Event Overview

Thursday, January 18, 2024

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM — Non-CLE Program & Reception | The American Arbitration Association
150 East 42nd Street, Floor 17, New York | REGISTER HERE

Friday, January 19, 2024

8:30 AM – 8:45 AM — Business Meeting | Regent/Sutton South, Second Floor

8:45 AM – 12:25 PM — CLE Program | Regent/Sutton South, Second Floor

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM — Luncheon | Sutton North, Second Floor

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Committee Meetings | Beekman, Second Floor

Employers, employees and independent contractors: What is New and What is Next?

The frenetic pace of changes to labor and employment laws at the federal, state and local levels kept us on our toes in 2023. Now let’s sit down with our panelists as they share what employers need to know to stay compliant in 2024 and what employees and independent contractors need to know about their workplace rights and obligations. During our two plenaries, practitioners from all sides of the table will explain (i) how NY state and local employment laws changed in 2023 and what may come next; and (ii) how the US Supreme Court’s decision in Groff affected what constitutes religious discrimination in the workplace. Attendees may then choose from 3 concurrent workshops on (i) ethical issues in internal workplace investigations, (ii) the legal debate over whether college athletes are employees, and (ii) how to value discrimination and harassment claims and the implications for negotiating settlements.

Key Highlights and Objectives

  • Learn about recent changes in labor and employment laws that affect every New Yorker.
  • Learn how decisions on the federal level, by the National Labor Relations Board and Supreme Court, affect your workplace rights and obligations.

General Registration Fee

Required for in-person attendees.

NYSBA Members$220


$120 Program Registration Fee

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The American Arbitration Association

150 East 42nd Street, Floor 17, New York, NY 10017

4:00 p.m. – 4:05 p.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Sheryl B. Galler, Esq. | Section Chair Book Law LLP New York, NY

4:10 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.

Meet the NLRB General Counsel

Jennifer Abruzzo, Esq. | General Counsel National Labor Relations Board Washington, DC

4:10 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.

The New Federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Pump Act

In spite of Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, protections for pregnant workers on the federal level have been woefully inadequate. The passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ("PWFA") which took effect in June of 2023, relieved pregnant workers of having to show that they had coworkers who were similarly situated or that they were suffering from a pregnancy related disability. Furthermore, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protection for Nursing Mothers Act ("PUMP"), which amended the Fair labor Standards Act, eased the burden of employees who returned to work but who wanted to continue breastfeeding their babies. Join Katherine Greenberg and Michael Del Piano as they discuss the ramifications of these laws and how they impact employers and employees both nationally and in New York State.


Katherine Greenberg, Esq. | Director of Strategic Litigation A Better Balance New York, NY

Michael J. Del Piano, Esq. | Partner Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP Islandia, NY


Joan C. Lenihan, Esq. | Joan C. Lenihan, Attorney at Law, New York, NY

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Executive Committee Meeting / Dinner

Friday, January 19, 2024

4.0 MCLE Credits

4.0 Areas of Professional Practice (select Breakout B or C)


3.0 Areas of Professional Practice & 1.0 Ethics (select Breakout A)

This program is transitional and is suitable for all attorneys including those newly admitted.

8:25 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Sheryl B. Galler, Esq. | Section Chair Book Law LLP New York, NY

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Business Meeting

Second Floor, Regent/Sutton South

8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


Second Floor, Regent/Sutton South

The short answer: A lot! Our panel will provide an update on employment laws and decisions, with a deep dive into issues involving height and weight discrimination, nondisclosure agreements, access to social media, and whistleblower claims. They will also review changes in rules governing separation agreements, harassment prevention policies and training, pay transparency, and captive audiences, and what may still be on the horizon.


Miriam F. Clark, Esq. | Partner Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP New York, NY

Tracey Salmon-Smith, Esq. | Partner Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Florham Park, NY

Bridget Holohan Scally, Esq. | Deputy General Counsel and Associate Commissioner New York State Department of Labor Albany, NY

Steven A. Zuckerman, Esq. | Associate Cooley LLP New York, NY


Sara Kula, Esq. | Kula Law P.C. Mt. Kisco, NY

1.5 MCLE Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.


10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.


Second Floor, Regent/Sutton South

During 2023, in Groff v. DeJoy and soon thereafter in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, the Supreme Court made it easier for plaintiffs bringing religious discrimination claims to prevail in different circumstances. Some have expressed concern that these decisions and others represent an effort to undermine the separation of church and state. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the continuing litigation of cases involving the ministerial exception, a doctrine which can insulate individuals and organizations affiliated with religious groups from liability in discrimination cases in many situations. Our panel will explore this apparent trend towards exempting religious institutions and groups associated with them from coverage by anti-discrimination laws and will discuss the implications of this evolving doctrine for employers, employees, and employment law generally.


William Devitt, Esq. | Senior VP, Senior Attorney - Employment Counsel Valley National Bank Wayne, NJ

Prof. Abner S. Greene | Fordham Law School New York, NY

Geoffrey Mort, Esq. | Of Counsel Kraus & Zuchlewski New York, NY

Dawn Solowey, Esq. | Partner Seyfarth Shaw Boston, MA

1.5 MCLE Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

11:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.


Second Floor, Regent

Our panel will present ethical issues that arise in internal investigations of alleged misconduct. Topics to be addressed include privilege considerations, selection of counsel, and final investigative reports.


Julie Fink, Esq. | Managing Partner Kaplan, Hecker & Fink LLP New York, NY

Ann-Elizabeth Ostrager, Esq. | Partner Sullivan & Cromwell New York, NY

Jacob G. Singer, Esq. | Associate Sullivan & Cromwell New York, NY

1.0 MCLE Credit in Ethics

11:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.


Second Floor, Sutton South

The questions of whether student athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and, if so, who are their employers, are at the forefront of the pending case against the University of Southern California (USC), the Pac-12 Conference, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In that case, the NLRB General Counsel asserts employee status of the players, asserts that the Board should exercise jurisdiction in an area where it has previously declined to do so, and asserts that several entities are the athletes’ employers, pursuing a joint employer theory that student athletes “perform services for” and are “subject to the control of” not only USC, but also the Pac-12 and the NCAA. There is also a case currently pending NLRB case involving non-scholarship athletes at Dartmouth College. This workshop will discuss that the implications for the status of student athletes and hear how the new NLRB’s Final Rule on addressing the Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status under the National Labor Relations Act, issued in October 2023, impacts the critical question of who employers are, with the rights and obligations associated therewith.


Bernard E. Mason, Esq. | Associate Counsel New York State Nurses Association New York, NY

Dr. César F. Rosado Marzán, Esq | Edward L. Carmody Professor of Law Director, Graduate Programs & Visiting Scholars University of Iowa College of Law Iowa City, IA

Megan S. Shaw, Esq. | Associate, Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP New York, NY

Alice Stock, Esq. | Of Counsel Bond Schoeck & King New York, NY

1.0 MCLE Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

11:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.

Breakout Room C: WHAT’S IT WORTH TO YOU?

Second Floor, Sutton Center

Our panel will discuss best practices for valuing employment discrimination and harassment cases and for negotiating settlements from the perspectives of plaintiff counsel, defense counsel and neutrals.


Jeanne M. Christensen, Esq. | Partner Wigdor LLP New York, NY

Ana C. Shields, Esq. | Office Managing Principal Jackson Lewis P.C. Melville, NY

Victoria Spagnolo, Esq. | Book Law LLP New York, NY

Timothy S. Taylor, Esq. | Arbitrator and Mediator Scheinman Arbitration & Mediation Services Port Washington, NY

1.0 MCLE Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

12:25 p.m.

Conclusion of CLE Programming

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Labor and Employment Luncheon

Sutton North | Second Floor

Presentation of Kaynard and Stein Awards


Jessica Ramos | New York State Senate District 13

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Committee Meetings

Beekman | Second Floor

Thank You to our Sponsors!


Luncheon Sponsor



With approximately 900 lawyers across 18 offices, Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides advisory, litigation, and transactional legal services to clients worldwide. Our high-caliber legal representation and advanced delivery capabilities allow us to take on our clients’ unique challenges and opportunities―no matter the scale or complexity. Whether navigating complex litigation, negotiating transformational deals, or advising on cross-border projects, our attorneys achieve exceptional legal outcomes.



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