2013 Human Rights Symposium Sessions

Human Rights Symposium 2013

Plenary Session

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey will discuss emerging issues and trends in Human Rights and how the department is addressing these issues while streamlining the department operations in investigations, contract compliance and public policy to reduce discrimination and empower all with the ability to contribute and enjoy the benefits of society.

Presenter: Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Morning Session A

9:40 - 10:40 AM

DEED Jobs and Business, Fostering Job Creation and Business Development for a Thriving Tomorrow

Track: Employment

The presenter will discuss recent efforts by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to foster job creation and business development including a discussion of the Urban Initiative Board.

Presenter: Kevin McKinnon, Director of Business and Community Developmentt, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)

Voting Rights: Recent Changes and Emerging Issues in Election Law

Track: Public Policy

Discussion on the current state of voting rights laws in the United States and Minnesota, recent changes in Minnesota law, emerging issues in the area of election law, and what we might expect in this area in the near future. Explore the origin of the Voting Rights Act, its evolution, and its legal importance in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court Voting Rights Act decision in Shelby County v. Holder and the significant state and federal legal changes that could come from this decision such as Voter ID laws.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Beyond the Governor’s Executive Order: The Tribal Consultation Policy & Tribal Law, Its Effect to Implement Change

Track: Emerging Issues

Attendees will hear about Governor Dayton’s 2013 Executive Order creating the Tribal Consultation Policy and how the unique legal relationship with federally recognized Tribal Nations, as affirmed by the U.S. Constitution, treaties, statutes, and case law merge to implement change.

1 Elimination of Bias CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Allison Jones, Policy Advisor, Governor's Office; AnnaMarie Hill, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council; Tadd Johnson, Head of the American Indian Studies Department, Univeristy of Minnesota - Duluth; Linda Aitken, Tribal Liaison, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Office of Government Affairs

MDHR's Legislative Update Featuring Minnesota's Advisory Councils

Track: MDHR Update

Attendees will hear from the executive directors from Minnesota's advisory councils about the legislative outlook for Minnesota's 2014 legislative session starting Feb. 25. Get insight into the issues trending for the 2014 session from school bullying to education to jobs from: Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC); Minnesota State Council On Disability, Chicano Latino Affairs Council, Council On Black Minnesotans and Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans about the legislative outlook for Minnesota's 2014 session starting Feb. 25. Get insight into the issues trending for the 2014 session from school bullying to education and jobs.

Presenters: Scott Beutel, Legislative & Public Affairs Liaison, Minnesota Department of Human Rights; representative from MIAC; Hector Garcia, Executive Director, CLAC; Sia Her, Executive Director, CAPM; Edward McDonald, Executive Director, COBM; Joan Willshire, Executive Director, MSCOD

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Morning Session B

10.50 - 11:50 AM

Religious Worship, Accommodations in the Workplace and the New Same-Sex Marriage Law – What Should One Do?

Track: Employment

The presenter will discuss religious accommodations and the wide-ranging issues for religion in the workplace. Religious accommodations in the workplace can be a sensitive and wide-ranging issue for employers. Employee requests for accommodation can range from scheduling changes to exemptions from appearance standards and dress codes. The presenter will address the legal pitfalls facing employers in accommodating employee’s religious beliefs in the workplace and provide practical insights on managing these issues. The presenter will discuss the new same-sex marriage law and its effects, and the implications of Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Antone Melton-Meaux, Managing Counsel of Labor and Employment Law at St. Jude Medical, Inc.

Heading Home: Ending Homelessness in Minnesota

Track: Public Policy

Despite an improving economy, homelessness continues to increase in Minnesota.  Last year, 14,000 Minnesotans were homeless on a typical night, almost half of them children. Workshop presenter Cathy ten Broeke discusses what the state and public-private partners are doing to end homelessness, and why housing stability is the key to reducing disparities in employment, education, health care and other areas.

Presenter: Cathy ten Broeke, State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness

Met Council's Initiative on Equity Programs and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities

Track: Emerging Issues

Presenter will discuss the Initiative on Equity of the Metropolitan Council including what steps the Met Council is undertaking to bring about more equity in its programs and respond to HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant.

Presenter: Susan Haigh, Chair, Metropolitan Council

"Ban the Box": What Private Employers Need to Know on January 1

Track: MDHR Updates

Discussion of the newly enacted “Ban the Box” law including the legal ramifications for how employers structure their hiring processes, the practical effects of the “Ban the Box” statute and compliance tips, and use of criminal background questions on job applications. The discussion will also cover how the Department of Human Rights intends to process complaints, and expectations that the Department has for companies receiving complaints.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Carl Lehmann, Gray Plant Mooty

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Afternoon Session A

1:20 - 2:20 PM

Employment Law Update 2012-2013

Track: Employment

This workshop covers the most significant United States Supreme Court, Eighth Circuit Court and Minnesota Supreme Court cases over the past year including Minnesota’s new “Ban the Box” law and implementation of legal policies and procedures prior to January 1, 2014, a review the National Labor Relations Board’s rulings regarding social media policies and how those decisions impact broader employment policies and data privacy statute changes, a review of the Veterans Preference Act, the use of sick leave to care for family members and enhanced whistleblower protections.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Bill Egan, Partner at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and Chair of Oppenheimer’s Labor & Employment Practice Group

The Commissioner's Top 10 List of Do's and Don'ts

Track: Public Policy

The Commissioner provides his Top 10 List of Legal Do’s and Don’ts in filing and responding to charges filed with the Department of Human Rights and offers insight on the emerging legal issues for human resource departments.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Reducing Health Disparities

Track: Emerging Issues

The presenter will discuss initiatives to reduce disparities in health outcomes in the State of Minnesota.

Presenter: Jose Gonzalez, Director of Minority and Multicultural Health, Minnesota Department of Health

What You Should Know in Responding to a Charge

Track: MDHR Update

Attendees will hear from MDHR Enforcement Officers (EOs) about the investigation process and what expectations EOs have when they interact with charging parties and respondents and their attorneys. This panel will provide practical clarification to Minn. Stat. 363A and the legal process from initial charge, to probable cause determination, to settlement or litigation.

Presenters: Enforcement Officers Jill Keen, Christina Schaffer, Eric Senske, Minnesota Department of Human Rights

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Afternoon Session B

2:30 - 3:30 PM

Wage Discrimination & Equal Pay: Emerging Trends in Case Law

Track: Employment

The presenter will discuss legal trends in the area of wage discrimination case law and highlighting recent enhanced enforcement efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to reduce disparities based on gender or other protected class.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Laurie Vasichek, Senior Trial Attorney, Minneapolis EEOC Office

Criminal Background Checks: Case Law, Implementation of Policies and Procedures

Track: Public Policy

Attendees will hear about what constitutes an appropriate and legal criminal background check policy for state and federal law and why this issue is likely to be a point of emphasis in the near future. The EEOC has been litigating racial disparate impact cases based on the use of criminal records creating a serious need for employers to examine the legality of their policies for federal law (Title VII). Minnesota’s 2013 “Ban the Box“ law also has legal ramifications for how employers structure their hiring processes.

1 Standard CLE credit (applied for)

Presenter: Justin Cummins, J.D., Cummins & Cummins LLP; Tina Burnside, Senior Trial Attorney, EEOC

Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan: Integrating People with Disabilities into the Community

Track: Emerging Issues

The presenters will discuss Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan and how the State of Minnesota is successfully integrating people with disabilities into the community.

Presenters: David Sherwood-Gabrielson, Director of Employment Services Transformation Initiative Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development; Colleen Wieck, Executive Director, Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities; Joan Willshire, Executive Director, Minnesota State Council on Disability

All That is New in Contract Compliance

Track: MDHR Updates

Assistant Commissioner Flynn will discuss changes to the certificate of compliance application, the new rating system and a general overview of the Department's process for evaluating good faith efforts. These changes have important legal implications for firms that seek state contracts and are required to maintain certificates of compliance.

Presenter: Tim Flynn, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights

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Topics and times subject to change.


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