California Employment Law Update 2021

California Employment Law Update 2021 - Save Your Spot


You’re looking to navigate new employment law as it changes in California. PIHRA is looking to support you with expert insights and actionable guidance. That’s why the annual California Employment Law Update now takes place in October, right after the September legislative session, and streams live, making it easily accessible for HR professionals in California and those in other states with California-based employees. It’s your key to managing risk, connecting with peers and confidently leading your company into the future.

Register now to join us October 28 for a comprehensive program covering the most critical changes, presented by lawyers and leaders.

Join us in-person & streaming online to get a clear understanding of the complex world of workplace legislation that impacts how you do business.


Avoid risk, protect your company and be ready for whatever 2022 has in store…

  • Gather insights about the latest laws
  • Protect your organization from risk
  • Minimize your exposure to litigation
  • Build your network of peers and resources
  • Prepare your HR team for 2022



California Employment Law Update now takes place in October, rather than January, right after the September legislative session to provide more timely education and 2022 compliance.


Program Agenda


8:15am – 8:45am Early Morning Chats
8:50am – 9:00am Welcome & Announcements
9:00am – 10:00am Concurrent Sessions
10:00am – 11:00am Expo
11:00am – 12:00pm Concurrent Sessions
12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch/Expo
1:30pm – 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions
2:30pm – 3:30pm Expo
3:30pm – 4:30pm Concurrent Sessions
4:35pm – 5:30pm Social Activities

Virtual audience will access four real-time live sessions, with an additional four sessions available on-demand by November 1, 2021.



Sessions & Speakers


    • The Future of Performance Appraisals


      • Paul Fleck, Partner
        Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR)

        As a trusted advisor, Paul Fleck works closely with his business clients navigating the complexities of federal, state, and local employment and labor laws. Representing management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including defending claims for wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and leave of absence violations, he assists employers in successfully operating their businesses in California. While providing zealous representation in litigation, Mr. Fleck strives to avoid drawn-out legal proceedings when possible. He regularly represents employers in California and federal courts and in matters brought by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

        Mr. Fleck’s hands-on experience working in human resources at both Fortune 500 and small California businesses prior to his legal career provides him with the unique opportunity to impart practical advice on complex human resources and employee relations issues.

        Mr. Fleck regularly conducts continuing education programs for attorneys and training programs for managers, supervisors, and human resources professionals throughout California and across the country on all issues related to labor and employment. He is the chair of AALRR’s Employment Law Conference, which hosts over 1,000 attendees annually.

        In 2016, the national publication Law360 profiled Mr. Fleck, saluting his success in building his practice while maintaining quality service to his existing clients. The article, “Rainmaker Q&A: Atkinson Andelson’s Paul Fleck,” highlights Mr. Fleck’s interpersonal skills and legal abilities, as well as AALRR’s distinctive strengths.

        Over his career, Southern California Super Lawyers recognized Mr. Fleck as a Rising Star, one of the top 2.5 percent of Southern California attorneys.


      CA Employment Law & Regulations
      Learning Level:

      Session Description:

      The employee performance appraisal process can be crucial for an organization in California and other states. The use of traditional performance appraisals has come under increased scrutiny in recent years with many companies moving in different directions. Paul Fleck, partner with Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo will review the appraisal process, share best practices and provide guidance in documenting unsatisfactory employee performance.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Discuss the pros and cons of performance appraisals-why doing them wrong can be just as bad as not having them at all;
      • Review the challenges of properly communicating with employees-both in person and in a remote environment; and
      • Obtain tips and strategies for developing impactful performance appraisals offering concrete steps for handling employee deficiencies.


    • Reconciling Pay Data Reporting and Pay Equity Enforcement: What You Need to Know


      • Mark Dwyer, Ph.D.
        Vice President of Data Science, Trusaic

        Mark is responsible for evolving Trusaic’s analytics regarding pay, diversity, and data consolidation processes as the company continues to scale and expand its robust data and analytic solutions. He brings over two decades of experience in statistical analysis to Trusaic, both as a faculty member at UCLA and within class-action litigation, where he provided oral and written testimony regarding statistical modeling.

        Mark was formerly a Senior Economic Consultant for the Harris Economics Group, where he provided written and oral expert testimony regarding the interpretation of empirical analyses. He directed data cleaning and the construction of empirical models, among other responsibilities. Mark also worked as a Senior Economist for Econ One Research, Inc., and taught Econometrics as an Assistant Professor at UCLA.

        He earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Finance from The Wharton School, and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Econometric Society.


      CA Employment Law & Regulations
      Learning Level:

      Session Description:

      The demand for employers to carefully review the fairness of their compensation practices with respect to workers of different genders, races, and ethnicities has never been greater. While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pay data collection (“Component 2”) is on hold, 2020 was the first year that employers with a presence in California were required to report pay data to the state. This employer pay data reporting requirement is modeled on the EEOC’s Component 2 reporting requirement.

      Trusaic provided filing assistance to many employers across several industries. Extrapolating from that experience implies a state-wide gender pay gap for California employers of $46 billion. This and an even larger race and ethnicity pay gap provide powerful signals to both state and federal regulators and encourages enforcement resources to be devoted to pay discrimination, including the reinstatement of Component 2 at the federal level.

      Join Trusaic’s Vice President of Data Science, Mark Dwyer as he reviews California’s SB 973 pay data collection, additional state and national pressures for employers to conduct proactive pay equity audits, and best practices for how employers can get ahead of the developing pay data reporting requirements.

      Learning Objectives:

      • What California’s pay data reporting collection identifies, how it may be used by regulators to investigate both pay and non-pay forms of employment discrimination.
      • How California SB 973 fits within the evolving trend driving employers to proactively review and assess their compensation systems.
      • What specific elements of a pay equity audit process employers should invest in to most effectively address the growing pressures.


    • Still Building Airplanes In-Flight: Navigating COVID-19 Employment Laws From HR Professional to Employment Attorney Perspectives


      • Tara Fournier, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP Human Resources
        VIZIO and PIHRA President

        Tara is a Human Resources leader that is passionate about the intersection of people, organizations and culture and the impact of nurturing and developing high performing teams in business. A champion of change management, Tara is an expert in “building airplanes in flight” and partnering with executives and business leaders on taking companies to higher elevations through innovation and technology.

        Currently the Vice President of Human Resources at VIZIO, Tara’s 18 years of HR experience spans an array of public and private entities in technology, entertainment, education, and non-profit organizations, including Zillow Group, Disney, Angels Baseball and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She also serves as the current President of the Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) and as a member of the Board of Directors of the California Society for Human Resource Management (CalSHRM).

        A firm believer in lifelong education, Tara holds multiple HR certifications, and has earned both a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University/University of Massachusetts.

      • Eric De Wames, Managing Partner
        Michael Sullivan & Associates

        Managing Partner Eric De Wames leads Michael Sullivan & Associates’ employment law practice for its nine offices throughout California. Mr. De Wames is a 17-year vetted Trial Attorney, representing businesses in the full range of employment and labor law matters including wage-and-hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination claims, with particular expertise in PAGA representative and class actions. He is an expert in devising creative and effective strategies for investigating, litigating and negotiating settlements that serve the individualized needs of every client. He counsels business owners, managers and HR professionals on federal and state labor regulations, and is an experienced advocate before the EEOC, DLSE and other governmental agencies. Mr. De Wames serves as counsel for the full range of employer businesses from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. A well-regarded expert on all things employment law, Mr. De Wames devotes considerable time to speaking engagements like CAHR20 in order to aid employers and their HR advocates to navigate California’s rigorous and ever-evolving compliance laws, with an emphasis on litigation prevention.

        In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. De Wames most recently co-authored Navigating COVID-19: A Legal Guide for Employers, a free resource to employers and a comprehensive guide that helps decision makers, human resource professionals, risk management teams, and the like to interpret and apply employment laws with these novel first generation legal issues. This continuously updated guide changes the way businesses manage the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and remains compliant amidst changing laws.


      CA Employment Law & Regulations
      Learning Level:

      Session Description:

      Tara & Eric co-pilot again to shed light on the most current COVID-related employment laws. From vaccines and testing to sick leaves and returning to work safely, learn how to navigate the new and ever-evolving COVID-19 CA & Federal legal requirements from an HR professional’s point of view in collaboration with employment counsel. Discover trends in COVID-19 laws, and how to position your business for success in 2021 and beyond. Join Michael Sullivan & Associates (MS&A) Managing Partner Eric De Wames & Tara Fournier, PIHRA President and VP Human Resources at VIZIO, as they examine together the current impact of COVID-19 employment laws and provide insights on new laws and how to stay compliant. Gain the tools you need to implement successful return to work strategies, as well as apply preventative measures.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Attendees will acquire strategies for corporate compliance and best practices in applying CA & Federal laws as they relate to COVID-19.
      • Attendees will receive guidance on CA specific mandates from Cal-OSHA.
      • Attendees will learn the most up-to-date status on mandating vaccines in the workplace.
      • Attendees will gain an understanding of preventative measures for prospective litigation.
      • Attendees will also receive tools and insights regarding reactionary measures and employer obligations.


In-Person Location

Hyatt Regency Orange County

11999 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Self Parking: $10
Overnight Hotel Guest Parking: $18

Hyatt’s Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment »



SHRM Recertification Provider

This program will be submitted for up to 8.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

HRCI Approved Provider

This program will be submitted for up to 8.0 HR/General (including up to 8.0 California-specific) recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute homepage at

The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

California Seal

PIHRA is a State Bar of California MCLE approved provider. Our 2021 California Employment Law Update will be submitted for up to 8.0 California MCLE credit hours.



PIHRA Member

+ 1-year Membership Renewal


California SHRM Affiliated Chapter Member

Nonmember Registration
+ 1-year PIHRA Membership**


PIHRA Member In-Transition and Student Rates



PIHRA Member

+ 1-year Membership Renewal


California SHRM Affiliated Chapter Member

Nonmember Registration
+ 1-year PIHRA Membership**


**All Nonmember registrations receive a 12-month membership with PIHRA!

Online registration will be available through the day of the event. Payment is due at the time of registration.

Education Partners and Sponsors

Disclaimers/Cancellation Policies

Cancellations must be received in writing and faxed to 310.416.9055 or emailed to Fifty percent (50%) of the registration fee will be refunded for cancellations received by 10.13.21. Refunds will not be granted after 10.13.21, nor will they be given for no-shows. Credits will not be issued for use towards future PIHRA events.

All substitutions must be submitted in writing and faxed to 310.416.9055 or emailed to by 10.22.21. All other substitutions will be processed onsite at the Onsite Registration Area. If a PIHRA member transfers his/her registration to a Nonmember, the Nonmember must do one of two things; pay the difference of the member and Nonmember price at the time of the transfer or become a PIHRA member at the time of the transfer.

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, PIHRA programs and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to our use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such programs and activities. By registering, you agree to have your contact information shared with the sponsors and presenters of the event. You will have the option to opt-out of communications received.

During your attendance at the California Employment Law Update, participants will be required to support our COVID-19 safety protocols, and strictly follow our COVID-19 policies and procedures. These COVID-19 policies and procedures may include but are not limited to personal sanitization, mandatory face covering, and social distancing. These policies and procedures may be modified at any time in advance of or during the California Employment Law Update.

Face Coverings
Participants will be required to wear face coverings while in public indoor places and crowded outdoor venues regardless of vaccination status. The face covering shall cover the person’s nose and mouth. This requirement aligns with the latest CDC guidance. As part of the safety protocols, staff and volunteers will remind participants who are not wearing a mask to wear a mask per the state’s guidance. Anyone who ignores the policy will be asked to leave the event.

Full Terms and Conditions »


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