Pepper Hamilton attorneys Hope A. Comisky and Tracey E. Diamond will be presenting at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's 18th Annual Employment Law Institute. This Institute will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA on April 19-20, 2012.
On April 19, Ms. Comisky will be speaking on the panel titled, "Ethics in Employment Law –Attorneys Beware! This Could Happen to You!" Whatever the reason, many recent ethics opinions have arisen in employment-related cases. This program will showcase several examples of key decisions in employment cases and describe what went wrong. Why were defense lawyers disqualified when they contacted former employees? Why were plaintiff lawyers sanctioned for using information that was given to them from an anonymous source? Can lawyers obtain information on Facebook to discredit third-party witnesses? The panel also will discuss recent ethics opinions involving social media whose guidance could be applied in the employment arena. Test your reaction to that of the courts and ethics committees on cutting edge ethical issues.
On April 20, Ms. Diamond will be speaking on the panel titled, "RIFs and Layoffs: Becoming Lean Without Incurring Liability." As the economy continues to struggle, companies increasingly look to trim their workforce to maintain profitability and competitiveness. However, employers often do not consider hidden costs and potential legal risks in implementing cuts. What considerations were taken into account in selecting employees for lay off? Has the company done a disparate impact analysis? Does the release meet legal requirements to be enforceable? Has the employer met its obligation to comply with the WARN Act? The panel will discuss potential legal pitfalls as well as recent case law showing that, without careful planning, RIFs and layoffs may result in short-term gain but long-term loss.