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Event Details

    NRV SHRM Half Day Legal Update

    Date: September 21, 2017, 11:30am – 5:00pm
    Hilton Garden Inn
    900 Plantation Road
    Blacksburg, VA 24060
    Premium Members - Free, Guests -$55 (Lunch Included)
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    Pre-Approved for 4.0 HRCI for Recertification Credits 


    • Jim Cowan, Attorney and Chairman of CowanPerry PC
    • Eric Chapman, Attorney at Law with CowanPerry PC
    • Dave Basham, Program Analyst for the U.S. Citizenship & Immigrations Services, DHS



    Investigations 101: Key Issues in Handling Workplace Complaints and Investigations

    Investigations 101 is designed as a mid-level to advanced refresher on conducting workplace investigations into allegations such as harassment or discrimination. The presentation is organized around discussion of "key issues" that may arise during the course of an investigation that present challenges to the investigator, including but not limited to:

    (1) When the complainant won't identify the harasser;
    (2) when a party discusses the investigation or ignores request to maintain confidentiality;
    (3) when the alleged perpetrator is a supervisor;
    (4) when a complainant requests "no action" or specific action;
    (5) when an investigation is inconclusive;
    (6) when you suspect a party is recording you or other participants.

    It also includes a review of key provisions for handbook policies, handling disclosure of the results of the investigation, the reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace, and developing and enforcing anti-discrimination polices. The key issues present opportunity to discussion and development of practical solutions to addressing the situation, while informing the audience of the legal issues that may come into play as a result of these issues.

    Flying Solo: 10 Critical Focus Points for Single-Staff HR Departments

    This program was designed after receiving multiple requests from the local SHRM Chapter. It focuses on key compliance issues and items for review for HR practitioners who are either the solo HR employee at their employer or may have recently transitioned into a role with a new employer and need to review the HR records. It identifies a list of approximately ten "pain points" that when identified and addressed, greatly reduce exposure to legal liability and help set the groundwork for establishing best practices. Topics include: FLSA classification; I9 forms; Employee Handbook review; FMLA (brief overview and key definitions); ADA and reasonable accommodation requirements; social media policies; and more.

    Audience Members will receive flowcharts and short overviews designed to assist them in identifying problem areas and providing, when possible, resources for further analysis.

    I'll Have What She's Having: Presenter's Tasting Menu on Spicey Legal Issues with Best Practice Pairings

    This program is an overview of recent changes to the legal landscape and identification of current trending legal issues, as identified by legal experts, the elected officials and administrators charged with enforcement, and recent court cases. The structure of the program identified a current "hot topic" and provides suggested "best practices" for addressing the issue and preventing the employer from landing in hot water (or on the local news). Current key issues identified are:

    (1) The First Amendment and the Workplace (and social media);
    (2) Status of the Obama FLSA White Collar Overtime Exemption Rule;
    (3) Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Compliance;
    (4) EEOC Enforcement trends under the Trump Administration; and
    (5) The Looming Issue of "Legal" Marijuana Use by Employees; among others.

    Audience members will participate in the discussion and have the opportunity to raise their own "hot topics" for response from presenters. Audience members should leave with an understanding of the current discourse on key legal issues and ways that the focus of enforcement may be shifting and how practices are changing to comply.

    Who’s Eyeing your Form I-9s & E-Verify?

    Even the most ‘seasoned’ I-9 professionals will walk from this high energy conversation saying “I didn’t know that”!  We’ll discuss the changes in the revised Form I-9 that came out in Nov ‘16, the difference in completing the pen-to-paper version versus the ‘fillable’ form,  address many areas including common mistakes made while completing the I-9, how you can complete an I-9, on a new hire, before they starting working for pay, that there ‘is’ more than one I-9 that can be used in the USA and where you can use it, copying documents along with what to do if you are missing an I-9.  Additionally, we touch on E-Verify,  the free web-based service administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows enrolled  employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their new hires. 

    Key Learning Objectives

    • Conduct employment eligibility verifications correctly
    • Avoid committing unfair work-related discriminatory employment practices
    • Locate a host of resources to assist in their employment eligibility verification process

    Eliminate the many times incorrect, “well, I heard I could….” procedures via a thorough presentation and question & answer session.

    About the Speakers: 

    Jim is the Chairman of CowanPerry PC. His practice focuses on representing management in the full spectrum of labor & employment related issues confronted by employers in today's workplace, and representing property owners and developers on land use issues. He represents a number of employers, business owners and developers in the region, ranging from high-tech start-ups to large manufacturers, and from local property owners to national developers.

    He has eighteen years of trial experience representing employers in numerous unfair competition cases involving breach of restrictive covenants, myriad types of business and partnership disputes, and the waterfront of employment-related litigation, including employee benefits and ERISA claims.

    Over the course of his career, he has represented companies in federal and state courts across Virginia in commercial litigation and in the defense of wrongful discharge claims, including disability, age, family medical leave, sexual harassment, race, and gender under the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Family Medical Leave Act and Fair Labor Standards Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. §1981; and before the Virginia Supreme Court on appellate matters. Jim also represents employers before the NLRB, the EEOC and the Virginia Employment Commission. Additionally, he specializes in the preparation of affirmative action plans and responding to OFCCP and other Department of Labor audits.

    Jim is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the New River Valley Society for Human Resource Management, serves as General Counsel to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, and is Chairman of the New River Valley Regional Executive Council. He is a frequent speaker and corporate trainer, and an active member of the Virginia State Bar. He has been recognized repeatedly in "The Best Lawyers in America;" as a Virginia "Super Lawyer" each of the past four years; and named to Virginia Business Magazine's "Legal Elite." Jim was also named by Richmond Magazine as a "Rising Superlawyer" in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2007-2009.

    Eric focuses his practice in the areas of business litigation, employment law, and corporate transactions. He helps clients navigate employment law issues, including E.E.O.C., ADA, Title VII, and ADEA claims. Eric’s experience in evaluating and analyzing employment law claims makes him a valuable member of the litigation team and allows him to advise clients on preventing employment issues and strategically resolving them when they arise. Additionally, he draws upon his eclectic work and management experiences to craft unique and cost-effective solutions for businesses.

    Prior to joining CowanPerry, Eric worked as a summer associate with LeClairRyan at their Blacksburg office, and as a paralegal at Charlson Bredehoft Cohen & Brown in Reston, Virginia. During law school, he served as a judicial intern for The Honorable James G. Welsh, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Virginia, and as a yearlong extern for The Honorable Rebecca B. Connelly, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Virginia. Additionally, while at Washington & Lee University School of Law, Eric was selected as a Burks Scholar, and taught legal research and writing skills to first-year law students.

    In 2014, Eric was appointed as the 27th Circuit Representative for the Virginia State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Conference. He is also an Associate Member of the Ted Dalton American Inns of Court and Board Member of the New River Valley Chapter of Mental Health America.

    Dave joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008 following his retirement from the U.S. Army.  He has conducted over 500 Form I-9 and E-Verify presentations to nationwide audiences including elected officials, immigration attorneys, compliance personnel to human resources and payroll professionals. Dave conducts ongoing sessions for associations that include; Society of HR Management, American Payroll, National Notary.  In 2016, the American Payroll Association presented Dave with their annual APA Government Partner Award in recognition of his service, as a government agent, to the payroll community.  In 2014, Dave was selected as the recipient of Arkansas’s SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) ‘Friend of HR’ award.  Dave’s military assignments were numerous in the Infantry arena. His military service decorations include the Legion of Merit.  Dave’s originally from West Virginia but now makes his home in historic Virginia.

    Lunch will be served at 11:30am, and a snack will be served at 3:00pm.

    • Salad with Dressings
    • Warm Rolls with Butter
    • Oven Roasted Potatoes
    • Garden Vegetable Medley
    • Veggie Lasagna
    • Sliced London Broil
    • Roasted Chicken
    • Chocolate Cake