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Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2018 Public Sector Legal Update

May 4, 2018
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Speakers: Keegan Drenosky, Christopher E. Engler, Gabriel J. Jiran, Peter J. Maher, Richard A. Mills, Thomas B. Mooney, Peter J. Murphy, Jessica L. Ritter, Kevin M. Roy, Rebecca Rudnick Santiago, Daniel A. Schwartz, Jessica Richman Smith, Linda L. Yoder

May 4, 2018
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Hartford Marriott Downtown
200 Columbus Blvd
Hartford, CT 
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Parking will be validated

Join us for our annual spring seminar for public sector clients and friends, when we will address issues facing school districts, municipalities and other government agencies. The program begins with a plenary session covering a timely topic, followed by a choice of two breakout sessions allowing for issue discussion in a small setting.

Plenary Session:

Addressing Employee Claims of Harassment and Hostile Work Environment: The Graduate Course
Presenters: Linda L. Yoder, Gabriel J. Jiran and Keegan Drenosky 

This session will provide employers with the tools required to handle these sensitive matters and cover FAQs including: 

  • How do you respond when old claims of harassment, discrimination or concerning conduct are brought to your attention? 
  • What information about the allegations and your investigation needs to be made public and when? 
  • What are the issues raised by unsubstantiated claims and how should you address them? 
  • What are the factors to consider in determining whether to investigate in house or use an outside investigator? 

This presentation presumes a basic understanding of employment and discrimination law.

Breakout Sessions (choose two upon registration):

Guardian of Your Own Galaxy: Making Informed Decisions on Hiring (Legally) and Sharing Information (When Appropriate)
Presenters: Jessica Richman Smith, Daniel A. Schwartz and Melika S. Forbes

Years ago, if you wanted to find out information about an applicant, you might try calling their former employer – and hope someone would pick up the phone. But now, you have a wealth of information seemingly at your fingertips, with just a quick Internet search. But can you use it all? New laws have made the background check process infinitely more complex.  How can you even conduct a background check legally anymore? Between “ban the box” and prohibitions on “shoulder surfing,” is doing a search even worthwhile? 

This session will provide practical solutions to the thorniest of issues that arise, not only with the background check process, but also with the information you may have on your own employees, such as their personnel files.  The session will also address how you can (or should) respond when other companies want a reference on your employee. Can you just tell the truth anymore? Or is there a middle ground that employers may consider?  

We’ll address the legal requirements, give you tools to add to your toolkit, and share the best practices in this oft-misunderstood area of employment law.

The Effective Use of Separation Agreements
Presenters: Rebecca Rudnick Santiago, Peter J. Murphy and Benjamin P. FrazziniKendrick

This breakout session will review the effective use of separation agreements, the permissible and impermissible terms for separation agreements, and particular concerns relating to agreements that are public documents.

A Safe Space: Managing School and Workplace Security In Today’s World
Presenters: Lisa Banatoski Mehta, Richard A. Mills and Peter J. Maher

In light of recent events, threats of violence continue to be a concern for employers.  Now, more than ever, the need to maintain a secure workplace is paramount.  This session will offer a comprehensive assessment of workplace security risks and discuss the importance of having an effective emergency preparedness and response plan to respond to threats of violence at school and in the workplace.  The presenters will discuss topics, including:

  • Identifying and assessing security and violence risks in the schools and the workplace
  • Adopting codes of conduct and policies to facilitate appropriate behavior
  • Prevention strategies as well as practical tips for prompt detection and response to threats
  • Developing an emergency preparedness and response plan

Strategy Session: Latest Developments in Collective Bargaining
Presenters: Kevin M. Roy, Jessica L. Ritter and Christopher E. Engler

This breakout session will examine recent labor relations, mediation and arbitration decisions addressing public workplaces in Connecticut.

  • Our annual collective bargaining update to prepare your organization for negotiating and implementing your contracts
  • Review of recent public sector arbitration awards, average salary settlements, and insurance and pension trends
  • Update on the State Partnership Plan 2.0
  • Legal developments impacting public sector collective bargaining

Continuing Legal Education (CLE):

This CLE program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York CLE Board for a maximum of 3.5 credit hours in Professional Practice and is appropriate for both transitional and nontransitional attorneys.

Neither the Connecticut Judicial Branch nor the Commission on Minimum Continuing Legal Education approves or accredits CLE providers or activities. It is the opinion of this provider that this activity qualifies for up to 3.0 hours toward your annual CLE requirement in Connecticut, including 0 hours of ethics/professionalism.

HR Certification:

Shipman & Goodwin LLP is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This program is valid for 3.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

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