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2024 Employment Law: DEI, AI, Title VII & Settlement Conferences

2024 Employment Law: DEI, AI, Title VII & Settlement Conferences

The Federal Bar Association’s Chicago Chapter organized its Annual Employment Law Seminar on January 24, 2024, hosted at Jones Day’s Chicago office. This event ran from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM and was followed by a reception until 6:30 PM.

Overall, it marked a significant turnout with over 100 participants, recording the highest attendance since 2018. The seminar’s agenda was meticulously curated to cover pivotal topics in employment law, highlighting current trends and future directions.

Affirmative Action and DEI in the Workplace

The seminar opened with a focus on Affirmative Action and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. This panel delved into the complexities and legal implications of DEI initiatives post the Supreme Court’s rulings in key cases.

Moderated by Maria de las Nieves Bolaños, the discussion featured insights from Diane Smason, Susan H. Rider, and Stephanie Graham. They examined the balance between pursuing affirmative DEI efforts and adhering to legal standards.

Artificial Intelligence: Impact on the Workforce and Practice of Law

A pivotal discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workforce was led by moderator Jenny Goltz. The panel comprised of Elizabeth B. McRee, J. Bryan Wood, and Jasmine Fannell.

Through its duration, the panel navigated through the benefits and challenges AI introduces in Human Resources practices and the broader legal implications. The conversation also touched on regulatory measures to mitigate algorithmic discrimination as well as the uses of AI by lawyers in the practice of law.

Religious Accommodations and Title VII Rights

The seminar further explored the domain of religious accommodations within the workplace, guided by moderator Erin M. Franzblau. Deborah Hamilton, Jon Linas, and Cheryl Luce Fuga contributed to a discussion of the undue hardship analysis.

Furthermore, they explored the repercussions of the Supreme Court’s decision in Groff v. DeJoy on Title VII rights. In particular, this conversation concerned religious freedom and its intersection with other protected rights.

Judges’ Panel: Best Practices for Settlement Conferences

The Judges’ Panel brought together Hon. Beth W. Jantz, Hon. Maria Valdez, and Hon. Gabriel A. Fuentes. M. Megan O’Malley moderated the evening’s final panel.

This session offered invaluable perspectives on the preparation and execution of successful settlement conferences. The three judges provided practical advice drawn from their extensive experiences.

Takeaways from 2024 Employment Law Seminar

The 2024 Employment Law Seminar facilitated a comprehensive dialogue on significant aspects of employment law, from DEI and AI’s evolving roles to religious accommodations and effective settlement strategies. The wide range of topics discussed underscored the dynamic nature of employment law.

Additionally, it spotlighted the law’s critical impact on both employer obligations and employee rights. With its significant attendance and in-depth discussions, the seminar underscored the legal community’s vested interest in navigating the complexities of employment law.

Do you want to stay involved with the Federal Bar Association Chicago Chapter? Explore our upcoming events and educational opportunities for attorneys!

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