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2019 Legal Update Presenters
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Suzanne Bach

What to Expect from a DOL Investigation

Suzanne Bach, JD CEBS
Regional Director of Compliance - ERISA Attorney, USI Insurance Services

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is the primary enforcement agency overseeing group health plan compliance with federal law. As the former EBSA Acting Chief of the Health Investigations Division, Ms. Bach will discuss the structure of EBSA, how the Agency picks and evaluates plans and common strategies the Agency uses to find and correct problems. The discussion will also include an in-depth look at the EBSA’s enforcement efforts surrounding the Mental Health Parity rules.

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Victor Cardwell

Thomas Winn

2019 Employment Law Update: What You Need to Know

Victor Cardwell
Principal and Chair, Labor and Employment Practice
Woods Rogers

Tom Winn

Woods Rogers

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Michael McIntosh

That’s Not My Employee! (Or Is It?)

Michael McIntosh


As the U.S. economy evolves, so do organizations’ relationships with those who perform work for them. With the explosion of the “gig economy,” and the continuing proliferation of the use of independent contractors, organizations are more and more frequently looking to nontraditional relationships to solve their workforce needs. But while organizations and workers often embrace the flexibility and freedom associated with such relationships, they can also create legal uncertainty. Organizations often struggle determining when individuals can be treated as independent contractors. And joint employer liability is governed by increasingly varied - and sometimes uncertain - tests under various federal and state statutes and regulatory schemes. In this session, we will discuss the expansion of these working relationships, the latest in the evolving legal standards concerning independent contractor and joint employer statuses, as well as approaches to mitigating the related risks of liability.


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Karen Michael

Taming the Workplace Bully

Karen Michael
PLC, Employment Law, Training & Consulting


A bully is a personality trait and leadership style unto itself. And because a bully can often convince his or her workplace target that complaining about the bully would result in dire consequences, a targeted employee will typically quit before reporting the bullying behavior. In addition, there are no federal or state laws that prohibit workplace bullying in the public and private sector. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), workplace bullying is four times more prevalent than unlawful harassment. A WBI survey revealed that 53.5 million people have experience bullying at work. Although the survey also shows that 62% of workplace bullies are men, the “textbook bully” is a woman between the ages of 40 and 60. In this session, Karen Michael will provide effective strategies employers can use to investigate complaints of workplace bullying, signs that an employee is being bullied, as well as strategies to use when conducting an investigation.

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John Bredehoft

Randy Sparks

Symbolism in the Workplace: A New Way to Discriminate?


John M. Bredehoft
Employment Law and Consumer Finance Practice Groups
Kaufman & Canoles

Randy C. Sparks, Jr.
Labor and Employment Law Practice Group
Kaufman & Canoles


Emojis, screensavers, clothing, posters, pictures, office decorations … Almost anything can have symbolic meaning, and, in this day and age, there is a heightened awareness for what is appropriate in the workplace when it comes to symbols. This session will get you thinking about the various ways symbols are present in your workplace and highlight how to deal with potentially problematic symbols in the workplace.

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Thomas Colclough


Daron Calhoun

Karen Elliott

The Inside Scoop on the EEOC

Thomas Colclough
Deputy District Director
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Daron Calhoun
Director, Richmond Local Office
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Karen S. Elliott
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC


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Barbara Queen

Can You Avoid Being Sued? Advice from the Plaintiff's Attorney

Barbara Queen
Attorney, LawrenceQueen


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