The Employment Law Symposium will begin with networking, coffee, and refreshments from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8.

Symposium sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the event will conclude at 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We will include scheduled breaks in between sessions. Employment Law Symposium sessions include:

Lighthouse at night

Guiding Lighthouse: Illuminating the Other Side

Speakers: Will Oden, Faith Herndon, and Denise Smith Cline
9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Amidst a vast sea of re-occurring employment law issues, Faith Henderson and Denise Cline, two of North Carolina's experienced employee-side employment attorneys, will illuminate ways employers can best avoid being adverse to them. In this interactive interview, moderator Will Oden of Ward and Smith will steer the interview to uncover common employer pitfalls and proactive steps to begin taking. 

Three engines on back of boat

Full Speed Ahead: Rapid Fire Updates in the Employment Industry

Speakers: Justin Hill, X. LightfootAvery Locklear, Hayley Wells, and Jim Wilson
9:50 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.

Ward and Smith attorneys are harnessing the wind and moving full speed ahead to educate you on the latest hot topics related to employment law, including considerations when hiring and managing out-of-state employees, DEI, professional licensing, worker accommodations, and much more!

A compass pointing North

Staying the Course: An Interview with the NLRB

Speakers: X. LightfootGrant Osborne, and Shannon Meares, NLRB
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sets forth percent to help stay the course to safeguard employee's rights. In this insightful interview, two Ward and Smith attorneys will be joined by an NLRB representative to analyze recent and vital board orders and decisions.

Funny French Bulldog dressed up with a cute sailor dog Networking Lunch

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy delicious food and beverages while you network with your peers. This is the perfect opportunity to connect, build relationships, and exchange ideas on topics related to labor and employment.   



An anchor as the sea floorAnchored in Equality: A Conversation with the EEOC

Speakers: Tom Colclough and Emily Massey
12:30 p.m. -  1:15 p.m.

Tom Colclough, Director of Field Management and Programs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Ward and Smith Labor Employment attorney, Emily Massey, will team up to provide a deep dive into the waters of the EEOC. This insightful session will highlight challenging topics that the EEOC is currently addressing and sees on the horizon. Tom and Emily will address honest and candid questions, providing an insider's look into how the EEOC operates.

A man in a cannonA Loose Cannon: A Live Action Role Play (LARP)

Speakers: Amy Fitzhugh, Ken Gray, and Avery Locklear
1:15 p.m. -  2:00 p.m.

It only takes one loose cannon to put an organization at risk. This LARP (Live Action Role Playing) session will allow attendees to each play a role and act out real-life HR investigations with their tablemates. You'll be able to assume the role of an HR professional, employee, accuser, accused, or others as you walk through case examples. Each case example will then be discussed in an open forum. 


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