75th AM Prac Sessions

Meeting Masthead

Practical sessions spanning both the LERA 75th Annual Meeting and the LERA Regional Chapter Meeting in Detroit!

We have listed below all of the practical sessions available between May 31 and June 4, 2023 associated with two events, the LERA 75th Annual Meeting and our LERA Regional Chapter Meeting that are taking place back-to-back at the same hotel.

These sessions below have been designed for professionals who work in the field of labor and employment relations including human resources, labor relations, advocates, arbitrators/mediators, and labor attorneys.

Registration is separate for each event, but If you register for the LERA Regional Chapter Meeting, then you will receive a discount code to restore earlybird pricing for the complete LERA 75th Annual Meeting. Registration to the LERA 75th Annual Meeting covers all the program sessions (85+) on the full program, but below we have listed out the sessions that have been organized just for you.

 12 Featured Sessions at the LERA Regional Chapter Meeting

50 Featured Sessions at the LERA 75th Annual Meeting

Wednesday  •  Regional Chapter Meeting  •  5/31/2023

8 - 8:50 am ET Concurrent Sessions

1.1 Leveraging Fractional HR to Drive Operational Effectiveness

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?

1.2 Disability Law After the Pandemic – Why More Employees Can and Will Claim Workplace Protections 

Session PresenterJames Reid, Attorney, Honigman LLP.
Session Description: Look 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

1.3 Prohibition of Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

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.

9 - 9:50 am ET Concurrent Sessions

2.1 Creating Equal Employment Opportunity by Modernizing Talent Acquisition

Session PresenterMikhail Filipovitch, Strategic Partnerships Manager
Session Description: In 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.  

2.2 Preventative Litigation and Confidential Investigations

Session PresentersKaren Kienbaum and Genevieve Adel, Attorneys, Kienbaum Law
Session Description: Litigation 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. 

2.3 Key Ingredients for a Successful Employment Arbitration 

Session PresentersJanice HoldinskiRegional 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. 

10 - 10:50 am ET Concurrent Sessions

3.1 The Legacy of Michigan Labor Lawyers

Session PresenterRobert ChiaravalliPresident, 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.

3.2 Disaster Preparedness

Session Presenters: Genevieve AdelAttorney, 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.

3.3 Employment Mediator and Arbitrator Career Choices

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.

11 - 11:50 am ET Concurrent Sessions

4.1 ISO TC 260: Human Resource Standards – What Do They Mean for Workers, Employers and Trade Unions 

Session PresenterJim 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.

4.2 Common FLSA Violations: how to avoid wage and hour litigation

Session PresenterMelissa 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.

4.3 Promises and Perils of Using AI in the Workplace

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.


Thursday  •  LERA 75th Annual Meeting  •  6/1/2023

8 - 8:45 am ET  •  Plenary

LERA Welcome Address and Continental Buffet, Sponsored by University of Illinois—Salon A

Moderator: Robert ChiaravalliStrategic Labor & Human Resources, LLC
Featured Speaker: Paul F. ClarkLERA President

9 - 10:30 am ET Concurrent Sessions

1.3  Unlocking Talent Pools: The Impact of Traditional Hiring Practices on Justice-Impacted Job Candidates (Workshop)—MCC 1

Current hiring methods shrink talent pools by relying on online applications, traditional résumés, cover letters, criminal background checks, and HR management software that filter out qualified nontraditional candidates, particularly those with criminal records. The proposed session will emphasize the benefits of alternative models, tools, and cultural competencies for assessing candidates with criminal records in order to develop more diverse talent pools and address the current labor shortage. Panelists will explore connections that can be drawn from experiences of justice-impacted workers to other marginalized workers and how these experiences relate to broader themes of access to work, equity, and economic development.
Moderator: Ariel C. AvgarCornell University
Panelists: Brandi MandatoJobs for the FutureMatthew SalehCornell UniversityJodi AndersonStanford University; and Timothy Albert McNuttCornell University

1.4  Algorithmic Management in Hotel Housekeeping: Implications for Worker Well-Being (Panel)—MCC 2

Algorithmic management applications are increasingly popular in hospitality settings like hotel housekeeping. We however lack a clear understanding of how such technologies influence housekeepers' workflow and their subsequent well-being. As part of a multi-year project, we present early research that is aimed at understanding the impact of algorithmic management applications in the hospitality industry. We then discuss opportunities for developing mechanisms for worker input into the design, training, and deployment of algorithmic management systems and for assessing outcomes with multi-method evaluation.
Moderator: Christine RiordanUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Panelists: Ellen MutariStockton UniversityHye Jin RhoMichigan State University; and Jodi ForlizziCarnegie Mellon University

1.5  Controlling the Cost of Grievance and Employment Arbitration: Practical Tips for Practitioners (Workshop)—MCC 3

Arbitration is supposed to be an efficient, cost-effective method of resolving disputes. Frequently, that is not the case. This session explores methods for advocates to control the cost of arbitration, while providing due process and a comprehensive, fair hearing. This session will explore practical, real-life methods that unions, employers and their advocates can develop protocols to streamline grievance and employment arbitration. Participants should expect to leave the session with tools in their toolbox to make arbitration more efficient and less expensive without sacrificing fairness or completeness.
Moderator: Steven H. SchwartzSteven H. Schwartz & Associates, PLC

10:45 am - 12:15 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

2.1  M-POWER: Democratizing Societies by Democratizing the Workplace (Workshop)—Salon B

This session seeks to share diverse views on the impact of collective worker voice on outcomes related to quality jobs, economic stability and inclusion, and democracy globally. The session will highlight the newly launched Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and Rights (M-POWER), a multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Government in partnership with labor, philanthropic, academic and civil society organizations to strengthen labor rights, and will include a policy and action-oriented discussion focused on challenges and opportunities to strengthen workers' voice, particularly for workers traditionally marginalized from economic and political representation.
Moderators: Laine Romero-Alston and Chris KazlauskasBureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
Panelists: Molly McCoyBureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of LaborMark AnnerPennsylvania State UniversityAdrianna PazInternational Domestic Worker FederationAnannya BhattacharjeeAsia Floor Wage Alliance; and Laura GutierrezAFL-CIO

2.2  Recentering the Strike: New Perspectives on Solidarity and Outcomes (Panel)—Salon C

Despite a long decline in labor militancy and a hostile legal context, workers and labor organizations appear to be bringing back the strike to advance an increasingly diverse range of demands. This session focuses on strikes, both their internal dynamics and the outcomes they achieve for workers and labor organizations. Rather than occurring just as a product of collective bargaining negotiations, strikes today take on a diverse range of forms. Combining qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical work, we plan to discuss the role of strikes in this important moment for the labor movement, and, by extension, democracy, in the United States.
Moderator: Sara Gia TrongoneUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Presenters: John Kallas*, Cornell UniversityEmerging Categories of Strikes in the United States
Maite Tapia*, Michigan State UniversityChristian IbsenUniversity of CopenhagenCarla Lima Aranzaes and Phillip DeOrtentiisMichigan State UniversityA Tale of Two Locals: The Strategic Choice of a Trade Union During the 2019 GM-UAW Strike and Member Satisfaction
Eric Benjamin Blanc*, New York UniversityWorker Perceptions of Strike Outcomes: A Computational Text Analysis of the West Virginia 2018 Educators' Walkout
Rebecca Kolins Givan and Jiyoon Park*, Rutgers UniversityReconceptualizing the Strike: An Integrative Framework

2.5  Remote Work, Flexible Scheduling, and Work-life Balance Issues in the Post-COVID Environment (Workshop)—MCC 3

In the post-COVID workplace, employers and employees have confronted a myriad of issues arising from COVID-induced remote work applications. The tech sector, for example, has discovered that work formerly performed on campus is just as readily performed at a well-equipped home office or alternative location. At the same time, employees have consistently associated remote work with opportunities for improved work-life balances. This seminar/presentation will therefore examine current remote work-related trends, interests, and best practices impacting collective bargaining in the private and federal sectors. The presentation will cover, among other things, alternative workweek arrangements, remote and flexible-schedule work, and similar content.
Moderator: Barbara LichtmanFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Jim AlbanoFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Xavier A. MerizaldeFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

2.6  The Roles of African-Americans and the Civil Rights Movement on Labor (Workshop)—MCC 4

This workshop will discuss the unrecognized intersection of labor history and African American history. The presenters will discuss union organizers in the South, the role of Pullman Porters, the impact of the Great Migration and unionization in the North, the intentional exclusion of  black labor from the NLRA and much more. 
Moderator: Jimmy O'Neal ValentineFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Arthur Theotis MatthewsPennsylvania State University
Discussant: Stephanie M. CollierFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

2:15 - 3:45 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

3.2  The FAST Recovery Act & Sectoral Power in the U.S. (Panel)—Salon C

This session will look at the policy and legal impacts of policy frameworks to empower workers across a sector, focusing on the recent passage of the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act in California, which establishes a sectoral standard-setting process for fast food workers in the state.
Moderator: Enrique LopezliraUniversity of California, Berkeley
Panelists: Adam WeisbergService Employees International Union; and David MadlandCenter for American Progress

3.3  Public Safety & Social Justice: How Police Officers and Government Employers Must Work Together (Panel)—MCC 1

To facilitate a dialogue between management and police unions concerning issues of public importance regarding public importance. Such matters include community policing, racial sensitivity, social justice, training and the joint effort to improve the perception and reality of how police officers perform their duties to serve and protect their communities in a racially unbiased manner. To facilitate a dialogue between management and police unions concerning issues of public importance regarding public importance. Such matters include community policing, racial sensitivity, social justice, training and the joint effort to improve the perception and reality of how police officers perform their duties to serve and protect their communities in a racially unbiased manner.
Moderator: Dean BurrellBurrell Dispute Resolution
Panelists: Kenya TysonSenior Associate Provost at Dartmouth CollegeJames MetsMets, Schiro & McGovern, LLP; and France CasseusCity of Newark, NJ - Law Department

3.5  International Workplace Dispute Resolution: Looking Ahead (Workshop)—MCC 3

This workshop will focus on the current state of IWDR, with a judge-driven focus and labor courts in Europe and Asia. From there we will focus on the "shining stars" of IWDR, such as the Cambodia AC and Myanmar-ACT Fast Track DRM Project. Then we explore workplace dispute resolution (including labor arbitration) in China. We conclude with a vision for the future, including broader acceptance of private grievance arbitration and implications of the USMC Mexico trade agreement. Much of the workshop will reflect on workplace practices in the global supply chain, including garments, shoes, and electronics. This includes factories in Asia, Africa and South America. This workshop is organized by the International Labor Committee of the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA), dedicated to encouraging research and shaping the field of International Workplace Dispute Resolution. The Committee is part of the ILERA Study Group for Third-Party Neutrals.
Moderator: Richard FincherWorkplace Resolutions LLC
Panelists: Rick BalesNorthern Ohio University; and Eileen HoffmanFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

3.6  Social Justice and Labor: The Impact of Current Societal Issues on the Workplace (Workshop)—MCC 4

This panel will discuss the current social justice movements and the strife they may cause in the workplace, possible contract language implications and the emergence of employer specific unions based on social justice and workers' rights.
Moderator: Stephanie M. CollierFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Jimmy O'Neal ValentineFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

4 - 5:30 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

4.1  Who is an Independent Contractor? New Rules for Determining Status (Panel)—Salon B

Independent contractors (ICs) play an important role in our economy. They also create economic and legal issues because of their exemption from the Fair Labor Standard Act and employer payments into the Social Security Trust Fund, workers compensation and unemployment insurance funds. Too often unscrupulous employers misclassify employees to reduce their labor costs. The U.S. Department of Labor recently revised its rules for determining IC status. This panel brings a USDOL representative, in addition to an expert on misclassification, and a local union organizer to speak about the issue and the effects of changes in DOL rules.
Moderator: Dale BelmanMichigan State University
Panelists: David WeilBrandeis UniversityLisa CanadaMichigan Regional Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters; and Sally Dworak-FisherNational Employment Law Project
Discussant: Phyllis PayneConnerton & Payne, PLLC

4.2  Update and Discussion of the Upsurge in Worker Organizing and Activism (Round Table)—Salon C

The Worker Empowerment Research Network (WERN) has been tracking the upsurge in worker organizing and activism for the past year and will host a panel of leaders from the labor movement, worker advocacy groups, business, and government to discuss what we have learned from our research and their experiences about whether or not the current upsurge is a flash in the pan or a potentially transformational moment for restoring worker voice, representation and power in America's workplaces. Emphasis will be given to panel discussion portion of the roundtable session after brief summaries of our research findings to date are presented.
Moderator: William SpriggsLERA President-Elect and Program Chair
Presenters: Kate Bronfenbrenner*, Cornell UniversityUpdate on Union Organizing Campaigns
Janice Fine*, Rutgers UniversityUpdate on Worker Center and Other Organizing Outside of Collective Bargaining
John S. Ahlquist*, University of California, San DiegoWorkers' Survey
Suresh Naidu*, Columbia UniversityUpdate on Scope of Worker Organizing and Activism
Thomas A. Kochan*, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBusiness Leader Interviews
Panelists: Cynthia EstradaAFL-CIORoy BahatBloomberg BetaVeronica MendezCTUL, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha; and Lynn RhinehartU.S. Department of Labor

4.5  When Parties Disagree on Holding the Arbitration Hearing In-person or Virtually (Workshop)—MCC 3

With the major expansion in the use of virtual hearings over the past few years, arbitrators are often faced with one party insisting on an in-person hearing and the other party insisting that the hearing be held virtually. The panel will consider how arbitrators should handle this type of situation.  The National Academy of Arbitrators long ago issued its "Advisory Opinion 26" that deals with holding a virtual hearing over the objection of one party, but does that opinion do enough? Is it time for updating? Should in-person be the default or is virtual accepted enough so that it should be the other way around? To what extent should parties address this in their CBAs?
Moderator: Arthur PearlsteinFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelists: Kathryn A. VanDagensVanDagens ADR; and Jeanne VonhofArbitrator

4.6  Words Matter: Addressing DEIA in Contract Bargaining (Workshop)—MCC 4

What happens when labor and management moves towards addressing DEIA issues through collective bargaining and contract language? In this workshop we will discuss why it is important to consider how to address DEIA matters in contract language and the challenges and concerns that parties face when bargaining DEIA language. There will be case studies and examples on DEIA contract language, as well as tips for how to bargain these areas.
Moderator: Liz BrennerFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Stephanie M. CollierFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Gemma LoprestiFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

6 - 10 pm ETLERA Welcome Reception at the Ford Rouge Plant Sponsored by the University of Illinois Climate Jobs Institute—Ticketed Event

Friday  •  LERA 75th Annual Meeting  •  6/2/2023

7:30 - 8:15 am ET   •  Plenary

LERA Annual Labor Breakfast & Featured Speaker, Sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Labor@Wayne—Salon A

Moderator: William SpriggsLERA President-Elect and Program Chair
Featured Speaker: Fred RedmondUnited Steelworkers

8:30 - 10 am ET Concurrent Sessions

5.1  The Alliance-Kaiser Permanente Negotiations of 2021 (Workshop)—Salon B

We will discuss the Kaiser Permanente - Alliance of Healthcare Unions negotiations for the 2021-2025 contract, covering 50,000 KP employees nationally. The negotiations went beyond the expiration date of the previous contract and finally was settled late in the period of a ten-day strike notice. The historic Labor Management Partnership survived these difficult negotiations, with new and important mutual commitments on affordability, racial justice, and other areas. However, the negotiations threatened the future of the partnership and created some lasting challenges which will have to be addressed.
Moderators: Jim PruittKaiser Permanente; and Hal RuddickAlliance of Health Care Unions
Panelist: Sandra FloresAlliance of Health Care Unions
Discussant: Dennis L. DabneyDabney Law LLC

5.2  The First Year in a New Arbitrator Practice (Panel)—Salon C

A new generation of arbitrators is entering the practice with a diverse set of background and experiences. Hear from arbitrators about getting started and early experiences in labor-management dispute resolution.
Moderator: Michael LocontoArbitrator
Panelists: Bradley A. AreheartUniversity of Tennessee College of LawE. Patrick McDermottSalisbury UniversityShianne Scott and Lisa W. TimmonsArbitrator

5.4  Beyond the Dance: Diversity, Inclusion, and the Impacts on Organizations (Workshop)—MCC 2

Vera Meyers, an inclusion strategist and leader, said that diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. Join us to discuss what happens beyond the dance: how to integrate diversity, inclusion, belonging, and more into our organizations. In this highly interactive workshop, we will discuss some foundations of these ideas and build understanding around why diversity and inclusion is important for all, and how we can start or improve our efforts in these areas. This workshop will set the stage for the remaining technical workshops in the Diversity and Inclusion track.
Moderator: Cathy StevensFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Xavier A. MerizaldeFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Liz BrennerFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

5.6  Understanding Policing and Police Labor in Society and the Economy (Round Table)—MCC 4

This roundtable will discuss economic research on policing and criminalization of Black and brown communities, the role that police unions in particular play in upholding stratification and economic inequality, and what pathways may exist for public safety that services the common good and economic security.
Moderator: Kate BahnThe Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Presenters: Robynn Cox*, University of Southern CaliforniaJamein CunninghamCornell University; and Alberto OrtegaIndiana UniversityThe Impact of Affirmative Action Litigation on Police Killings of Civilians
Maurice BP-Weeks*, Action Center on Race & the EconomyMonetary Cost of Police Brutality and the Role of Community Organizing
Featured Speaker: Fred RedmondUnited Steelworkers

10:15 - 11:45 am ET Concurrent Sessions

6.1  Reimagining Public Policies Related to Low Wages and Income in Canada (Panel)—Salon B

In this session, the panelists will outline the debate and evidence around different policy approaches to addressing poverty and low-income in Canada, including living wages, wage insurance, basic income, universal services, and guaranteed jobs programs. Panelists and discussants will discuss how features of the Canadian institutional context, as well as activist campaigns and government-funded pilot studies and commissions, have affected not only the debate around these policies, but also the chances of successful implementation.
Moderator: Lorenzo FrangiUniversity of Québec at Montréal
Panelists: Danielle van JaarsveldUniversity of British ColumbiaKourtney Koebel and Rafael GomezUniversity of Toronto
Discussant: Dionne PohlerUniversity of Saskatchewan

6.2  White House Task Force Part I: Card Checks (Workshop)—Salon C

As a priority of the Biden administration to remove obstacles workers face in their efforts to organize, the Whitehouse Taskforce on Worker Organizing and Empowerment was established. This task force developed a set of recommendations that will promote worker organizing and collective bargaining. As a result, the FMCS is now offering card check services at no charge. Hear about the collaboration between  governmental agencies to address the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, the development of FMCS providing card checks, and what you need to know about card checks.
Moderator: LaTwana WilliamsFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Barbara LichtmanFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

6.3  Employer Workers' Compensation Premium Fraud: The 25 Billion Dollar Gorilla (Panel)—MCC 1

When it comes to workers compensation insurance fraud, the default assumption is claimant fraud dominates, making claimants the bull's eye for investigations, prosecutions and policies battling fraud. In reality, employer premium fraud is far more costly to insurers and places the insurers at higher risk exposures. This panel will bring to light premium-fraud schemes and new data on the degree of employer premium fraud and the harm it is causing to insurers, workers (immigrant workers being frequently more endangered) and compliant employers. The panel will also discuss possible solutions to the problem.
Moderator: Matthew CapeceUnited Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Panelists: Grace NicholasTexas Mutual Insurance; and Michael R. GrenonEmployers (Insurance)
Discussant: William CanakMiddle Tennessee State University (ret.)

6.4  Bullying: A New Look at a Not-So-New Topic (Workshop)—MCC 2

Bullying can take on many forms in the workplace and sometimes can be hard to identify. Unfortunately, bullying left unchecked can erode workplace cultures and performance. In order for organizations to provide a positive environment for employees to stay engaged, it is important for bullying to be proactively eliminated in all forms. In this presentation you will learn about different types of bullying, ways to identify bullying, tools for handling a bully, and how to be an ally against bullying. Join us for a new view on a not-so-new topic.
Moderator: Kevin HawkinsFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Ligia M. VelazquezFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Dana MarinaroFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

6.6  Building Organizational Resilience through Knowledge-Sharing Relationships and Working Together (Skill-Building)—MCC 4

Leaders struggle to keep organizations alive in rapidly changing environments. During the automotive industry crisis, this struggle to adapt and survive was clearly illustrated by the players in the automotive industry. Driven by a pandemic and divisive politics, businesses increasingly weigh in on social issues. Using examples from automotive, healthcare, hospitality, and higher education, we will review these 2008-2010 and 2020-2021 challenges to understand how working together and building knowledge-sharing relationships allows a positive adaptation to challenging conditions. By applying these techniques, leaders in any industry can recognize and seize opportunities to improve and sustain superior performance for their organization.
Moderator: Raya Danielle YorkUniversity of Michigan
Panelist: Chris EmmonsAdaptive Strategy

12 - 1:30 pm ET   •  Plenary

Featured Plenary and Luncheon "Detroit, the UAW, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Walk to Freedom 60 Years Later", Sponsored by UAW/Ford Joint Trust—Salon A

On Jun 23, 1963, in gratitude for the UAW sending Bill Owen and Irving Bluestone to bail out Dr. King and others jailed in Birmingham, AL, Dr. King came to Detroit to lead a march of over 120,000 people to fight for civil rights. While he was at the UAW headquarters, Dr. King finished the draft for his "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered in Detroit ahead of the March on Washington speech in August. This session will commemorate the role of the UAW in this pivotal moment of the Civil Rights Movement. On Good Friday, April 12, Dr. King and the leadership of the Southern Christian Leadership Council were jailed in Birmingham for violating an injunction against protesting segregation. In response to a "Call for Unity" among white clergy in Birmingham to stand on the side of defending segregation, Dr. King penned his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" confronting the silence of those in the face of the evil of segregation. On June 12, just weeks before Dr. King's Detroit appearance, NAACP leader Medgar Evers, fighting for voter registration in Mississippi, had been assassinated in front of his home. And this march was a response to growing violence of those suppressing civil rights.
Moderator: William SpriggsLERA President-Elect and Program Chair
Featured Speaker: Alan ReutherUnited Auto Workers (ret.)

1:45 - 3:15 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

7.1  A Perfect Storm for Labor Organizing in Mexico? Grassroots Mobilization, Labor Law Reform, and Enforcement of USMCA Labor Provisions (Round Table)—Salon B

Mexico adopted a major reform of its labor law in 2019, in part as a requirement of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement that replaced NAFTA. The new regime extends democratic rights to workers to control their unions and collective bargaining agreements. Independent unions have launched a wave of organizing in some of the largest Mexican manufacturing export plants of major US corporations, including General Motors, Panasonic, and 3M, in some cases in direct opposition to the official CTM union structures that have long dominated Mexican workplaces. The roundtable will bring together academics, top practitioners, and government officials to explore the factors in labor's recent successes, including grassroots mobilization, labor law reform, and the USMCA Rapid Response Mechanism. Roundtable participants will also analyze myriad challenges facing labor going forward.
Moderator: Mark AnnerPennsylvania State University
Panelists: Cirila QuinteroEl Colegio de la Frontera Norte, MexicoPaolo MarinaroSolidarity Center, MexicoSamantha TateUSMCA Monitoring and Enforcement, U.S. Department of LaborUnited Automobile Workers Speaker TBA, Lynda YanzMaquila Solidarity NetworkBenjamin DavisUnited Steelworkers; and Imelda JiménezNational Mine Workers Union of Mexico
Discussant: Sandra PolaskiIMLEB (Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board)

7.2  White House Task Force Part II: Initial Contracts (Workshop)—Salon C

As a priority of the Biden administration to remove obstacles workers face in their efforts to organize, the Whitehouse Taskforce on Worker Organizing and Empowerment was established. This task force developed a set of recommendations that will promote worker organizing and collective bargaining. This workshop will cover the challenges of initial contract bargaining, the recommendations of the Task Force, and how the FMCS has been working to improve and increase support provided to unions and employers as they work through the challenges of negotiating that first contract and begin their ongoing relationship as partners in the workplace.
Moderator: Jim AlbanoFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Martin A. CallaghanFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Valerie HarraginFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

7.3  New Wave of Unionization in the Nonprofit Sector (Panel)—MCC 1

This is a panel discussion of the current wave of unionization in social sector nonprofits. We will explore the challenges of managing unionization with a model designed for industrial relations, scarce resources and low level of unionization experience. We will share analysis of this current unionization wave in this sector, trends practitioners are seeing and hear from both bargaining unit members and management on how they've experienced the negotiation of a first contract. There will be ample time for questions and discussions with participants.
Moderator: Julie A EmerySerendipity Strategies
Panelists: Amy SmouchaListening Tree ConsultingNatalia EspinaLand Stewardship ProjectChristy YoshitomiFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service; and Fatoumata KeitaNational Women's Law Center

7.4  Understanding Bias (Workshop)—MCC 2

Ingrained in all of us, personal biases impact our everyday decisions and actions. While some forms of bias can be harmless, others can lead to unreasoned judgements about people and unfairness in the workplace. In this interactive session, we will explore how conflict, prejudice and discrimination are deeply rooted in personal biases. We will discuss how having a greater understanding of our own biases can improve relationships and is crucial in addressing these systemic problems on a human level. Topics covered: The nature of bias, conscious and implicit bias, sources of bias, examples of different kinds of biases, impact of bias in the workplace, and tips and tools to address bias.
Moderator: Herman BrownFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Gemma LoprestiFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Tom Louis MelanconFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

7.6  Resistance and Solidarity in the Digital Workplace: Authors Meet Critics (Panel)—MCC 4

This session discusses two books that examine union struggles to fight for good, secure, humane jobs in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry. In Resistance in the Digital Workplace, Debbie Goldman analyzes union responses to downward pressure on living standards, working conditions, and job security in the call centers of two US companies, AT&T and Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), focusing on the 1965-2005 period. In Exit, Voice, and Solidarity (OUP 2022), Virginia Doellgast compares union responses to downsizing, outsourcing, and intensifying performance management at 10 incumbent telecom firms in US and Europe from the mid-2000s.
Moderator: Rosemary BattCornell University
Panelists: Debbie GoldmanCommunication Workers of America; and Virginia DoellgastCornell University
Discussants: Maite TapiaMichigan State UniversityDavid WeilBrandeis University; and Blandine EmilienUniversity of Quebec in Montreal

3:30 - 5 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

8.2  White House Task Force Part III: Labor-Management Partnerships (Workshop)—Salon C

As a priority of the Biden administration to remove obstacles workers face in their efforts to organize, the Whitehouse Taskforce on Worker Organizing and Empowerment was established. As a partner on the White House Task Force for Worker Organizing and Empowerment, the FMCS has increased its resources to support labor management partnerships in all sectors. This session will discuss FMCS's role on the White House Task Force, the benefits of a labor-management partnership, and how FMCS has enhanced its support for parties to build strong labor-management partnerships.
Moderator: Martin A. CallaghanFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: LaTwana WilliamsFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Jimmy O'Neal ValentineFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

8.3  The UAWs Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants (Debate)—MCC 1

This session uses the "author meets critics" discussion format for the book: Stephen J. Silvia, The UAW's Southern Gamble: Organizing Foreign Vehicle Plants.
Moderator: Jeffrey S. WheelerGlobal Trace Protocol, ELEVATE Ltd./LRQA
Presenter: Stephen Silvia*, American UniversityUAW's Southern Gamble: Organizing Workers at Foreign-Owned Vehicle Plants
Discussants: Marissa BrookesUniversity of California, RiversideJoel Cutcher-GershenfeldBrandeis University; and Bob KingUniversity of Michigan (former UAW President)

8.4  From Paper to Pledge to Practice: Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in ADR By Implementing the Ray Corollary Initiative Pledge (Panel)—MCC 2

Attendees will learn about how arbitral institutions, parties, lawyers, and arbitrators - everyone who might find themselves in the "appointer"-seat - move from Pledge to performance by actively taking steps ensure that diverse neutrals are appointed in disputes.
Moderator: Sarah Miller EspinosaSME Dispute Resolution, LLC
Panelists: Homer C. La RueHoward UniversityKatherine SimpsonSimpson Dispute Resolution; and Alan SymonetteSymonetteADR Services Inc

5:15 - 8:30 pm ET  •  Plenaries

LERA General Membership Meeting & Awards Ceremony—Salon B

LERA Annual Reception Sponsored by Illinois, Cornell, Rutgers, Penn State, FIU, MSU, MIT, Princeton, Univ. Toronto—Amnesia

Saturday  •  LERA 75th Annual Meeting  •  6/3/2023

8:45 - 10:15 am ET Concurrent Sessions

9.3  In Search of Allyship (Workshop)—MCC 1

What can we do to transform our workplace to become more inclusive? Many people want to stand up for one another, want to be considered allies, but, too often, difficult conversations never happen because people get uncomfortable, anxious, or nervous. They are afraid they will say or do the wrong things and maybe even make matters worse. Instead of letting those feelings stifle important conversations, allow them to help you grow. In this workshop, you will learn and practice strategies to help build a more equitable and inclusive place of work through allyship.
Moderator: Xavier A. MerizaldeFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Cathy StevensFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Herman BrownFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

9.4  Overemployed: The Old Laws and the New Trend of Working Two Full-Time Remote Jobs (Panel)—MCC 2

This panel discussion will examine "overemployment" - the new trend of working two full-time remote jobs at the same time without either employer knowing. The panel will look at the current law on this topic to see if it applies to the new trend. The panel will also present a hypothetical scenario involving an employee engaging in overemployment and examine the legal issues involved.
Moderator: Aaron SchmidtAmerican Arbitration Association
Discussants: Rudolph P. MakupsonBlue Cross Blue Shield of MichiganKathryn A. VanDagensVanDagens ADR; and Angela MannarinoGasiorek Morgan

10:30 am - 12 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

10.2  Restorative Mediation: Tools and Tips (Workshop)—Salon C

Restorative mediation draws from restorative justice tenets, as well as transformative and facilitative mediation practices. In addition to mediation sessions, participants in restorative mediation also commit to pre-work, as well as an honest and transparent dialogue in a safe space created by the mediator. This session explores the development of this process, how to deliver/facilitate a restorative mediation process for a labor-management grievance or for an employment-based grievance, and how to determine if parties are right for a restorative mediation process.
Moderator: Brenda PryorFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Liz BrennerFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Carrie FosterFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

10.3  Microaggression: Do You Understand the Impacts and Costs? If Not, You Should (Workshop)—MCC 1

Are microaggressions affecting your workplace culture and bottom lines? Understanding microaggressions and their impacts in the workplace are critical to building a positive organizational culture. This presentation will provide information and strategies so that you are empowered to identify microaggressions, respond to and overcome microaggressions, be an ally and learn how to respond in order to build a stronger environment and effectively move forward.
Moderator: Tom Louis MelanconFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Dana MarinaroFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Ligia M. VelazquezFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

10.4  Can I Still Do It From Home? Key Questions and Hot Topics Labor and Management Continue to Face Since the Pandemic (Panel)—MCC 2

The challenges of the pandemic changed the workforce and how labor and management interact. This session will provide insights from experienced labor relations professionals on coping with the lingering effects of the pandemic, from continuing demands for remote work, wage and hour issues when employees work from home, bargaining new contracts, requests for accommodation for disabilities, and litigating these and other disputes in arbitration and before the NLRB.
Moderator: Thomas A. LenzAtkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo
Panelists: Joseph L. PallerGilbert & Sackman, a Law Corporation; and Christopher David Ruiz CameronSouthwestern Law School
Discussant: Elizabeth KerwinRegional Director NLRB Region 7, Detroit, Michigan

10.6  Warehouse Work and Control Part II: Evidence and Storytelling from US Amazon Workers (Panel)—MCC 4

This is the second panel of a two-panel proposal in which we focus on warehouse work and control. While Part 1 introduces research on warehouse work from an international comparative perspective, Part 2 focuses on the managerial strategies of control towards Amazon workers in the US more specifically.
Moderator: Maite TapiaMichigan State University
Presenters: Tamara Lee*, Rutgers UniversityMaite TapiaCarla Lima Aranzaes and Salil SapreMichigan State University; and Spencer ShimekRutgers UniversityThe Militarization of Human Resources: Contemporary Worker Control in Amazon Fulfillment Centers
Teke Wiggin*, Northwestern UniversityWorker Captivity and the Weaponization of Algorithmic Management: Lessons from Amazon's Anti-Union Campaign in Bessemer
Steven Vallas*, Northeastern University; and Anne-Kathrin KronbergUniversity of North Carolina Charlotte'It's Like They Own You Every Minute': Threats to Wellbeing and Working-Class Consciousness among Amazon's Warehouse Employees
Sanjay Joseph Pinto*, Rutgers University; and Beth GuteliusUniversity of Illinois ChicagoControl and Resistance at Amazon Warehouses: Results from a National Survey

12:15 - 1:45 pm ET  •  Plenary

LERA Presidential Address, Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions—Salon A

Moderator: William SpriggsLERA President-Elect and Program Chair
Featured Speaker: Paul F. ClarkLERA President

2 - 3:30 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

11.2  Refusing to Arbitrate (Workshop)—Salon C

In many cases, where one party invokes arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement, the other party will not cooperate. This often involves refusal to participate in the arbitrator selection process and/or in the scheduling of a hearing based on an alleged failure of the requesting party to follow the grievance steps (procedural arbitrability) or a claim that the subject matter of the grievance is not subject to arbitration under the CBA (substantive arbitrability). Although the parties can address this by specifying consequences in the CBA, most commonly fail to do so. This session will consider the widespread occurrence of initial refusal, how a party can enforce the arbitration requirement, what kind of language parties could consider including in their labor contracts to eliminate the problem, and whether refusal to arbitrate is ever in one party’s best interests.
Moderator: Arthur PearlsteinFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: LaTwana WilliamsFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: David McIntoshFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

11.3  Why Does DE&I Matter? (Workshop)—MCC 1

Over the past three days, we have heard presentations about the development of civil rights into the present societal issues impacting the workplace. We've also heard presentations on how to be more aware as we address DE&I issues in collective bargaining agreements. This workshop will pull all three days together to engage in exciting dialogue on how you can improve your DE&I culture, the challenges you may encounter, and how to overcome those challenges with the assistance of FMCS.
Moderator: Dana MarinaroFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Herman BrownFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Cathy StevensFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

11.4  How One District-Union Partnership Is Tackling Educator Burnout (Workshop)—MCC 2

Teacher shortages - alarming before the pandemic began - are now at crisis levels. There is abundant evidence as to why educators leave the profession. Until recently, however, there has been less attention paid to capture what facilitates educators- well-being and likelihood to stay. In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, Educators Thriving developed an educator-generated definition of well-being and accompanying survey tool, based on interviews with nearly 100 educators and data from 1,285 survey participants. Come learn how a data-driven process for labor management collaboration is now improving educator well-being in one district.
Moderators: Laura AndersenEducators Thriving; and Harriet B. FoxGeorge Washington University
Discussants: Marie-Louise CaravattiAmerican Federation of TeachersRay GaerABC Federation of Teachers Local #2317Toan Nguyen (inv.) and Dayna Coleman (inv.)ABC Unified School District

3:45 - 5:15 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

12.2  Advancing the Art and Science of Conflict Management and Prevention (Workshop)—Salon C

A pilot project between FMCS with MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication and Cortico illuminated a valuable and potentially groundbreaking innovation in conflict management and prevention.  This program will discuss the background of MIT and Cortico, the genesis of their approach and development of technologies to elevate the quality of social dialogues, and potential uses of this technology to advance the art & science of conflict management & prevention.
Moderator: Ligia M. VelazquezFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Panelist: Tom Louis MelanconFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Discussant: Kevin HawkinsFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

12.3 The Value of Interest Based Approaches to Negotiations and Problem Solving (Panel)—MCC 1

A panel of practitioners will share their experiences and reasons for opting for interest based approaches in addressing negotiations, conflict resolution and settlement discussions as a superior method of achieving client results and mutual satisfaction.
Moderator: Stanislaw DamasCollaborative Strategies LLC
Panelists: Kendall B. WilliamsThe Williams FirmBonnie CullisonCollaborative Strategies LLC; and David RodichCollaborative Strategies, LLC

12.4 LERA Teaching Interest Section presents "Engaging with Race in the College Classroom: Pedagogical Tools and Course Content" (Panel)—MCC 2

LERA's Teaching Section group is sponsoring this session. The session will provide three different approaches to addressing race and related issues into the college classrooms. Each of the three presenters will share their personal classroom approaches and experiences as they seek to help students understand issues related to discrimination, power and justice in the workplace. Race will be a prominent issue the presenters will discuss; however, some materials will also address how the materials are related to other identities as well. Attendees will have time to engage in dialogue with the panelists.
Moderator: Yao YaoUniversity of Ottawa
Presenters: John W. Budd*, University of MinnesotaDeveloping a "Race, Power, and Justice in Business" Course
Tamara LeeRutgers UniversityRace and Other Identities as Pedagogical Tools
Sean E. RogersUniversity of Rhode IslandIntegrating Race-Related Materials into College Classes

12.6 Employer and Labor Collaborators: Labor-Management Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Workshop)—MCC 4

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Labor-Management Partnership Program is an Office of Labor-Management Standards initiative that promotes positive labor-management partnerships from across the nation. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service provides training and facilitation of labor-management partnerships among all sectors and industries. Together, these two federal agencies are providing resources to directly help workers and employers, alike. In this interactive workshop, you will be introduced to the Labor-Management Partnership Program and how they are showcasing this important work, and how FMCS can be a resource to achieving success for your organization. Joining the discussion will be a panel of experienced labor-management partnership who will discuss what it takes to get the resources you need, how to start your own labor-management partnership, keys to success, and how to overcome obstacles and pitfalls along the way.
Moderator: Andrew AuerbachU.S Department of Labor
Panelists: Darnice C. MarshU.S. Department of LaborAndrew C. Hasty and Taurean JohnsonFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Sunday  •  LERA 75th Annual Meeting  •  6/4/2023  

8 - 9:30 am ET Concurrent Sessions

13.3 Addressing Burnout and Moral Injury in the Health Sector (Panel)—MCC 3

This session will address the work being conducted by relevant research and work being conducted by various organizations, including George Washington University, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Moral Injury in Healthcare, and the healthcare division of the American Federation of Teachers. This work includes HRSA funded programming, designed to provide technical assistance to grantees creating program about the same and a fully vetted problem and solution framework. Workshop will cover research, anecdotal information, and LM and campaign work by presenting organizations.
Moderator: Kelly Dawn NedrowAmerican Federation of Teachers
Panelist: Patricia (Polly) PittmanThe George Washington University

9:45 - 11:15 am ET Concurrent Sessions

14.3 Unit-Based Teams in Healthcare: Elevating Healthcare Worker Voice, Changing the Culture (Workshop)—MCC 3

The day-to-day experience of work can be stressful and demeaning when you are at the bottom of the hierarchy in a command-and-control culture -- even when you have a union. Unit Based Teams enable workers to take a leading role in changing how it feels to be at work by engaging them in measurably improving the work itself. This workshop takes an in-depth look at the role of Unit Based Teams directed by the labor-management partnership of SHARE/AFSCME and UMass Memorial Health in Massachusetts.
Moderator: Arrow MinsterMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Panelists: Will EricksonSHARE/AFSCME, University of Massachusetts Memorial Partnership OfficeMike PacindaUniversity of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center; and Janet WilderSHARE/AFSCME
Discussant: Kris RondeauAFSCME

11:30 am - 1 pm ET Concurrent Sessions

15.2  Building Leadership and Engagement through Peer Education (Skill-Building)—MCC 2

This workshop explores how unions and worker centers can use peer education and training-of-trainer (ToT) models to expand worker-led organizing and develop stronger member leadership. The workshop will begin by exploring the impact of these models through sharing emerging findings of an evaluation research project, and then participants will be guided through an overview of the key elements of peer education models and explore how these can be integrated into their existing programs. Participants will leave the workshop with guiding questions to begin planning their own peer education programs.
Moderator: Anne Marie BradyCornell University
Panelists: Zoë West and Arianna SchindleCornell University

15.3  Child Care Workers: Constraints on Job Quality in a Mostly Private Market (Panel)—MCC 3

Childcare jobs offer low wages and few or no benefits, while the cost of care is too high for many parents. Why? The childcare sector is mostly private, with parents paying out-of-pocket unless they can secure subsidies. Providers struggle to set tuition rates that allow them to cover the high cost of worker compensation. This panel will focus on the economic challenges facing workers and on the difficulties providers face in providing higher wages and more benefits. We will include discussion of strategies to mitigate these challenges and consider how policy can promote equitable care for young children.
Moderators: Sara Chaganti and Marybeth J. MattinglyFederal Reserve Bank of Boston
Presenters: Christine Tappan*, Abt AssociatesPolicy and Economic Dynamics Impacting the Childcare Workforce
Catherine TonsbergMarybeth J. MattinglySara ChagantiSarah Savage and Michael Evangelist*, Federal Reserve Bank of BostonChildcare Workers and Public School Teachers: Similar Responsibilities, Divergent Economics
Kimberly Lucas*, Northeastern UniversityRetirement for Early Educators: Challenges and Possibilities