Labor Employment Law Section

Labor and Employment Law Section
Protecting Rights, Pursuing Justice, Promoting Professionalism

Message from the Chair

Even in a year where we all experienced limitations of one sort or another, the section has accomplished an ambitious agenda. And there is more on the horizon as we head down the homestretch of the Bar year toward the Annual Convention in June.

Successfully adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the section has offered a variety of CLE options with various formats and topics of interest to our members. Thanks to CLE Director Gregg Morton for making this happen.

In the last quarter of 2020, we held multiple successful GoTo Webinars with distinguished speakers. In early fall, we presented an update on U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with Title VII and LGBTQ discrimination and an update on the NLRB. 

In November, we hosted “Keeping Tabs on the COVID Crisis,” which explored the challenges presented to employers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In December, “Hot Topics in Public Sector Bargaining” focused on the public sector bargaining activities and events that continue to shape the challenges that government employees and employers face in the public sector labor arena.

If you missed any of these fall/winter 2020 webinars, you can order the complete set on CD by clicking here.

A free Zoom webinar in January covered the CARES Act expansion of federal funding for Short-Term Compensation Plans, where our 103 attendees learned how a short-term compensation plan through the Florida Department of Economic Development could be an effective tool to manage the transition back to full operation from COVID shutdown or slowdown.

Our two-day Advanced Labor and Employment Law Annual Update and Certification Review, also held in January, benefitted the 120-plus practitioners who attended virtually.

Looking ahead, on April 27th Bob Turk and Lisa Berg will present Part II of the NLRB Update GoTo Webinar. With the new administration, the NLRB has already seen some big changes and there may be more to come, so you won’t want to miss this Update. You can register by clicking here.

Then on May 21st, there will be a virtual version of Advanced Labor Topics. To register, click here`.

Our publications subcommittee has continued to provide us both breaking L&E news in the form of E-Updates and longer articles in The Florida Bar Journal and The Checkoff. The articles in this particular issue of The Checkoff reflect the breadth of our field and depth of our membership, running the gamut from Biden administration moves that could dramatically affect labor and employment law, to continuing fallout from the pandemic, to recent Wage and Hour Division opinion letters, and, finally, to how the Bostock opinion can impact ADEA and USERRA cases. There is even an anecdotal piece by one of our esteemed retired colleagues reflecting on the local bench and bar early in his career.

On a sad note, in 2020 we lost section member Donald T. Ryce, Jr. An influential advocate for victims’ rights and an L&E lawyer whose career spanned forty years, Mr. Ryce was posthumously inducted into the section Hall of Fame in October. We also sadly lost William E. (“Bill”) Powers, Jr. earlier in 2020, after a distinguished career in labor and employment law, both in private practice and in the public sector. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in April of last year.

So, our section has experienced both losses and accomplishments this year. The latter could not have occurred without the tireless work of our executive council and our volunteer committee members, as well as all who wrote articles, spoke at events, supported our CLEs, and otherwise invested time, money, and energy in the section. Whether you were involved behind the scenes or out in front, thank you.

Robyn S. Hankins, Chair
Labor and Employment Law Section


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