‘Workplace Issues in the News’ seminar draws record numbers

EmployerLINC18 Seminar in Tulsa
Photos from EmployerLINC18 Seminars in Tulsa and Oklahoma City
(Middle) CandorPR president Karen Wicker shares her media relations expertise during the EmployerLINC18 Seminar in Tulsa. (Bottom) McAfee & Taft employment lawyer Kathy Neal, center left, providing an answer during the Q&A panel with fellow attorneys Charlie Plumb, Michael Lauderdale and Courtney Bru.

With so many workplace issues making the headlines in the past year, including the viral #MeToo movement exposing countless stories of sexual harassment and assault, McAfee & Taft’s annual labor, employment and employee benefits seminar attracted a record number of registrants. Executives, human resource professionals and benefits managers gathered for EmployerLINC18, the full-day seminar held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on March 27 and at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa on March 29.

This year’s theme, “Workplace Issues in the News,” looked beyond the headlines and focused on how those issues impact employers.

Hosted by the Labor and Employment Group, the morning session began with an hour-long presentation that explored the very real challenges associated with responding to sexual harassment claims in two important but very different arenas — the court of legal opinion and the court of public opinion. Joining McAfee & Taft lawyers Paul Ross, Natalie Ramsey and Courtney Bru in the discussion was Karen Wicker, a veteran public relations professional and president of Candor PR.

Employment attorneys Nathan Whatley, Elizabeth Bowersox, Charlie Plumb and Phil Bruce presented on the latest guidance on ADA reasonable accommodations, including extended leave, service animals and other tricky issues. Attorneys Lauren Hanna and Paige Good explored employer remedies under the Defend Trade Secrets Act. The morning session concluded with an all-star panel answering the most frequently asked questions about trending labor and employment issues, moderated by Charlie Plumb and featuring Michael Lauderdale, Roberta Fields, Josh Solberg, Kathy Neal and Courtney Bru.

Hosted by the Employee Benefits Group, the afternoon session featured a presentation designed to assist employer-sponsors of retirement plans in making sure their 401(k) audits run more smoothly. Joining McAfee & Taft lawyers Brandon Long and Melissa Cottle in the discussion was special guest Gwen Bryant, leader of HoganTaylor‘s Employee Benefit Plan practice.

Employee benefits attorneys Richard Nix and Judy Burdg joined Brandon Long for a discussion of the Affordable Care Act, including lessons learned in 2017 and current health plan trends. Attorneys John Papahronis and Jim Prince discussed new relief for plan sponsors and participants included in recent tax legislation and regulations. The afternoon session concluded with an all-star panel that featured Brandon Long, John Papharonis and Jim Prince answering the most frequently asked questions about trending employee benefits issues.

McAfee & Taft is Oklahoma’s largest law firm and one of the nation’s top 250 firms as ranked by the National Law Journal. With its deep roster of 178 attorneys, the firm serves clients locally, nationally and internationally in the areas of appellate, aviation, banking and financial institutions, bankruptcy, business restructuring and workouts, business transactions and finance, employee benefits and executive compensation, energy and oil & gas, environmental, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, securities, subrogation recovery services, and tax and family wealth.