Caging the Human Resource Professional: Know Your Limits

By: Jill Jensen-Welch
Jill Jensen-Welch2Did you know that HR professionals don’t have the same robust protection from retaliation that almost every other employee has? We’ll discuss the limits of your retaliation rights as HR professionals, including what the courts and the EEOC have to say about it. Have you noticed that some days you feel more like a lawyer than an HR professional? Been there, done that! As an HR professional, I didn’t stop to think that what I was doing might be “engaging in the practice of law”—but I should have. Finally, do you consider anti-trust laws before you share compensation and benefits data or other company/employment information with your HR colleagues? See what the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have to say about that. This session will raise your awareness about these three limitations on what you do as HR professionals and how you do it.

Objectives of this presentation include:

  • Explore the limits on retaliation protection for HR professionals, including what is “protected activity” for HR professionals, and what the courts and the EEOC have said about it.
  • Explore what constitutes the “practice of law,” how HR professionals can find themselves crossing into that territory, and how to avoid it.
  • Explore the application of anti-trust laws on seemingly collegial human resources activities, including 10/2016 guidance from the DOJ and FTC.

About the Speaker:
Jill R. Jensen-Welch is an attorney and shareholder at Dickinson Mackaman Tyler & Hagen, P.C., in Des Moines, Iowa. Before becoming an attorney, Jill was a human resources professional for over fifteen years at various employers in Des Moines. It’s no surprise, then, that she specializes in Employment Law and Civil Litigation. Jill has B.A., M.S., and J.D. degrees from Drake. She is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Minnesota. Jill teaches Employment Law at Drake University’s Law School as an adjunct professor. She is both HRCI-SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified. Jill has been recognized every year since 2008 as an Iowa Leading Lawyer for Business in Labor & Employment Law by USA Chambers and Partners. Jill has also been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for her work in Employment Law for Management every year since 2013.

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