Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Lawyers Offer Advice on Employment Law Changes

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Lawyers Offer Advice on Employment Law Changes

Article excerpt

Businesses and their HR departments need to be more on-their- toes than ever in the employment law minefield created by the faltering economy, say two attorneys with McAfee & Taft's Tulsa office.

The law firm has scheduled its spring seminar on labor, employment and employee benefits law for April, titled "The Bottom Line: What You Need to Know to Make Tough Decisions in Tough Times."

Sessions will be held in Oklahoma City and Tulsa on topics including downsizing and reductions in force, the Employee Free Choice Act, changes in family leave law and what retirement plan fiduciaries need to know in today's chaotic market, among others.

"We're anticipating 2009 to be have some significant upheavals for employers generally," said labor and employment law attorney Charles Plumb.

He said those upheavals may come from particular directions: changes wrought by the struggling economy and significant changes in the law relating to wrongful discharge, the Americans with Disabilities Act, union-organizing activity and other issues.

Plumb said he expects more robust activity from federal agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

As an example, he said, changes in regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act provide additional rights for workers while imposing new requirements on employers in terms of notifying employees of their rights and obligations.

Plumb said he anticipates the EFCA, if it becomes law, to lead to increased unionization efforts.

"We're going to want to be alerting attendees to our workshop to that development and the kind of things they can do proactively, rather than after the fact," he said.

Plumb said the seminar is intended as a preview of what employers might expect in those areas, as well as a discussion of possible strategies that could be helpful to businesses facing such changes. …

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