Managing LGBTQ Issues in the Workplace: Legal Obligations and Best Practices

Produced on: June 22, 2018

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by

Categories:

Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

In recent months, we have seen several important legal rulings impacting the workplace rights of the LGBTQ community. Between the various court decisions, state and local law and guidance, states attempting to preempt local laws impacting LBGTQ rights, religious freedom laws, and bathroom laws, the legal landscape seems to be a moving target. In the near future, it may fall upon the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination based on “sex” includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In the meantime, almost half of the states and many more cities already specifically prohibit discrimination and harassment based on these factors.

Beyond these threshold legal questions, employers face challenges associated with providing a respectful working environment in which all employees feel comfortable, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to employers’ fulfilling their legal obligations, they must decide what kinds of policies and practices are appropriate in order to reflect the values of the organization.

This program, presented by Susan Gross Sholinsky and Amanda M. Gómez of Epstein Becker Green, will update attendees on the current state of the law, including federal, state, and local law, and offer practical guidance for developing workplace policies and best practices most suitable to your company’s needs and objectives. The program will examine how to create, implement, and enforce comprehensive and inclusive nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures; educate managers, supervisors, and employees on proper protocols, employee rights, and the meaning of various terms; obtain manager buy-in to the company’s objectives, while simultaneously allaying employee concerns; and develop LGBTQ-supportive polices, including those pertaining to non-discrimination, privacy, and confidentiality.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an update on the ever-evolving state of LGBTQ law, including the split among the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the state of the states (and cities), various agencies’ guidance on LGBTQ rights in the workplace, and how LGBTQ laws affect a range of workplace policies, including health and other benefits, and leaves of absence
  2. Develop best practices for your company and employees
  3. Design appropriate plans for transitioning employees, including designating a point of contact and coordinating other support, creating a transition timeline, understanding when leaves of absence for medical procedures may be required or appropriate, handling communications with co-workers and clients, addressing bathroom and locker room access, and mandating proper pronoun usage and gender-neutral dress codes

Faculty

Susan Gross Sholinsky

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

SUSAN GROSS SHOLINSKY is a Member of the Epstein Becker Green in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice. She counsels clients on a variety of matters, in a practical and straightforward manner, with an eye toward reducing the possibility of employment-related claims.

Ms. Sholinsky:

  • Advises employers in all facets of the employment relationship, from pre-employment considerations and hiring to terminations and post-employment restrictions

  • Develops and audits employers' policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and local law and best practices

  • Counsels employers with respect to the avoidance of employment-related disputes, employee discipline, leaves of absence, accommodation requests, and termination of employment (including voluntary and involuntary reductions in force) Prepares employment, consulting, separation, and non-compete agreementsConducts workplace training seminars for employees, managers, and human resources personnel in a variety of industries

  • Performs company-wide audits pertaining to various wage and hour issues, such as appropriate classification of employees as "exempt" or "non-exempt" under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-hour laws

  • Counsels multinational companies on the unique labor and employment law issues they face

  • Promotes compliance with EEO laws and other statutes governing the workplace

  • Represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including discrimination, wrongful discharge, harassment, and employment contract cases

Ms. Sholinsky serves on the adjunct faculty of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she teaches courses concerning human resources and the law. She also frequently speaks at events and webinars on employment law topics and authors numerous publications on employment law issues. Ms. Sholinsky is a member of the firm's Finance, Diversity & Professional Development, and Labor & Employment Steering Committees. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the firm's Women's Initiative. Ms. Sholinsky is also comanager and lefty second baseman on the firm's softball team, the EBG Bees.



Amanda M. Gómez

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

Amanda M. Gómez is a Law Clerk – Admission Pending  – in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She will be focusing her practice on wage and hour issues and the preparation of employment policies and procedures as well as employee handbooks and manuals.

Ms. Gómez received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was the Executive Submissions Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. While attending Harvard Law, Ms. Gómez served as a Legal Intern at an organization that provides direct legal representation to asylum seekers, detainees, undocumented immigrants, and other individuals who are at an increased risk of deportation.



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