EmployerLINC 2011 seminar draws large audiences in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa

McAfee & Taft held its annual labor, employment and employee benefits seminar, EmployerLINC 2011, on April 20th at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City and April 26th at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa. The free half-day seminar drew a combined 797 registrants for the two events.

The opening session featured guest speaker Don Schooler, general counsel for the Oklahoma Department of Labor, who discussed some of the most frequently asked questions about his agency and its enforcement actions. The general session was followed by four breakout sessions.

Employment attorneys Paul Ross and Josh Solberg presented a session titled, “The ADAAA and Final EEOC Regulations: A Whole New Ballgame for Employers,” in which they discussed what impact the long-awaited regulations will have on employers as the landscape of disability law shifts significantly in the favor of employees.

In a session titled “Employee Benefits: Compliance Strategies to Avoid Sanctions, Penalties and Litigation,” employee benefits attorneys Bill FreudenrichBrandon LongMary Steichen and John Papahronis examined two areas of retirement plan compliance that employers need to pay special attention to this year, including new retirement plan fee disclosures that will be required beginning in 2012 and how to correct plan errors and avoid penalties related to group retirement plans. The panel also previewed an upcoming EmployerLINC webinar on health care reform.

Employment attorneys Charlie PlumbBetsy Wood and Curtis Thomas presented a session titled “Government Crackdown on Wage & Hour Issues,” during which they discussed what employers can expect during the upcoming year from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, including new right-to-know regulations, increased class action lawsuits and the agency’s increased scrutiny on independent contractors and compensable time for off-the-clock emails, phone calls and testing.

In a highly requested session, employment attorneys Sam FulkersonNathan WhatleyKathy Neal and Sharolyn Whiting-Ralston answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including: how the FMLA applies when there is no legal or biological parent-child relationship; how to handle benefits for an employee on FMLA and what happens once they have exhausted their 12 weeks; and what you can and can’t do when an employee requests or takes FMLA leave.

For more than a decade, McAfee & Taft has presented these free employment and employee benefit seminars to employers and their human resources professionals. The firm has one of the largest labor, employment and employee benefits groups in the region and represents management exclusively both locally and nationally. Its attorneys have been recognized by leading national publications, including Go-To Law Firms of the World’s Leading CompaniesChambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for BusinessThe Best Lawyers in America and Oklahoma Super Lawyers.