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AEIS 2017: Advanced Employment Issues Symposium

AEIS 2017: Advanced Employment Issues Symposium - November 16-17, 2017

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22nd Advanced Employment Issues Symposium

Register today and save $100. Early Bird Pricing extended to May 1!
Save $200 on each additional attendee.

November 15-17, 2017 | Paris Las Vegas Hotel

CONFERENCE SNAPSHOT: 2017 will be a tumultuous year for American employers as a new presidential administration overhauls the regulatory agenda. Attending AEIS will help prepare you to get ahead of workplace policy updates with a comprehensive overview of breaking legislative changes, strategies to overcome compliance issues, and a networking opportunity unmatched by any other conference on the market. You will leave with the tools you need to limit your company’s liability under federal law and drive future business success.

2017 breakout tracks include the need-to-know updates and insights on the areas of:

  • System Shake-Ups
  • New Reality of Work; and
  • Latest Compliance Conundrums

Find out why the Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS) is one of the most reputable and longstanding employment law conferences in the nation!

Attendees will:

  • Discover how the latest court decisions will impact your policies, including those on hot topics like gender identity and whistleblower claims.
  • Get down in the trenches with practicing attorneys and federal regulators, who will update you on the very latest changes to employment laws and your compliance obligations. What's happening with the ACA or overtime? Our experts will have the answers.
  • Pinpoint the most common stumbling blocks before it's too late, including major pitfalls involving employee screening, drug testing and more!
  • Access proven, practical strategies for overcoming your top challenges, like FMLA abuse and reporting, so you can feel confident as your organization's resident employment law expert.
  • Network with other HR professionals who face the same challenges and can share best practices for implementing compliant and effective policies.

See what your peers are saying:

Your 2017 Speakers

Bob KelleherBob Kelleher
President and Founder 
The Employee Engagement Group

Bob Kelleher is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and consultant and travels the globe sharing his insights on employee engagement, leadership, and workforce trends. He is the author of the best selling book, LOUDER THAN WORDS: 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps That Drive Results, CREATIVESHIP, A Novel for Evolving Leaders, EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT for Dummies, and the recently released I-Engage, Your Personal Engagement Roadmap.

Mr. Kelleher can be seen or heard on national media (most recently on CNBC, CBS, NBC News, Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune), and is a frequent guest writer and contributing editor on many national publications.

Mr. Kelleher is also a frequent conference keynote speaker, including talks throughout the US and Canada, as well as talks in China, Japan, Europe, South America, Mexico, and the Middle East.  He has also presented to the leadership teams of many of the world’s top companies including  Lockheed Martin, Cannon, Ceridian, Dana Farber, Cumberland Farms, Gulf, TJX, The Cheesecake Factory, Prudential, Abbott Labs, Fidelity, Dale Carnegie, amongst many others.

Mr. Kelleher is also the founder and president of The Employee Engagement Group, a global survey, products, and consulting firm working with leadership teams to enhance their leadership and employee engagement effectiveness.

Before becoming a speaker, author and entrepreneur, Mr. Kelleher was the Chief Human Capital Officer for AECOM, a Fortune 500 global professional services firm, with 45,000 employees located in 450 offices throughout the world, and CHRO and COO for ENSR, a 3,000 employee global consulting firm, and now a subsidiary of AECOM.  During his years at AECOM and ENSR, both designed and spearheaded award winning engagement and leadership initiatives.

If you are interested in speaking at the 2017 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium, please contact Laura Scott,

Your 2017 Agenda


Choose from 2 Morning Workshops:
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Recordkeeping Audits: Best Practices for Paper and E-Storage, Meeting Mandatory Notice, Posting, and Policy Drafting Requirements, and More 
Recordkeeping—in both paper and electronic formats—is something HR professionals should continuously address, as each year brings about new and updated requirements that add to the already existing laundry list of records you must retain under federal law. And, recordkeeping is just one piece of the compliance pie. You’ve also got to ensure that you’re up to date on mandatory workplace postings and are distributing written notices to employees as required by state and federal law. On top of that, you’ve got to ensure that you have policies in place to keep up with new legislative requirements. 

This pre-conference comprehensive workshop is your one-stop shop for all things related to employment recordkeeping, mandatory posting and written notice requirements, and policy drafting tips in light of new and existing federal requirements.

You’ll learn:

  • Key recordkeeping changes and additions you’ll need to make for the coming year based on recently enacted and pending legislation
  • Best practices for digital recordkeeping and what you must still keep in paper format—and how long you need to maintain records under federal law
  • Mandatory notices you must post for your workforce, including recommendations on where to display them
  • Mandatory written notices and forms that must be distributed to new hires and additional notices that must be provided in writing when certain events occur such as upon termination or changes in rate of pay.
  • Examples of state wage and hour recordkeeping requirements you also need to consider
  • Tips on how to draft essential policies, such as a written discrimination and harassment policy 

‘The Uber Effect’: How to Conduct Wage and Hour Audits to Determine Proper Classification of Contractors and Employees
Nowadays, full- and part-time employees aren’t the only types of workers. The “Uber” model of doing business has thrust independent contractors, dependent contractors, and freelancers into the legal spotlight. The ride-share service has asked a federal court to approve a $100 million settlement of class action lawsuits filed in California and Massachusetts by Uber drivers claiming they were employees. But, in Florida, a court ruled that Uber’s drivers were contractors not employees. The fact is whether workers are contractors or employees isn’t always cut and dried. And, given that the various federal and state court’s differ on what makes a “gig” worker an employee entitled to FLSA protections, now is prime time for an intensive workshop to examine: 

  • The many factors you should consider for determining whether a worker should be classified as a contractor or your employee
  • The general difference between independent and general contractors
  • How to tell which multi-factor tests your company should use based on where you’re located and, importantly, where your employees are located
  • The process for conducting an effective audit to determine independent and dependent contractor misclassifications under the FLSA
  • The records and other information that should be considered when evaluating whether your company is at risk for costly lawsuits, DOL or IRS investigations, and subsequent penalties as a result of employment classifications 
  • The latest court rulings on joint employment—and the likelihood that your organization could have legal liability if you use freelance workers supplied through a temporary or staffing agency

Choose from 2 Afternoon Workshops:
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Avoiding Hiring Landmines: Navigating Pre-Employment Inquiries, Background Checks, Drug Testing, I-9s, and Other Legal Tripwires
Hiring touches many types of employment practices and policies—from pre-employment line of questioning on applications and during interviews to background checks and post-offer drug testing to employment verification procedures for meeting I-9 requirements. If any of these policies and practices are out of whack, your company could face substantial risks for discrimination claims under a number of federal laws, such asTitle VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This intensive workshop is broken into distinct sections, addressing: 

  • Questions you are legally permitted to ask on applications and during interviews, and which ones to steer clear of so you don’t spark discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADEA, the ADA, and other federal laws
  • The latest guidance from the EEOC and the courts on how to conduct legal background checks
  • When a background check or associated waiver may violate the FCRA
  • Steps for legally mastering pre-employment drug screenings
  • Best practices for making job offers conditional on successfully passing a drug test
  • The analysis for determining the impact a positive drug test for marijuana or other drug usage should have on hiring decisions 
  • I-9 employment verification do’s and don’ts for minimizing legal risks of national origin- and citizenship-based discrimination 

Workplace Investigations: Your Action Plan for Probing Complaints, Interviewing Witnesses, Reaching Reasoned Conclusions, and Taking  Action

HR is legally required to thoroughly investigate every complaint of unlawful or potentially unlawful conduct that crosses your desk, even when it seems without merit. You want to investigate in a timely manner and limit your liability for keeping a guilty party on the payroll. If you act too quickly, though, you run the risk of cutting some key corners. The secret to conducting a successful inquiry is to get your complete investigation plan in place before the complaint ever hits your desk—because as you well know, in HR it’s never a question of if, but when. This pre-conference workshop will bring you up to speed on how to conduct efficient, effective, legally compliant workplace investigations.

You’ll learn:

  • What to do first when an employee comes to you with a complaint or allegation
  • How to handle those common requests for “complete confidentiality” and “I don’t want you to do anything about this, but …”
  • How to separate a complainant and the alleged wrongdoer without inviting retaliation claims (from either side)
  • Interviewing tips to help you get to the truth
  • Strategies for resolving those “he said, she said” situations
  • What you should and shouldn’t do before the investigation is concluded
  • When you should consider bringing in an outside investigator
  • What to do after the investigation is over to minimize your legal risks under federal laws


7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Hot Topic Power Talks

8:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.

AEIS 2017 kicks off with Hot Topic Power Talks delivering insightful and sophisticated commentary on some of the most interesting workforce challenges facing employers in 2017 and beyond.

  • Trump Era Game-Changers: Snapshot of Which Employment Laws Will be Killed and Which Will Survive the New Administration
    8:00 – 8:20 a.m.
    President Trump’s picks to head the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Department of Labor (DOL) signal a sea change in how federal regulators are likely to approach to oversight of labor and employment policies and practices. But, which Obama-era regulations have withstood the “changing of the regulatory guards” in Washington, D.C.? And, which have already fallen or are about to fall under the new Administration’s oversight? AEIS 2017 kicks off with a fresh look at how the post-election shift in the federal regulatory landscape will affect your business for the coming year.

  • Redefining ‘He’ and ‘She’: How MIllennials Are Reshaping ‘Gender Norms’ and the Shift’s Impact on HR Policy Development 
    8:25 – 8:45 a.m.
    According to a GLAAD survey Harris Poll conducted, one-fifth of millennials said they identified as something other than “straight” or as having a personal identify and gender that’s connected to his or her sex at birth, a recentcover story by Time explained. There’s a strong possibility that a cultural shift in how gender is perceived is happening. What impact does this change have on HR policy development for the future? This talk will shed light on this issue.

  • The Future of Work: How to Keep Up with the Changing Business Ecosystem
    8:50- 9:10 a.m.
    The automation of essential job functions, the gig economy, no more performance appraisals, upskilling—the list of new workforce disruptions goes on and on. As a result, the so-called “Future of Work” is a topic that continues to garner attention. This inspiring talk will focus on how the workplace is changing, whether it’s for the better, and the legal risks those changes could present for employers nationwide.


9:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

H1-Bs: Business Growth Strategies for Hiring and Developing Global Talent
In a new poll, more than half of the companies Harris Poll surveyed said they intend to hire more foreign workers, Forbes reported recently. That’s an increase of more than 20 percent over 2016 levels, the news outlet noted. At a time when political debate about tightening U.S. borders is rampant, new federal legislation has been introduced to double the minimum salary of H1-B visa holders to $130,000, and the suspension of a fast-track process for H-1B worker visas, HR leaders in industries most likely affected, including tech, financial services, health care, and academia, need to think about how they’re going to balance the business needs of hiring and developing global talent amid a potentially shrinking pool of options to legally secure foreigners to enter the workforce in the United States.

This session will cover:

  • The impact the U.S.-based immigration system may have on hiring and retention strategies of the future  
  • How the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017, proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California—and similar proposals likely to be rolled out—would revamp the H-1B visa program, and the practical impact this or similarly introduced legislation could have on business growth strategies for U.S.-based employers
  • The potential costs and benefits of hiring global talent vs. American workers (and vice versa) 
  • How to evaluate whether hiring foreign nationals will be important to your company’s talent acquisition strategy for the short-term and the long haul 
  • Why moving some business operations to Canada may make sense, given  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to “open” borders

Is Your TV Watching You? Cybersecurity Protection from the Internet of Things
The expanding network of consumer-driven technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows devices, buildings, vehicles, and other physical objects equipped with software and connectivity capabilities to work together to collect and share data, is creating greater risk for companies. An AT&T survey revealed that close to 60 percent of businesses polled reported a lack of confidence in connected-device security. And, according to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Digest compromised cybersecurity is becoming more complex and can affect every department within a business. As connectivity grows, so should questions about how organizations can identify threats and guard against vulnerabilities that could lead to legal risks related to privacy, encryption, and data breaches. The IoT Cybersecurity Alliance, a new group including representatives from AT&T, IBM, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, and Trustonic, is currently exploring how to manage this growing concern. Consider, too, that WikiLeaks has said the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) hacking abilities allow it to tap into smartphones, smart TVs, and other every day gadgets. If the CIA can do it, who else can? This session will focus on what cybersecurity thought leaders are doing to assist companies with protecting their cyber assets amid the IoT superhighway.

You’ll learn:

  • Recommended multi-layer approaches for minimizing IoT-related data security risks 
  • Why businesses struggle to lock down end-point security and what legally can be done about it 
  • Common ways security issues may arise as a result of data/application, cloud, and connectivity layers
  • The latest types of threat analytics being used to evaluate IoT security 
  • Strategies for developing a legal, “bottom up” approach to device- or node-based security 
  • How to evaluate how much “control” you really have over a device
  • How penetration-test and threat-modeling exercises work for engaging in proactive cybersecurity testing 
  • Best practices for working with IT to develop and implement policies and employee training on how security vulnerabilities arise


Absence Management in the Compliance ‘Bermuda Triangle’: FMLA’s Intersection with Disability Accommodation, Workers’ Compensation, and Paid Time Off
What are the top leave administration and tracking challenges related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Chances are if you ask the most seasoned HR professionals that question they’ll point to the intersecting and overlapping compliance obligations under FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other laws, such as paid sick and family leave laws, which, to date, have been enacted in five states and many cities across the country. This session will provide a comprehensive look into how to conquer the most confusing leave-related conundrums under leave-protection laws. You’ll get legal insight into leave and benefit traps employers of all sizes need to avoid so you can develop sound administrative procedures that withstand scrutiny if called into question by regulators, a judge, or a jury.

This session will cover:

  • How to manage leave administration when an employee is “covered” simultaneously under FMLA, the ADA, and potentially under paid sick and family leave laws
  • Leave-tracking strategies to accurately and effectively manager your compliance obligations 
  • Examples of how state disability insurance (SDI) and paid family leave (PFL) may interact with FMLA requirements

Networking & Refreshments Break
10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.

10:55 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana: How to Navigate a Shifting Legal Landscape and Enforcement Gray Areas Concerning Employee Pot Use 
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but to date 28 states have passed legislation giving medical marijuana usage the green light. Also, in eight states and the District of Columbia recreational use of marijuana is now legal. Several states have enacted laws making the possession of small amounts of the drug a civil, not criminal, offense. How does the evolving legal landscape concerning medical and recreational marijuana affect employment policies on drug testing and off-duty conduct? This session will explore:

  • Where pot is legal—and under what conditions—and where legislation is pending to legalize marijuana 
  • What Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration are likely to do to enforce federal drug laws like the Controlled Substances Act, which lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug along with heroin, LSD, and other potent drugs  
  • The lattice of laws that come into play when marijuana is used for medical purposes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Medical marijuana as a reasonable ADA accommodation 
  • Scenarios illustrating employer-prohibited conduct concerning employees’ medical marijuana usage under states’ “compassionate use” laws 
  • When blanket zero-tolerance policies should be followed 
  • Best practices for federal contractors to follow with respect to drug testing and usage to ensure they don’t lose federal funding  
  • How to clearly and succinctly lay out conduct-based expectations in the employee handbook 

Coaching, Employee Performance, and Discipline: Maintaining Legally Defensible Documentation in the Absence of Traditional Appraisals
Millennials, now the largest segment of the U.S. workforce, crave real-time feedback and coaching. This could be a reason why more than one-third of U.S. companies have replaced traditional annual performance reviews. Companies like Adobe, Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte, Dell, and General Electric have opted for informal, regular check-ins between employees and their managers. But, what impact does the replacement of traditional performance reviews with real-time feedback have on best practices for ensuring you’ve got proper documentation in place to back up employment decisions concerning discipline, demotions, promotions, and discharge? This session will cover:

  • How to strike a balance—so you keep proper documentation of employment-based decisions in place even if you opt to increase the frequency of performance discussions and eliminate ratings altogether
  • Strategies for training supervisors and managers to continue to document performance-based issues as necessary even if they aren’t completing annual reviews anymore
  • And much more! 

Obamacare Unwrapped: Health Care Compliance Obligations and Design/Cost Considerations for HSAs and HRAs in the Post-ACA World
House Republicans have wrestled with plans to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But, how close will lawmakers come to killing the ACA altogether? Regardless of whether the debate resumes again over coverage for pre-existing conditions, repeal of the Cadillac tax, and tax break caps on employer-provided health insurance, businesses will have to comply with whatever law remains. At the same time, organizations will need to balance those compliance obligations against the need to secure cost-effective health insurance coverage that meets employees’ needs and doesn’t break the employer’s bank. According to a 2017 Medical Plan Trends and Observation Report, which analyzed how nearly 1,000 employee benefits operated from the perspective of plan design, care options, and cost savings, close to 70 percent of the respondents said they offered health savings accounts (HSAs) but only 15 percent had an employer-funded health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) structure in place. This session will provide a comprehensive, timely overview of current legal obligations and design and cost considerations for HSAs and HRAs as ACA mandates are loosened and new incentive structures emerge. 

You’ll learn:

  • The latest on where the push to dismantle Obamacare stands 
  • The impact on ACA-related compliance and reporting obligations 
  • The types of questions business leaders should be asking as repeal and replacement measures are considered 
  • The expanding role of consumer-based health plans, and how HSAs may help control employers’ health care costs 
  • Likely changes to financial limits, distribution restrictions, and other compliance requirements concerning HSAs and other medical accounts 
  • Innovative strategies for using HSAs to achieve more savings through high-deductible health plans 
  • How wellness programs can help offset costs, the legal risks of administering them, and what to watch out for when offering incentives

Lunch, Networking & Exhibits
12:10 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

1:20 p.m. - 2:35 p.m.

Robots at Work: Preparing for the Rise of Automation and the Evolving Human Capital Experience
Research firm Forrester predicts that by 2025, robots, automatic, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will replace 7 percent of jobs nationwide, leading to the “rapid” disruption of administrative roles, such as customer service representatives and office staff. But, the emerging “cognitive era” will spark job growth for data scientists, automation specialists, and content curators, Forrester’s report, The Future Of White-Collar Work: Sharing Your Cubicle With Robots, concluded. Management consulting firm McKinsey released a 2017 report, A Future that Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity, that indicates workers across 800 jobs, performing 2,200 work activities collectively, are paid an estimated $16 trillion in wages. While less than 5 percent of all jobs could be completely automated, around  60 percent of jobs could have around one-third of “constituent activities automated,” McKinsey noted. This means occupations will change. It’s important for HR leaders to prepare for the impact automation will have on the workplace. 

This session will cover:

  • Which activities are most susceptible to automation
  • How automation can help improve data collection and processing to make better decisions related to human capital 
  • Technological, economic, and social factors that will impact the pace at which automation takes hold in the U.S. job market 
  • The benefits of incorporating cognitive solutions into roles to adapt to changing workforce needs
  • Examples of how automation will impact talent acquisition and job descriptions 
  • The training and re-training challenges that will need to be addressed in the transformative workplace 

Combatting Talent Shortages: Flexible Staffing Models for Meeting Ongoing Challenges and Staying FLSA-Compliant
According to Gallup, over 20 percent of millennials reported changing jobs within the year they were polled. Millennial turnover adds up to $30.5 billion in business costs each year, Gallup says.  Whether your talent shortage is due to job-hopping millennials, baby boomers’ retirement, or a shortage of foreign skilled workers coming into the country under immigration policy, it’s clear that business leaders need successful strategies for addressing talent shortages so they’re equipped to manage evolving, competitive business demands. Flexible staffing models focused on recruiting and hiring contingent labor may be a viable solution for meeting this ongoing need. But, at what cost? And, what about investments in upskilling as a means for addressing talent shortages? Many companies have already started turning to training and development to upskill employees to fill talent gaps. For instance, Wal-Mart and other Fortune 500 companies, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, and CVS Health, as well as small- and mid-size businesses are among the companies that invest over $600 billion a year in the education, training and development of their workforce in the hopes of seeing greater returns on their human capital investments. Also, predictive scheduling should be on employers’ radar. Legislation is being enacted across the country that impacts how companies treat shift workers. Where does predictive scheduling fit into staffing and retention strategies? This session will examine:

This session will examine:

  • The latest strategies for filling the talent gap
  • The long-term impact hiring contingent labor and upskilling may have on turnover and employee replacement costs
  • How to evaluate your organization’s business needs against your current workforce’s skills to determine where talent shortages are most likely to occur within your company 
  • Legal and economic obligations under federal laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, of recruiting and hiring contingent workers, such as dependent contractors, temporary workers, or other “gig” workers to manage talent shortages 
  • Examples of training and educational endeavors that can propel employees’ upward career mobility and keep talent shortages at bay
  • The business impact of predictive scheduling and the positive impact it can have on employees’ quality of life


Form I-9 and National Origin/Citizenship-Based Discrimination: How to Minimize Legal Risks in Recruiting Employment Verification and Re-verficiation, and Avoid ICE Penalties
Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents have conducted “routine” raids to enforce President Trump’s order to crack down on the estimated 11 million individuals who are illegally in the United States. High-profile raids of workplaces and residences occurred in metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, The Dallas Morning News reported recently. Given ICE’s crackdown, now is a good time to self-audit your organization’s process for collecting employment verification, re-verification, and eligibility documentation and completing and storing Form I-9s. ICE’s I-9 audit goal is expected to jump 20 percent from 1,000 to 3,000 investigations for the current fiscal year. Consider, too, that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, as well as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), may review I-9s in the course of their investigations. It’s also a good time to evaluate whether any of your organization’s recruitment and hiring practices could spark discrimination claims based on citizenship or national origin. This session will focus on avoiding violations under Title VII and recommend strategies for self-auditing your practices for managing Form I-9s to avoid hefty ICE penalties and potential legal claims. 

You’ll learn:

  • What to look for when reviewing the new Smart Form I-9, which took effect January 22, 2017, and versions past to ensure they were properly completed 
  • Examples of national origin or citizenship-based discrimination that may arise during the internal review of Forms I-9 
  • Best practices for informing employees about the internal Form I-9 audit, including the scope of what to cover 
  • Form I-9 error and omission correction procedures for Sections 1, 2, and 3—and who should only correct Section 1 and who should handle Sections 2 and 3 
  • What to do if you discover that you never completed Forms I-9 on file for an employee or group of workers 
  • Examples of documentation identifying errors or omissions and indicating corrective action taken to bring your Forms I-9 into compliance 
  • What not to do with an eraser or whiteout—and the recommended way to display changes made to the Form I-9 
  • How to tell if the Form I-9 on file is acceptable under applicable rules and whether supplied Section 2 documentation is sufficient if it’s not on the list of acceptable documents under the current Form I-9 
  • What to do if you think Form I-9 documentation isn’t genuine or legitimate—and what you can’t do under the law 
  • How to handle a situation where you determine that a worker doesn’t have the documentation to prove he or she is authorized to work in the United States

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibits Break
2:35 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

2:55 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Ideological Shift in Labor and Employment Oversight: The Business Impact of Trump’s EEOC, DOL, NLRB, and SCOTUS Priorities 
An ideological shift for federal regulatory oversight is happening in Washington, D.C. On the day he took office, President Donald Trump signed a “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memo, directing all federal agencies to temporarily postpone implementation of regulations published in the Federal Register that had not yet taken effect. The White House has also said that for every new regulation a federal agency enacts, it should cut two. Recently, Victoria Lipnic and Philip Miscimarra were named acting chairs of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), respectively. On the judicial front, what will the practical impact be of Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation as the justice to replace conservative jurist the late Antonin Scalia? What impact will Trump-era appointees have on regulatory and policy development impacting the workplace? This session will cover: 

  • The business impact of enforcement priority shifts at the Department of Labor,, NLRB, and EEOC
  • What’s “out” and “in” concerning controversial regulations on EEO-1 pay data reporting pay data and other issues following the transition away from a Democrat-controlled EEOC 
  • How a conservative, constitutionalist-centric Supreme Court majority could impact the outcome of labor and employment cases shaping the future workplace practices and policies 
  • The likely fate of “micro” organizing units under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the NLRB’s decisions in Browning-Ferris Industries on joint employer liability for labor violations, D.R. Horton on waivers in employer agreements, and other controversial cases that expanded workers’ NLRA protections 
  • And more

Who’s Driving Your Staffing Bus—HR or Procurement? How to Develop a Winning Strategy for Contingent Labor Management 
Who’s managing your contingent workforce—HR or procurement? While HR generally “owns” the permanent employee domain, contingent labor traditionally has fallen on procurement’s turf. But, to ensure success with today’s evolving workforce, HR needs to take a more active role in managing the entire workforce, from full- and part-timers to onsite temps and other contingent labor. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever for HR and procurement to have a meaningful, ongoing, and strategic dialogue to lower risks, increase your ability to source top talent, and keep costs down. This session will explore:

  • The types of employment process and tracking systems HR should be using to best define talent and capabilities
  • What procurement can do for HR to become more of a strategic business partner—not just the manager of pricing and contract negotiations 
  • How to strengthen talent acquisition processes to meet changing business needs  


‘Red Pencil/Blue Pencil’ Rulings: Evaluating Restrictiveness in Employment Agreements Designed to Protect Trade Secrets and Guard Against Unfair Competition
Non-competition agreements are governed by state law, and state law isn’t always on the employer’s side when it comes to enforcing restrictive covenants to prevent departing employees from competing or sharing. State courts may take the position that the entire agreement should be red-penciled, meaning, thrown out altogether. Other courts subscribe to the notion that by “blue penciling” an agreement, only overreaching provisions can be struck—leaving the remaining provisions enforceable as the employer intended. This session will provide:

  • An overview of recent ‘red/blue pencil’ rulings illustrating when non-competition agreements could come under heavy legal scrutiny
  • The impact the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has on employers
  • The type of evidence that could prove trade secret violations under the DTSA
  • Whether continued employment remains sufficient consideration to validate a non-competition agreement
  • And more

General Session: Can Your Organizational Culture Scale?
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Do you consider your company innovative? Is your business growing? Do you hire for candidates’ anticipated behavioral contributors rather than their “cultural fit”? These are the types of questions HR leaders and company executives need to address to ensure that their culture is scalable and aligned with the organization’s core values. Take technology powerhouse Facebook for example—One of the reasons Facebook has been able to quickly and successfully scale rests in the defined values it seeks in candidates and cultivates in employees, and evaluating the impact employees’ contributions have on the company’s core mission. Day 1 of AEIS 2017 closes by examining how to instill a healthy corporate culture that scales for maximum business growth.


7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

BLR Solution Demo: and
7:15 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.
Join BLR's sales team for a dynamic demonstration showcasing the power of BLR's resources. You won't want to miss this high-energy talk where we'll announce the conference raffle winner. You must be present to win, so we hope you can join us!

7:55 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Opening Keynote: The 10 Steps of Employee Engagement to DRIVE Results!
8:00 a.m. –  9:00 a.m.
Presented by Bob Kelleher, The Employee Engagement Group
According to Gallup, in 2017, a staggering 67% of employee are still disengaged. Join acclaimed author, speaker, and thought leader Bob Kelleher as he outlines the 10 key steps for building and sustaining an engaged culture to combat the disengagement reality. These 10 essential steps of engagement have been culled from years of experience working as an award-winning internal practitioner who led engagement initiatives that transformed corporate cultures. He will share specific best practices, case studies, and ideas from his best seller, Louder Than Words, 10 Practical Engagement Steps, and his newly released book, I-Engage, Your Personal Engagement Roadmap.

You’ll learn:

  • The importance of trust and empathy in the workplace
  • Why one’s direct line manager is the #1 driver of engagement and disengagement
  • The importance of a robust communication culture—the “cornerstone of engagement”
  • Why you need to engage the whole person, and not just the employee
  • Why you might have a hiring problem and not an engagement problem

Breakout Sessions
9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.

Federal Contractors—What Now? Navigating Post-Obama, Trump Era Enforcement of Executive Order Mandates and OFCCP Compliance Requirements
President Barack Obama issued several high-impact executive orders giving the Office of Federal Contract CompliancePrograms (OFCCP) broad authority to keep tabs on federal contractors. Then, came President Trump. He, along with the Republican-controlled Congress are working to eliminate what they consider to be the “job-killing” regulations issued by the Obama Administration. This means the fate of the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule, the OFCCP’s “blacklisting” rule, and the revised EEO-1 report are in jeopardy. But, what’s the practical impact the current administration’s focus on reducing regulations will have on federal contractors? This session will explain:

  • How the priorities of the new Department of Labor secretary, OFCCP director, and EEOC chair will impact federal contractors for the coming year
  • What’s out, what’s staying in place—at least for the time being—out of the Obama-era executive orders covering federal contractors  
  • Why federal contractors should not let their compliance guard down, and biggest threats concerning OFCCP Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) audits
  • How to meet data requests to avoid “denial of access” lawsuits 
  • Practical solutions for protecting your organization from costly legal liabilities stemming from equal pay or other discrimination claims


Artificial Intelligence: Balancing the Algorithmic Benefits, Legal Risks and Privacy Rights Concerning Cognitive Analytics
There’s nothing fake about the powerful ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) can help business leaders predict, plan, and adapt to meet organizational needs. HR plays an important role in evaluating the ways in which AI can be used for candidate screening, engagement, onboarding, learning and development, and HR compliance. But, as the use of AI grows, important questions emerge on how legal risks are impacted through the use of cognitive analytics. Technology researcher Gartner predicts that by 2018, half of business ethic violations will stem from improperly using big data analytics. How will such violations emerge? And, what should businesses do to minimize their legal risks?  You’re likely already using AI, so now’s the time to make sense of the broad legal and practical implications of such usage. This session will address these questions and more. You’ll learn:

  • Examples of AI at work in HR systems to assist with researching business intelligence, monitoring performance benchmarks, and tracking activities  
  • Trend-spotting and pattern recognition benefits of AI, and how these can be used to make well-reasoned business decisions 
  • How AI can used to make well-reasoned business decisions
  • Data storage protocols for minimizing legal risks stemming from breaches impacting data security and privacy 
  • How to structure organizational data and analytics governance committees responsible for balancing opportunities stemming from the use of AI and the risks of using data analytics 
  • The business objectives prescriptive analytics can achieve, and examples of models that work

Invisible Disabilities: What’s Protected Now, What Isn’t, and How to Provide ADA-Compliance Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers physical and mental impairments that substantially limit employees from performing major life activities. But, it’s an ongoing challenge for HR that not all disabilities are readily apparent. Mental health-related issues, such as those stemming from bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other conditions recognized under the DSM-5, as well as intellectual or cognitive impairments resulting from autism and other conditions, may be invisible. Also, employers often have questions about whether alcoholism or drug abuse may result in protections under the ADA. This session will take a deep dive into:

  • The types of protections employees with “invisible disabilities” may be entitled to under ADA
  • Functional limitations employees with invisible, including psychological and cognitive impairments may experience and how to tell if such impairments would impact the ability to perform essential job functions 
  • Workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment for a mental health-related condition, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or PTSD
  • When such accommodations would likely be or not be deemed undue hardships based on federal case law
  • How to manage day-to-day productivity and communication when someone is tardy or absent frequently, gets into interpersonal conflicts, has trouble concentrating or following direction without legal missteps under federal leave and disability laws  
  • How to deal with concerns that a medication an employee is prescribed to treat a mental health-related condition could pose workplace safety risks 
  • How to manage GINA and HIPAA-related compliance obligations when communicating with supervisors and coworkers about an employee’s medical condition or accommodation
  • Best practices for dealing with employees struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol

Networking & Refreshments Break
10:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Breakout Sessions  
10:40 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

#ProtectingInformationSystems: When Policies Outlining Social Media and Email Ownership and Usage Are Likely to Hold Up under Federal Law—and When They Aren’t 
Earlier this year, a writer for Saturday Night Live was suspended indefinitely for a tweet she posted about President Donald Trump’s young son. When a media firestorm ensued, she promptly took it down and apologized. When an employee posts something inappropriate online or sends an email, it may be too late to un-do the reputational or other harm it’s caused. But, that doesn’t mean you should relax your expectations about how employees use your email and social media accounts to communicate.  How far can you legally go, though, to monitor and restrict the ways in which employees are using information systems like email. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others? It’s important for company leaders to know the legal strategies for protecting social media and email accounts and how to enforce policies designed to protect the company’s interests without legally misstepping under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) or other federal laws. During this session, you’ll learn: 

  • What you may control concerning your information systems, and where the legal line is
  • The NLRB’s current position on Purple Communications Inc., a ruling giving workers authority to use a company-owned email system to communicate off hours about protected activities under the NLRA 
  • The latest strategies for managing your email and social media usage policies to protect your company’s interests and minimize the risk of legal liabilities 
  • Recommendations on who should and shouldn’t be granted access to tweet, post, and share information via social media on behalf of your organization and why 
  • What to do if an employee “goes rogue” and posts something that could harm your business’s reputation or spark legal liability for the organization 
  • Who owns what related to social media and email accounts—and the steps to take to preserve your company’s ownership as needed 
  • When “advertisements” or “endorsements” on social media might spark legal and ethical concerns  
  • How post-employment social media posts might spark non-competition violations 
  • Best practices for ensuring the smooth and effective transition of “power” when a worker with certain information system permissions leaves the company


Paid Leave in 2017 and Beyond: Strategies for Managing Emerging Compliance Obligations
Right now, five states have paid/earned sick leave laws on their books—with three more taking effect this year or in 2018.  Many cities also have enacted paid leave ordinances. Large companies like Amazon, Adobe, and Spotify offer paid parental or sick leave—with as much as six months off at Spotify. Netflix takes its paid leave policy a step further, giving new parents as much time off as they need in the first year following the birth of a child. And, recently, Facebook upped the ante even more, providing its employees with up to 20 days of bereavement leave—that’s on top of six weeks of paid leave to care for sick relatives. But, even if your state, county, or city doesn’t yet require you to offer paid leave, the tide is shifting in favor of offering paid sick and family leave benefits to employees. Addressing a joint session of Congress in February, President Trump pledged that his administration will work toward ensuring that new parents have paid family leave. Time will tell whether and when a federal paid leave mandate for private employers will take effect, but the issue of paid family leave raises important issues for HR leaders. This session will cover:

  • Updates on paid sick and family leave laws nationwide and how employers operating across state lines should amend policies to ensure seamless paid time off (PTO) administration 
  • How recent developments related to paid leave affect your daily operations and workplace policies
  • Best practices for administering PTO—from accurately accounting for partial day absences to instituting vacation time caps 
  • Benefits and potential drawbacks of open leave policies 
  • How to evaluate the pros and cons of offering paid leave if it’s not mandated by law

Culture Club:  The Link Between Workplace Culture and Workplace Harassment Claims
Sexual harassment. Racial discrimination. Hostile work environment.When the workplace culture perpetuates these types of unlawful activities under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or other laws, employers are at extreme risk of costly lawsuits—not to mention irreparable damage to the company’s reputation and brand, employee morale, and other negative consequences. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), between FY 2012 and 2015, the number of private-sector charges including harassment claims rose, accounting for more than 30 percent of all charges filed. This session will examine:

  • Recent cases illustrating the ways in which aggressive business practices may foster a culture that breeds harassment claims that violate federal employment law 
  • Findings from the EEOC’s recent Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace
  • The EEOC’s proposed guidance, released in January 2017, on what employers need to do to proactively eliminate harassment in the workplace 
  • How to evaluate whether company leaders’ messages and tone aligns with your efforts to maintain a harassment-free culture
  • And more

Proceed immediately to the Ballroom for the AEIS 2017 wrap-up panel Q&A and raffle drawing!

Expert Q&A Panel: Your Employment Law Questions Answered
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Our skilled panel of employment attorneys is ready to address your specific concerns before you head home to implement the compliance best practices and strategic insights you’ve learned at AEIS 2017!

Grand prize drawing/wrap up
12:30 p.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Conference adjourns

*Agenda Subject to Change

Your 2017 Location

Paris Las Vegas - November 15-17, 2017

Paris Las VegasJoin us back in Las Vegas for the all-new multi-track program with practical guidance for overcoming the latest management challenges. In just three days, you’ll learn how to protect your organization from lawsuits and penalties and how to create effective, legally sound workplace policies.

Experience everything you love about Paris, right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. At Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, you are transported to the City of Lights with all the same passion, excitement, and ambiance of Europe’s most romantic city, with all the sizzle of the entertainment capital of the world.

Room Rate: $169, plus $26 daily resort fee 
Resort Fee Includes:

• Unlimited local phone calls (no long distance or international calls)
• Two (2) Guest admissions per day to the Fitness Center (does not include use of the spa)
• In-Room Internet access to include two (2) device per room per day (Property-wide and inter-property roaming available at that property for an additional fee.)  

Call 877-603-4389
Reservation cut-off date: Saturday, October 14, 2017   

2017 Sponsors

Interested in sponsoring a BLR event? Contact Paul Manko, 860-510-0100, ext. 2223 or email