May 02, 2017
The Taylor Porter labor and employment practice team held a "Spring Training" Labor and Employment Law Seminar for human resources department professionals from across the Baton Rouge area, held on Thursday, April 27, in the Firm's Founders Room in the Chase North Tower. The seminar was approved by the HR Certification Institute for 3 hours of Continuing Education credit.
Taylor Porter Partner Lenore Feeney delivered the opening pitch of the seminar with "Talking Baseball: Social Media in the Workplace," discussing the rights that employers and employees have when using social media during and after work hours; protection afforded by the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act; rules that can be enforced about what employees can post; social media posts and tweets that may be used as evidence in disciplinary matters; and post-employment posting concerns upon termination of employees.
Partner Andrée Cullens provided the middle relief of the seminar and followed Feeney with a presentation on "Stealing Signs: Data Security," focusing on data security breaches and what companies should do when their confidential information is hacked, including how to notify clients and customers of the breach. Cullens also discussed the possibilities of civil actions being brought upon companies that did not disclose breaches in a timely manner.
The closers of the seminar - Partner and Labor and Employment Practice Team Leader Vicki Crochet, Partner Tom Peak and Associate Lauren Rivera - presented "Heaters, Change-Ups, Sliders and Curveballs: Rapid Fire Workplace Developments," on Pregnancy and Leave Issues, Overtime/Wage-Hour Rules, Transgender/Gender Identity, and Religious/National Origin Discrimination. In Crochet's presentation on Pregnancy and Leave issues, she discussed the most recent court rulings surrounding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act; and reasonable accommodations that can be made between employers and pregnant employees at work.
Peak updated those in attendance on the overtime/wage-hour rules that were scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016, but the rules were put on hold and may not be addressed by the Department of Labor until this summer. Peak also presented on "Transgender and Gender Identity" issues, focusing on the definitions of transgender, transsexual and gender identity by the EEOC; litigation in the courts and recent developments surrounding these issues. In Rivera's presentation on "Religious/National Origin Discrimination," she discussed the first update in 2016 by the EEOC, since 2002, on enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination. She advised companies to communicate to employees through policies and procedures that discrimination and/or harassment would not be tolerated, and focused on how to be proactive and provide trainings to employees addressing these policies.
Since the firm's inception in 1912, Taylor Porter has continued to sustain itself as one of the oldest, largest and most respected law firms in Louisiana, and the labor and employment practice team has represented clients across the wide spectrum of labor and employment issues that govern the rights and duties between employers and workers.