As mentioned in the April newsletter, we will be returning to the National WWII Museum to celebrate the Class of 2019, at what is sure to be another spectacular evening. The College has secured a room block at the Higgins Hotel, a brand new hotel on the campus of the WWII Museum, which is scheduled to open in early October. Reservations can be made using the following link: https://reserve.higginshotelneworleans.com/groups/clel. The room rate will be $269/night. In addition to the Higgins, we’ve identified a few other hotel options that are close to the Museum. Please note - we have not negotiated any room rates or secured a block of rooms at these hotels. This is for your convenience only.
Rooms will also be available through the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s room block at their headquarter hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Reservations open in mid-August and we’ll share the necessary information in the August newsletter.
Formal invitations to the Induction Dinner will be mailed the end of August. Please contact Jen Motley at 410-972-4712 or email@example.com with any questions.
2nd CIRCUIT HOLDS CONFERENCE ON ENDING WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
On Tuesday evening May 14 the Second Circuit of the College (NY, CT, VT, and Northern NJ) convened at the Seyfarth Shaw conference center in midtown Manhattan for dinner and a special three hour program focusing on the #MeToo Movement, ending sexual harassment in the workplace, and mandatory workplace sexual harassment training recently enacted by New York State and City Human Rights agencies. Featured speakers included Caroline Downey, General Counsel of the New York State Division of Human Rights and Dana Sussman, Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Fellows William Frumkin (employee side), Michael Bernstein, (management side) and Michael Delikat (management side), joined by Melissa Woods (former Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the NY City Commission on Human Rights, employee side) served as panelists, presenting point and counter point and leading the discussion. Fellow Evan Spelfogel served as program moderator and chaired the conference. All are pictured above. Loren Gesinsky of the Seyfarth firm served as host. Approximately seventy Fellows and guests attended. 3.5 CLE credits were provided.
Among the topics covered were mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment complaints, non- disclosure and confidentiality agreements in settlements of sexual harassment claims, loss of business tax deductions for the amounts of payments to claimants and attorneys’ fees in settlements of sexual harassment claims, employer, supervisor and individual employee liability in sexual harassment cases, the definitions of sexual harassment, civil penalties for sexual harassment, guidance for newly mandated work place sexual harassment training and how to calculate appropriate damages in sexual harassment cases (aside from employment loss, if any) including a review of a recent NY State Supreme Court decision (City Commission vs Automatic Meter Reading Co.) where the Court upheld damages to a single employee victim of sexual harassment totaling $425,000 for back pay, pre and post judgement interest and emotional distress, plus a $250,000 civil penalty.
Tentative plans are in the works for another of these semi-annual conferences of the Second Circuit, in the late Fall or early Winter. Fellows interested in serving on the Second Circuit planning committee should contact Regional Chair Evan Spelfogel.
9th CIRCUIT NORTH HOLDS CONFERENCE ON ENDING WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Fellows from the 9th Circuit North gathered on Thursday May 30th at the law firm of Ogletree Deakins for a program on the hot topic of #MeToo, titled “Me Too 2019 – New Laws, New Approaches.” Topics included making credibility determinations in harassment cases; settlement issues - new rules and ethical challenges; and successfully litigating sexual harassment cases. An expert panel of College Fellows, including Sue Ann Van Dermyden, Stephen Hirschfeld, David Lowe, Doug Dexter, Alan Exelrod, and Lynne Hermle, were guided through a discussion by program moderator Doug Farmer. Afterwards, speakers and guests had a casual and friendly dinner at local restaurant Perry’s.
Two more interviews for the Memphis Sanitation Strike documentary were completed in May, that of Bill Lucy and Fellow Marty Malin, both of which were conducted by Fellow John Higgins.
The Memphis strike was a very sad example of what was and is a much bigger problem as a number of states, like Tennessee, have no means of peacefully resolving representation disagreements with public unions. Capturing the voices of those voices of people who were key players in the dispute adds tremendously to the important documentation of US labor history.
This documentary will show the history of the strike, its background and its implications for public sector labor law and will emphasize that this history can be repeated in any state without a peaceful means of resolving public sector representation and impasse disputes. The strike was eventually resolved, the union recognized, and the parties negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement; however, the price was high. As we highlight the mistakes of the past, this documentary will very much have an eye towards the future.
In a College first, the Board of Governors extends a heartfelt congratulations to Fellows John Higgins, Jr. and Rosemary Pye (pictured left) on the occasion of their wedding which took place on May 4, 2019 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Washington, D.C. John, a former President of the College (2005), teaches at Catholic University Law School and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Developing Labor Law. Rosemary is retired from the NLRB and currently arbitrates and serves on the Foreign Service Grievance Board. We wish them many years of happiness and wedded bliss!
• Fellow Michael Bernstein was asked by Chambers USA to be its Contributing Editor of the inaugural Chambers Global Practice Guide, USA Regional Employment, 2019. The Guide is directed at private sector global entities interested in identifying where they may wish to establish a presence or enhance an existing one.
• Fellow Ed Buckley (pictured right) was featured in a recent article regarding his nomination for Attorney of the Year by the Daily Report’s 2019 Georgia Legal Awards. This award recognizes a Georgia lawyer who in 2018 had the biggest impact on the law or the Georgia legal community or who did the most to advance the cause of justice. Mr. Buckley was one of three nominees. https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2019/06/19/attorney-of-the-year-nominee-edward-buckley/
• Fellows Michael Hanlon, Sarah Kelly and Jeff Pasek were selected as 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers.
• In May, Fellow Connye Harper (pictured left) was appointed Chair of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission for a two-year term by Governor Steve Sisolak. Connye, a resident of Las Vegas since 2013, is the principal of Harper Strategies, LLC which provides HR consulting and mediation services.
• Fellow Debra Katz was honored as a 2019 Law360 Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar - an award bestowed upon influential plaintiff-side attorneys who made significant impacts inside and outside the courtroom in the past year. Debra was also honored by T'ruah, an organization of rabbis and cantors with the mission of advancing human rights, with the Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award for her representation of survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
• Fellow Dan Nielsen of Lake Bluff, IL was elected President-Elect of the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA). He will succeed current President, and College Fellow, Barry Winograd when his term expires in May 2020 at the annual NAA conference for labor and management practitioners in Denver, CO.
• Fellow Casey Ryan (pictured right) has been selected as one of ten attorneys recognized as a 2019 Distinguished Leader. This recognition is part of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2019 Professional Excellence Awards which honors Pennsylvania attorneys who have made a significant and positive impact on the legal professional. The Distinguished Leader award honors those who achieved impressive results in the past year and demonstrated excellent leadership skills. Honorees will be recognized during an awards dinner on Thursday, June 27 at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.
• Fellow Joseph Slater testified on Capitol Hill before the House Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing on June 26 titled “Standing with Public Servants: Protecting the Right to Organize." Professor Slater, who spoke in favor of a bill that would establish a basic right to bargain collectively for public workers in all states, teaches at the University of Toledo’s College of Law.
• Fellow Don Slesnick (pictured left) has been selected for the fourth year in a row as a Florida Legal Elite lawyer in the field of Labor & Employment Law by Florida Trend Magazine, one of Florida’s most respected lists recognizing lawyers of note. The Legal Elite is a peer selection process with balloting to choose Florida lawyers that are held in the highest regard.
• Fellow Arlene Switzer Steinfield (pictured right) authored a Law360 Expert Analysis article, titled Justices Highlight Importance of Title VII Procedural Details. The article, which can be found here, focuses on the US Supreme Court’s June 3rd ruling in Fort Bend County v. Davis. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the exhaustion requirement a plaintiff must first bring a Title VII discrimination charge to the US EEOC or the equivalent state fair employment practices agency is not a jurisdictional requirement, but rather a claims-processing rule that is mandatory but can be forfeited if the defense is not raised in a timely manner.
• Fellow Deborah Willig was named to the list of Top 50 2019 Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Fellows Alaine Williams and Start Davidson, also from the Philadelphia firm of Willig Williams & Davidson, have been recognized for the 16th year as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
• Fellow Carolyn Witherspoon (pictured left) was one of eight women named to this year Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. As Director and Founder of the firm Cross, Gunter Witherspoon and Galchus, Carolyn was the first woman to serve as President of the Arkansas Bar Association. She’s also supported and created organizations that serve and mentor women. The annual induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, August 29, at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.
• Fellow Sheree Wright (pictured right) has been named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 2019 “Best of the Bar” in the category of corporate counsel. Ms. Wright, senior associate general counsel in Vanderbilt University’s Office of General Counsel, is among those recognized by the business publication as Nashville’s most talented and respected legal professionals.
• Numerous Fellows participated in the recent New Jersey State Bar Association’s NJICLE 2019 Hot Tips in Labor and Employment Law. The program was moderated by Shep Cohen and speakers included John Bennett, Maureen Binetti, Domenick Carmagnola, Steven Cohen, Hon. Melvin Gelade, Rosemary Gousman, Jon Green, Cynthia Jacob, Paul Kleinbaum, David Leach, Lisa Manshel, Sharon Margello and John Schmidt.
Congratulations to the following Fellows who were recently recognized by Lawdragon’s 2019 Guide to the Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers. Fellows of the College compromise 41 of the 100 attorneys selected, which is the result of law firm submissions and editorial research conducted over the past year.
Lawdragon also announced their Legends for the 2019 Hall of Fame. of the corporate employment bar. Hall of Fame status starts after 35 years in employment law and requires consistent recognition for all-around excellence in counseling clients, contributing to the bar and serving as a visionary to improve workplaces. The following Fellows were recognized as Legends this year:
Vincent A. Cino
Fellows are encouraged to include the College logo on their website or as part of their email signature block. Two different formats are available for download - .jpg or .eps. Please contact Susan Wan if you would like a logo file in a different format.
The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers
1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
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