Human Resource Legal Summit 2022: Vaccine policies and religious accommodations, hiring, workplace safety, workers with disabilities, and cannabis in the workplace

Kate Gold
Michelle Annese
Damien DeLaney
Jeffrey Kimmel
Alka Ramchandani-Raj
Alok Nadig
Kirsten Nordstrom
Kate Gold | Proskauer Rose LLP
Michelle Annese | Proskauer Rose LLP
Damien DeLaney | Akerman LLP
Jeffrey Kimmel | Akerman LLP
Alka Ramchandani-Raj | Littler Mendelson LLP
Alok Nadig | Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
Kirsten Nordstrom | Garner, Ginsburg & Johnsen P.A

On-Demand: January 14, 2022

$245.00 4 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I - Current State of Employment Law: Mandatory vaccine policies and religious accommodations, what employers need to know – Kate Gold and Michelle A. Annese
Attorneys can expect to learn the current state of law on a federal level regarding vaccine policies and mandates, and what employers must do when they receive a request for a religious accommodation. We will also touch on some relevant state laws.

Key Topics

  • Federal, state, and local vaccine mandates
  • Vaccination policies in the workplace
  • Reasonable accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs

Session II – Hiring: Personel practice, wages and hours, employee benefits – Damien DeLaney and Jeffrey Kimmel
In the pandemic, many employers transitioned to entirely or nearly-entirely remote workforces overnight, implicating a host of potential wage and hour compliance issues as a result. While many employers have transitioned their employees back to in-person work, a combination of lingering COVID-19 risks and employee preferences (and in some cases, employer preferences) have resulted in a persistent number of employees continuing to work from home. A recent Upwork study estimated that more than a third of American workers will be working from home by 2025.

With remote work here to stay, this presentation discusses the wage and hour compliance issues presented by remote work, best practices for managing the remote workforce beyond the COVID-19 emergency, and what to expect from federal and state regulators.

Key Topics

  • Wage and hour compliance issues presented by remote work
  • Best practices for managing the remote workforce
  • What to expect from federal and state regulators

Session III - Workplace Safety and Health - Alka Ramchandani-Raj
Attorneys can learn about recent trends with workplace safety and health, including compliance uses, and litigations trends.

Key Topics

  • Workplace Safety
  • Worklace Health

Session IV - Workers with Disabilities: COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act – Alok Nadig
In ways big and small, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how Americans live, work, and interact with each other. But the pandemic has also affected employment discrimination protections for disabled individuals as well as pregnant people.

This CLE will provide an overview of recent caselaw on disability and pregnancy discrimination cases brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act in which COVID-19 was explicitly addressed by the court. In providing an overview of how the COVID-19 pandemic and these employment discrimination statutes intersect, the CLE will offer wisdom for both employers and employees on how to navigate issues related to disability, pregnancy, and COVID-19 as employees head back to the physical office in the new year.

Key Topics

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • COVID-19 and accommodations

Session V - The use of Cannabis in the Workplace: 2022 – Kirsten Nordstrom
This course will discuss current issues surrounding cannabis in the workplace. It will explore the legal and regulatory framework surrounding testing for cannabis use, protections for medical marijuana users, special considerations when dealing with safety-sensitive jobs, and the various conflicts between state and federal law in the cannabis industry.

Key Topics

  • Accommodations for medical marijuana use and employers’ ability to adopt zero-tolerance bans on cannabis use
  • Practical difficulties with testing for cannabis use and determining if an employee was under the influence of cannabis at work
  • Conflicts between the Drug Free Workplace Act and state laws authorizing cannabis use

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: May 5, 2022

  • 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm Eastern
  • 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm Central
  • 11:00 am – 3:30 pm Mountain
  • 10:00 am – 2:30 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Kate Gold_Proskauer Rose LLP_myLawCLEKate Gold | Proskauer Rose LLP

Kate Gold is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department in the Los Angeles office.

Kate has over 25 years of experience representing clients in a range of industries, across all areas of employment law. An experienced litigator, she has represented clients in all types of employment-related suits, including class and collective actions, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment, non-compete and wage/hour matters. In addition to litigating, she conducts high-level workplace investigations and routinely counsels clients on matters involving the full range of state and federal employment issues.

Kate also represents clients in disputes involving misappropriation of intellectual property and trade secrets, interference with contract, and unfair competition. Kate also counsels on classification of employees, employment issues in the context of purchase and sale of businesses, and non-competition agreements. Additionally, she negotiates and drafts executive employment and separation agreements and conducts training on sexual harassment prevention.

Kate received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Michelle Annese_Proskauer Rose LLP_myLawCLEMichelle Annese | Proskauer Rose LLP

Michelle A. Annese is a senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Michelle represents employers in a variety of industries including financial services, retail, entertainment, and sports. She assists them with a wide range of labor and employment matters involving employment discrimination and retaliation, sexual harassment, and wrongful discharge. Michelle regularly appears in state and federal courts, as well as in proceedings before the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal and state agencies.

In addition to litigating, Michelle counsels clients on compliance with employment-related laws, and on developing, implementing and enforcing personnel policies and procedures. She has also conducted numerous internal investigations on behalf of employers.

Michelle has been recognized as a Rising Star by New Jersey Super Lawyers since 2013.


Damien DeLaney_Akerman LLP_myLawCLEDamien DeLaney | Akerman LLP

Damien DeLaney is a seasoned employment litigator and advisor with more than 15 years of experience helping solve employment law problems for clients large and small in a wide array of industries including retail, hospitality, food and beverage, real estate, construction, engineering, manufacturing, education, nonprofit, professional services, technology, fashion, sports, and entertainment. Clients come to Damien for creative and value-driven approaches to their most important employment litigation matters, as well as for proactive risk management to avoid liabilities before they emerge.

Damien routinely represents clients in class actions and complex litigation matters, including wage and hour class actions, California Private Attorneys General Act actions, and Fair Credit Reporting Act class actions. His track record of success in class actions includes defeating class certification motions, obtaining summary judgment prior to certification, and obtaining favorable settlements for his clients. In addition to his complex litigation practice, Damien’s litigation practice runs the gamut from employment discrimination and whistleblower claims to trade secret and restrictive covenant claims, and he has represented clients in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate level as well as in arbitration. He also advises employers on a wide range of employment issues, including wage and hour compliance, workplace investigations, employee discipline, employee separations, and policy and procedure review.

Damien frequently presents on employment law topics of interest to small business owners, in-house counsel, and human resources professionals.


Jeffrey Kimmel_Akerman LLP_myLawCLEJeffrey Kimmel | Akerman LLP

With a diverse, national practice focusing on employment law and complex commercial litigation, Jeffrey Kimmel represents clients in federal and state courts, as well as in various arbitration forums and before federal, state, and local administrative bodies. His clients operate across multiple sectors, including technology, entertainment, hospitality, real estate, insurance and financial services, and range in size from small, closely held companies to publicly traded corporations with thousands of employees. Jeffrey routinely represents management in matters relating to wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, and anti-discrimination and regularly counsels employers on day-to-day human resources and legal compliance issues. He has also led the employment law due diligence efforts on numerous middle market transactions.

In addition, Jeffrey represents high level executives in connection with the negotiation of employment contracts and compensation packages. He also works with many high net worth and high profile individuals on employment related matters to limit personal exposure arising from their direct or indirect employment relationships. Clients also seek Jeffrey’s advice on legal issues relating to general business matters and litigation avoidance strategies based on more than 25 years of experience as a litigator and employment lawyer.

Jeffrey is a certified mediator and has successfully mediated many cases for parties who seek to resolve their disputes without the on-going cost, business disruption, and uncertainty, inherent in litigation or arbitration. He was also selected by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Mediation Program to provide mediation services as a member of the SDNY Mediation Panel. Jeffrey has acted as a mediator on a wide range of disputes, including commercial matters, employment matters, ADA accessibility cases, and intellectual property disputes. While Jeffrey can be an aggressive advocate when representing parties to a dispute, when acting as mediator he is a neutral party and focuses solely on the goal of reaching a resolution.


Alka Ramchandani-Raj_Littler Mendelson LLP_myLawCLEAlka Ramchandani-Raj | Littler Mendelson LLP

As an experienced employment lawyer with a concentration in Federal and State Occupational Safety and Health law, Alka Ramchandani-Raj assists employers with a wide range of complex situations with the workforce. Alka has extensive experience handling communicable disease inquiries for clients and she assisted with developing and leading Littler’s COVID-19 task force including developing the strategy behind responding to inquiries and developing products for clients including safety and health and employment policies, return to work plans, and programs for compliance.

Focusing on workplace safety and health, Alka assists employers with pre-injury/illness preventative practices, including site inspections and policy development. Alka also assists employers who have experienced workplace injuries and accidents or are subject to a Federal or state OSHA inspection. She has experience managing catastrophic workplace accidents or fatalities.

Alka is an experienced litigator and regularly represents employers in Occupational Safety and Health appeals, settlement conferences, and hearings. She also has broad experience assisting employers with workplace violence issues including obtaining temporary and permanent restraining orders to ensure the workplace is safe for employees.

Alka also regularly attends advisory committee meetings as part of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute and submits comments to proposed regulations. She is a core member of the firm’s Occupational Safety and Health and Workplace Violence practice groups, and a leading member of Littler’s OSHA Woman’s Group. She also has extensive experience with general employment advice and counsel and litigation matters relating to terminations, retaliation, whistleblowers complaints, discrimination, harassment, ADA accessibility and state agency complaint defense.

Alka is a popular speaker on OSHA and employment related legal issues and she regularly provides training sessions for clients and professional organizations on various topics, including:

• Federal and California Occupational Safety and Health compliance and training
• Managing performance in the workforce
• California Leave and Wage and hour compliance
• Harassment prevention
• Workplace investigations
• Workplace Violence Prevention
• COVID-19 compliance and pandemic preparation

Alka is co-chair of the Workplace Safety & Health (OSHA/MSHA) Practice Group. She is also a member of the firm’s Robotic, Artificial Intelligence and Automation practice group, which is focused on providing representation and compliance assistance to employers in the robotic industry and employers integrating automation, AI, telepresence, and robotics into their workplace.


Alok Nadig_Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP_myLawCLEAlok Nadig | Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Alok Nadig is an Associate at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a nationwide employment litigation law firm that specializes in representing plaintiffs. He represents clients in both litigation matters and confidential negotiations, and works primarily in the firm’s Discrimination and Harassment and Public Interest Litigation practice areas.


Kirsten Nordstrom_Garner, Ginsburg & Johnsen P.A_myLawCLEKirsten Nordstrom | Garner, Ginsburg & Johnsen P.A

Kirsten is an associate at Garner, Ginsburg & Johnsen P.A. Her practice focuses on franchise and distribution law, craft beer and distillery law, and cannabis law. Kirsten assists clients with regulatory and compliance issues, entity formation, civil litigation, contract negotiations, and more. She has published articles about issues in franchising, free speech, and free press. Kirsten received both a B.A. and B.S. from Colorado State University and earned her J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota.


Session I – Current State of Employment Law: Mandatory vaccine policies and religious accommodations, what employers need to know | 1:00pm – 2:00pm
1. Federal, state, and local vaccine mandates | 1:00pm – 1:20pm
2. Vaccination policies in the workplace | 1:20pm – 1:40pm
3. Reasonable accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs | 1:40pm – 2:00pm

Break | 2:00pm – 2:10pm

Session II – Hiring: Personnel practices, wages and hours, employee benefits | 2:10pm – 2:55pm
1. Wage and hour compliance issues presented by remote work | 2:10pm – 2:25pm
2. Best practices for managing the remote workforce | 2:25pm – 2:40pm
3. What to expect from federal and state regulators | 2:40pm – 2:55pm

Session III – Workplace Safety and Health | 2:55pm – 3:50pm
1. Discussion on safety and health issues | 2:55pm – 3:10pm

Break | 3:10pm – 3:20pm

2. Discussion on future regulations | 3:20pm – 3:35pm
3. Trends in citations and litigation | 3:35pm – 3:50pm

Session IV – Workers with Disabilities: COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act | 3:50pm – 4:45pm
1. Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) | 3:50pm – 3:59pm
2. Overview of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) | 3:59 – 4:08pm
3. Discussion of COVID-19’s Effect on the Workplace | 4:08pm – 4:20pm

Break | 4:20pm – 4:30pm

4. Overview of Recent ADA and PDA Cases Addressing COVID-19 | 4:30pm – 4:37pm
5. Guidance for Employers and Employees | 4:37pm – 4:45pm

Session V – The use of Cannabis in the Workplace: 2022 | 4:45pm – 5:30pm
1. Introduction, overview of cannabis and the types of cannabinoids, discuss the current state of medical and recreational legalization | 4:45pm – 4:51pm
2. Discuss federal law regarding cannabis, including the Drug Free Workplace Act and requirements for safety-sensitive jobs | 4:51pm – 4:57pm
3. Discuss protections for medical marijuana users, recent discrimination lawsuits, and exceptions from complying with state laws protecting medical marijuana users | 4:57pm – 5:03pm
4. Discuss states that expressly do not provide any protections for medical marijuana users | 5:03pm – 5:09pm
5. Discuss recreational user protections | 5:09pm – 5:15pm
6. Discuss practical issues with testing for cannabis, zero-tolerance policies, how the right to privacy act potentially limits an employer’s ability to discharge an employee for off-duty use, and presumptions of on-duty use resulting from a positive drug test | 5:15pm – 5:20pm
7. Discuss the use and impact of other cannabinoids (CBD, Delta-8 THC, etc.) in the workplace | 5:20pm – 5:30pm