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Labor and Employment: Creating and Fostering Strategic Partnerships Betweeen HR and Legal Experts
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Labor and Employment Section & Human Resource Professionals of Minnesota: Until Verdict Do We Part: Creating and Fostering Strategic Partnerships Between HR and Legal Experts

When: Wednesday, October 8
11:30 a.m.
Where: Golden Valley Country Club
7001 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley 55427
Contact: Larry Schultz

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Labor & Employment/Human Resource Professionals of Minnesota: Until Verdict Do We Part: Creating and Fostering Strategic Partnerships Between HR and Legal Experts

1.0 CLE credit applied for this program.

Note: This CLE is at the Golden Valley Country Club. A buffet lunch is included.


This event is intended for Human Resources leaders, as well as Legal practitioners, who are involved in employment litigation -- from prevention, to managing, litigating, and/or settling disputes between employees (or former employees) and the companies involved. Human Resource leaders confront potential legal disputes nearly every day in their organizations.  The risks are ever increasing … from employment discrimination to wage and hour disputes, workplace harassment, bullying, social media breaches, health and safety violations, theft, violations of company policies … the list is endless. From a compliance perspective, developing effective workplace policies and procedures, dealing with labor and employment laws such as the Affordable Care Act, Affirmative Action, NLRB, FMLA, ADA, FLSA, Workers' Compensation and other regulations, these potential risks create a potential tornado of disputes, lawsuits, and litigation.How do HR leaders find the most effective legal partners (whether inside their companies and/or from external law firms) to help them navigate through these issues?  How can HR leaders and their Legal consultants forge effective partnerships in order to prevent, manage, litigate, and/or settle these issues while managing risk, exposure, and costs for the companies involved? We will present a panel of Human Resource and Legal executives to address these issues and many more like them.  This panel consists of internal and external legal consultants as well as HR practitioners who deal with these risks every day.

Key Learning Objectives: Participants will:

  • Learn about the current trends in employment litigation;
  • Gain insights on best practices in preventing employment litigation;
  • What to do when a potential lawsuit lands on an HR leader's desk; and
  • How best to establish an ongoing, successful partnership between HR and their legal consultants.



  • Alec J. Beck, Facilitator
    Alec J. Beck is a Partner with the Minneapolis law firm, Ford Harrison.  Alec regularly represents employers before state and federal courts, including issues involving the NLRB, the EEOC, the MN Department of Human Rights, and other various legal entities.  Since his graduation from law school, Alec has practiced exclusively in the areas of employment litigation.  Alec also provides ongoing counsel in the areas of employment litigation, human resources management, and the avoidance of employment-related disputes and liability.  Alec is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment matters at seminars, training events, and continuing legal education seminars.  He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and is a frequent speaker at HRP-MN and other SPHR events.
  • Rex Buxton, Panelist
    As Associate General Counsel for Lifetouch Inc., Rex’s responsibilities include providing legal advice and litigation management for Lifetouch companies throughout the US and Canada with emphasis on employment law.  Rex is also part of Lifetouch Human Resources leadership team overseeing HR compliance and risk management.
  • Emily Ruhsam, Panelist
    As Lifetouch’s HR Compliance Manager, Emily focuses on developing and streamlining HR processes and practices in compliance with federal and state law.  She trains HR professionals on topics such as wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, leaves of absence, accommodations and employment/labor law updates.  Prior to her position with Lifetouch, Emily practiced as an employer defense attorney, representing employers and providing advice on various matters in the employment relationship.
  • Debra Weiss, Panelist
    Debra is a Partner with Meagher & Geer, a law firm with offices in Minnesota and Arizona.  Debra focuses her practice in the areas of employment litigation and counseling; defense of registered representatives and brokers-dealers in FINRA arbitration actions; defense of real estate professionals in disclosure and misrepresentation actions; and defense of design professionals, including, architects, engineers, and other construction professionals in design defect, construction defects, and water infiltration cases.Debra understands that business decisions are not always made in the courtroom and works diligently to design practical solutions that balance a company’s legal compliance issues with its business objectives and goals in an evenhanded and creative manner. She has consistently been selected for inclusion in the Minnesota Rising Stars list published by Minnesota Super Lawyers magazine.
  • Cindy Davies, Panelist
    Cynthia (Cindy) K. Davies, SPHR, is the HR Manager for Wunderlich-Malec Engineering Inc. Wunderlich-Malec, employee-owned and customer committed, boasts offices throughout the US and over 250 professionals on staff, making it one of the largest and most well-respected engineering companies in the US. Cindy also serves as the current President and Executive Board member for Human Resource Professionals of Minnesota (HRP-MN).Cindy has over 20 years’ experience in training and development and human resources within various industries. She began her career in post-secondary education and evolved into corporate training and development before expanding her sphere of influence in the arena of "full-scope” human resources. Cindy has a B.S. and M.S. in Vocational Business Education from the University of North Dakota and earned her SPHR in December 2010.


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