Labor Law & Labor Arbitration

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Labor Law &

Labor Arbitration

February 7-9, 2016

Miami Beach, Florida


Labor Law & Labor


The place to learn is where the teachers are among the top tier of labor arbitrators, the materials are complete, your questions are answered, and the instruction is practical so you can put the training to use.

At this conference, you will learn the latest developments in labor law and labor arbitration, refine your advocacy skills, and engage in

strategic thinking for your own work.

This is the 18th Annual program, and each year, we change the program to include new subjects and to give new perspectives on the standard issues.

We begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Tuesday afternoon. Each day’s schedule is compact, so you have some free time, while still putting in a full day of work.

Information on the hotel, continuing education credits, faculty credentials, the registration form, and a complete agenda is reprinted below.

We welcome you to Miami Beach. Come for the education — and especially the insights to tackle the next case or personnel issue.

Conference Agenda

Sunday, February 7, 2016

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Registration and Reception

4:00-4:30 p.m.

7 Tests of Just Cause

Formulated in the 1960s, the 7 Tests are cited by new arbitrators. So, why do the old labor arbitrators cast a skeptical eye? And which ones would they keep and want the parties to argue in particular cases?

Arb. Joan Parker and Arb. George Roumell

4:30-5:00 p.m.

Advocacy as Art & Science

The arbitration hearing is informal, but still part of the adversary system. And there are advocacy styles to choose from. More importantly, labor arbitrators like some styles more than others. A new lecture filled with practical advice.

Arb. Mark Suardi

5:00-5:30 p.m.

Rules of Evidence

The rules do not strictly apply, but nearly all labor arbitrators follow the rules on Relevancy, Hearsay, Expert Testimony and Prior Settlements. Learn why and the arguments for and against admissibility.

Arb. Steve Befort

5:30-7:00 p.m.

Difficult Evidentiary Issues

Making the proper objection is important for two reasons: it lays the groundwork for your closing argument and it influences whether you find rebuttal evidence. One of the most popular sessions in this training program.

Panel: Arbs. Steve Befort, Joan Parker, George Roumell, Mark Suardi & Jack Tillem

7:00 p.m.

Recess until 8:00 a.m. Monday

Brief Summary

15 hours of instruction for labor and

management and their attorneys, taught by

the nation’s leading labor arbitrators and law



Monday, February 8, 2016

7:15-8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:30 a.m.

Discipline & Discharge Cases from 2015

The panelists discuss actual cases and the latest developments in these areas of discipline: sexual harassment, dishonesty, workplace threats, absenteeism, and other controversial areas. Panel: Arbs. Tillem, Suardi, Roumell, Parker & Befort

9:30-10:00 a.m.


The elements are clear in theory, but not in practice. For example, a direct order can be indirect, if the employee understood what was being asked. Arbitrators also want employees to be told there are consequences for refusing an order, but it does not always have to be in the same timeframe. And in some cases, an interactive dialogue is key before discipline will be upheld. A new lecture on this age-old topic. Arb. Jack Tillem

10:00-10:15 a.m.


10:15-10:45 a.m.

Drugs & Alcohol

Learn what arbitrators consider when employers test for alcohol and drugs; what the test measures; how DOT regulations are applied and considered by arbitrators. And to what effect the medical marijuana laws in 17 states, including the District of Columbia, have on employer drug policies. Arb. George Roumell

10:45-11:15 a.m.

Job Performance

What makes a measurement system reasonable? When can performance be a conduct issue? Can on-line training be equal to on-site training? And how many attempts must an employer offer (3 shots and you’re out?)

Arb. Mark Suardi

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Safety Violations

Five experienced labor arbitrators look at several typical cases in this area. The cases involve both safety-sensitive workplaces and ones which are not.

Panel: Arbs. Parker, Tillem, Roumell, Befort & Suardi


The Miami Beach Resort is 11 miles from the Miami International Airport and a 30-minute ride from the Fort Lauderdale Airport. For information on the area, see the website,

This is high season, so we recommend that you make your airline and hotel reservations as early as possible. See the registration form for information on the group rate.

When you check-in, the view will include the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The lobby and the meeting rooms are stylish and conducive to a pleasant stay. The outdoor pool and the beach are right there. Mid-February is the most perfect time to be in Miami, for the number of sunny days and ideal evenings.

Miami Beach is internationally known for its restaurants and music, but if you are looking for a superb place to learn, just walking down Lincoln Mall or along the beach will give you time to reflect and problem-solve. Our goal is to make your stay supremely comfortable while giving you a first rate education.


12:30-1:15 p.m.

Strategies, Stipulations & Subpoenas

Would you stipulate to facts which the other side admits to, and would rather not have the arbitrator hear? Do you subpoena reluctant, nearly defiant, witnesses? How well can you read an arbitrator in the off-the-record discussions outside the hearing room? This long-time labor arbitrator has heard everything, from the high profile to the garden variety case, and his advice is compelling. Arb. Jack Tillem

1:15-4:30 p.m.

Free Time

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Serious, but Dischargeable?

Sleeping, Off-duty and Drug Cases

The employer’s understandable reaction is to discharge. But not all cases merit the ultimate discipline. The reasons are often particular to a case, but you can glean from this discussion among the arbitrators why the penalty is less than discharge or just barely discharge for just cause. Panel: Arbs. Parker, Roumell, Tillem & Suardi

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Supreme Court Update

The latest Supreme Court decisions (including the term which ended in June) which impact labor and management. The speaker is editor of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Reporter, professor at the Univ. of Minnesota Law School, and a prominent labor arbitrator.

Arb. Steve Befort

6:30 p.m.

Recess until 8 a.m. Tuesday

Other Important


Tax Deductibility — Expenses incurred in

attending this conference, such as tuition, travel, meals and lodging are deductible under the

Internal Revenue Code (Treas. Reg. 1.162-5). Check with your tax professional about the details.

CLE Credit for Attorneys — CLE credit is

available in all states with mandatory CLE requirements. Just let us know where you hold a license (see the box to check on the registration form). The Labor Arbitration Institute is an accredited provider for Illinois, Pennsylvania, and California attorneys. This program has been approved in other states, as well.

HRCI — This program has been approved for 15.0

recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute homepage at

Tuition — We have two rates. The early enrollment

rate helps us plan for space and other conference expenses. If you register by September 30, 2015, tuition is $595. After October 1, the regular tuition rate of $695 applies. Tuition covers admission to all sessions, course materials, two continental breakfasts, and all coffee breaks. We do ask that tuition be paid by the first day of the conference, unless prior arrangements are made. Our cancellation policy tries to accommodate all registrants whose plans change. Call us whenever the need arises.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

7:15-8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:00-8:45 a.m.

Computer Misuse

In this new lecture, the speaker explains where this area of discipline is rooted and striking the balance between privacy and employer interest, between a reasonable rule and unreasonable application of a rule.

Arb. George Roumell

8:45-9:30 a.m.

Computer Misuse: The Arbitrators


Some unions tell their members: just stop using social media, in regards to work. Many employers have ramped up the rules on company computers and internet connections. We present actual cases to the panel for bench decisions and discussion of the rationale by each arbitrator.

Panel: Arbs. Befort, Parker, Roumell, Suardi & Tillem

9:30-10:15 a.m.

Contract Interpretation Principles

A review of the principles which arbitrators apply in contract disputes.

Arb. Joan Parker

10:15-10:30 a.m.


10:30-11:30 a.m.

Contract Law – Applying the Principles

We present interesting and educational cases to the panel and ask them to make a decision. Then, they individually explain their rationale. This is one of the best ways to learn contract law.

Panel: Arbs. Roumell, Tillem, Suardi, Befort & Parker

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Past Practice Doctrine

The past practice doctrine has an early history that is still with us, adopted by the Supreme Court in the Steelworkers’ Trilogy and enforced by labor arbitrators every day. Learn why this doctrine is so powerful and how to apply it in three situations: the contract is ambiguous, the contract is silent, and the practice has become an implied, independent term of the contract.

Arb. Jack Tillem

12:30-1:15 p.m.


This law, now over 20 years old, has spawned thousands of cases. The speaker has written

extensively on the FMLA and discusses key aspects to the law and latest decisions.

Arb. George Roumell


Registration Options

1. Register Online at

2. Complete this form and mail to the Labor Arbitration Institute, or 3. Complete this form and fax to 507-645-2474

National Institute on Labor Law & Labor Arbitration

Sunday-Tuesday • February 7-9, 2016

Miami Beach Resort • 4833 Collins Avenue • Miami Beach, FL 33140

Name ____________________________________________ Name ______________________________________________ Title _____________________________________________ Title _______________________________________________ Email ____________________________________________ Email ______________________________________________ Organization ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________ City ______________________________________________________________State___________ Zip __________________ Telephone(include area code) ___________________________________________________________________________

Privacy Policy: The email address you provide is only used by the Labor Arbitration Institute (LAI). LAI does

not sell or share its email lists, or any customer lists.


$695 per registrant (if registering after September 30, 2015)

Save by Registering Early! Register by September 30, 2015, and tuition is $595.


q Check Enclosed $________________ q Credit Card Payment $________________

Card Number (VISA, MasterCard or American Express) ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ Exp. Date:____________________; Cardholder __________________________________________________________ Payment must accompany registration, unless other arrangements are made ahead. Please call the conference

registrar at 507-663-1220 for details. Checks may be made payable to Labor Arbitration Institute.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Miami Beach Resort. Conference attendees and everyone in their party are entitled to a group rate of $209.00 (single or double). The room charge includes the resort fee. Please make your reservation as early as possible by calling the hotel at 305-532-3600. This special rate will expire on January 7, 2016 or earlier, if the room block is exhausted. We recommend that you make your reservation as soon as possible, and preferably before the early enrollment deadline of September 30, 2015.


q I am an attorney and request information on CLE credits for the state of ____________________. The Labor Arbi-tration Institute is an accredited provider in several states. Please let us know in which states you hold a license. q I cannot attend, but please send me information on future conferences.

MAIL TO: Labor Arbitration Institute, 205 South Water Street, Northfield, MN 55057




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