About

Essential Employment Law is a one-day HR program led by employment law experts Connie Cornell and Katrina Grider, and is designed to provide overviews and updates on issues related to Texas employment law. Content is extensive and exhaustive with topics ranging from employment-at-will to discrimination issues, wage and hour violations, retaliation, FMLA, changes in employment law impacting compliance efforts, and more. 

This practical course provides detailed written materials and is ideal for HR professionals and beginning employment lawyers.

INSTRUCTORS

Connie L. Cornell, PHR is a founding partner of Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP, an Austin labor and employment law firm, representing employers and management through advice, training, and litigation defense. Ms. Cornell is Board Certified in Labor and Employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is also certified as a Professional in Human Resources by the national HR Certification Institute.

Katrina Grider is Of Counsel in the Houston office of Ogletree Deakins with over thirty years of extensive experience from both management and enforcement perspectives. Ms. Grider represents employers in state and federal courts, as well as in proceedings before the Texas Workforce Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor. In addition, Ms. Grider conducts training for managers, supervisors, and employees. She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Aug. 21, 2020
  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Texas is an "At Will" State... So Why Worry?

    Katrina Grider, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    Hear an overview of the employment relationship and how tort law has been adapted in the workplace. Discuss how to answer the client or the supervisor who thinks employment law begins and ends with "employment-at-will." What about terminating an employee for theft? Is there ever an obligation to give a reference on a former employee? How can a handshake get a manager sued for assault? What is an intentional infliction of emotional distress? Can employee violence really be prevented? Is negligent retention really a cause of action?
  • 9:15 am
    1.00 hr
    Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

    Katrina Grider, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    Hear a discussion about the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement in the workplace and why it matters for companies to manage cultural change. How do you have difficult conversations about race? How do companies address workplace harassment and discrimination?
  • 10:15 am
    Break

  • 10:30 am
    0.50 hr
    Retaliation: Winning the Battle, Losing the War

    Katrina Grider, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    Why is retaliation the most dangerous cause of action, and what can you do about it?
  • 11:00 am
    1.00 hr
    Wage and Hour: An Old Law in a Modern World

    Katrina Grider, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    Learn the basics of wage and hour law and why violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act have exploded. Topics include: Who is exempt and who is not, and what difference does it make? What is working time? How is overtime calculated? What are the most common mistakes, and how do you avoid them?
  • 12:00 pm
    Break for Lunch—Presentation Resumes at 12:20 p.m.

  • Friday Afternoon, Aug. 21, 2020
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    1.00 hr
    Hot Topics and Q&A

    Connie L. Cornell, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP - Austin, TX
    Katrina Grider, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    Get up to speed on the latest compliance issues impacting employers, including those relating to COVID-19 during a brief update of the most critical court cases, legislation, and federal agency activity. Then the instructors answer your real-world questions. Submit your questions, comments, and/or experiences in advance to ConferenceQA@utcle.org, or come armed with your toughest questions. 
  • 1:20 pm
    Break

  • 1:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Other Major Entitlement Act

    Connie L. Cornell, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP - Austin, TX

    The FMLA was the first federal act that required an employer to provide time off for employees. Learn the basics of the law, which has been amended to cover additional types of leave. When do you send the various notices and certifications? Avoid common mistakes in completing the paperwork and understand how FMLA can overlap with ADA issues.
  • 2:05 pm
    1.00 hr
    Handbooks / Employment Policies

    Connie L. Cornell, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP - Austin, TX

    Avoid common mistakes in policy drafting. Adopt provisions that support the company's good faith compliance efforts and help reduce potential liability in audits and litigation. Understand how recent NLRB decisions affect even non-unionized employer policies.
  • 3:05 pm
    Break

  • 3:15 pm
    0.75 hr
    Defensive Documentation from Hiring to Firing

    Connie L. Cornell, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP - Austin, TX

    Recognize the vulnerable points in the employment relationship and learn the best practices in documentation to minimize the problems and maximize the chances of successfully defending the employer’s actions when challenged. Understand the value and risks posed by offer letters, disciplinary documentation, performance evaluations, and termination paperwork.
  • 4:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    Investigating Sensitive Employment Complaints​

    Connie L. Cornell, Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP - Austin, TX

    The investigation of an employee's complaint may be critical to an employer's only means of avoiding liability. The investigator may be a witness, and the notes may be evidence. Learn how to investigate and document the process.
  • 5:00 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Connie L. Cornell

Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP
Austin, TX

Katrina Grider

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Houston, TX

Planning Committee

Connie L. Cornell—Co-Chair

Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP
Austin, TX

Katrina Grider—Co-Chair

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Houston, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
UT Law CLE is an approved provider of Pennsylvania credit, sponsor #236. Attorney attendance will be reported to Pennsylvania within 2 weeks of the webcast conclusion. Attorneys are not able to report this credit on their own, and UT Law CLE pays all associated fees for the credit hours. Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
f you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.

To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion .

MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Live Webcast – Aug 21, 2020
Austin - CANCELED – Aug 21, 2020 – Thompson Conference Center
Register now
Live Webcast
Last day for cancellation (full refund): Aug 14, 2020
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Aug 17, 2020

$50 processing fee applied

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