Three Views of the Conference
Thinking of attending the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference in New Orleans?
After many years in practice, in 2012 I attended my first ABA Labor and Employment Section Conference in Atlanta. A born cynic (and tightwad!), I doubted whether the significant investment of time and effort necessary for me to attend would yield tangible benefits. Despite reassurances from colleagues and friends, I secretly wondered how it would be possible to effectively manage a conference attended by . . . [more]
Views from Long-Time Attendees:
In November, I will attend the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law's annual conference for the fourth time. In addition to the educational benefits offered by the exceptional programming, the ABA annual conference has provided me with invaluable networking opportunities, leadership experience and, most importantly, lasting friendships. For any L&E lawyer who has never attended this conference (especially younger lawyers), here are three reasons why you should strongly consider it: [more]
The ACA: Find Out What's Next
Every day there's a different news story. It's working; it's not working. It will be ready for an October 1 rollout or it's going to crash and burn. It's a terrible deal for individuals because it will cost a lot of money; it's a good deal for individuals because it will provide cost-effective better coverage. Employers are covering individuals because they don't want to pay the tax; employers are finding a way to eliminate positions or reduce hours to avoid paying penalties. You guessed it--we're talking about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
At the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference in New Orleans, one panel of experts will provide a high-level explanation of the objectives of the Act and how its pieces fit together. We are thrilled to have among our experts Phyllis C. Borzi, the current Assistant Secretary of Labor, who heads up the Employee Benefits Security Administration. That division within the Department of Labor, along with the Department of Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services, are responsible for administering the ACA.
The panel will evaluate the impact of the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion as well as pending litigation on contraceptive services and tax subsidies. The panel will discuss the ACA's substantive market reforms as well as explore the interplay between the individual and small business exchanges and tax subsidies. The panel will hit the highlights of employer play-or-pay and address up-to-the-minute wellness issues raised by the ACA. Finally, the panel will touch on necessary disclosures and examine the new appeals process applicable to denied benefit claims.
We look forward to answering questions from the audience to promote a full understanding of the Act. We hope that the audience finds this overview a helpful underpinning for the other substantive sessions on the ACA: "Current Status and What is to Come," "Employer Responses and Litigation Trends," and "Compliance," all of which are offered at the Conference on Thursday, November 7.
Mary Ellen Signorille is a Senior attorney at AARP Foundation Litigation.
Workplace Equality Issues
This panel of veteran lawyers representing each of the Section's four constituencies--union, employer, employee and government/public--will discuss the reasons some workers, mostly women, are holding themselves back from continuing their careers or advancing to more senior positions. These are issues that workers and employers face every day in this country and are not limited to the corporate office. Single mothers working in low pay jobs have at least the same kinds of child care and parental care issues as do executives working in much higher paid positions. This may not simply be a cultural matter but also one involving implicit biases and structural barriers that are imposed in the workplace or elsewhere.
The employment gap has significant implications for equality in the workplace, and the panelists' discussion will focus on how law firms and companies have created more flexible hours and workplaces to accommodate female and male workers who face internal as well as impersonal and cultural obstacles, maternal walls and caregiving responsibilities. As the advocacy on behalf of women is generated to increase their prominence and their wage levels in companies, there are legal issues that arise with respect to their requests and company responses. The panel also will explore legal theories, such as Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, that employees may be using to challenge their employers in these areas.
Joel A. D'Alba is a partner in the Chicago law firm, Asher, Gittler and D'Alba Ltd.
Conference Program Highlights
The Annual Section Conference has a curriculum that covers a full range of labor and employment law topics. In this and upcoming issues, the Conference Planning Committee will highlight programs of special interest to attendees at the 7th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference: