LERA Regional Chapter Meeting 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
MotorCity Casino and Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

We are excited to announce that the LERA Chapters in the Midwest have collaborated to organize a regional meeting of labor and employment relations professionals. This event is taking place in-person in Detroit, Michigan, at the MotorCity Casino & Hotel, on the pre-conference day to the LERA 75th Annual Meeting

Please register early to secure your spot as space is limited. The full program is listed below; choose from 12 timely and practical workshops in four morning breakout sessions to customize your learning. There is also an optional networking event in the afternoon!

Who should attend?

This is a professional development and networking event for labor relations professionals and advocates on both sides of the table, as well as HR leaders, managers, neutrals, arbitrators, mediators, and labor and employment attorneys. All are welcome.


Sessions from 8 - 8:50 am

1.1 Leveraging Fractional HR to Drive Operational Effectiveness 1.2 Disability Law After the Pandemic – Why More Employees Can and Will Claim Workplace Protections  1.3 Prohibition of Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims
Session Presenter: Eric Torigian, Managing Director, CHRO Solutions

Session Description: When an organization is too small for an HR department, does fractional HR make sense?

Session Presenter: James Reid, Attorney, Honigman LLP.

Session DescriptionLook at how relaxed definitions of disability pre-2020 coupled with recent events (Long COVID, the opioid abuse crisis, employee fear of infection due to chronic health problems, resistance to vaccination) mean that a much larger share of workers are positioned to claim disability protections and accommodations and what that means for management and legal risk

Session Presenter: Steven Schwartz, Attorney and Arbitrator, Steven H. Schwartz & Associates, PLC.

Session DescriptionDiscussion around the new federal law prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and sexual assault claims.

Sessions from 9 - 9:50 am

2.1 Creating Equal Employment Opportunity by Modernizing Talent Acquisition 2.2 Preventative Litigation and Confidential Investigations 2.3 Key Ingredients for a Successful Employment Arbitration 

Session Presenter: Mikhail Filipovitch, Strategic Partnerships Manager

Session DescriptionIn pursuit of equal employment opportunity and access to new talent markets, many employers are seeking to create talent pipelines to historically underrepresented communities (refugees, people with disabilities, returning citizens...); however, the disparity between the aspirations of inclusive hiring and its reality in the workplace is still underwhelming for many firms.  This session will discuss advances in HR technology and new models of collaboration by nonprofits and public benefit corporations that reduce barriers to successful inclusive hiring, offering a new competitive edge in the war for talent.  Case studies from large- and small-cap employers will be shared to help delineate the methods and dividends of this transformation in inclusive hiring.  

Session Presenters: Karen Kienbaum and Genevieve Adel, Attorneys, Kienbaum Law

Session DescriptionLitigation Prevention: Discrimination claims continue to increase, and the number of  “protected” groups is ever enlarging. Every employer is vulnerable to the costly, reputation-ruining situation where they must publicly defend, settle, or pay a huge verdict on these often politically explosive, sensitive subjects. This session will provide three practical steps employer should take to reduce their exposure to discrimination claims while providing a more productive and fairer workplace. You will get a termination checklist to assist in managing the most challenging of events, releasing an employee. 
Session Presenters: Janice Holdinski, Regional Vice President – AAA and Alan M. Kanter, Arbitrator

Session DescriptionUse of a pre-recorded Mock Arbitration. Thorough preparation is essential to the successful presentation of an employment arbitration case. Adequate groundwork will help you understand the case clearly and will facilitate an effective presentation at the arbitration hearing. The faculty will provide participants with practical skills, insights, tips, strategies, and information on how to prepare constructively for your next arbitration. Attendees will broaden their understanding of case preparation as well as deepen their knowledge of the basic guidelines that are useful in employment arbitration. 

Sessions from 10 - 10:50 am

3.1 The Legacy of Michigan Labor Lawyers 3.2 Disaster Preparedness 3.3 Employment Mediator and Arbitrator Career Choices
Session Presenter: Robert Chiaravalli, President, Strategic Labor and HR LLC

Session DescriptionDocumentary Film on the History of Labor Law in Michigan, "Toil, Trouble and Triumph: The Legacy of Michigan Labor Lawyers"
Session Presenters: Genevieve Adel, Attorney, Kienbaum Law

Session DescriptionDisaster Planning: Is it a tornado, freak blizzard, fire, or active shooter at your location? Regardless, all employers have a legal duty to create and maintain a safe workplace for their employees. Today that obligation encompasses taking reasonable steps to protect employees in crisis situations. That obligation means every employer needs to develop, or minimally update, a Disaster Plan and roll it out to their employees. We even recommend you include your employees in the planning.  This session will provide the key steps to develop your unique plan and identify where you can get support. You cannot afford not to have (and keep updated) your Disaster Plan.
Session Presenters: Janice Holdinski, Regional Vice President – AAA and Karen Kienbaum, Attorney, Kienbaum Law

Session DescriptionWhy and How to become an arbitrator or mediator. This program will discuss how to plan and prepare yourself for becoming an Arbitrator or Mediator and will include discussion on the following topics: panel recruitment, arbitrator and mediator criteria, expectations and mandates, ethics, practice tips, and resume.

Sessions from 11 - 11:50 am

4.1 ISO TC 260: Human Resource Standards – What Do They Mean for Workers, Employers and Trade Unions  4.2 Common FLSA Violations: how to avoid wage and hour litigation 4.3 Promises and Perils of Using AI in the Workplace
Session Presenter: Jim Lewis, Global Chair, ISO TC 260

Session Description: For ten years the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has had Technical Committee 260, developing and publishing standards for human resources.  Nearly 30 guidance standards have been published, and nine more are under development, including a Requirements Standard on HR Management.  More than 60 nations are involved as participants and observers in the work of TC 260.  In addition, organizations like the International Organization of Employers and the World Federation of People Management Associations have signed on as liaison organizations to the work.  Not everyone is happy that this technical committee is delving into Requirements Standards that pave the way for certification of the people management systems of employers.  What does it mean for workers, for their unions, and their employers.  This session will overview the history and work of ISO TC 260, and present both the pros and cons of the work, particularly from the viewpoint of trade union organizations.
Session Presenter: Melissa Tetreau and Rebecca Seguin-Skrabucha, Attorneys, Bodman PLC.

Session Description: Wage and hour laws are complex, and compliance is difficult. Yet, mistakes can be costly. This session will cover common (and lesser known) mistakes that employers make when paying their employees, how to fix or avoid these mistakes, and best practices for minimizing risks of liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Session Presenter: Keith Sonderling, Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Session Description: Since joining the EEOC, one of Commissioner Sonderling’s highest priorities is ensuring that artificial intelligence and workplace technologies are designed and deployed consistent with long-standing civil rights laws. Commissioner Sonderling has published numerous articles on the benefits and potential harms of using artificial intelligence-based technology in the workplace and speaks globally on these emerging issues.


Morning Sessions and Events Schedule

7:30 AM: Registration.

8 AM: Program sessions begin, and continue throughout the morning.
Sessions start at 8, 9, 10, and 11 a.m., with three session breakouts to choose from in each time slot.

11:50 PM: sessions end, so you can grab lunch and get ready to head on out to the Tigers Ballgame in the afternoon (should you choose).

Optional Afternoon Networking Event!

1:10 PM: For those who wish to take advantage of it, LERA will be hosting a block of seats at the Tigers Baseball game!
Please sit with us and enjoy an afternoon at the ballpark. (Tickets available here.) You will be able to meet attendees coming in for the LERA 75th Annual Meeting as well as this event is open to both meetings.


MotorCity Casino & Hotel

2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

 Parking is free at the hotel for this event. This Parking lot lets you enter right into the meeting space!

Registration and Cost

This conference will be free, so please come and gain some workable knowledge from these amazing speakers.

Other Special Networking Events To Sign Up For

At the conclusion of our morning activities, you are invited to take part in Wednesday afternoon networking events with attendees of the full conference (LERA 75th Annual Meeting). These include a Tigers Baseball game, or a Welcome to Detroit coach tour. In fact, as a registrant to the LERA Regional Chapter Meeting, you are invited to register for all the special networking events associated with our main conference. We have special events planned for Wednesday afternoon (5/31), Thursday evening (6/1), Friday evening (6/2), and Saturday evening (6/3). You will need to sign up for special networking events separately.

Enjoy Discounted Registration to the LERA 75th Annual Meeting, June 1-4, 2023

We encourage you to check out the LERA 75th Annual Meeting, June 1-4, 2023 at the MotorCity Casino and Hotel. You will find the full conference program hereOnce you register for the LERA Regional Chapter Meeting 2023, you will receive a discount code for the LERA 75th Annual Meeting, June 1-4, 2023. This conference, which is four complete days of six concurrent breakout sessions, features 50+ additional practical sessions like the twelve featured on Wednesday, May 31!

Thank You to Our Program Organizers!

Robert ChiaravalliStrategic Labor & Human Resources, LLC
National LERA Mid-Region Vice President

Meeta Bass, Bass Dispute Resolution Services, LLC
President of COLERA (Central Ohio LERA Chapter)