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Event Details

    NRV SHRM FULL Day Legal Update

    Date: September 20, 2018, 8:00am – 5:00pm
    900 Life Dr
    Christiansburg, VA 24073
    Premium Members - Free, Guests -$80 (Lunch Included)
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    Pre-approved for 7.0 recertification credits!



    8:00am - REGISTRATION


    Speaker: Eric Chapman, Attorney at CowanPerry PC

    Content: The presentation will cover the requirements and obligations under the FMLA and ADA with a focus on understanding what is covered by each statutory regime and the rights and obligations of employees and employers under each. The program will examine key issues that can arise when employees qualify under both programs and will provide ide examples and hypotheticals that also examine the implications of worker’s compensation requirements in connection with these issues. 

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

    Learning objectives include identifying areas of potential overlap between ADA and FMLA and navigating these instances to ensure employees are properly treated under both regimes and employers avoid exposure or liability from inadvertent actions or poor practices. 

    About the Speaker: 

    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.

    Eric is the Secretary of the Ted Dalton American Inns of Court and Board Member of the New River Valley Chapter of Society for Human Resources Management and the Community Foundation for the New River Valley.

    Eric frequently gives presentations on employment law, legal strategy, and employment law compliance to employers, legal associations, and SHRM Chapters. 

    Eric has been identified as a SuperLaywers Rising Star in the area of Employment Law for the past two years.


    Speaker: Nathanial Griffin, Safety and Health /Consultant with Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Consultation Division

    Content: This session will cover what to expect when an OSHA enforcement officer shows up to your worksite for a scheduled inspection, an employee complaint or a hospitalization  and death. We will discuss the different priorities in inspections, what the employers responsibilities are and options are. in addition, we will discuss the resources available to employers. 

    About the Speaker: 

    Nathanial Griffin is an Industrial Hygienist with Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry’s Consultation Services.  He was been with DOLI for 2 years in this capacity and has over 10 years in the safety and health field as well as working with workers compensation claim with the Department of Corrections.  Nathanial is currently finishing his Bachelor’sdegree in Occupational Safety and Health, and plans on utilizing this degree with his current position to make help assist businesses to exceed in safety and health for their employees as well as implementing these programs to increase their quality of products and profits.


    Speaker: Jim Cowan, Attorney and Chairman of CowanPerry PC

    Content: Separation Agreements

    When should you use a separation agreement and release? What are the pros and cons of different types? Confidentiality, non-disparagement, liquidated damages, no-rehire, cooperation, injunctions, rights to file administrative charges, arbitration, ADEA/OWBPA notices and revocation rules. What key provisions should you include, and what language might place your release on a dangerous footing? We will discuss these issues and the mechanics of severance programs, including the use of agreemetns with difficult and potentially litigious employees, and related practical tips for exiting individuals from the workplace while managing litigation risk

    • Understanding key terms and provisions of separation agreemetns and releases
    • Walk through a "model release"
    • Best practices for handling the mechanics of a termination and presentation of a severance offer and release
    • Understanding employees' rights to a 21 or 45-day consideratio nperiod and 7-day revocation period under the ADEA/OWBPA
    • Consideration of tax consequences of variousi severance options and benefits
    • Do's and Don'ts of extending medical benefits and/or reimbursing costs of COBRA coverage
    • Use of confidentiality, non-disparagement, non-compete and liquidated damages provisions and the key terms and limits on use of the same

    About the Speaker: 

    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, handling complex business litigation matters and representing property owners and developers on land use issues, and commercial real estate projects. He represents a wide range 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 over twenty years of trial experience representing employers in non-compete litigation, 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 serves as General Counsel to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, and is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the New River Valley Society for Human Resource Management and New River Land Trust. He is a frequent speaker and corporate trainer, and an active member of the Virginia State Bar – Labor & Employment Section. He has been recognized repeatedly over ten years by “The Best Lawyers in America”[since 2006 to present]; and as a Virginia “Super Lawyer”[Rising Star 2007-2009; and since 2010 to present].  Additionally, he has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite.”

    12:00pm - LUNCH


    Speaker: Todd Leeson, Attorney and Partner of Gentry Locke

    Content: Sexual harassment continues to be a significant problem in the workplace.  Moreover, management training has proven to be largely ineffective in preventing inappropriate conduct at work. This session will update attendees on the legal and practical steps companies must take to make real progress.

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Educated attendees regarding the law and the latest research and trends
    • Challenge attendees to update their policies and practices beyond simple legal compliance

    About the Speaker: Todd Leeson has almost 30 years of experience representing and advising Virginia employers in employment and labor law matters and litigation. He regularly defends employment claims in Virginia courts and before agencies including the EEOC, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), DOL and OSHA (whistleblower and retaliation claims). His experience includes the defense of companies as to alleged violations of Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA and the NLRA.

    Todd regularly drafts, enforces, and/or litigates non-compete agreements and executive employment contracts. In addition, he has considerable experience representing management in labor union matters including union avoidance campaigns, unfair labor practice charges and labor arbitrations.

    He also represents Virginia colleges in various student conduct matters including Title IX and sexual misconduct complaints. Todd is rated “AV/Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, was selected a Virginia Super Lawyer for Employment & Labor Law, and is repeatedly named one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor & Employment Law.



    Speaker: Agnis Chakravorty, Parner with Woods Rogers PLC

    Content: Discussion on Confidentiality, Covenants Not to Compete, and Non-Solicitation Agreements

    About the Speaker: 

    Agnis Chakravorty is a member of Woods Rogers’ Labor and Employment practice group where he counsels employers on human resources issues including noncompete agreements, employee handbooks, and company reorganization. His experience extends to litigation and dispute resolution, as well as local government and agency work.

    Agnis worked on model noncompetition agreements for a Fortune 500 company covering employees nationwide, drafted a handbook for one of Virginia’s largest contractors, and helped one of Virginia’s largest private medical practices reorganize its operations. In addition, he has written precedent-setting employee/employer relations legislation at the state level. This legislation now protects small and large businesses from frivolous law suits.

    Prior to joining Woods Rogers, Agnis was a principal at the Center for Employment Law P.C. He is ranked as a Virginia Super Lawyer and holds a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preemiment Overall Peer Review rating of 5.0. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and named Legal Elite by Virginia Business magazine. Best Lawyers in America named Agnis as the 2017 Roanoke Lawyer of the Year for Labor Law-Management.

    Agnis is a board member of the Al Pollard Memorial Foundation which raises scholarship money in the name of a Roanoke corporate leader.


    Speaker: Robert Wynne, Associate with McGuireWoodsLLP

    Content: Employee benefits is one of the fastest growing areas of the law. As such, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers need to stay on top of current developments – whether it’s an important new rule or regulation, administrative guidance or court decision. This presentation will give an in-depth look at some of the more recent legal developments in this area, including tax reform’s impact on executive compensation and employee benefits, the DOL’s new disability claims procedure regulation, the “death” of the fiduciary rule, the multiemployer pension plan crisis and more.

    About the Speaker: Robert Wynne is an associate in the Richmond office of McGuireWoods, where he is a member of the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation group. He advises clients on all matters arising under employee benefits and executive compensation laws, including issues relating to the design, administration, reporting and disclosure requirements for various retirement and welfare benefit plans and compensation arrangements. He represents and advises clients in interactions with the government, including the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and regularly assists in a variety of interdisciplinary practice areas that are affected by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.