2017 So Cal Conference Agenda


7:30 am to 8:15 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 am to 8:30 am: Opening Remarks

Morning Session

8:30 am to 10:30 am: Keynote Presentation – “New Developments at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Impact on California Employers: Background Check Regulations, Transgender Identity and Expression Protections; Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policies, and, Increased Enforcement of California’s Human Trafficking Law”
Presented by Kevin Kish, Director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Tina Walker, Regional Administrator of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Latest information on proposed background check regulations and the Impact on employer practices and policies (including discussion on employer liability for “adverse impact”, employee notification requirements, exempt positions, establishing job-relatedness and business necessity);
  • Latest information on protections for transgendered employees, proposed regulations and employer policies (including key definitions, compliant working conditions, compliant bathroom facilities, dress and grooming standards, gender vs. legal name, and the BFOQ defense);
  • New requirements for “Anti-Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation Policies” (including complaint process and scope of investigations);
  • New requirements for AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Training (including new trainer qualifications);
  • “California Trafficking Victims Protection Act”–What All Employers Need to Know;
  • The DFEH’S New Role In Enforcement of the “California Trafficking Victims Protection Act”.

10:30 am to 10:45 am: Break

10: 45 am to 12:00 pm: “New Laws Impacting Work Place Drug Testing- The Good, the Bad and the Unknown”
Presented by Mark ‘RX Professor’ Pew, Sr. Vice President at PRIUM, Troy Slaten, Esq., and Bernadette M. O’Brien, Esq., SPHR

Key Topics Will Include:

    • Proposition 64- legalized marijuana in California- What does it mean for employers?
    • Overview of the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (Prop 64);
    • Employer accommodation of “medicinal” marijuana use (i.e. smoking while on a break)—Is it required now?
    • Overview of California’s “Compassionate Use Act”;
    • Impact of the California’s Supreme Court’s decision in Ross v. Raging Wire;
    • Impact of the federal “Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA)”;
    • What is a “Schedule 1” substance under the CSA and why it matters;
    • Post-accident drug testing-the latest developments;
    • Tips on employer practices in light of Prop 64.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm: Keynote Lunch: “The State of Workers’ Compensation in California”
Keynote Speaker: Christine Baker, Director, California Department of Industrial Relations

1:15 pm to 2:45 pm: Afternoon Break-Out Sessions –  First Session

“HR Compliance is Complicated – 2017 Update Includes New Legislation, Cases and Key Trends Impacting the Workplace”
Presented by Bernadette M. O’Brien, Esq., SPHR, James Lodenquai, HR Director of Vallarta Supermarkets,  and Renee Sherman, HR Administrator at Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Tips on the new I-9 Form;
  • Background checks (including Los Angeles “Ban the Box legislation”);
  • Pre-employment drug testing;
  • Fair Pay Act Expansion;
  • Minimum wage increases;
  • Update on Paid Sick Leave law;
  • Leaves of absences (FMLA/CFRA/PDL);
  • Challenges of extended leaves;
  • Managing the “always absent” employee;
  • Workplace romances;
  • Workplace drug testing policies;
  • Managing disability-interactive process, accommodation and medical certification;
  • Accommodation of pregnant employees;
  • Wellness programs;
  • Latest on Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Advisors;
  • A review of the “Top 5 HR Forms”;
  • Key cases and pending 2017 legislation.

“Reducing the Risk of  Costly Disability Discrimination Claims – Recommendations for Employer Best Practices (Legislative and Case Law Update Included)”
Presented by Eric Ostling, Esq., John B. Floyd, Esq., and Dona Lee Skeren, Esq.

When an employee is injured, all California employers must comply with workers’ compensation laws, and all employers with five or more employees must comply with the overlapping disability discrimination laws under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which are likely triggered when an employee sustains a work related injury. Failure to understand the employer’s obligations under both sets of laws can turn a straightforward workers’ compensation case into a FEHA lawsuit. And, the number of disability discrimination lawsuits filed in California continues to skyrocket. California employers must therefore understand their obligations under both workers’ compensation law and the FEHA.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Case law and legislative update;
  • Strategies for preventing work comp cases from evolving into costly FEHA lawsuits;
  • Best practices for complying with FEHA in workers’ compensation cases;
  • What to expect (and do) if a work case becomes a FEHA disability discrimination lawsuit;
  • What are an employer’s interactive process obligations in work comp cases?
  • What accommodations are required?
  • Multiple medical opinions on restrictions-which one may an employer rely on?

“Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update”
Presented by Christina Hindman, Esq., Justin Bechen, Esq., and Kalani Lopez, Esq.

This presentation will cover significant 2016 and 2017 workers’ compensation related case law and legislation (both state and federal) impacting workplace policy and compliance on workers’ compensation.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Case law update;
  • Statutory changes;
  • Venue dispute considerations;
  • Notice considerations;
  • Significant time sensitive issues;
  • Practical guidance.

“Employer’s Fraud Task Force Update: Current Trends in Workers’ Compensation Fraud from the Front Lines”
Presented by Shaddi Kamiabipour, Esq., Sr. DA, Orange County District Attorney’s Office; Moderator: Laura Clifford, Executive Director of the Employers’ Fraud Task Force

2:45 pm to 3:00 pm: Break

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm: Afternoon Break-Out Sessions – Session Two

“Post Brinker-Costly Class Actions For Meal And Rest Period Violations Continue-  Key Strategies For Avoiding Liability”
Presented by Michael B. Adreani, Esq., Partner, Roxborough, Pomerance, Nye and Adreani, Bernadette M. O’Brien, Esq., SPHR, and Eric E. Ostling, Esq.

Employers continue to face costly litigation, often in the form of class actions, for violations of California’s meal and rest period requirements. This presentation will offer helpful guidance on compliance with these important workplace requirements.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Requirements for a compliant meal and rest period policy;
  • Review of the “Brinker” decision;
  • “Premium pay” and why failure to pay adds up to significant damages;
  • Best practices for documenting meal and rest periods;
  • Discussion on why rest period violations are as serious as meal period violations;
  • First meal period requirements;
  • Pitfalls of the second meal period;
  • Permissible scope of on-duty meal periods;
  • An overview of meal period waiver requirements; and
  • Recent cases;
  • Value of wage and hour class action settlements.

“Is My Employee Drunk, Sick or Simply Sleeping- Training Managers on ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Based Drug Testing”
Presented by Troy Slaten, Esq., Robert Dudley, Esq., and John B. Floyd, Esq.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • Key criteria for reasonable suspicion based testing;
  • Recommended training for managers and supervisors on reasonable suspicion;
  • Workplace polices on substance abuse;
  • Post-accident drug testing.

“Defending Good Faith Personnel Actions and Post-Termination Workers’ Compensation Claims”
Presented by Amanda A. Manukian, Esq., and Armen Yedalyan, Esq.

Employers continue to face work injury claims made subsequent to a disciplinary action/poor performance evaluation and/or post-termination. Sometimes the worker even claims the alleged work injury is “due to” the disciplinary action. This presentation will provide guidance from the experts on how to manage and defend these challenging claims.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • A comparison of managing injury claims of a current employee and a terminated employee;
  • Practical workplace strategies, including timely and proper documentation of performance issues;
  • Legal strategies;
  • Insight on the challenges of post-termination claims following personnel actions;
  • Review of the post-termination defense [Labor Code section 3600(a)(10)];
  • Exceptions to the post-termination defense.

“2017 Hot Topics in Workers’ Compensation”
Presented by Sue Honor-Vangerov, Esq.,  Agnes Hoeberling, CEO, Intercare and Jeffrey Slomann, Esq.

This presentation will cover the more significant issues that have been contested at the WCAB over the last year. The experts will present the legal issue, the legal arguments being made, and practical strategies on how to manage these issues.

Key Topics Will Include:

  • MTUS chronic pain and opioid guidelines;
  • Medical care and MPN issues;
  • TD, PD –Apportionment;
  • PQME, UR, IMR and IBR Process;
  • Workers’ compensation fraud prosecutions;
  • Claimant, employer and provider fraud;
  • Pay and Chase – Fraud Recovery Efforts;
  • Gouging – Medical necessity;
  • Spinal Hardware Pass-through;
  • Big PhRMA;
  • MSAs;
  • The impact of undocumented status on work comp claims;
  • The challenges of requiring resignations with Compromise & Releases.

4:30 pm: Closing Remarks/Raffle

Our conference is approved for CE Credits, MCLE, SHRM, HRCI and in the process of approval for CEU’s for ARPM, CPDM and CCMP


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