Over 150 lawyers attended the recent Health, Labor, and Employment Institute in Wisconsin Dells. The two day event provided them with tips and information from presents on various topics in labor, health, and employment law. Those who attended Jeff Scott Olson’s presentation on common law wrongful discharge were surprised to see that he pulled out a banjo and started playing it to help lightening up the mood. Olson is a plaintiff-side civil rights lawyer that brings actions on behalf of small companies and individuals. He focused on how the employment at will doctrine and wrongful discharge can interact together in the state.
Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and now the president of the National College Players Association is working on protecting athletes from what he claims are inadequate NCAA rules and policies. He says that the judicial system plays a very important role. The NCAA requires for schools to develop a concussion protocol for head injuries. However, schools have an interest in keeping the top players on the field. The NCAA does not police whether or not the schools are actually following their protocols, which puts the players at risk.
According to Huma, it isn’t against NCAA rules to put players with brain trauma back on the field. As a result, it puts the players at serious risk of brain trauma and further damage to their bodies from their injuries. He says that the NCAA should be more involved on such an important issue and that the litigation for this element is still pending. Some former football players have said that the NCAA is negligent on concussions.
In the meantime, there was a discussion about social media and FMLA starting to collide. Attorneys Sandra Graf Radtke and Patricia Lauten explained that qualifying for and properly granting medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act doesn’t automatically end the legal issues for the employees and employers that are involved. Social media is becoming the source for FMLA conflicts between employers and employees. While the employee might be out on FMLA because they have a migraine or other ailment, if they are seen on TV hanging out at a local event or if photos are posted through social media, it can make people question whether the use of FMLA was legitimate or not.
These are just a few of the topics that were covered at the Health, Labor, and Employment Law Institute. Many other discussions and subjects of interest were offered in depth presentations during the two day event. Among some of the other topics that were discussed were the Affordable Care Act and how to stay updated with technology. These two topics addressed many concerns that were shared by the attendees of this year’s events and provided them with more insight into what they need to know. Next month on October 24-26, there will be a solo and small firm conference held in the same location.