2022 DRI Employment & Labor Law Seminar

May 11–13, 2022 | Denver, Colorado

2022 DRI Employment & Labor Law Seminar

Join DRI Employment Defense Attorneys in Denver!

Join us in the Mile High City as we reconnect in person for the first time in two years! The nation’s best employment law seminar, DRI’s 45th annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar, brings together leading management-side employment and labor attorneys, in-house counsel, human resources professionals and EPLI representatives from throughout the US and Canada. Always intensely practical, with invaluable education sessions, this seminar is indispensable for experienced practitioners as well as those new to labor and employment law. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners and professionals in the labor and employment arena!

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Best practices in presenting your case at an employment arbitration.
  • Attend a dramatic one-of-a-kind ethics presentation - the continuing relevance of Clarence Darrow.
  • What non-unionized employers need to know to avoid or minimize unfair labor practice charges and ensure NLRA compliance.
  • Insights on dealing with a remote/hybrid workforce and providing accommodations – whether during a pandemic or not.
  • How to identify and reduce barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the legal profession.
  • Practice pointers in representing public employers.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Connect with employment law attorneys from law firms and corporate legal departments across the US and Canada.
  • Attend local Dine-Arounds to meet new colleagues and build your book of business.
  • Enjoy networking happy hours, including one to be held in conjunction with DRI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
  • Get involved with the Employment Law Committee behind the scenes by attending the business meeting and joining our steering committee.
  • Experience a sense of immediate belonging through our Ambassador Program, which pairs first-time attendees with veteran Committee members.

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Thank You to DRI's Employment and Labor Law Leadership

Eric Kinder
Eric Kinder
Program Chair
Diane Krebs
Diane Krebs
Program Vice Chair
Dessi Day
Dessi Day
Committee Chair
Gordon Hill
Gordon Hill
Committee Vice Chair
Mark Fahleson
Mark Fahleson
Law Institute

Join the Employment and Labor Law Committee

Registration Information

DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

DRI Member Pricing: $1,295
Non-Member Pricing: $1,595

Early Bird Pricing: $695
Regular Pricing: $995

Register by March 28, 2022 to receive the early registration rate.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

Pricing: $895 per person

**Group registration is for registering 5 or more attendees, members and non-members. There is one free registration with every 10 registrations. You must lock in the rate three weeks prior to the seminar. If you want to register for the group pricing, please send an email to rstiner@dri.org (online registration is not available for this offering).

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Time (Mountain) Session Description
9:00 a.m. DRI Cares Community Service Project at Project C.U.R.E.

Click here for more details about Project C.U.R.E.
2:00 p.m. Registration
3:00 p.m. SOGIE, Superheroes, and Belonging (Diversity)

Everyone wants to belong, including your LGBTQ+ employees. A workplace filled with employees who feel like they belong is like employing a league or assembly of superheroes. Learn how you can help build a workplace where your LGBTQ+ employees belong. We need more superheroes!

Tristan E.H. Higgins, Metaclusive LLC, San Diego CA
4:00 p.m. OFCCP and AAP Basics

Learn what you need to know before the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) knocks on your client’s door. When does an employer become subject to federal affirmative action laws? What do you need to build and maintain an affirmative action program? What are the vital steps necessary to ensure continuing compliance? How does the OFCCP enforce these laws, and what happens when your client is out of compliance? Our presenters will share their decades of experience in building and defending affirmative action programs to guide you on these basic questions and offer suggestions on how to steer your clients through this area of increased federal enforcement.

Bill Osterndorf, DCI Consulting, Washington, DC
Jill Pedigo Hall, von Briesen & Roper, s.c, Madison, WI
5:00 p.m. Adjourn
5:30 p.m. First Time Attendee Reception
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Grow your network and your business with attendees from the Employment and Labor Law Seminar and the Diversity for Success Seminar at joint Dine-Arounds! Join your colleagues to enjoy local cuisine, reconnect, and build your book of business.

Register for local Dine-Arounds

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Time (Mountain) Session Description
6:15 a.m. DRI for Life: Yoga Session with Emily Heist Moss

Start your day off right and join colleagues in person or virtually from your hotel room for a virtual yoga session with Chicago-based instructor Emily Heist Moss. Feel free to bring your own mat! Water and towels will be available for in-person attendees.

While there is no cost to attend, participants are asked to consider making a monetary donation to Project C.U.R.E. For more information, please contact Sandy Morris.

Sign-up for Yoga Session
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Mark A. Fahleson, Rembolt Ludtke LLP, Lincoln, NE
Eric Kinder, Spilman Thomas and Battle, PLLC, Charleston, WV
8:15 a.m. The Year in Review: Annual Discrimination and Retaliation Law Update

One of the annual conference highlights, Al Latham returns to update everyone on the key discrimination and retaliation court opinions from the last year. Bring a copy of his presentation and be ready to take notes, as this fast-paced session will help every defense lawyer in their briefing in the coming year.

Al Latham, Paul Hastings, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
9:30 a.m. Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover - Appearance Discrimination

Body piercings and tattoos. Clothing and hairstyle trends. Culturally sensitive issues such as hair texture, head coverings, and other religious attire. Can employers prohibit some, all, or none of these? Can employers make employment decisions based on size, weight or, even subjective attractiveness of employees or prospective employees? This session will explore a variety of appearance-based issues that employers face every day and discuss situations in which business culture and necessity may clash with discrimination laws based on race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and more.

Abiman Rajadurai, McDonald’s Corporation, Chicago, IL
Kimberly Ross, Ford Harrison LLP, Chicago, IL
10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:50 a.m. Let’s Be Reasonable: Best Practices for Accommodations in the Workplace

Reasonable accommodations relating to vaccination and social distancing policies may be at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, but that’s not the only set of issues employers face. Our panel of experienced advisors will address the latest in best practices for reasonable accommodations of disabilities, religious beliefs and practices, and pregnancy – COVID-related and otherwise – and provide practical advice on the undue hardship analysis.

Linda Carter Batiste, Job Accommodation Network, Morgantown, WV
Gina Casias, Danone S.A., Denver, CO
Stephanie C. Gaston, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Houston, TX
11:50 a.m. Women in the Law Lunch (on your own)

Please join us for the Women in the Law's networking luncheon during the Employment & Labor Law Seminar in Denver. We will meet at the Wright Room immediately after the last morning session of the seminar on Thursday, May 12, to celebrate, network, and enjoy each other’s company – and we will get you back in time for the first afternoon session. The Wright Room is upstairs from the Appaloosa Grill on the 16th Street Mall, walking distance from the seminar hotel. Food will be buffet style, with lots of yummy options. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options will be available, but please let us know if you have any other dietary restrictions.

The cost is $50 per person and you can pay through the Eventbrite signup. Please sign up soon, as we typically get a good turnout for this event! For more information or questions, please contact Gillian Dale.

Sign-Up for the Luncheon

Lunch (on your own)
1:20 p.m. Nobody Ever Said Life Was Fair – Dealing With Unfair Labor Practices as a Non-Union Employer

What unfair labor practices are being filed against union-free employers, and how can these companies best avoid them? During this interactive panel set to the theme of “Name That Tune", our panelists will answer these questions and discuss why union-free employers must be keenly aware of federal labor law.

Sonya Richburg, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc., Charlotte, NC
Kevin Carr, Spilman Thomas and Battle, PLLC, Charleston, WV
2:20 p.m. Litigation Track
Litigation Session: Best Practices on Prepping Your Witness

Preparing witnesses for a deposition or trial testimony is critical. In this session, learn techniques to make these prep sessions as effective and efficient as possible. Topics include addressing the “do's and don'ts” of testimony; developing a questioning outline that allows the client and lawyer to determine the best, most truthful answer the facts allow on each critical issue; preparing your witnesses to support the case theme; engaging in cross-examination practice to equip the witness with strategies for handling the various tactics and approaches used by opposing counsel; and using videotaping to provide the witness with visual feedback on both content and communication style.

Shelley C. Spiecker, Persuasion Strategies, Denver, CO
Steven Gutierrez, Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, CO
2:30 p.m. In-House Track Breakout
Corporate Counsel: Legal Trends for In-House Advisors (invitation only)

Join other in-house counsel and claims advisors from across the country for an informal discussion on current legal topics and trends. Discussion topics will include responses to the increasing use of remote workers, multi-generational workforce management and retention strategies, wage and hour compliance, diversity and inclusion, data integrity, and arbitration agreements.

Dave Kight, Garmin, Inc., Olathe, KS
3:20 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:40 p.m. Ethics and Advocacy: Lessons from Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow is widely recognized as one of the best and most influential trial lawyers of the 20th century. Drawing on a series of vignettes from “Clarence Darrow: A One-Man Play”, this CLE reveals Darrow’s innovative and effective advocacy and then evaluates the ethical considerations arising from each tactic or situation. This is truly a not-to-be-missed session.

Judge Sandy Brook, Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc., Denver, CO
4:50 p.m. Adjourn
4:50 p.m. Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join your colleagues and enjoy local cuisine and everything Denver has to offer!

Sign-up for local Dine-Arounds

Friday, May 13, 2022

Time (Mountain) Session Description
7:25 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:25 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Diane Krebs, Jackson Lewis, P.C., Melville, NY
8:30 a.m. The New Normal: What Every Employment Lawyer Needs to Know about Arbitrations

Arbitrations are becoming an increasingly important part of the employment law practice. In this presentation, an experienced litigator and arbitrator, together with a veteran in-house attorney at Macy’s, which has a robust arbitration program for employment disputes, will provide an increasingly vital primer on the process, such as handling the demand for arbitration; conducting discovery; setting the stage for a dispositive motion; and presenting your best case.

Betty Thorne Tierney, Macy’s Inc., St. Louis, MO
Steven Gerber, Schoeman, Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP, P.C., Wayne, NJ
9:30 a.m. It’s Only Money: The State of the FLSA After Year One of the Biden Administration

One of the Editors-in-Chief of the leading Fair Labor Standards Act treatise will walk us through the key points for wage and hour law in 2022. First, she will examine the latest from the Biden Administration, from new and proposed regulations to areas of focus for the administration. Next, she will look at recent decisions that every practitioner should know. If you practice wage and hour law, this session cannot be missed.

Ellen C. Kearns, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP, Boston, MA
10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:50 a.m. Handling Employment Actions in the Public Sector

Learn how to navigate the landscape of labor and employment issues unique to public sector clients. This segment examines the protections afforded public-sector employees in discipline and discharge and includes a valuable discussion of employees’ constitutional and due process rights, the impact of collective bargaining, freedom of access and privacy concerns, and the legal roadblocks to claims against government entities.

Kristin M. Bronson, City Attorney, City of Denver, Denver, CO
Jean E. Faure, Faure Holden Attorneys at Law, P.C., Great Falls, MT
Robert Sniffen, Sniffen & Spellman, PA, Tallahassee, FL
11:50 a.m. The Remote and/or Hybrid Worker, in the Wake of COVID

There is no question that COVID has changed the definition of “workplace”, perhaps forever. In this informative session, learn how to adapt to this ongoing change and best equip yourself and your clients to meet the challenge, including whether this new structure will continue post-pandemic, and the pros and cons of doing so. Specific topics will include how to maintain an office culture with employees; tips on communicating with employees; addressing mask and vaccination issues; reviewing and revising job descriptions, employment policies, and other related documents; and diversity, equity, and inclusion issues with a remote or hybrid work model.

Christina Gunn, Arrow Electronics, Inc., Denver, CO
Jean Back, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Portland, OR
Allison Gambill, Covetrus, Denver, CO
Courtney Scantlin, Viega, Denver, CO
12:50 p.m. Adjourn


NEW in 2022 – 4 Additional On-Demand Programs Included With Every Seminar!

CLE Credit will be sought from every state requiring CLE hours in elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion, ethics, substance abuse/mental health and law practice management. The CLE grid will provide updated information concerning which courses have been approved by which states and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny were meant to eliminate bias in jury selection. But has that happened? This program will address that question and discuss issues of bias in the courtroom more broadly and will challenge viewers to recognize their own biases and to learn how those biases could affect their assessment of potential jurors, witnesses, judges, and adversaries. The program also will provide viewers with skills on how to identify the biases of potential jurors and how those biases could come into play during deliberations.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL


Investigating claims and lawsuits often requires interviews with employees. Corporate in-house attorneys and their outside counsel need to be able to identify potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality issues with employees who may leave their employment and become opposing counsel’s best witness.

Kristie S. Crawford, Brown & James, Springfield, MO
Lauren Buford, Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Illinois 60015.

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Study after study suggests that lawyers aren’t happy. Continued unhappiness impacts performance, relationships, and physical health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that research proven interventions exist that increase happiness without requiring a radical change in circumstances. Even a slight increase in happiness has a lasting impact on both your current performance and resilience, not to mention, happier just feels better. This program will quickly, efficiently, and practically explain why happiness matters and offer tools you can use today to work, lead, and live happier.

Rebecca Morrison, Aldie VA

Law Practice Management

Law firms must operate more efficiently to ensure they can deliver high-quality services, handle more volume and maintain a profit margin in today’s climate of rate pressure and rising costs. Understanding Key Performance Indicators and law firm analytics concerning financial, operational and client service data are key to mastering law firm performance management. This presentation will address methods to collect information necessary for evaluating key areas of performance, identify tools and techniques to analyze data and generate action items and more.

Brian Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Jan Sander, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Sean Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA

Hotel and Travel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Hilton Denver City Center, 1701 California Street, Denver, CO 80202. Take advantage of the group rate of $239.00 Single/Double in one of two ways:

The hotel block is limited and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by April 11, 2022 to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after that date are subject to room and rate availability. A small portion of your room rate offsets the costs of the seminar.

Travel Discounts: DRI is pleased to announce that discounted air fares are available on various major air carriers for DRI seminar attendees. To receive these discounts, please contact Direct Travel Ltd., DRI’s official travel provider, at 800.840.0908. If you would like to have access to the DRI online travel booking tool, you must complete a Business Travel Profile form at www.dt.com. Within 24 business hours, you will receive information on accessing the system.

CLE Information

Earn up to 12.25 hours of continuing legal education hours, including 1 hour of ethics credit from this seminar.

Employment & Labor Law CLE Grid (PDF)


DRI's Employment & Labor Law Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
Hill Ward Henderson Attorneys at Law
Jackson Lewis
MCL MacMain Connell & Leinhauser
Spencer Fane
Spilman Thomas & Battle
von Briesen & Roper, s.c. Attorneys at Law

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares

Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. serves the needy in more than 135 countries, as the world’s largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to resource-limited communities across the globe. The Employment and Labor Law Committee invites you to join us on Wednesday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m. to help sort and package medical supplies for shipment, stock inventory, prepare for shipments, and load containers for Project C.U.R.E. The donated medical products are sorted, processed and prepared for international distribution to assist children, families, individuals and communities.

You will be directed to Project C.U.R.E.’s gift page wherein you can specify the amount you would like to donate to the cause. This can be a suggested amount identified by Project C.U.R.E. or you can designate an alternate amount by selecting “Other” and entering the amount you’d like to contribute in the box provided. Please note that you can designate this as a one-time contribution or a recurring, monthly contribution. Further, you will be able to designate the donation for a specific purpose, but the default is wherever there is the greatest need. Complete the information requested such as your personal and payment information.

Finally, under the section entitled “Additional Information”, specifically, the question reading “[i]f you want to make a comment or explain anything about your donation, leave your message here,” please enter DRI Employment. This is so that we can track the dollar amount raised by the attendees of the DRI Employment & Labor Law Seminar. Thank you in advance for your contribution and support of the event. For more information, contact Brian Leinhauser.

Event Terms

Read the Event Terms including DRI’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives

Read the In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives for DRI Seminars

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.