Employment Law Considerations During COVID-19

By: The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce
| Published 04/21/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX - Join The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce President J.J. Hollie and three attorneys from The Woodlands Bar Association for a discussion about employment law considerations for businesses and employers during COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live.

Participants will receive one hour of MCLE and State Bar College Credit. Use Course ID: 174084112.

A recording will be available after the show at woodlandschamber.org/biztalk.

Lee Winkelman, Managing Member, Hopkins Centrich Winkelman & Drucker PLLC

Topic: Employer’s rights and obligations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Learning Objectives:

Identify employers covered by the FFCRA and discuss Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave requirements under the FFCRA

Discuss employers' rights to tax credits under the FFCRA and other miscellaneous FFCRA requirements, such as visible signage concerning employee rights under the FFCRA.

Consider best practices for employers to implement the new leave requirements.

About Lee Winkelman: Lee Winkelman represents employers in employment-related legal matters. He works to finds unique business solutions to his clients' legal problems through risk-mitigating employment policies, procedures, and agreements. Winkelman also regularly represents employers in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Labor (DOL) investigations as well as in disputes before judges, juries, and arbitrators. He has substantial experience drafting covenants not to compete and litigating departing-employee cases involving trade-secret misappropriation and other unfair competition claims. Mr. Winkelman has also served as outside general counsel for several companies, advising them on day-to-day legal matters. Mr. Winkelman is a managing member at Hopkins Centrich Winkelman & Drucker PLLC in The Woodlands, Texas.

Leigh Freeman, Principal, Leigh K. Freeman, Attorney at Law PLLC

Topic: Considerations for Employers Implementing Layoffs, Furloughs and Pay Reductions During the COVID-19 Crisis

Learning Objectives:

Discuss general considerations and notice requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) during COVID-19

Examine best practices for severance agreements including requirements for older workers under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) / Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)

Consider implications of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) provisions to layoffs, furloughs and pay reductions

About Leigh Freeman: Leigh Freeman is the principal of Leigh K. Freeman, attorney at law PLLC, located in The Woodlands, Texas. She has represented businesses and individuals in a wide variety of fields including real estate, franchises, oilfield services, medical, IT, financial services, and energy, to name a few. The firm’s primary area of practice is corporate and transactional law, including employment-related matters. The firm acts as outside general counsel for privately held businesses and nonprofit organizations in The Woodlands, the greater Houston area, and throughout the State of Texas.

Haley Paul, Associate Attorney, Stibbs & Co., P.C., Attorneys

Topics: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Considerations when Responding to COVID-19, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Maintaining a Safe Work Environment

Learning Objectives:

Discuss employer responsibilities under the ADA and how to respond to requests for accommodation due to COVID-19 concerns.

Examine OSHA and CDC guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19

Identify legally permissible methods for screening for COVID-19 in the workplace

About Haley Paul: Haley Paul represents clients in a variety of labor and employment matters. Haley has successfully represented a number of employers during investigations by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Review Board, and state agencies, such as the Texas Workforce Commission. She has successfully defended employers in a number of state and federal cases, including discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, sex, age, and disability; wage and hour collective actions, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and similar state wage and hour laws; and failure to accommodate and disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Haley has both defended and enforced trade secrets claims and employee restrictive covenants. She has extensive experience drafting employee handbooks, employment agreements (including arbitration and severance agreements), and performing trainings and seminars for clients.”

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