Michael Saporito, CLE Coordinator, Social Law Library
The Social Law Library will be virtually hosting Attorney Jeffrey L. Hirsch of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP on October 22, 2020 for an online seminar from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. This will be the 12th year for this popular program – a cornerstone of the Library’s annual CLE roster of programs. This year Jeff decided to shake things up a bit and introduce a new, expanded format which will include a distinguished panel of a federal judge and five state and federal labor officials, who will share their thoughts on new case law, cutting edge issues and important agency enforcement initiatives. There are many changes in the field of labor and employment law and these knowledgeable officials are in important regulatory quasi-judicial and judicial roles. I was able to have a discussion with Jeff about the program and the new format.
Hi Jeff – nice to speak with you. It is great to be welcoming you back to the Library for the 12th year – and I am excited about the new format for this year – can you tell us about why you “mixed it up” and about the new format?
Over the years I had the honor to know and have meaningful conversations with many dedicated officials in the state and federal labor arena in my role as an author and I thought it was worth inviting these knowledgeable officials to share their expertise in our new format. Practitioners are always interested in hearing from the officials.
Who will be on the panel that you are moderating?
Judge Indira Talwani, Federal District Court, District of Massachusetts
Feng [Kenneth] An, Director, Boston Area Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Maia Fisher, Regional Solicitor, Region One, United States Department of Labor
Cynthia Mark, Chief, Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau, Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Paul J. Murphy, Acting Regional Director, National Labor Relations Board, Region One
Sunila Thomas-George, Chair, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Are there issues that will be covered regarding what we have all been going through this year with the pandemic – and how it relates to labor and employment law practice?
Certainly we will be discussing some pandemic-related legislation and regulations as they relate to day-to-day workplace issues. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Practitioners have been fielding many questions related to COVID -19 precautions since March, with a changing landscape of “FAQ’s” related to the FFCRA from the U.S. Department of Labor. Many issues raised relate to occupational safety and health, OSHA guidelines on Personal protective equipment (PPE) and allegation of “retaliation.” U. S. Department of Labor Regional solicitor Maia Fisher will be on the panel and will bring her informed perspective. In addition, increased union organization has occurred in a number of industries, sometimes involving perceived safety and health issues. The new legislation also amended the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), to provide for paid leaves under certain circumstances. Thousands of employees around the country requested leaves of absence.
Of course, when an employer assesses a request for a leave of absence – it often involves legal rights and obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), on which EEOC Director Feng An will share his knowledge.
Are there some highlights from this year’s update to your popular Lexis title Labor and Employment in Massachusetts - now in its 30th year of publication?
A very large segment of supplementation relates to the COVID 19 pandemic, focusing on health and safety guidelines and obligations to comply with CDC and OSHA guidelines.The recent supplement also contains updates on important NLRB cases as well as First Circuit cases. NLRB Acting Regional Director Paul Murphy will share his thoughts on those developments.
Anything else you would like say ahead of the webinar?
I am excited about having this group of experienced federal and state officials in the same virtual meeting room to share their knowledge with all of our attendees. As I mentioned – I have always had the opportunity to have access to meet with these officials at seminars and other functions. I appreciate the information and insights they provide and our goal is to share those insights with all of our attendees.
For more information about the program, the panel and to register – follow this link:
We hope to see you at the webinar!