of Patzik Frank and Samotny’s Employment Law Practice Group. 

She provides both legal and practical business advice on all phases of employment-related decisions.  She regularly serves as a sounding board for business owners, executives and human resources professionals and assists them in successfully and efficiently navigating the various employment laws that affect their businesses.  One of the things that drew Laura to PFS is the role the firm plays as outside general counsel to many middle market companies.  PFS’s approach to client service appropriately reflects companies’ universal goal to minimize conflicts in the workplace that often lead to costly litigation.  Laura received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

Rich Mrizek, Trial Attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Chicago District Office.

With the Commission, Richard has litigated discrimination cases concerning race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, and retaliation. Rich has worked on significant class litigation, including, successfully obtaining an $11 million settlement for racial harassment and discrimination claims in EEOC v. Yellow Freight, and a $10 million settlement of racial harassment and discrimination claims in EEOC v. Roadway Express.  Prior to joining the EEOC, Rich worked in the Labor and Employment group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. Rich received a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Rob Schnitz, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Hyatt Hotels

Rob is responsible for overseeing legal support for Global Operations of Hyat Hotels and Resorts including: vendor contracts, human resources and labor relations, marketing, intellectual property, IT, consumer affairs, internal investigations and government affairs. Rob formerly was a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP in Irvine, California where he practiced labor and employment law representing management. Rob also teaches Hospitality Law & Ethics at DePaul University in Chicago, and has been a Board Member for the National Domestic Violence Hotline since 2014.  He graduated from Northwestern University (B.A., 1984) and received his legal education at Loyola University of Chicago (J.D., 1988).  Rob is admitted to the State Bar of Illinois (House Counsel), the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Georgia.

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The Employee Relations Interest Group is sponsored by



This program is pending approval for 1.5 credit hours towards PHR/SPHR/SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) as well as 1.5 professional development credits (PDC's) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification.