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A Better Partnership

Events

Mar 2010
23
March 23, 2010
2010 Human Resources Seminar

DeVos Place

 

 

REGISTRATION:  Complete the registration form and mail,
fax or e-mail to:

 

Mail:  




Fax:

E-mail:

Sharon Sprague
900 Fifth Third Center
111 Lyon Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2487

616.222.2326

ssprague@wnj.com

 

 

Click here for the full seminar brochure.

CANCELLATION POLICY:
A full refund will be issued if a cancellation is received by March 17, 2010. Substitutions welcome.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS:
This program has been approved for 5.5 credit hours toward PHR and SPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HRCI Web site at www.hrci.org.

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Breakout Session One
Employee Benefits General Session

Tony Kolenic

Employee benefits continues to be one of the most active areas of ongoing developments in the law. This session will cover the last 18 months of significant legislative, regulatory and case law developments.

Labor and Employment Breakout A: Discipline & Recognition
Steve Palazzolo

With the increase in the enforcement efforts of the EEOC, how you discipline and ultimately discharge your employees is becoming just as important as why you discipline your employees. This session will provide you with simple practical tips for discharging employees. Equally important is how you recognize the achievements of employees in a time when resources are short. Learn how to keep employee morale up while complying with the laws that touch on this important part of the employment relationship.

Labor and Employment Breakout B: Union Issues
Bob Chovanec

A Democratic President, Congress and National Labor Relations Board mean that there will be significant changes in the law of unionization. This session will cover legislative changes, new rulings by the NLRB, and likely future changes that will affect union and nonunion employers.

Labor and Employment Breakout C: Wage Hour
Lou Rabaut

The new administration in Washington has made changes in the focus of the Department of Labor’s enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This session will focus on FLSA hot topics like employee versus independent contractor status, calculating overtime, determining hours worked, and exempt versus nonexempt status.

9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Breakout Session Two
Employee Benefits Breakout A: Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans

Mary Jo Larson

Many unique issues arise in a 401(k) plan that includes employer stock. This session will address the following questions:

  • Fiduciary considerations, such as liability for deciding to offer, keep, or eliminate an employer stock investment alternative in the plan
  • Disclosure considerations
  • IRS rules on diversification
  • SEC requirements including the Rule 701 limited exemption from registration, S-8 registration and best practices for tracking share purchases, blackouts required on account of quarterly corporate reporting, and issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions

Employee Benefits Breakout B: Retirement Plan Issues in Uncertain Times
Lisa Zimmer, Jennifer Watkins

During these uncertain economic times, employers are finding that they need to make tough choices about their 401(k) and pension plans. These choices might include reducing or eliminating matching or profit sharing contributions, freezing contributions to the pension plan, or even terminating a plan. Or they find themselves unable to make required employer contributions timely. These issues will still exist even as the economy begins to recover.

This interactive session will discuss options for handling these situations, how to implement changes, and what to do when faced with a contribution failure or other mistake.

Employee Benefits Breakout C: Health Plan Checkup: The Basics
Norbert Kugele, Scott Hancock

With lots of new laws effective this year – GINA, Michelle's Law, Mental Health Parity, CHIPRA – plus all the existing legal requirements, now’s a good time for a health plan checkup. With a back-to-basics format, this workshop will provide a checklist to help you with ERISA reporting (5500s), disclosure (plan documents, SPDs, required notices), COBRA, HIPAA, claims procedures, fiduciary responsibilities and other knotty matters that keep you awake at night.

Labor and Employment Breakout A: ADA Changes
Karen VanderWerff

On January 1, 2009, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act took effect. The purpose of the amendment was to broaden the definition of "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act and to overrule Supreme Court decisions that Congress viewed as having unjustifiably narrowed the definition of "disability." In the fall of 2009, new regulations were proposed for the amended Act. This session will focus on the changes to the Act and how these changes affect employment practices. In particular, this session will discuss the broader definition of "disability" and the importance of engaging in the interactive process.

Labor and Employment Breakout B: FMLA Update
Jon Kok

The FMLA has consistently been one of the most controversial and difficult to apply statutes in employment law. The Department of Labor recently passed revised FMLA regulations in an attempt to implement new legislation and eliminate all the confusion. Of course, the FMLA is now probably more confusing than ever. This program will provide an overview of the most important regulatory changes (including military and exigency leave, what constitutes continuing treatment, notice requirements, medical certification, etc.) and offer tips for compliance, including the preparation and use of effective policies and forms.

Labor and Employment Breakout C: Privacy Issues in the Workplace
Dean Pacific

As the workplace continues to change, employee privacy issues evolve as well. "Employee privacy" used to involve questions such as whether an employer could search an employee's locker, or who could see what was in a personnel file. Rapid advances in technology have led the courts to more frequently address questions such as when, if ever, employees may have privacy rights in email or other communications sent or received on company computers or company-issued cell phones or PDAs.

Social media has become the latest frontier in the development of employee privacy law. Can an employee be disciplined or discharged for things they post on a social networking site such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter? Does it make a difference whether the post is work related? Or whether it was posted during work hours, or during the employee's free time? Many courts are addressing these questions for the first time, and are not always reaching the same answers. We'll review and discuss the most up-to-date developments in this rapidly evolving area of law.

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 – 12:00 noon Breakout Session Three
Employee Benefits Breakout A: The ABCs of ESOPs

Vern Saper

Just what is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)? Why am I hearing so much about ESOPs lately? Why would a company consider implementing an ESOP, and what are the tax advantages to the employees? The current owners? The company? Would an ESOP be a good idea for my company?

This session will explore how an ESOP is a significant qualified retirement plan for employees, and also an excellent "exit strategy" or “business succession tool” (that is, a market to sell some or all of the company) for current owners. If the company will be sold sooner or later, should the buyer be an "outsider," or should the employees become the buyer?

We will explore how the employees can acquire part or all of the company with no out-of-pocket expense; how the current owners can sell part or all of the company on a tax-free basis, but continue to control the company; and how the entire transaction can be financed with fully tax-deductible payments, reducing the overall cost of the acquisition.

With the economy turning around, and company owners now considering the issue of business succession, this is an ideal time to learn what an ESOP has to offer for employees, owners and the company itself. There may be no reason for current owners to look to an outside buyer to purchase the company. There may already be a “built-in” buyer ready, willing and able to purchase the company, with attractive tax advantages to all concerned. An ESOP can be a real WIN-WIN-WIN situation for all.

This presentation is for business owners, CEOs, CFOs, HR personnel, and other professional advisors such as accountants and bankers.

Employee Benefits Breakout B: Back to the Basics of 401(k) Administration: A Review and Update on Compensation, Loan and Hardship Withdrawal Issues
Heidi Lyon

Some of the lengthiest provisions in 401(k) plans deal with determining compensation for contribution purposes, loans and hardship withdrawals. While these administrative tasks seem straightforward, the penalties for incorrectly completing them can be costly. It is important to periodically review your administrative practices to protect your plan. This session will review the safe harbor options for defining and calculating compensation and making hardship withdrawals and loans in a 401(k) plan. It will also update you on the latest changes affecting these options.

Employee Benefits Breakout C: Wellness Programs
Sue Conway

With wellness programs now front and center in health care cost containment, this workshop will focus on important legal issues – how to deal effectively with the HIPAA nondiscrimination rules, GINA, the Americans with Disabilities Act and how to reconcile their sometimes contradictory requirements. We’ll cover the types of incentives that can legally be offered to participants (reduced premiums, employer contributions to health FSAs or HRAs, cash, prizes, etc.) and the tax implications of each.

Labor and Employment Breakout A: Workers' Compensation
Geri Drozdowski

How do economic conditions impact your workers' compensation experience? Is a light-duty work program cost effective for employers relying on a skeleton crew comprised of cross-trained employees? What inexpensive safety measures reduce potential workers' compensation exposure? This session utilizes real life experiences as well as audience participation in formulating practical approaches to managing workers’ compensation issues in challenging economic times.

Labor and Employment Breakout B: FMLA Update (Repeat of earlier session)
Jon Kok

The FMLA has consistently been one of the most controversial and difficult to apply statutes in employment law. The Department of Labor recently passed revised FMLA regulations in an attempt to implement new legislation and eliminate all the confusion. Of course, the FMLA is now probably more confusing than ever. This program will provide an overview of the most important regulatory changes (including military and exigency leave, what constitutes continuing treatment, notice requirements, medical certification, etc.) and offer tips for compliance, including the preparation and use of effective policies and forms.

Labor and Employment Breakout C: Straight Talk About the Increase in Harassment and Retaliation Claims
Bob Cleary, Toni Rumschlag

The incidence of charges filed with the EEOC in the harassment and retaliation categories have increased dramatically in 2008 – 2009. This session will provide an updated overview of the basic components of the typical harassment and retaliation claims as well as a candid discussion on managing the potential problems associated with inter-office consensual relationships. It will also introduce and discuss a number of current preventive strategies designed to insulate your organization from the increasing risks evidenced by this trend.

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
Join us for a delicious lunch provided by the Amway Grand Plaza

Are You smarter Than a WNJ attorney? Here's the chance to pit audience members against non-HR attorneys at Warner Norcross & Judd. So, those attorneys think HR law is so easy, huh? Let's see how they do fielding labor and benefits questions – the issues HR professionals tackle every day. This light-hearted game show will give audience contestants a chance to win fabulous prizes, and if we're not careful, we may all learn something in the process. If you're willing to be part of a team of contestants (think Family Feud), please sign up on the registration form.

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Breakout Session Four
Labor and Employment General Session

Rob Dubault

A major challenge for any HR professional is staying on top of the current and ever-changing state of the law. Several of the major federal employment laws have been amended recently, and legislation is pending at both the Federal and State levels to further modify those laws or, in some cases, enact entirely new laws that regulate various aspects of the employer-employee relationship. At the same time, Courts and administrative agencies continue to issue decisions interpreting all of the various federal and state labor and employment laws.

This session will review recent and proposed changes to the law, as well as significant recent court decisions. We will discuss what employers should be doing to ensure that they are not only complying with the law and protecting their organizations' interests, but also what they should do to keep from being the defendant in the next big case.

Employee Benefits Breakout A: Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans: What and Why?
Justin Stemple

The term non-qualified deferred compensation plan is broad and often means different things to different people. This session will discuss what types of plans may be meant by non-qualified deferred compensation plan and why these plans are so crucial in attracting and retaining executives and management. This session will focus on the practical side of selecting, implementing and administering a non-qualified deferred compensation plan, but will also address the basic legal structure and compliance issues related to non-qualified deferred compensation plans. [Note this session will not include an in-depth analysis of (dreaded) Section 409A.]

Employee Benefits Breakout B: Be a Prudent Fiduciary: How to select, Monitor and Assure That Your Providers Properly Exercise Their Responsibilities and Assume Appropriate ERISA and Contractual Liability
John McKendry

ERISA requires that an employer and plan sponsor expertly select and monitor its retirement plan and other benefit providers through a documented process. As part of the process, you should, through written agreements with the providers, (recordkeepers, investment providers, investment advisers, and participant advisers) assure that they are receiving only reasonable compensation, identify the duties allocated to the provider, and require that the providers take contractual and fiduciary liability for their actions. This session will provide a roadmap to fulfilling these duties together with appropriate practical and benchmarking information along the way.

Employee Benefits Breakout C: HIPAA Basic Training for Health and Welfare Plan Administrators
Norbert Kugele

With the recent HITECH amendments to HIPAA, now is a good time to refresh your memory on HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification requirements and fulfill your HIPAA training obligation. This session will take a focused look at how HIPAA applies to welfare plans and your obligations to keep the information confidential and secure.

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Breakout Session Five
Employee Benefits Breakout A: Qualified Plan Pitfalls: Top Tens you Won’t see on Letterman

George Whitfield

The IRS and the DOL have a heightened emphasis on compliance and ever more sophisticated means of targeting retirement plans that are likely to have compliance failures. This session will provide practical information on ways to avoid an examination of your qualified plan, on the evolving emphasis on enforcement, and on the steps you can take to have a successful examination if your plan is selected by the IRS or the DOL. It will address the latest IRS Employee Plans critical examination priorities and enforcement initiatives, including results of the survey of 401(k) plans scheduled for early 2010. The latest DOL national and regional enforcement goals for qualified plans also will be covered. You’ll receive checklists and tips for avoiding common mistakes that can come back to haunt plan administration. And yes, there will be more than one Top Ten list you won't see on Letterman.

Employee Benefits Breakout B: Health Care Reform
Sue Conway, Norbert Kugele

What's coming down the road? How will it affect your organization and your health plans? In this session, we’ll update you on health care reform and its implications for employer-sponsored health plans.

Labor and Employment Breakout A: Conflict Resolution
Lou Rabaut

HR professionals often are called upon to resolve conflicts in the workplace. This session will provide you with a structured approach to conflict resolution including identification of your role in the conflict resolution, common sources of conflict, and conflict resolution strategies to bring about a successful resolution.

Labor and Employment Breakout B: ADA Changes (Repeat of earlier session)
Karen VanderWerff

On January 1, 2009, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act took effect. The purpose of the amendment was to broaden the definition of "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act and to overrule Supreme Court decisions that Congress viewed as having unjustifiably narrowed the definition of "disability." In the fall of 2009, new regulations were proposed for the amended Act. This session will focus on the changes to the Act and how these changes affect employment practices. In particular, this session will discuss the broader definition of "disability" and the importance of engaging in the interactive process.

Labor and Employment Breakout C: Protecting Your Organization's Proprietary and Confidential Information
Bob Cleary

Your organization's proprietary and confidential information are valuable assets and should be protected from potential misappropriation by disloyal employees and ex-employees. Computer technology makes key organizational information more accessible and more portable to an ever increasing universe of unintended parties. This session will provide an overview of the most effective strategies to limit such misappropriation by use of enforceable restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements. This session will also provide checklists to enhance your organization's capacity to enforce such agreements in the event confidential information is compromised.

SEMINAR MATERIALS

To support our firm's sustainability initiatives, we offer our seminar materials in two eco-friendly formats or in the hard copy 3-ring binder. For those who join us in reducing the amount of materials we produce for this seminar, we are offering materials at a discounted rate.

Handout materials will be available in the following options:

  • On-line materials. Materials for all sessions will be e-mailed to you 3 days prior to the seminar. You may opt to print all or portions of the materials to bring with you or to access from your computer before or after the program.
  • Flash drive. Materials for all sessions will be loaded on 2 gb flash drives. You may bring a laptop to follow along during the program or print off the materials afterwards.
  • Hard copy binder. Materials for all sessions will be printed and made available in our traditional 3-ring binder.

DIRECTIONS & PARKING

DeVos Place is located at 303 Monroe Avenue, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Directions and a map are available at the DeVos Place Web site: www.devosplace.org/Location%20and%20Parking/103/. Parking is available in the DeVos Place underground lot. There are two entrances: one off Bridge Street, another off of Lyon Street (a service drive in between the Amway Grand Plaza and DeVos Place). The Lyon Street entrance will put you closer to the meeting rooms. However, if you enter from Bridge Street, try to park at the south end of the lot to save a long walk. Vouchers will be issued at the program for the DeVos Place lot only.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Overnight accommodations are available next door at the Amway Grand Plaza. Please call the hotel early to reserve your room and be sure to identify yourself as a WNJ HR Seminar attendee to receive the special room rate of $139.

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions about the program, please call Sharon Sprague at 616.752.2326.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.

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