Center for Labor and Employment Law

60th Annual Conference on Labor


May 31- June 1, 2007

RETALIATION and WHISTLEBLOWERS

 

About the Conference

 

Sponsored by
NYU's Center for Labor and Employment Law

Co-sponsored by
American Bar Association's Section on Labor and Employment Law

Retaliation -- the fastest growing cause of action in U.S. employment law -- is the theme of New York University’s 60th Annual Conference on Labor, May 31-June 1, 2007, the nation’s premier forum for the consideration of workplace issues.

Bringing together leading practitioners, government officials and academics, the NYU Conference offers a rare opportunity for sustained and balanced dialogue with the experts on the cutting-edge developments in this field. Virtually every important dimension of this topic will be explored in papers and commentary, including

  • What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Burlington Northern v. White? Will retaliation claims be easier or harder to bring? Are there workable limits on the scope of the cause of action or, as a practical matter, is every employer action motivated by the employee’s protected activity actionable?
  • Title VII protects employee opposition to unlawful employer conduct as well as participation in the formal processes of the statute such as filing charges and giving testimony. To what extent do other statutes like ADEA and the FLSA, which lack an express opposition clause, impliedly protect such employee activity?
  • What lies on the horizon for whistleblower claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other whistleblower laws administered by the U.S. Department of Labor? Special attention will be paid to issues of procedure, proof and remedy unique to the DOL setting, including interim reinstatement orders.
  • What special considerations should inform corporate investigation of whistleblower claims? Should separate investigation counsel be retained? How should issues of privilege be handled if the report of the investigators will be used to inform corporate decision-making?
  • A growing number of states have enacted whistleblower laws. In what ways do these laws expand the protections employees enjoyed under the common law? Do these laws preempt common law developments under the tort of wrongful discharge for public policy?
  • Collective bargaining agreements remain a strong source of employee protection, despite the diminishing role of labor unions in the private sector. Many employers may not be aware that collective protests by non-union workers may be NLRA-protected even if they are not seeking to be represented by a labor union. Is individual employee protest or refusal to perform assigned work ever protected? How should dual motive claims be handled?
  • Government workers also have several grounds for resisting retaliation – under the collective bargaining agreement, civil service law, government whistleblower law, and the first amendment. The Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballlos suggests that government employee whistleblowers have no first amendment claim if the speech they engage in is made pursuant to their official job duties. Will government employers be expanding the formal definition of jobs to foreclose the first amendment avenue? What are other general implications of this ruling for retaliation law?
  • Our penultimate session is led by Cornell Dean Stewart Schwab, Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Employment Law. He will discuss his work on the Restatement project, setting out the parameters of the widely-followed state tort cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
  • The final session features a return appearance by Dennis Duffy discussing the ethical issues in-house employment lawyers face.

Our distinguished luncheon speakers are:

  • Thursday, May 31 – Hon. Jonathan L. Snare, Acting Solicitor, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Friday, June 1 – Hon. Wilma Liebman, National Labor Relations Board, also member of the Labor Center Advisory Board

View Conference Agenda

CLE Credit
CLE credit (14 hours of CLE credit including 2 hours of ethics/professionalism)
under New York State is available; for those interested in pursuing CLE for states other than New York we will provide certificates of completion for submission to your respective state boards. This program is eligible for transitional CLE credit. Full or partial scholarships are available on a limited basis for cases of demonstrated financial hardship.

- $600 Full Conference Fee*
- $200 Academic, Government, and Nonprofit

Conference Fee includes all materials, breakfast and lunch both days, and refreshments.

*Multiple attendees from the same organization may be eligible for a group rate

Contact Information
Should you have any questions, please contact:

Ben Eisenman, Manager of Centers
Center for Labor and Employment Law
New York University School of Law
110 West Third Street, Room 209E
New York, NY 10012

Telephone: (212) 998-6242
Facsimile: (212 995)-4036
Email: ben.eisenman@nyu.edu

 

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