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Thompson Coburn's Annual Labor, Employment, and Benefits Law Seminar

April 11, 2019

It’s time to emerge from the haze of Winter and Spring Forward with fresh ideas and renewed perspectives on employment and benefits laws at our annual Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Seminar in St. Louis. This full day of lively and in-depth sessions is led by Thompson Coburn’s nationally recognized HR practitioners and is complimentary to clients and friends. CLE for Missouri, Illinois and California as well as SHRM and HRCI credit is available for attendees. Our joint sessions and multiple tracks of programming will provide the latest commentary and analysis of labor and employment and employee benefits laws, as well as the national outlook on legislative and executive actions affecting employers. 
So join us on April 11 where you will discover new ways to tend to your flourishing departments and policies while also cultivating professional relationships with your HR peers.

Approved for 7.5 hours of general credit in Missouri
Approved for 6.25 hours of general credit in Illinois and California

Complimentary registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, and cocktail hour.

Marriott West Conference Center
660 Maryville Centre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
Program from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.



Start 8:00 a.m.
End 8:05 a.m.


Start 8:10 a.m.
End 9:30 a.m.

Deep-Seeded: Understanding Implicit Bias
(8:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.)

Implicit bias refers to attitudes and stereotypes that affect decisions in an unconscious manner. This session will explore how implicit biases appear in workplace decision making, how to manage implicit biases from a human resources perspective and explore emerging legal issues concerning implicit bias in litigation.

Staking Broken Stems: Employer Responses to the Opioid Crisis
(8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.)

This session will discuss the impact of the opioid crisis on employers, how employers are addressing the crisis through benefit plan design and employee education, and HIPAA rules that may hamper employee efforts to help family and friends.

Start 9:35 a.m.
End 10:25 a.m.

Plowing Through Pre-Employment Issues Before Sowing the Workplace with New Employees

Issues of hiring can be just as weedy as any employment-related matter. From background check regulations to usage of social media to recent rulings in the courts, this session will explore the proper approaches to applications, interviews, and hiring, so as to avoid being pricked by the thorn of a “failure to hire” claim.

Pest Control for California Employers

California employment laws – complex and often varying from federal laws – are the harbinger of laws to come in other states, as well as the HR headaches that come with them. This session will identify many of those California laws that are coming your way and the concepts, pitfalls, and costs that employers face in the aftermath.

Nest Eggs – Recent Changes for 401(k) Plans

Recent tax law changes and IRS rulings have made changes for 401(k) plans. Learn what new options are available and whether your plan needs a compliance checkup. Topics include hardship withdrawal changes, student loan “matching” contributions, and loan rollovers.

Start 10:30 a.m.
End 11:20 a.m.

More Sun or Shade? Exploring the Employer’s Duty to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Employees

Some plants need more sun than others and some employees need reasonable accommodations to thrive in their working environments. This session will discuss employers’ responsibilities and best practices when it comes to providing employees with religious accommodations or accommodations for employees struggling with mental health issues, environmental sensitivities, and other disabilities.

A New Genus of Claim in the Garden – No-Poaching Agreements

The Department of Justice has announced that agreements between employers that restrict the hiring of each other’s employees will be the subject of antitrust scrutiny, subjecting employers and human resources professionals to civil and criminal liability. Similar types of claims are being asserted under various state laws. This session will explore the things that employers can and cannot do in trying to restrict the recruitment of their employees by competitors or business partners.

Pruning or Deadheading? What Did Congress Do to the Affordable Care Act?

In this session we will look at what is left of the Affordable Care Act that affects employers. Among other things we will cover responding to IRS notices of proposed penalties under the employer mandate, the likely future of the Cadillac tax, and the competing regulations on contraceptive coverage. We will also address other legislative developments affecting welfare plans, including laws addressing surprise billing.

Start 11:25 a.m.
End 12:15 p.m.

Budding Legal Issues Involving Employee Separation and Arbitration Agreements

Like the seasons, the climate as to what is acceptable for separation and arbitration agreements is changing and employers need to keep up with the changes. This session will discuss emerging issues concerning arbitration and separation agreements and what employers need to do to comply with the latest legal developments.

Growing in a Hostile Environment

While immigration law and regulations remain largely unchanged, the experience of employers and their foreign national employees in navigating the U.S. immigration system has been altered through new and ever-evolving policies and procedures. This program will explore new policies and current trends at USCIS, responsive approaches to sponsoring foreign national employees in the current environment, and prospective changes that lay ahead.

Federal Wage Hour Developments - Tentative Session

(To be conducted only if the DOL issues its new proposed rule regarding exempt status)

Start 12:15 p.m.
End 1:10 p.m.


Start 1:15 p.m.
End 2:45 p.m.

Weed Control

This session will provide an update on various federal and state laws regarding marijuana use and the impact of these laws on employers. We also will discuss the law on drug testing, with practical advice from a member of a leading testing laboratory regarding the basic science of drug testing and measuring thresholds for impairment.

Perennial Issues at the NLRB: Handbooks, Joint-Employer, and Independent Contractor Standards

The panel of speakers will discuss new NLRB rulings in the area of what are lawful and unlawful handbook policies, who might be considered employees under a joint-employer analysis, and who is an independent contractor under the NLRA. In addition, this session will include a discussion of the latest legal developments impacting union-management relations, including right-to-work, union security, and union organizing activities.

Start 2:50 p.m.
End 3:45 p.m.

Come Out Smelling Like a Rose: Topical Questions and Answers About Sick Leave, #MeToo Investigations, and Wage and Hour Issues

This interactive session will present hypothetical situations that allow attendees to explore strategies for handling recurring issues such as sick leave, sexual harassment, and wage & hour disputes.

Start 3:45 p.m.
End 5:00 p.m.

Cocktail Hour and Reception