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The Sloan Sakai and Management Strategies Group team will be at the virtual CALPELRA Conference this coming month with a series of video sessions aimed at the latest issues facing public agencies in California.

Be it labor relations updates, the impact of COVID-19 on public agencies, or the Skelly process, our speakers will have the info you need. Keep reading for a full list of topics, session description, times, and speakers.


DOL’s New “Final Rule” And How It Will Change Overtime Requirements For Public Agencies Under The FLSA

Jeff Sloan, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Steve Shaw, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Monday, November 16, 2020 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM

Parts of the Fair Labor Standards Act are opaque and antiquated, and the interpretive guidance provided by U.S. Department of Labor regulations often leaves even experienced human resources, payroll, and employment law practitioners unsure about how to handle complex overtime issues. Significant risks associated with FLSA violations, including liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees, have provided incentives for public agencies to settle questionable cases. In December 2019, the DOL issued a “Final Rule” clarifying which payments employers must include when calculating employees’ regular rate of pay for overtime purposes. The Final Rule is the first significant update to the regulations governing regular rate in over 50 years. In this session you’ll learn about the Final Rule and its practical effects, including the interplay between DOL regulations, guidance, and federal court decisions, including what deference, if any, will be afforded to the DOL promulgations; pending lawsuits and challenges concerning “holiday in-lieu” pay to fire and police employees and how this dispute has become the new Flores v. City of San Gabriel; and disputes concerning FLSA compliance that the Final Rule will likely trigger. Expertise: Intermediate


Sparks Session: Your Agency’s Culture: Are You Managing And Determining It, Or Is Someone Determining It For You?

Bob Deis, Managing Consultant, Management Strategies Group

Monday, November 16, 2020 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM

There is increasing awareness of and attention to organizational cultures and how those cultures impact an agency’s performance. Organizational culture reflects your agency’s norms. While most agencies won’t reach the level of a toxic culture, there is room for improvement. The desired culture is well-articulated and managed through reinforcing HR and agency policies and practices. Without a clear and reinforced culture, the stronger personalities in your workforce determine your agency’s culture for you, for better or for worse. Learn how to diagnose and improve your agency’s culture from someone who has done so successfully in a number of agencies.


Annual Update Of Key Labor Relations Decisions From PERB, The Courts, And The Legislature

Tim Yeung, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Janet Cory Sommer, Chief Executive Officer, CalPELRA

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

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. Expertise: Intermediate


Death By A Thousand Meetings: Bankruptcy, Chapter 9, And Vested Rights In The Age Of COVID-19

Bob Deis, Managing Consultant, Management Strategies Group

Charles Sakai, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Marc Levinson, Senior Counsel, Orrick

Kim Gillingham, Labor Representative, Goyette & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

As the true impacts of the COVID-19 driven recession become apparent, it is clear that some agencies will have to consider bankruptcy protections under Chapter 9 or declare a fiscal emergency. As policy-makers weigh their options, they are looking to HR professionals for answers to questions many have never had to deal with, including whether a bankruptcy can impact individual employee pensions and how unfunded liabilities fare under Chapter 9. This innovative session walks you through the technical aspects of the bankruptcy and fiscal emergency processes as well as other insolvencies, including recent pension litigation. You’ll learn about the limitations of the process and how bankruptcy, or the threat of it, can fit into policy makers’ planning. The session’s presenters are veterans of the Vallejo, Stockton, and San Bernardino’s bankruptcies, as well as vested rights fights in Sonoma County, Vallejo, and Loyalton. Expertise: Intermediate


Social Media Usage: How To Deal With Problematic Behavior Of Employees Online Without Violating Their Rights

Genevieve Ng, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Steve Shaw, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 10:15 AM to 11:00 AM

What happens when a public employee goes on Facebook and posts a blistering critique of their coworker? What about if that coworker is their supervisor? Or a mayor or councilperson? Social media is ever present these days, but there are many nuances as to the types of laws a public employer must comply with to avoid infringing upon their employees’ First Amendment Rights. In this session you’ll learn about the applicable laws that may create legal issues for the agency as they consider discipline for employees because of their social media posts. And you’ll learn about the extent to which public employers may legally monitor and access material on employees’ personal and work devices. Expertise: Intermediate


The Day After: Bargaining And Factfinding In The Aftermath Of Dramatic Events

Charles Sakai, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Ian Appleyard, Director of Human Resources Management, City of Oakland

Allyson Cook, Assistant Human Resources Director, City of Oakland

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 11:15 AM to 12:00 PM

Starting over… it’s something every agency now must deal with. While we’re still learning what bargaining looks like during a pandemic, public agencies have survived other shocks, including natural disasters, bankruptcies, massive demonstrations, and multi-day strikes. These recent examples provide insight into healing wounds and making progress after other dramatic events. In this session you’ll learn from practitioners who have successfully handled bargaining both during and after monumental actions like municipal bankruptcy, a takeover of city property by a protest movement, natural disasters, and a multi-day strike that shut down major city services. You’ll learn what it takes to heal the wounds and move forward, even when the path to agreement goes through factfinding and high stakes binding interest arbitration. Expertise: Intermediate


Newest Developments In Workplace Drug And Alcohol Laws

Steve Shaw, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Burke Dunphy, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Thursday, November 19, 2020 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM

The area of workplace drug and alcohol policy and law is constantly evolving. In this session you’ll learn about recent developments that will help you navigate the minefields of recreational and medicinal marijuana use, pre- and post-employment drug testing, handling of intoxicated employees, the protection of prescription medication users, and when an employer should initiate the interactive process and offer reasonable accommodation as opposed to turning to discipline for employees under the influence at work. This session covers new case law, legislation, and approaches in these areas, with an emphasis on developments within the last year. Expertise: General


Pre-Disciplinary Process: Basics For Skelly

Jeff Sloan, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Alison Berry Wilkinson, Principle Attorney, Berry Wilkinson Law Group

Friday, November 20, 2020 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM

This session covers all the steps of the Skelly process that public sector employers must adhere to when implementing serious disciplinary actions. A union lawyer, management representative, HR professional, and accused employee participate in a mock scenario in which they present their positions to a Skelly officer, leading to a lively discussion on how to successfully navigate the maze of pre-disciplinary (Skelly) due process. The session concludes with the Skelly officer’s determination and a discussion of the final steps in the process. You’ll learn how to prepare for and facilitate a Skelly meeting and avoid procedural gaffes, as well as the basics of drafting a Skelly pre-disciplinary decision. Expertise: General