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Ethics in Employment Law: Hot Button Issues

(1k+ reviews)

Produced on September 18, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Labor & Employment

Course Description

Employment law practitioners and litigators are required to navigate a wide variety of ethics issues in their day-to-day practices. These issues are implicated not only in the course of representing individuals and employers in litigation, but also in counseling clients on employment law matters and conducting internal investigations. Being able to identify and evaluate these challenges early on in a matter can be critical to the successful and ethical representation of both individual and corporate clients.  

This course, presented by Goldberg Segalla attorneys Caroline Berdzik and Michael Katzen, offers a refresher in the basic ethics rules and concepts most frequently implicated in the practice of employment law and provides tips for both experienced and new attorneys in how to navigate these potentially treacherous waters.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Review frequently implicated ethics rules in employment law practice
  2.  Identify common situations that present ethical challenges, including:
    1. Joint representation of employers and employees in employment litigation
    2. Conducting internal investigations for corporate clients
    3. Conducting social media research on parties, witnesses, and jurors
    4. Intersection of criminal and civil proceedings
    5. Inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client communications
  3. Consider appropriate responses and proactive measures to help navigate and resolve these issues

Credit Information

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Caroline Berdzik

Goldberg Segalla

Caroline J. Berdzik, Chair of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group and Co-Chair of its Employment and Labor Practice Group, devotes her practice to helping corporate clients navigate the panoply of employment law issues, from proactive counseling through dispute resolution and trial. She represents companies in diverse industries such as health care, transportation, retail, construction, insurance, and finance, as well as nonprofit organizations and educational and religious institutions.

In every matter, Caroline draws upon her previous experience as an in-house counsel to bring a deep understanding of and sensitivity to the daily challenges and cost considerations companies face. Accordingly, in her role as advisor and advocate, she functions as a virtual extension of clients’ in-house legal and human resources teams, working in integrated partnership with them to protect the company’s best interests and bottom line. 

She regularly provides employers with strategic business advice on critical human resources issues that arise out of the employment relationship, from hiring to termination, with an emphasis on preventing future disputes and minimizing risk. Toward this end, she frequently provides practical in-house training on a multitude of human resources topics for employers and insurance companies. When needed, Caroline brings a proven track record to the defense of self-insured and insured companies in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, family medical leave, whistleblower, and wage/hour actions in federal and state courts, alternative dispute resolution forums, and state and federal administrative agencies. She also routinely advises businesses in the critical areas of wage and hour compliance and in drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants.

Caroline has significant experience handling Title III ADA accessibility compliance concerns and litigation for financial institutions, shopping centers, transportation companies, medical providers, retailers, and other places of public accommodation.

Her intimate knowledge of the long-term and post-acute care industry is frequently called upon by clients and industry insiders. Caroline often defends skilled nursing facilities and related entities in professional liability claims and provides risk management solutions to help avoid or mitigate future claims. She is a prolific speaker and writer in the areas of employment law, social media, risk management, and wage and hour issues in the transportation, health care, retail, and other industries. 

Prior to joining Goldberg Segalla, Caroline was the assistant general counsel for New Jersey’s largest privately held long-term-care company. Among her many duties, she successfully managed a diverse litigation portfolio in the areas of professional and general liability, employment, and commercial law. In this role, she supervised legal counsel nationwide, established risk management strategies, and reduced legal spend.

Caroline has earned numerous honors that recognize the value of her legal services and her dedication to the community. These include being named one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ and regular inclusion among the top legal practitioners in New Jersey and the New York Metro area.

Michael Katzen

Goldberg Segalla

Michael Katzen, a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and member of the firm’s Employment and Labor, Business and Commercial, and Health Care Practice Groups, devotes his practice to representing businesses and organizations in employment law matters.

Mike routinely defends employers, both directly and as Employment Practices Liability (EPL) panel counsel, in employment litigation matters brought in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums like the American Arbitration Association. Mike also represents employers before a wide variety of administrative agencies, including the U.S., New Jersey, and New York State departments of labor; the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights; the New York State Division of Human Rights; and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

While much of his practice involves defending employers once a dispute has arisen, Mike also focuses a great deal of his practice on providing employers with practical advice to avoid lawsuits. Mike routinely counsels employers on day-to-day human resources (HR) and employment law issues, including employee discipline, terminations, discrimination/harassment, leaves of absence, overtime, independent contractor and unpaid intern/volunteer classifications, workplace accommodations, trade secrets, social media, and protected union-related activity. He audits employment practices, delivers management training, and assists employers in investigating allegations of employee misconduct such as theft and discrimination/harassment. Mike also prepares HR policies, employee handbooks, and employment contracts, as well as confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-compete agreements.

While Mike represents employers from a wide variety of industries, he focuses particular attention on businesses in the health care, life sciences, and retail industries. Mike’s focus on the retail industry in particular has gained him experience representing retailers and developers in “public accommodation” cases under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Mike frequently trains and presents to attorneys, business groups, and clients on a variety of topics, including accommodating employees with disabilities under the ADA; the interaction of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), ADA, and workers’ compensation; the Affordable Care Act’s “employer mandate”; conducting effective workplace investigations; and avoiding wage/hour pitfalls.


Prescott L.

I did in fact recommend my associate watch this presentation. Well done.

David G.

Very informative.

min k.

The presentation clear and detail.

Lauren K.

Very boring

seth f.

Extremely good couse. Glad I took this.

Jules S.

Good program.

Michael H.

Well organized and presented

John M.


Steven B.

Excellent presentation and content.

Karin V.

Good breadth of topics

Ken S.

They did a good job. It is hard to make a legal topics exciting.

Martha Algenita Scott D.

Well presented.

Judy C.

Nice presentation format with the two presenters. Well done.

John F. L.

This was an excellent study tool because the presenters focused on issue identification and did not burden this relatively short presentation with detailed review of the facts in legal authorities.

Jathan V.

Great course; enjoyed the dual presenter mode.

Erin L.


Dominic A.

Great Course, topical information!

Michael R.

I especially enjoyed the information regarding unintentional disclosure.

John C.

Nice presentation

Jeffrey K.

it was good

Jim c.

Well done

Bonnie H.

Well organized Great presentation

Rhonda C.

good presenter.

Michelle M.

Very thorough and informative!

Zachary S.


Alexandra W.

excellent course. right amount of info

Thomas T.

Thank you!

Herschel S.

Good course.

Denise M.

The instructors were extremely knowledgeable in this subject matter. I highly recommend this course for in house counsel.

Anthony M.

Good job.

William B.

Excellent presentations.

Kay H.

Excellent presenters

Craig M.

Good information.

William J.

Excellent presentation.

Mattie A.


Mark M.

Impressive presentation.

Alicia B.

I learned a lot

Jenifer F.

Both speakers well versed in practice area. Interesting to listen to. Thanks.

Alan H.


William K.

Very useful. Information was concise and practical.

Ingrid H.

good practical advice about avoiding and resolving ethical issues when representing an entity and its' employees.

Lynn D.

I liked the social media discussion; very useful!

Skye J.

Great for issue spotting.

Brian B.

The lecture was informative

Louis P.

As with all but one of the courses I have taken with you, this was excellent.

Michael M.


Jill S.

Very good. This CLE conveyed useful information.

JoAnne P.

Well done lecture by both speakers

Jeffrey K.

Excellent presentation!

David H.

One of the better online CLE programs I've seen/taken.

Donald O.

Informative session with good practical suggestions combined with ethical considerations. .

Mary Payton E.

Nice tag team on difficult issues. Thank you.

Joseph L.

A lot of good practical considerations were explored outside of the mere rules. I found a great deal of rough and ready practice advice. Recommend.

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