Agenda & Event Details:

Will your organization win the talent war?

If you do nothing, then no! You must act and act fast. Unemployment is at historic low levels, compensation and benefits offerings are increasing, hiring and employment laws are more problematic than ever. For over 70 years, California employers have trusted Employer Group's Workplace & Employment Law Update (WELU) to overcome the challenges they are facing and will face in the new year, especially with newly-added legislation. This year's program is no exception. With each session providing 10 or more actionable takeaways. We look forward to welcoming you at any of the locations listed below.

Venues and Dates:


Disney's Grand Californian

Mon, Oct. 30


Airport Marriott

Wed, Nov. 08



Fri, Nov. 10

San Diego

Del Mar Marriott

Fri, Nov. 03

San Francisco

JW Marriott Union Square

Mon, Nov. 13


Anaheim Oct 30 San Diego Nov 03 Burbank Nov 08 Ontario
Nov 10
San Francisco
Nov 13
Session Title
7:45-4:30 7:45-4:30 7:45-4:30 7:45-4:30 7:45-4:30 Registration Desk Open
8:15 8:15 8:15 8:15 8:15 Program Begins!
8:15-9:15 8:15-9:15 8:15-9:15 8:15-9:15 8:15-9:15 TALENT WARS!
9:15-10:15 9:15-10:15 9:15-10:15 9:15-10:15 9:15-10:15 Human Resources & Legislative Update
10:15-10:30 10:15-10:30 10:15-10:30 10:15-10:30 10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 Hiring Compliance Issues
10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 California's Pay Equity Law
10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 Trending LOA Risks
10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 10:30-11:30 Influencing for Organizational Impact: Advice for HR
10:30-11:30 Are You 1 of the 100K? Why Get SHRM Certified?
10:30-11:30 Setting Up a Defendable Compensation Plan
10:30-11:30 Promoting and Developing Leadership and Talent
10:30-11:30 Background Screening Do's and Don'ts
10:30-11:30 HR and the Spanish-Speaking Employee
10:30-11:30 HR's Role to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks
10:30-11:30 Conducting a Job Analysis
California's Pay Equity Law
Handbooks, Agreement and Contracts
11:45-12:30 11:45-12:30 11:45-12:30 11:45-12:30 12:00-12:30 Luncheon
12:30-2:00 12:30-2:00 12:30-2:00 12:30-2:00 12:30-2:00 2017 Labor and Employment Law Developments by Richard Simmons
2:00-2:15 2:00-2:15 2:00-2:15 2:00-2:15 2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 The Future of Health Care Reform
2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 Handbooks, Agreements and Contracts
2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 The Future of Performance Management
2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 2:15-3:15 Strategic and Bottom Line Value in Wellness (continued)
2:15-3:15 Are You 1 of the 100K? Why Get SHRM Certified?
2:15-3:15 Setting Up a Defendable Compensation Plan
2:15-3:15 Promoting and Developing Leadership and Talent
2:15-3:15 Background Screening Do's and Don'ts
2:15-3:15 HR and the Spanish-Speaking Employee
2:15-3:15 Influencing for Organizational Impact: Advice for HR
2:15-3:15 HR's Role to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks
2:00 - 2:45
2:45 - 3:30
Healthcare and Benefits Trends
Pay Attention: Retention Matters
3:15-3:30 3:15-3:30 3:15-3:30 3:15-3:30 3:30-3:45 Snack Break
3:30-4:25 3:30-4:25 3:30-4:25 3:30-4:25 3:45-4:25 Selection, Engagement, Retention, Behavioral Assessments
4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 4:30 Program Concludes: Closing Comments

Workplace & Employment Law Update Session Descriptions:

TALENT WARS! Strategic and Bottom Line Value in Wellness (Mark Wilbur, President & CEO, Employers Group and Joe Hoffman, Hoffman and Associates)
All Locations

From recruiting and retention to performance improvement and cost reduction, how can YOU EXECUTE wellness strategically to CUT costs, DRIVE engagement, IMPROVE recruiting and retention, DEBUNK the myths, and also WOW employees with health and wellness technologies that WIN the talent war you are -- or will be -- facing.

Human Resources & Legislative Update (Jon Fraser Light, LightGabler or Adam KohSweeney, O'Melveny)
All Locations

Each year California lawmakers add or change volumes of employment laws. This year will be no different. Employers Group has been tracking over XX proposed laws. Fear not: This general session is for you. We will provide the summary and analysis so you know just what to do to prepare yourself and your organization for 2018.

Unlike other updates, Employers Group has unique perspective on compliance. Our helpline consultants answer thousands of questions a year. As a result, we are adding another layer into this session: Trending compliance risks. And one of those risks that will be covered is the use of Smart Phones within the workplace. Plus, many more compliance risks will be reviewed.

Hiring Compliance Issues (Jon Fraser Light, LightGabler)
Morning Breakout Session in Anaheim, Burbank, Ontario, and San Diego

At every stage of the hiring process, employers must be careful not to illegally discriminate against applicants for the position. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, gender, national origin, age, religion, and disability and by now, most job applicants know and understand that any indication of bias in the hiring process might lead to serious legal repercussions for the employer.

Hiring is a vital and complex process that bolsters an organization's success, productivity and bottom line, but finding, selecting and employing workers comes with a unique set of issues for HR professionals and hiring managers. To mitigate an organization's risk of potential discrimination claims, negligent hiring, and other violations, organizations must develop an understanding of a wide range of federal and state laws that protect applicants' rights. With so many states, and even cities, passing and proposing laws, it is hard to keep current. The following is a list of hiring compliance issues that employers should review and establish hiring policies and procedures addressing: Ban-the-box; Pre-employment inquiries interviewing questions; Background and reference checking; Pre-employment drug testing, including recreational marijuana; Employment offers; Employment contracts; Use and presentation timing of the arbitration agreement; Previous salary history questions; Specific job description duties; Reasonable accommodations inquiry.

California's Pay Equity Law (Joseph Goldstein, The Goldstein Law Firm)
Morning Breakout Session in All Locations

Is it possible for a well-meaning, kind-hearted, successful employer with a skillful, strategic HR leader to have inequitable pay practices? The simple answer is - absolutely YES! No one sets out to administer a compensation structure that is built on unfair and non-compliant pay practices; but very few, if any, employers can genuinely boast a 100% fair pay structure.

With California's expanding Fair Pay Act impacting more employers and over 30 other states looking to strengthen laws governing pay policies, this session will explore the current state of the pay gap, its root causes and strategies for employers to follow to uncover and remedy the inequities. Among the Top 10 Takeaways we will be discussing in this session are: Is the "pay gap" real?; What does California's Fair Pay Act require and what is meant by "substantially similar work?"; Which practices must we change and which practices should we change to better our chances of being compliant?; What are the penalties for unfair pay practices?; Our employees are happy with their pay, why should we fix something that isn't broken?; How do we conduct a compensation audit and what happens if we find problems?

Trending LOA Risks (Jim Fessenden, Fisher Phillips)
Morning Breakout Session in Anaheim, Burbank, Ontario, and San Diego

If it feels like leave of absence laws change the minute the HR community settles on best practices for their administration, it's probably because that is exactly what's happening. Leave administration continues to evolve at a rate many professionals consider alarming. What should an employer do when employees require accommodations to care for family members? How do the new paid sick leave laws integrate with your leave programs? And is it okay to mandate the use of paid sick leave for employees on protected leaves? What are the most signification cases of 2017 and those decisions that left attorneys and HR professionals scratching their heads? This break-out session discusses all these topics and other cutting-edge leaves administration compliance trends and issues.

Influencing for Organizational Impact: Advice for HR (Susan Peahl, Employers Group)
Morning Breakout Session in Anaheim, San Diego, Burbank, and Ontario

Are you challenged to move a strategic opportunity forward within your organization? Are you able to package your ideas that capture the hearts and minds of others? Unless it is a glaring compliance risk or major opportunity, you must get things done through influence rather than a position of power. In this working session, we ask participants to bring with them an influence opportunity, which they can work on during this brief session. Individuals will walk away with a plan to see their organizational improvement strategy come to reality.

Are You 1 of the 100K? Why Get SHRM Certified? (Mark Nelson, Employers Group)
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim Only

The number of HR professionals certified through SHRM's new competency-based approach now exceeds over 100,000 and the trend shows continuing interest in the credentials among HR professionals. But what kind of a commitment is it if you're contemplating sitting for the exam yourself? How should you approach your studies? What kinds of questions can you expect to encounter? How has SHRM itself structured the exam so I know how to prioritize my studies? Mark Nelson, who facilitates the exam prep course in partnership with SHRM and Employers Group, provides a behind-the-scenes discussion of SHRM's certification process for anyone even remotely interested in obtaining their SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

Setting Up a Defendable Compensation Plan (Juan Garcia and Suzanne Oliva, Employers Group)
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim only

Beyond competitive, today's compensation plans have to comply with California's Pay Equity regulations. This breakout session will outline the various compensation plans that meet California's Pay Equity requirements. This hands-on breakout will describe the step-by-step process that companies can follow to align their pay practices and pay equity; in addition, the session will describe how employers can spot and address potential pay equity cases. Learn how to setup grades and ranges that meet pay equity requirements; how to blend market demands and internal equity; how to spot potential pay equity problems. Attendees in this session will receive Employer Group's pay equity grade guide and turn-key compensation plan materials.

Promoting and Developing Organizational Leadership & Talent (Jeffrey Hull, Employers Group)
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim only

A Leadership Pipeline is the critical business process designed to provide a sustainable supply of quality leaders at all levels to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But how do you spot the next generation of leaders within your organization . . . and accurately predict who will be able to fill leadership and even executive roles in the future? The session addresses how to identify leaders who have what it takes to occupy leadership roles from bottom to top. In this session, we will also explore a model to identify key talent to develop and what high impact development opportunities that will produce the biggest ROI for your organization.

Background Screening: Reducing Risk and Best Practices(Alan Lasky, Universal Background Screening).
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim only

Session Description Coming Soon

HR's Role to Mitigate Cyber Security Risks (Janice Whiting, COO, iCom4)
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim only

Session Description Coming Soon

HR and the Spanish-speaking employee (Carol Hastings, Employers Group)
Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim only

When Spanish-speaking employees immigrate to the US, there are many who learn little English and others who learn to speak English fluently. Along with language challenges, there are cultural differences. If HR professionals make some effort to understand some of these cultural differences, they can improve communication with this valuable employee group. In this session, we will provide some valuable tips in improving your world view, perspective, and communication skills so you will have a greater impact on los empleados Latinos (latino employees).

Conducting a Job Analysis for Legal Risk (Jacqueline Beaumont, Call & Jensen)
(Morning and Afternoon Breakout in Anaheim Only

Proper job analysis and job descriptions are the "ounce of prevention" that can prevent many an HR or legal headache when it comes to employees. Job analysis is the touchstone to prepare the HR professional to defend a duty to accommodate disability claim, prevent an overtime misclassification lawsuit, and stand behind any number of its decisions from hiring to compensation. In this interactive session, Jacqueline Beaumont Esq. will explain the legal risks of failing to perform this function, walk you through job analysis fundamentals, and provide you with a sample job description. She will also entertain you with educational examples from her years of working with employers both at an outside law firm and as in-house legal counsel. Whether you routinely perform job analyses or have never done a formal one, you will walk away with knowledge of how to determine the job duties and requirements for a given position, where to look for red flags, and methods to stay one step ahead of legal danger.

2017 Labor and Employment Law Developments by Richard Simmons or Sheppard Mullin
All Locations

In this keynote luncheon session, Richard Simmons highlights the cases and legal decisions that are shaping employment practices in both California and throughout the United States. He also provides perspective on cases to watch for and how they may impact your practices. Also available during the session are discounts on Richard Simmons resource materials specifically developed for the California HR professional. Of note are his latest publications, including Wage and Hour Manual for California Employers; Sexual Harassment Training Manual; Leaves of Absence and Time Off From Work Manual; Employment Discrimination and EEO Practice Manual; Employee Handbook and Personnel Policies Manual; California's Meal and Rest Period Rules; Book for Human Resources Forms.

The Future of Health Care Reform? (Marsh & McLennan Insurance Agency)
Afternoon Breakout Session in All Locations

Just as employers began to understand the complicated regulations that surround the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they must now begin to think about how proposed changes to it (like the American Health Care Act or AHCA) and other proposals to change it will affect them. In this session, learn what may change, and what you can do to keep your practices proactive during these ever-changing times.

Handbooks, Agreements and Contracts (Joseph Goldstein, The Goldstein Law Firm) Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim, Burbank, San Diego, and Ontario
Included in the Morning Breakout Session in San Francisco

Is your employee handbook a guiding light for your employees or a goldmine for plaintiffs' attorneys? Are the agreements and contracts you use between your organization and employees a patchwork of prevention or a treasure trove for the lurking plaintiff’s attorney? These are discomforting questions for most HR professional. In the real world, outdated, poorly-written, template-based handbooks, agreements, and contracts inevitably lead to confusion, mismanagement and lawsuits. Really - We see it every day!

As we prepare for 2018, it is a perfect time to carefully consider the current state of your employee handbook, arbitration agreements, and contracts. Are they ready for the new year? Is it appropriate for your employee population and industry? Do they adequately reflect your vision, mission and values? To gain valuable insights on these questions and much more, this session will focus on best practices for identifying issues, developing strategies, and updating your documents. As a working session, we recommend bringing your employee handbook and arbitration agreement(s) to this session. You will leave with a must-do action plan.

Strategic and Bottom Line Value in Wellness (continued from opener) (Mark Wilbur, Employers Group & Joseph Hoffman, Hoffman & Assoc)
Afternoon Breakout Session in All Locations

Attend this session to get more details that were not covered in the morning opener to immediately impact retention, recruitment, cut costs, drive engagement, and win the talent war.

The Future of Performance Management (Mark Allen, Author, Speaker and Professor)
Afternoon Breakout Session in Anaheim, Burbank, San Diego, and Ontario.

Companies are abandoning ineffective performance management practices and adopting more effective systems for turning talent into performance. Find out what they are, how other companies have rolled them out, and get the statistics you need to make a business case to move to new processes, new buy in, new mindsets and - most importantly - a culture of high performance and engagement.

Selection, Engagement, Retention, Behavioral Assessments: Linking Them All and Why (Speaker TBA)
All Locations

Session Description Coming Soon