Understanding good hiring practices and the laws associated with employment can help employers and their human resources departments make better decisions, experts say.
That is why the Columbia Basin Society of Human Resource Managers is offering a spring seminar about employment law Thursday at TRAC.
"Retaining employees and learning ways to work with them to achieve success helps overall productivity," said Marie Lathim at Columbia Industries in Kennewick. She is a member of the society and works at CI as director of human resources, administration, student staffing and support.
Speakers will be from the Fisher & Phillips law firm in Portland.
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"I have heard these two speakers, and they are outstanding," Lathim said. "Their dynamic presentations will keep us informed of changes in the laws and the dos and don'ts in the workplace."
Speaking in the morning will be Corbett Gordon, senior counsel, who has represented employers in Oregon and Washington since 1982. She taught the employment law course as an adjunct professor at Willamette University College of Law for many years.
"She'll be talking about a growing popular and important issue of social media in the workplace and on hiring and firing. Social media tools such as cellphones, Facebook, and YouTube have increased in our everyday life and crossed over into the workplace," Lathim said.
It's important to have policies and guidelines in place before there is a problem.
Tamsen Leachman, a partner in the firm, is the afternoon speaker. She represents employers in a wide variety of employment-related lawsuits, administrative hearings, grievances, arbitration, unfair labor practices and collective bargaining.
She will be talking about the recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act and how this affects employees and employers.
"She'll be explaining the changes to what is now actually considered a disability," Lathim said.
The two sessions run from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. with registrations from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and again from 11:45 a.m. to noon. There will be an hour lunch break.
Cost for a halfday is $60 for Columbia Basin SHRM members, $85 for others and $25 for students. The full day, including lunch, is $100 for members, $125 for others and $35 for students.
To register for the seminar, visit cbshrm.affiniscape.com/calendar.cfm. Registrations will be accepted at the door, but pre-registration is encouraged to ensure a seat and written materials.