Commissioner Lindsey will officiate a public reading of the Governor's Proclamation declaring the week of Dec. 2-8, 2012 as Human Rights Week in Minnesota.
8:45 am - 9:45 am
Commissioner Lindsey will discuss changes within the Department of Human Rights concerning discrimination investigations, contract compliance, public policy initiatives and recent Minnesota Court opinions interpreting the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Presenter: Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Session One: Employment Workshops
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Sexual harassment has been illegal for decades, yet it remains one of the most litigated areas in the law. The Minnesota Supreme Court in LaMont v. Independent School District #728 and Rasmussen v. Two Harbors Fish Co. issued two opinions this year providing guidance on the issue of what constitutes sexual harassment under Minnesota law. The Minnesota Court of Appeals was also busy issuing opinions on sexual harassment with five opinions since January. This session will provide attendees with an update on sexual harassment law in Minnesota.
Presenter: Howard Bolter, Attorney, Fishman, Carp, Bescheinen, Bolter & Van Berkom, Ltd.
The United States Supreme Court with its decisions in Burlington Northern v. White and Thompson v. North American Stainless has set off a wave of litigation concerning who may bring a claim for reprisal discrimination and what constitutes adverse employment action. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the discrimination claim that has seen the greatest increase in filings is reprisal. This session will explore the new world of reprisal discrimination claims and where courts are likely to go in the future.
Presenters: Charles Knapp, Partner, Faegre, Baker & Daniels; Joel Schroeder, Attorney, Faegre, Baker & Daniels
Barriers to People with Disabilities in the Courtroom
Is the judicial system fair and accessible to those with physical or mental disabilities? What are the challenges in the courtroom to those victims, witnesses, or accused who are deaf or hard of hearing, wheel chair bound, or have limited mental capacity? Panelists in this workshop will discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), recent court cases involving individuals with disabilities, and appropriate courtroom etiquette for interacting with a person who has a disability.
Presenters: Pamela Hoopes, Legal Director, Minnesota Disability Law Center; JaneAnne Murray, Practitioner in Residence, University of Minnesota Law School, Principal, Murray Law LLC
Session Two: Criminal Justice Workshops
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Criminal Background Checks
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this year issued guidance to all employers on when the use of information from a criminal background check in making an employment decision concerning an applicant may expose the employer to liability. Municipalities are contemplating limiting their vendors from being able to inquire about criminal history until a conditional job offer is extended. Advocates are urging a comprehensive solution through a criminal background statute. Participants will hear the current state of the law as well as where the law might be heading in the near future.
Presenters: Judge Pamela Alexander, President, Council on Crime and Justice; Emily Baxter, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy, Council on Crime and Justice; Carl C. Lehmann, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates the Secure Communities program, an enforcement program that screens individuals for immigration-related violations as they are booked into jail and while they are incarcerated. The overarching goal of this program is to identify and remove criminal aliens who pose a serious threat to public safety. However, some lawmakers and advocacy groups have raised concerns that Secure Communities may result in racial profiling, have adverse impacts on police-community relations, and may lead to the detention of people who have not been convicted of criminal offenses and may not be subject to removal. Participants can expect to leave with a better understanding of the Secure Communities program and recent challenges to implementing the program in Minnesota.
Presenters: Hector Garcia, Executive Director, Chicano Latino Affairs Council; Senator John Harrington, Metro Transit Police Chief and Former St. Paul Chief of Police; John Keller, Executive Director, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Commissioner's Top 10 Dos and Don'ts
What you should do before the Department of Human Rights. Commissioner Lindsey will offer insights that charging parties and respondents should know about the inner workings of the department, before they file their charge or before they respond to a charge filed against them.
Presenter: Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Session Three: Public Policy Workshops
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The Governor's Task Force submitted its report on school bullying on August 1 of this year, calling for a series of reforms including the enactment of new school bullying legislation. School Bullying Task Force members will discuss the current state of the law, the testimony they received, the report, and why they believe the recommendations in the report need to be acted upon to reduce school bullying.
Presenters: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education; Phil Duran, Legal Director, OutFront Minnesota; Walter Roberts, Professor, Mankato State University
In November, Minnesota citizens went to the polls to determine whether they wanted to amend the constitution to require all eligible voters to present photo identification before casting their ballot. Although the Voter ID amendment was defeated, issues surrounding absentee voting, early voting, rights of ex-felons and those under guardianship remain. Participants will hear from a panel of experts on what issues in the area of election law are before us as we enter into the 2013 legislative session.
Presenters: Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney; Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State
Social Media and Hiring
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging have substantially changed the world. Employees need to understand the risks they face every time they post or click at work or at home. Those who believe that what is posted is private or that there are no consequences to surfing the web need to think again. Conversely, employers also need to be cognizant that without a well-crafted social media policy they may be opening themselves up to more problems than solutions when they make hiring and disciplinary decisions. Moreover, the use of social media in the workplace raises privacy and sexual harassment concerns. Participants will learn ways to properly utilize social media for hiring purposes and in the workplace, as well as how to avoid the legal pitfalls associated with this growing technology.
Presenter: Penelope Phillips, Attorney, Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon, & Vogt
2:15 pm - 3:30 pm
Reducing Disparities in Employment and Contracting
Government is becoming proactive in its efforts to collaborate among all stakeholders to reduce disparities that exist in their hiring and contracting practices. This session will feature a roundtable discussion concerning the East Metro "Everybody In" Initiative, the One Minneapolis Initiative, and the efforts of the State of Minnesota's Diversity and Inclusion Council on government working in partnership to reduce disparities in hiring and contracting.
Presenters: Karen Francois, Director of Employment Equity, City of Minneapolis; Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council Member; Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights; Nekima Levy-Pounds, Professor, University of St. Thomas and Chair of Everybody In Implementation Team; Val Vargas, President and CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Topics subject to change.
Questions about this event?
Call us at 651.539.1126 (TTY 651.296.1283) or Toll Free 800.657.3704.