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Annual Conference

Registration IS OPEN!

Join us for BOLI's 36th Annual Employment Law Conference, coming up on November 5th and 6th (Thurs/Fri). This year's conference will be 100% virtual and COVID-19 safe. The agenda includes eight 45-minute sessions and two 90-minute updates (case law and legislation).

Each session is presented by employment law experts. This year we're excited to host instructors from Littler Mendelson, Bullard Law, Denecke Employment Law, Fisher Phillips, Innova Legal Advisors, ITBOM LLC, Oregon Employment Department, Barran Liebman, Karnopp Petersen, and Reinisch Wilson Weier.

One price for the whole event: $350. Register here.

Can’t make a session? Recordings will be available to attendees shortly after the event.
HRCI, SHRM and CLE recertification credit approval pending. 

Day 1 - Thursday, November 5th 

Case Law Update 2020: What Every Employer Must Know

Session Description

When are COVID-19 and face mask mandates leading to employer exposure?  Is virtual harassment a thing? What lawsuits have been filed over the FFCRA? Please join Anthony, Megan, and Christine for a comprehensive presentation on the latest developments in local, state, and federal case law with a relentless focus on how those rules will impact your business or industry. This program will summarize changes and developments in the law, and how those changes and developments impact employment and human resources issues.  Notable topics in addition to a discussion of recent case law includes protected leave, disability accommodations, telework challenges, and unemployment benefits under the CARES act, and regulatory trends and high-level overviews of trending litigation.  You don’t want to miss it!

Speaker I​​nformation

Anthony Kuchulis is a shareholder at Littler Mendelson and represents employers and management in employment litigation. Anthony also regularly advises on various employment law issues. Foremost in all of his work is understanding his clients and their concerns so that he can quickly address issues and potential exposure, while ensuring that his clients have the information they need to arrive at informed decisions. Anthony has over a decade of trial experience representing employers and businesses with advice and litigation support.  Since the inception of the #MeToo  and Black Lives Matters movements, Anthony has dedicated himself to developing and perfecting the next generation of anti-sexual harassment and anti-bias workplace training modules. Anthony seeks to de-clutter traditional workplace trainings and counsels workers on looking out for situations, people, or conversations that are inappropriate for the workplace. He has presented this new paradigm for workplace trainings for employees and HR professionals around the country to high praise. ​

Megan J. Crowhurst understands that each legal challenge requires a different approach depending on the goals of her clients. She is a passionate advocate, but she recognizes that offering superior legal services is not always about winning every possible argument. The most desired result often requires flexibility and consistent communication to ensure a cost-effective solution to every legal matter that comes across her desk.  Megan has represented corporate clients of all sizes, from multinational corporations to family-owned businesses. She provides practical advice and training to employers on various employee-related issues, including FMLA and ADA compliance; effective discipline and discharge; conducting harassment and workplace investigations; reviewing employment contracts; and policy and handbook development and administration. When needed, she defends employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all types of individual employee and class action labor and employment litigation, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful and retaliatory discharges and wage and hour issues.  Before moving her practice to Oregon, Megan practiced labor and employment law in Chicago.  She was president of the Moot Court Honor Board and editor of the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal during law school. Prior to attending law school, Megan was actively involved in politics and served as a White House staff member during the Clinton Administration.​​

Christine Sargent is an associate at Littler Mendelson.  As an up and coming litigator, Christine defends her clients in civil litigation suits involving discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims.  Her disciplined and competitive work ethic is well-known among her peers.  During law school, Christine externed for the Honorable Stacie Beckerman at the District of Oregon and clerked for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, which required her to be in court every day for arraignments and pre-trial proceedings.  Christine regularly contributes to legal publications such as the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel’s quarterly journal, The Verdict.  Christine also serves in numerous leadership positions in the local bar, including OADC (Defense Victories Editor; Publications Liaison to the Employment Law Practice Group), the Multnomah Bar Association (Co-Chair of Young Lawyers Membership Committee), and the Gus. J. Solomon Inn of Court (Executive Committee member).

Protected Leaves: Compliance Tips for the Harried Administrator

​​Session Description

Tips and traps when administering state and federal leave laws during a pandemic, including the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, Oregon Sick Leave, the Oregon Family Medical Leave Act, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, and leave as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.​

Speaker​​ Information

​Kathryn M. Hindman, Bullard Law PC 

Kathy Hindman's Northwest roots run deep. Her family tree goes back five generations to her great grandfather who traveled west on the Oregon Trail to settle in Baker City and later became its mayor. Like her great grandfather, Kathy has a desire to make a positive impact. Kathy uses her zeal to understand the clients' particular business needs and develop practical solutions. Her focus is on employment-related advice, litigation prevention, and on-site supervisory training.

Kathy specializes in managing leave and reasonable accommodation, wage and hour compliance, and workplace harassment and discrimination. She regularly represents employers who are facing audits and investigations, as well as advising clients in class suit litigation.

Kathy is a frequent speaker in the business community, and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Oregon Super Lawyers and Chambers USA. She is currently a member of the Oregon Employment Department’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) Benefits Workgroup and is the former General Counsel to the Portland Human Resource Management Association Board.

When she's not working or volunteering, Kathy likes to spend time in the outdoors and with her daughter.

Anne E. Denecke, Denecke Employment Law LLC​

A fifth generation Oregonian, Anne is one of five lawyers in her family including her father, Arno H. Denecke, who served as Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.  Growing up, Anne learned how the law impacts individuals and businesses, and that legal compliance is a critical component of all successful businesses.  Anne has been practicing employment law for more than three decades, emphasizing advice and counsel in all areas of management employment law; defense of state and federal agency charges and civil lawsuits involving discrimination, wage and hour, whistle blowing and independent contractor classification; conducting internal harassment and discrimination investigations; and conducting employee training and education.  Anne also advises non-profit organizations in board governance matters.

She established Denecke Employment Law in 2009 following nearly 20 years with Davis Wright Tremaine and Bullard Law (formerly, Bullard, Korshoj, Smith & Jernstedt). 

Anne frequently presents and authors articles on, harassment and retaliation, discipline and discharge, employment policies and handbooks state and federal wage and hour laws, disability/reasonable accommodation, non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, and independent contractor classification.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance

Session Descript​ion

The Employment Department will talk about this new program that will support workers and businesses throughout the state. It will provide paid time off for people dealing with their own serious health condition or that of a family member, to bond with a new child, or to address domestic violence and other issues. PFMLI will also provide grants to some small businesses to help them cover the work while employees are out on this paid leave.  Hear about the program's coverage, benefits, funding, and other important parts of how it will serve Oregonians. Also get an update on where the development and implementation of this new program is and how to stay involved as it continues to develop.

Speaker Infor​​​mation

David Gerstenfeld is the Acting Director of the Oregon Employment Department. Prior to that he was the Division Director for Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance, and prior to that the Division Director for Unemployment Insurance for about eight years.  David worked for several years as a Presiding Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings, conducting hearings on behalf of many different state agencies and overseeing several hearings programs.  David also worked in various capacities at the Bureau of Labor and Industries, involved with the Civil Rights, Wage and Hour and Hearings programs.  Before entering public service, David had a small general practice law firm where he did a significant amount of employment law and represented several small businesses.

Gerhard Taeubel ​As the Acting Director of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Division at the Oregon Employment Department, Gerhard Taeubel leads the team implementing Oregon’s paid family and medical leave insurance program.  Prior to joining the Employment Department, Gerhard worked for many years in various roles in the Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Wage and Hour Division, including serving as the division’s administrator.

Workplace Accommodations During the Pandemic

Session Description

Many of us grow tired of “accommodating" the constant new challenges and changes in 2020. 

But with your employees, now is not the time to throw in the towel or let down your guard.  Handling disability, pregnancy, religious, and other workplace accommodations has never been more complex or important. 

When can fear of COVID-19 trigger disability accommodation rights?  What “failure to accommodate" mistakes are employers making, and what legal developments do they need to know about?  Join us for a lively discussion filled with legal updates, practical tips, and more.​

Speaker​ Information

Kurt Barker, Karnopp Petersen LLP.   A partner at Karnopp Petersen LLP in Bend, Kurt serves as Chair of his firm's Employment Law department.  He is the current Legislative Affairs Chair and a past President of his local SHRM Chapter (the Human Resources Association of Central Oregon) and is a board member of the Oregon Employer Council - Central Oregon.  Before moving to Bend to join Karnopp Petersen in 2008, Kurt practiced employment law at Stoel Rives LLP in Portland.  He has been representing employers in all aspects of the employment relationship for over 19 years, including counseling regarding terminations and medical issues, drafting handbooks and contracts, conducting anti-harassment and other trainings, helping employers avoid claims, and defending them before agencies and in state and federal courts.  Since 2012, peers repeatedly have selected Kurt for listing in Best Lawyers in America for his work in Management-side Employment Law and Labor and Employment Litigation.​​​

The Humanity of 2020: Exploring the Intersection of Anti-Harassment and Equity

Session Descri​​ption

The challenges of 2020 have prompted a shift in the traditional discussion of anti-harassment and non-discrimination. Instead of asking how to comply with various federal, state, and local laws, many are questioning whether mere compliance is enough. What more can employers do to put humanity first in an age of COVID, BLM, and increasingly devastating natural disasters? This session explores the intersection of compliance and equity with an emphasis on recent changes to Oregon laws and how to consciously and comfortably incorporate disability into the equity conversation.

Speaker Information

Emily Purry (she/her/hers), Owner of Purry Consultants
Emily Purry has a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master’s degree in business management and is a certified drug and alcohol counselor. She delivers presentations and training on disability and equity topics relevant to today’s business environment. The purpose of each presentation is to educate companies and organizations about disability, equity, inclusion and access in a positive and productive way. Legally blind herself, and the parent of a child with autism, she brings her personal and professional experiences to help move companies forward. Emily and her husband, Jamison, are raising three biracial children within an extended family that is inclusive of many diverse identities. Topics that Emily specializes in include accessibility, intersectionality, technology and the world of ADA.

Nichole Anglin (she/her/hers), Attorney, Innova Legal Advisors, P.C.
Nichole Anglin is an Attorney with Innova Legal Advisors who advises public and private entities on a variety of employment law matters. She has in-depth knowledge of Oregon’s Pay Equity Act and offers practical solutions to some of the most challenging compliance problems. Prior to becoming an attorney, Nichole worked as a paralegal for the City Attorney’s Offices in the City of Sunnyvale and City of San Jose in California. Nichole graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a minor in International Relations, and earned her Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law. Nichole is a member of the State of Oregon Bar.

Heidi Mason, SHRM-CP, PHR (she/her/hers), Attorney, Innova Legal Advisors, P.C. Heidi Mason (she/her/hers) represents public and private organizations in employment and labor law matters.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Heidi worked as a human resources professional for mid-sized and large corporations. She has hands-on experience in recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, occupational safety, leaves of absence, payroll, and ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. Heidi earned her bachelor's degrees in human resource management and general management from Portland State University and her J.D., cum laude, from Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law. She is also PHR and SHRM-CP certified​.

Wage and Hour Hotspots in a Covid-19 World

Session ​​Description

This session explores common wage and hour issues that have loomed large in these days o​f the pandemic: travel time for teleworkers who come in for a mid-day meeting, working remotely and taking breaks, temperature checks and paid time rules, final paychecks and p​​hysical distancing. Bring your questions and stump the trainers on any area of wage and hour laws!​

Speaker Infor​​mation

Jeff Burgess Jeff received his undergraduate degrees in Business Economics and Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara w​​here he was a Scottish Rite scholar. He went on to law school at the University of Mississippi and practiced law in California and Colorado for 15 years, focusing on litigation. He joined the Bureau of Labor and Industries in 2002 where he was an agency prosecutor for 7 years, taking civil rights and wage and hour cases to administrative hearing. In 2009 he joined the Technical Assistance for Employers Program where he teaches seminars, writes a newspaper column, edits handbooks and answers inquiries about employment law for business owners, managers, human resources professionals and attorneys.

Joseph Tam is a Training and Development Specialist with the Technical Assistance for Employers Program and a former Senior Civil Rights Investigator with the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. He has been working for the agency for about 35 years. He is a graduate of Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho and Portland State University. He conducts seminars on Drug and Alcohol Issues in the Workplace, Oregon Sick Time Law, Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Effective Supervisory Practices, Documentation, Discipline and Discharge, Legal Hiring Practices, Dealing with Difficult Employees, Injured Workers Laws, Disability Laws, Wage and Hour Laws, Payroll Issues, etc. throughout Oregon. He is known to make the Recordkeeping seminar "interesting."​

Day 2 - Friday, November 6th 

Keeping Up with 2020’s Surge of Regulatory & Legislative Updates

Session Description​​

In this presentation, Barran Liebman attorney Nicole Elgin, will cover the most recent legislative changes impacting Oregon employers.  Topics will include the Oregon Family Leave Act emergency expansion, eligibility and application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Oregon’s COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program, payroll tax deferral options, coverage of the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act changes (effective 10/1), and more. With each development, Nicole will provide attendees with practical tools and advice on how to adapt to these legislative and regulatory changes.

Speaker In​formation

​Nicole Elgin is an attorney at Barran Liebman LLP, where she represents employers in traditional labor and employment law matters. Nicole’s labor practice ranges from strategizing employer campaigns during a unionization drive to negotiating collective bargaining agreements and representing employers in hearings before arbitrators and the National Labor Relations Board. Her employment law practice includes working with employers to adapt workplace policies to the latest legislative changes at the state and national levels. Nicole defends employers facing investigation by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), Washington’s Labor & Industries (L&I), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). ​

Reimagining the Workplace for Who We Are Now

Session Description

We will examine the “origin” story of the modern workplace. Who was work designed for, and who was it not, and how does that still impact us today? Specifically, we will examine how race and gender-based communication styles are at the root of many workplace conflicts and how to identify and examine those conflicts. Finally, we will also look at the opportunity COVID 19 presents to “reimagine” work.
Three learning objectives – specific takeaways 
  1. A context setting for why we must design multi-racial and gendered workplaces to reflect who we are now.
  2. A new way to think about investigating workplace conflicts that on the surface do not appear race-related.
  3. A road-map for changing the workplace dynamic and resources for further learning and training. ​

Speaker Info​rmation

​Shari Dunn Shari is the CEO/ Principal of ITBOM​, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in institutional and organizational coaching around equity, leadership, change management, women in leadership, and workforce development. Shari is the former CEO of Dress for Success Oregon, an attorney, former journalist, and foundation funder. She is also an adjunct at the University of Portland in the Pamplin School of Business and serves on the Oregon Talent and Workforce Development Board.  Her approach is outside the traditional human resources paradigm and is meant to help institutions with a systemic redesign to bring workplace equity. 

COVID and the World of Oregon Workers’ Compensation

Session Des​cription

Coming Soon!!!

Speaker Informati​​on

​Matthew Fisher Reinisch Wilson Weier PC​​

Workplace Investigations: Beyond the Basics

Session Des​cription

As an employer, you receive a complaint that an employee has engaged in harassment or misconduct.  What do you do?  Act carefully, because your next move is critical.  Employers will often need to convene an investigation to determine the facts surrounding a complaint before deciding on what, if any, action to take.  If done correctly, an investigation becomes a valuable record to support any corrective action necessary to remedy the complaint.  If done incorrectly, an investigation can actually be used against you.​

Please join Sarah Hale and Heather Fossity of Barran Liebman as they explain best practices for convening an investigation and conducting a thorough and impartial investigation.  Attendees will gain an understanding of the dynamics of investigating complaints, learn tips for conducting investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic, walk through the critical steps in an investigation, and learn how to assess credibility and prepare legally defensible findings. 
​Speaker In​formation

Sarah Hale is a partner at Barran Liebman LLP where she represents employers in workplace disputes, counsels companies on employment law compliance, and conducts independent workplace investigations.  By taking a hands-on approach, she aims to equip her clients with the policies and sound employment decisions necessary to prevent employment disputes on the front-end. Additionally, Sarah works directly with employers or with outside counsel to provide prompt, thorough, and confidential investigations of employee complaints or suspected misconduct.  She has extensive experience conducting investigations in the private and public sectors, including claims against executive-level employees and board members.  Sarah is the Ombudsperson for the Washington State Bar Association where she participates in resolving employee concerns and overseeing the investigation process.  Sarah also previously served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Marsha Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the Washington State Court of Appeals.

Heather Fossity, an attorney at Barran Liebman LLP, defends management in a variety of employment matters and provides proactive counsel to address clients’ legal concerns before they arise. Heather is aware the best course of action is different for every employer and aims to accomplish each business’ unique goals while mitigating the risk of employment claims. She uses this experience and knowledge to conduct neutral workplace investigations and to advise employers through the investigation process.​

In Search of the ‘Perfect Termination’

Session Descri​​ption

There are few things as sensitive as terminating an employee. This presentation will focus on several best practices to help ensure a ‘clean’ separation. We will also address the latest Oregon requirements for separation agreements.

Speaker Inf​​ormation

​Clarence Belnavis​​​ Clarence Belnavis is the managing partner for the Portland office of Fisher Phillips LLP and a partner in their Seattle office. He is a trial attorney with a primary emphasis in employment litigation, including disability, racial and gender discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and wrongful discharge. He also represents employers in wage and hour claims, and employment class actions.

Clarence also has significant experience counseling clients with respect to labor and employment matters, including disability and return to work issues, employee handbooks, termination procedures and litigation avoidance.

Clarence routinely provides client trainings and speeches to industry groups regarding current and developing employment law issues in Washington and Oregon.

Retaliation during COVID-19

Session ​​Description

In this presentation, BOLI Technical Assistance training and development specialists Chet Nakada and Charlie Burr will discuss the retaliation risk in the co​​ntext of COVID-19 related safety measures, health and safety complaints, OSHA complaints, worker’s compensation claims and more. We will discuss practical strategies to avoid per-to-peer retaliation, in addition to effective communication strategies that foster two-way dialogue and engagement. This session will also feature real world examples and scenarios based on employer questions during the pandemic.​​

Speaker Infor​​mation

Charlie Burr works as a training and development specialist for the agency’s Technical Assistance for Employers Program, where he helps businesses large and small navigate complex and changing workplace requirements. Previously, Burr served as BOLI’s public information officer for five years, where he provided communications support for the agency’s legislative agenda and enforcement initiatives. Prior to joining the agency, Burr provided strategic communications services to energy, transportation and real estate clients while working with a global public affairs firm. Burr lives in northeast Portland with his wife Libby, daughters Marigny and Shelby, and dog Diamond.

Chet Nakada is a Training and Development Specialist with the State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Technical Assistance for Employers Program. A University of Oregon graduate, he has been with BOLI for over twenty years. He conducts employer seminars and helps employers comply with Oregon's Wage and Hour and Civil Rights Laws. Prior to working for Technical Assistance, he worked as a Senior Civil Rights Investigator and prosecuted cases for the Agency in the Administrative Prosecution Unit.​

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