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Events | May 16, 2023
7 minute read

Warner 2023 HR Seminar

Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Ambassador Ballroom
187 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Warner’s employee benefits and labor and employment attorneys hosted the 2023 HR Seminar on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. This is one HR Seminar you won’t want to miss! This full day of presentations focused on a variety of topics spanning law changes and current trends impacting the employee benefits and labor and employment landscape. “Law Shanty on the Road” made an in-person appearance at the event, featuring guests who shared insights on a number of horizon issues.


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.        


8:30 – 9:15 a.m.        

Retirement Update

Justin Stemple

While Congress was busy passing SECURE Act 2.0, the IRS and Department of Labor continued to issue guidance impacting qualified retirement plans, including final regulations regarding investments in ESG funds and exercising proxy voting rights. And courts continue to resolve litigation involving breach of fiduciary duty claims for excessive fees and address procedural matters regarding retirement plan litigation, such as the viability of arbitration clauses and the scope of the Department of Labor’s subpoena power. This session will address recent developments affecting qualified retirement plans other than SECURE Act 2.0.

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.      

SECURE 2.0 Legislation: A New World for Retirement Plans

Heidi Lyon and Jennifer Watkins

The retirement plan world has been upended by significant federal legislation passed in late 2022 – the SECURE 2.0 Act. With over 90 provisions in this area, there’s a lot to catch up on and some of it already applies! In this session, we’ll discuss what we know at this point about the immediately effective changes, how they apply to employer retirement plans and next steps for following up. Then, we’ll address the many components of the law taking effect next year and in the years to come to help you plan for required changes and new options.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.    


10:30 – 11:15 a.m.    

SECURE 2.0 Legislation: A New World for Retirement Plans (cont.)

Heidi Lyon and Jennifer Watkins

11:15 – 12:00 noon  

Health and Welfare Update – Learning from Others’ Mistakes

Stephanie Grant

Stephanie will provide an update on all things related to health and welfare, using recent real-life cases to illustrate what not to do and best practices to avoid costly litigation. She’ll cover the alleged deficiencies in COBRA forms that have caused many class action lawsuits, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that impact employers’ health and welfare plans, the latest on the DOL’s Mental Parity enforcement, court cases that emphasize ERISA’s fiduciary duties, the impact of Title VII, Section 1557 discrimination lawsuits and more.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.      


1:00 – 1:40 p.m.        

The Updated Legal Landscape of Noncompete Agreements

Dean Pacific, Justin Stemple and Ed Bardelli

For decades, noncompete agreements have been a critical tool for businesses seeking to protect their confidential and proprietary information and protect their relationships with key customers. But the landscape for enforcement of such agreements has changed dramatically in recent years. A number of states have amended their noncompete statutes to place limitations on who can be bound to a noncompete based on the industry involved, position held, income level and other factors. Moreover, in January the Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule that, if enacted, would ban noncompete agreements and require the rescission of existing noncompete agreements. This proposed federal law would preempt all state laws that conflict with it, and have very limited exceptions. We will discuss what to expect going forward from the law governing noncompetes, and how to address these changes with current employees and agreements, and the use of deferred compensation and equity incentives to accomplish some of the same business objectives.

1:40 – 2:20 p.m.        

EEO Compliance In a Modern World

DeAndre’ Harris and Kelsey Dame

Over the past few years, antidiscrimination laws have evolved at both the federal and state levels, putting pressure on employers to become more socially conscious and innovative. This session will provide employers insight on emerging trends in the EEO landscape along with practical guidance in how to navigate employment decisions based on new protected characteristics and new technology, such as ChatGPT. Employers will walk away with a better understanding of the risks associated with employment decisions based on conduct protected by antidiscrimination laws.     

2:20 – 2:30 p.m.        


2:30 – 3:10 p.m.        

Federal and State Wage and Hour Developments

Rob Dubault, Amanda Fielder and Anne Steen

The U.S. DOL has proposed a rule that will make it harder for workers to be classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and intends to increase the salary level for the “white collar” exemptions to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. In addition, more states are passing laws prohibiting salary inquiries during the application process and requiring employers to publish wage or salary ranges when advertising for open positions. We will review these and other developments, including what this might mean for your organization. We will wrap up by providing best practices to avoid FLSA litigation and minimize exposure.

3:10 – 3:50 p.m.        

ADA, FMLA and Sick Leave Issues

Karen VanderWerff, Jon Kok and Danica Hosaka

The COVID-19 pandemic is over and everyone is back to work … well not so fast. Navigating the employee leave landscape is more complicated than ever. In this session, we will discuss real-life scenarios to help you navigate these complex leave issues. We will discuss the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Paid Medical Leave Act as well as recent case law and administrative guidance to help you make informed decisions when an employee requests time off.

3:50 – 4:30 p.m.        

Law Shanty On the Road

Steve Palazzolo, Allyson Terpsma, Nate Steed, Madelaine Lane and Kristina Munsters

You will have a chance to “visit” the Law Shanty with a series of guests who will present on important issues for employers. We will cover employee surveillance and what you can and cannot do with electronic surveillance in the work place, the state and federal rules regarding when you can and cannot listen to what your employees are doing, and what the National Labor Relations Board has to say about video surveillance in the workplace. We will also discuss employee privacy rights with respect to email monitoring, privacy protection and concerns regarding employee data. In addition, we will address investigations and the importance of document retention to ensure you are protecting your company. Finally, we will highlight issues to consider when buying or renewing employment liability insurance coverage, including your right to select counsel and protect yourself should litigation arise.


Full-Day Program:                 

$150 WNJ Clients      
$200 Non-clients

Half-Day Program:                

$100 WNJ Clients      
$150 Non-clients

Multi-attendee Discount: If three or more people from the same organization attend, you may receive a 15% registration discount. Be sure to enter “WNJ-HR-2023” as the promotional code to receive the discount.

Lunch and materials are included with every registration. Program materials are provided online in advance of the seminar.

Parking is free for those who park in the DeVos Place parking lot. (Vouchers are only valid for the DeVos Place parking lot/ramp and will not apply to the hotel ramp or valet parking.)

Continuing Education Credits

This program has been approved for 6.45 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward a PHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®).

This program qualifies for SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs) which relate to the SRHM Body of Competency and Knowledge™ (SHRM BoCK).


If you have questions about the program, please contact Lori Folkertsma at 616.752.2492 or