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Sloan Sakai is pleased to provide a preview for our nine sessions at this month’s upcoming CALPELRA conference. Read below for details regarding the times, locations, topics, and presenters! 

PERB Annual Update
Tim Yeung, Partner, SSYW

Janet Cory Sommer, CEO, CALPELRA

Wednesday, 10:15 am – 11:45 am
Sierra 1, Monterey Conference Center

A long-time Conference highlight, this session provides a comprehensive update of the year’s most important PERB cases, court decisions, and key new laws affecting public sector labor relations. This session puts the year’s cases and legislation in context and provides practical advice to help you negotiate successfully in the coming year while avoiding unfair labor practices.

The Skelly Hearing Process: A Management/Union Dialogue
Jeff Sloan, Of Counsel, SSYW

Dania Torres Wong, Partner, SSYW
Alison Berry Wilkinson, Partner, Berry Wilkinson

Wednesday, 10:15 am – 11:45 pm
Ferrantes Bay View, Monterey Marriott Hotel

This pre-disciplinary Skelly hearing process session is practical, comprehensive, and entertaining and one that has consistently received high marks from attendees in prior years. The program will provide insight and guidance about the pre-disciplinary processes that management must follow when administering serious disciplinary action. Refined and updated from the highly rated Skelly session the presenters gave last year, this workshop will add a new chapter to the discipline saga of a fictionalized unionized public sector manager as he heads into yet another Skelly meeting because of continued misconduct in the workplace. The video of this latest Skelly hearing and the accompanying Skelly notice handout will set the scene for a comprehensive discussion of Skelly’s pre-disciplinary requirements; as well as a lively point/counterpoint exchange between management and union counsel. Also included is a module on how to both avoid implicit bias and foster DEI in the disciplinary/Skelly process.

Organizational Culture – The Key That Unlocks the Door to Talent Attraction and Retention
Martha Artiles, Consultant, Management Strategies Group

Maria Elena De Guevara, MA, Director of HR, County of Santa Barbara

Wednesday, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Ferrantes Bay View, Monterey Marriott Hotel 

2023 continues to be a challenging time for both employers and employees. Although COVID-19 no longer dominates the landscape as a major stressor, employees continue to be challenged with understanding and engaging in the “new normal.”  The way employers and employees interact with each other has shifted in a post-COVID world and it has prompted many employees to search for employment opportunities in organizations whose cultures are better equipped to address the transformational shifts. One thing is clear from workplace research, an engaging and positive workplace environment is a major factor that employees consider when they look at other opportunities. A culture where they feel “seen” and valued. Given this scenario, how can the public sector create attractive workplace environments within the constraints of public sector policies? Come to this session for a lively conversation of practical strategies to attract high demand talent in this “new normal” world.

Leading Through Change: How Workforce Analytics Is Helping Agencies Prepare for Unprecedented Challenges
Dania Torres Wong, Partner, SSYW

Jasmine Nachtigall-Fournierz, Co-Founder & President, GovInvest

Wednesday, 3:50 pm – 4:50 pm
San Carlos 3, Monterey Marriott Hotel

Striking Differences: A Lively Panel Discussion on How PERB, Employers and Unions Manage Strikes (and Each Other)
Jeff Sloan, Of Counsel, SSYW

Madeline Miller, Senior Counsel, SSYW
Felix De La Torre, PERB General Counsel
Kerianne Steele, Partner, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld 

Thursday, 10:15 am – 11:45 am
San Carlos 3, Monterey Marriott Hotel

In recent years PERB has been aggressively protecting union rights in bargaining. Public employers often feel as if they are bargaining against both a union and PERB. And any mistake can and will be costly. This session will explore the most common mistakes made by public employers during bargaining and provide strategies for avoiding them. Special attention will be given to getting to impasse and strategies for concession bargaining.

Maintaining Gratitude & Resilience as Negotiators in a Time Where Negotiations are Increasingly Difficult & Positional
Dania Wong, Partner, SSYW

Carol Isen, Human Resources Director, City & County of San Francisco
LaTanya Bellow, Deputy City Manager, City of Berkeley

Thursday, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Serra 1, Monterey Conference Center

Management Rights and the Duty to Bargain Effects
Tim Yeung, Partner, SSYW

Chris Moores, Senior Counsel, SSYW

Thursday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Steinbeck 2, Monterey Conference Center

This session will instruct public entities on how to analyze whether certain decisions fall under management rights which are outside the union’s scope of representation and exempt from the requirement to give notice of and an opportunity to bargain the decision. Once a public employer has made an exempt decision, we will cover how to then give notice of the fact that an exempt decision has been made, and discuss common pitfalls of bargaining the effects of a management decision. Depending on the circumstances, employers may also be allowed or prohibited from implementing the exempt decision before effects bargaining has concluded. In our experience, it is common for many employers to correctly conclude the decision is not bargainable because it is a management right, but then inappropriately implement the decision before concluding effects bargaining or fail to appropriately bargain the effects at all.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Restraining – A Guide to Workplace Violence Restraining Orders (WVROs) for Public Employers
Steve Shaw, Partner, SSYW

L. David Nefouse, City Attorney, City of Manteca

Thursday, 3:50 pm – 4:50 pm
San Carlos 1/2, Monterey Marriott Hotel

Public employers are dealing with the specter of workplace violence at an increasing volume over the past several years. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment and take appropriate action when they become aware of tangible threats to the safety of their employees. However, many employers are uncertain as to which types of acts, words or “threats” are sufficient to prompt the need for legal intervention by means of seeking a workplace violence restraining order against a former employee, a vendor/contractor, or a member of the public. This process gets complicated when you throw in the public sector. As such, this session will discuss when it is appropriate for a public agency to seek WVRO, what evidence you will need to present the court, how to deal with reluctant witnesses and victims, and challenges involving service of process on un-housed or transient individuals who may be subject to court orders restraining or restricting their presence on public property.

Sparks Segment:  Legal Developments Around the Use of AI in Hiring and Assessing Employees (part of the Employment Law updates Sparks session)
Ellen Taylor, Associate Attorney, SSYW

Friday, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Steinbeck 2, Monterey Conference Center

Today, a variety of artificial intelligence (“AI”) employment assessment tools are available to assist employers with nearly every stage of the hiring cycle, from recruiting and assessing job candidates to measuring the performance of current employees. AI employment assessment tools are often marketed as tools that can reduce costs, decrease the risk of human error, and reduce or eliminate bias during the hiring process. However, AI employment assessment tools can result in discriminatory hiring practices if they are not carefully designed, implemented, and monitored. This presentation will educate attendees about recent legal developments related to the regulation of AI employment assessment tools and discuss best practices relating to the use of these tools.