Morning Keynote | 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Stop Telling and Start Showing: The Secret for Building Great Cultures
President | The Nischwitz Group
It’s time to shake up your culture, your team and your results with actionable tools to move from a culture by default to a culture by design.
Everyone talks about wanting to create a culture, but the truth is that every organization already has a culture. The only question is whether it’s a culture by design or a culture by default. Too often, team members are looking up (to leadership) to define the organization’s values and culture, but every team member has the opportunity to design, develop, nurture and sustain the culture (or to kill it). At the same time, leaders are looking to their HR professionals to claim a seat at the leadership table and to be a part of the culture solution.
Jeff Nischwitz will empower you with unique perspectives on building a culture by design — a culture that will help grow your team, your organization and your outcomes. Get ready to claim your seat at the leadership table to shake up your culture, your team and your impact!
Known as a Facilitator of Truth, Snow Globe Shaker and the Leader of Shift, Jeff Nischwitz is a man on a mission — a mission to help people shift how they lead and thereby shift their leadership impact. As an international leadership and team engagement speaker, Jeff Nischwitz is known for his unique perspectives, for challenging traditional thinking, and for delivering tangible shifts for leaders to grow their people, build their businesses and enhance their relationships. Jeff is the author of three books including his two most recent books: Unmask: Let Go of Who You’re “Supposed” to Be & Unleash Your True Leader(Motivational Press 2014) and Arrows of Truth: Simple Shifts for Personal Transformation(Eagle Heart Press 2017). Jeff works with a wide range of organizations on growing leaders, building engaged and empowered teams, accountability and achieving your whole other level of impact and influence.
Lunch Keynote | 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
Litigation Looking Glass: Employment Law Case Studies… Seeing the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s Perspectives
Detailed session description coming soon!
Amanda Farahany is the managing partner at the Atlanta law firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, representing individuals in employment, libel, overtime, and sexual harassment litigation. Through her practice, she is dedicated to pursuing civil justice for employees, as well providing consultation and support to management employees. She is also an adjunct professor of law at Emory Law School, teaching third year students Advanced Trial Advocacy. Prior to beginning her practice, she clerked for the Honorable John H. Ruffin, Jr. at the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Known as an attorney who only takes serious and important cases, Amanda has proven this by achieving the highest verdict in a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case in the nation for her client and the largest libel verdict for a single plaintiff in Georgia. She tried the first Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act case in 2015 to a verdict of $2.25 million, ensuring that genetic privacy will be taken seriously by all companies. Her cases are regularly followed by the press. She seeks change for both individuals and for society as a whole, including publishing a study analyzing how the courts handle employment discrimination cases in an effort to bring these cases back into the hands of jurors. The study has generated national interest and dialogue about the role of the jury and judge in employment cases, from Huffington Post articles from retired federal judges to local television coverage of the debate between Amanda and a defense attorney, and is now featured in several scholarly articles and books.
Amanda has also been recognized through numerous awards and achievements. She is listed as one the National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers in Employment Law. Amanda has been awarded Super Lawyer – an award which acknowledges the top lawyers in Georgia as chosen by Georgia Super Lawyers and through the independent research of Law & Politics each year. She has been chosen as a Best Employment Lawyer, as well as bringing the firm to Best Law Firm status by U.S. News & World Report. Georgia Trend has also recognized her as a top lawyer. In addition, she is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and chosen by the American Registry as one of the North American Top Attorney. A sought after speaker and commentator, Amanda has been featured as a legal thought leader in publications and news segments, including a two-night special on CBS Atlanta News on a Survival Guide for the First 24 Hours After Losing Your Job and multiple other news stations and stories. Human resource professionals and employment defense attorneys seek out her experience to teach them how to overcome the common employer mistakes from a plaintiff’s perspective.
An experienced trial lawyer, Amanda has been awarded status as a Fellow of the National College of Advocacy by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. This designation signifies commitment to effective representation of her clients and her dedication to achieving a high level of competence. Additionally, Amanda is a Fellow in the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. Membership in the Fellows Program is an honor which recognizes lawyers whose public and private careers demonstrate outstanding legal abilities and a devotion to their communities.
In addition to her law practice, Amanda currently serves as the Immediate Past President to the Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment section. She is active on the Public Affairs Committee and Press Advisory Board to the American Association of Justice. She is also a founding member and has worked closely with Water-Life-Hope, a non-profit organization that works to bring running water to the impoverished in Haiti.
Amanda has previously served as the president of the Atlanta Council for Younger Lawyers; president of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter; co-chair of the American Association of Justice Wage and Hour Litigation Group, on the Executive Boards of the Atlanta Bar Association, chair of the Inadequate Security Litigation Group for the American Association of Justice, member of the Executive Committee to the Atlanta Bar Association; member of the Advisory Council to the National Crime Victim Bar Association; and on the Boards of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Crime Victim Advocacy Council, State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers Division, and several domestic violence and women’s rights organizations.
Amanda has spoken and been published extensively on sexual harassment, overtime and employment cases, litigating cases for civil justice for crime victims and sexual assault, including for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the American Association for Justice, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the National Employment Lawyers Association, among many others. In addition, Amanda has been an invited faculty member for the Emory School of Law Trial Advocacy Program and for the National Employment Lawyers’ Association Trial Boot Camp. Recently, Amanda was one of a selected few employment lawyers asked to serve on the Eleventh Circuit Committee to revise the Pattern Jury Instructions on employment related issues.
Greg Hare has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree Deakins his entire career, ever since 1991. He assists companies with human resources and employment-related litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, employment contracts, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements.
He advises clients on a wide range of human resources topics, such as employee discipline and discharge, severance planning, independent contractor classifications, wage payment, family and medical leave, disability law, military leave, joint employment issues, affirmative action and reductions in force.
Mr. Hare also counsels clients on traditional labor relations matters involving union avoidance, decertification, strike contingency planning, double-breasting, grievance administration and arbitration, collective bargaining, unfair labor practice litigation, and other matters involving the National Labor Relations Board, including “protected concerted activity” cases.
Mr. Hare encourages companies to develop proactive human resources strategies that are designed to minimize exposure to costly litigation and disputes. This commonly includes conducting comprehensive employment law compliance audits, employment policy design and review, management training and counseling, and simulated problem solving workshops.
Outside the Office
Greg played NCAA lacrosse at LeMoyne College and post-collegiate club lacrosse at UNC. He now enjoys coaching his boys’ youth teams in Atlanta, including baseball, football and basketball at the Northside Youth Organization (NYO). Parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church. Avid supporter of The Marist School.
Greg’s diverse practice cuts across multiple disciplines within the labor & employment law specialty area, but generally can be subdivided into five broad categories:
- Human Resources Advice: counseling companies on best practices for responding to agency investigations (EEOC charges, DOL audits, etc.), advising managers on disciplinary matters, minimizing employment-related exposures by properly responding to adversarial employees, formulating severance strategies, training managers on their employment-related obligations, building and maintaining distinctions between employees vs. independent contractors, and dealing with 3rdparty employment/co-employment issues, etc.
- Employment Litigation: assisting companies with state & federal court lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, interference with leave entitlements, improper wage payment, denial of benefits, breach of contract, and employment torts (e.g., infliction of emotional distress, defamation, negligent hiring and retention, etc.). Greg has handled dozens of federal court litigation matters over the past 20 years, plus multiple appeals to federal appellate courts, and matters before the United States Supreme Court.
- Traditional Labor: union avoidance, labor arbitrations, collective bargaining, project labor agreements, double-breasted operations, benefit plan contribution disputes, etc., with heavy experience in health care, construction, pulp & paper, transportation, logistics, warehousing and manufacturing sectors.
- Unfair Competition/Business Divorces/Non-Competition Cases: representing companies dealing with the fallout of executive and employee departures, including: enforcement of post-employment restrictive covenants (non-compete, non-solicitation, non-disclosure and non-recruitment clauses); negotiating the value of departing executive’s stake in the business, including fair market valuation disputes; protecting the company’s trade secrets, copyrights and confidential information.
- Franchise/Distributor Disputes: representing companies in disputes with franchisees and distributors, where claims commonly include wrongful termination of relationship, breach of contract, and unfair business practices, allegedly in violation of federal and state statutes.
Greg’s practices touches a wide array of industries, including: Automotive, Bakery, Banking, Beverage, Biochemical, Construction (residential, commercial, and industrial), Distribution, Education, Energy, Engineering, Food Processing, Food Service, Franchising, Healthcare, High Tech, Hospitality/Hotels, Industrial Equipment, Insurance, IT, Logistics, Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Medical Practices, Non-profit and Religious, Pharmaceutical, Poultry, Pulp & Paper, Retail, Software, Staffing, Telecommunications, Transportation, Uniforms, Warehousing.
Admitted to Practice:
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
National Labor Relations Board
Honors and Awards:
- Best Lawyers in America (2016-present)
- Super Lawyer – Georgia Law and Politics
- AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Directory
- SHRM Atlanta (Speaker and Board of Directors Alumnus)
- SHRM National (Recommended Speaker List)
- Association of Corporate Counsel (Speaker)
- Associated General Contractors – Labor & Employment Law Council
- Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce (Speaker)
- The Seminar Group (Speaker)
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Georgia
- Atlanta Bar Association
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- Commerce Club of Atlanta
- Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar – “Workplace “Perks” Toolkit: Avoiding Potential Pitfalls Associated With New Employee ‘Perks’” – San Diego – May 4, 2017
- SHRM-Atlanta “SOAHR” Conference – ”A Best Company’s Guide to Handling Harassment Allegations” – Atlanta – March 30, 2017
- Paper Industry Conference – ”Significant Developments Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)” – Atlanta – March 03, 2017
- Ultimate Software Conference – ”Hitting the Re-Set Button: What Employers Can Expect in 2017” – Atlanta – March 02, 2017
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – ”Employment Law Update: With the Election Over, Where Does This Leave Us?” – Atlanta – February 17, 2017
- Ultimate Software Webinar – ”Hitting the Re-Set Button: What Employers Can Expect in 2017” – February 10, 2017
- Head Start Child Development Centers – ”Managing Within the Law” – Atlanta – February 07, 2017
- Ultimate Software Conference – ”Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Greenville – December 06, 2016
- Atlanta Business Chronicle Power Breakfast Meeting – “Time Is Money: What Companies Need to Know About The New Overtime Law and Pay Equity” – Atlanta – November 15, 2016
- SHRM Allatoona Chapter Meeting – “HE’S NOT HERE, Deciding Whether to Reinstate, Replace, Accommodate or Terminate Absent Employees” – Roswell – November 10, 2016
- SHRM Columbus HR Symposium – “Managing Within The Law – What Managers Should Know About HR & Employment Law” – Columbus – October 27, 2016
- SHRM Chapter Meeting – “HE’S NOT HERE, Deciding Whether to Reinstate, Replace, Accommodate or Terminate Absent Employees” – Cullman – October 12, 2016
- Benefits Company – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 27, 2016
- Paper Industry Conference – “Hot Topics in Labor & Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 23, 2016
- HR Star Conference – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 8, 2016
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “A Pay Equity Primer: The Expansion of ‘Equal Pay,’ Changes to EEO-1 Reports, and More” – Atlanta – August 26, 2016
- Head Start Child Development Centers – “Managing Within the Law”– Nashville – August 2-4, 2016
- Property Management HR Conference – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – July 21, 2016
- Pharmaceutical Company – “Best Practices for Minimizing Legal Exposure” – Charleston – July 16, 2016
- Home Improvement Company – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – June 23, 2016
- SHRM National – Annual Conference & Exposition – “‘Bad Egg’ Employees-Don’t Let Them Make Your Organization Stink!” – Washington, DC – June 20, 2016
- Ultimate Software Seminar – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Charlotte – June 7, 2016
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “The Best of Workplace Strategies 2016” – Alpharetta – May 20, 2016
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “The Best of Workplace Strategies 2016” – Atlanta – May 19, 2016
- SHRM Atlanta – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – March 29, 2016
- SHRM National – Employment Law and Legislative Conference – “He’s Not Here: Deciding Whether to Reinstate, Replace, Accommodate or Terminate Absent Employees” and “Scandals and Screw-Ups: Learning HR Best Practices from Today’s Headlines” – Washington, D.C. – March 13-16, 2016
- Resource Alliance HR Consulting – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – February 23, 2016
- SHRM Atlanta – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – January 13, 2016
- Benefits Company – “Employment Law Update” – Atlanta – October 13, 2015
- Paper Industry Conference – “Recent Developments in Labor & Employment Law” – Atlanta – October 9, 2015
- Paper Industry Conference – “NLRB Ambush Elections: Latest Developments” – Atlanta – October 7, 2015
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “Top Wage Payment Mistakes” – Atlanta – September 25, 2015
- HR Software Conference – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 22, 2015
- Georgia Council for Personnel Administration – “FLSA Update” – Atlanta – September 17, 2015
- Pharmaceutical Company – “Best Practices for Minimizing Legal Exposure” – Fort Lee – September 15, 2015
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “The Best Defense is a Good Offense” – Atlanta – August 27, 2015
- Aerospace Company – “Avoiding Harassment and Retaliation Claims” – Atlanta – August 17, 2015
- SHRM Henry County – “New Perspectives on Disability & Absenteeism: Whatever Happened to Reliable Attendance as an Essential Job Function?” – Atlanta – July 23, 2015
- SHRM National Conference – “Scandals & Screw-Ups … and the HR Lessons To Be Learned” – Las Vegas – June 30, 2015
- Associated General Contractors of Georgia – “Best Practices for Minimizing Legal Exposure” – Atlanta – April 29, 2015
- SHRM Atlanta – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – April 21, 2015
- Business 21 Publishing Webinar – “Practical Strategies for Minimizing the Disruptions of FMLA Administration” – March 18, 2015
- HR Software Conference – “Hot Topics in Employment Law” – Atlanta – February 27, 2015
- Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) of Georgia – “NLRB Enforcement Initiatives: Make Sure Your Company is Prepared” – Atlanta – February 10, 2015
- SHRM Atlanta – Hot Topics in Employment Law – Atlanta – November 19, 2014
- Team One Logistics – Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make – Atlanta – November 13, 2014
- Major Benefits Company – “Employment Law Update” – Atlanta – October 24, 2014
- Paper Industry Conference – “Recent Developments in Labor & Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 26, 2014
- HR Software Conference – “New Perspectives on Disability & Absenteeism: Whatever Happened to Reliable Attendance as an Essential Job Function?”- Atlanta – September 25, 2014
- Georgia State Council for Personnel Administration – “Same Sex Issues in the Workplace: How to Adjust Your HR Practices” – Atlanta – Sept. 18, 2014
- SHRM Atlanta Fall Symposium – “New Perspectives on Disability & Absenteeism: Whatever Happened to Reliable Attendance as an Essential Job Function?” – Atlanta – August 26, 2014
- Strategic Human Resources – “Top 10 Wage Payment Mistakes” – Columbus, GA – July 18, 2014
- Strategic Human Resources – “Dealing With Malcontents in the Workplace” – Columbus, GA – May 16, 2014
- SHRM Atlanta Power Breakfast – “Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce” – Atlanta – May 13, 2014
- National Paper Company – “Managing Within the Law” – Spokane – May 1, 2014
- SHRM Atlanta Annual Conference – “Employee Discipline & Discharge: Strategic Tips for Pulling the Weeds” – Atlanta – April 29, 2014
- Strategic Human Resources – “Hot Topics in Workplace Safety” – Columbus, GA – March 21, 2014
- SHRM Georgia Webinar – “The Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision: How Does it Impact Your HR Practices?” – Atlanta – March 13, 2014
- Major Retailer – “Hot Topics in Employment Law 2014” – Atlanta – February 26, 2014
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “Eye on Employment Law 2014” – Atlanta – February 26, 2014
- Strategic Human Resources – “Avoiding Pitfalls in Employment Agreements & Restrictive Covenants” – Columbus, GA – February 21, 2014
- SHRM Atlanta – “Hot Topics in Employment Law 2014” – Atlanta – January 15, 2014
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “He’s Not Here: Deciding Whether to Reinstate, Replace, Accommodate or Terminate Absent Employees” – Atlanta – December 6, 2013
- HR Software Conference – “DOMA & Other Employment Law Developments” – Atlanta – October 10, 2013
- Paper Industry Conference – “Recent Changes in Labor & Employment Law” – Atlanta – September 20, 2013
- SHRM National Conference – “Managing Within the Law” – Chicago – June 15, 2013
- SHRM Atlanta – “Dealing With Malcontents and Malingerers in the Workplace” – Atlanta – April 30, 2013
- SHRM Atlanta – “Top 10 Wage Payment Mistakes” – Atlanta – April 29, 2013
- Regional Hospital – “Managing Within the Law” – Atlanta – April 22, 2013
- Aerospace Manufacturer – “Cultural Diversity and the Changing Demographics of Your Workforce” – Atlanta – April 19, 2013
- Major Benefits Company – “Employment Law Update” – Atlanta – April 2, 2013
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “Recent Regulatory Developments…And What Companies Should Do About Them” – Atlanta – April 2013
- Major Retailer – “Regulatory Developments to Expect Under Obama Administration II” – Atlanta – January 29, 2013
- SHRM Atlanta – “What to Expect from Obama Administration II” – Atlanta – November 15, 2012
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar – “Recent Regulatory Developments . . . And What Companies Should Do About Them” – Atlanta – October 26, 2012
- SHRM National Conference – “Top 10 Wage Payment Mistakes” – Atlanta – June 25, 2012
- SHRM National Conference – “Managing Within the Law” – Atlanta – June 24, 2012
- SHRM Atlanta – “Best Practices for Severing Employees” – Atlanta – May 15, 2012
- Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar – “HR Update Roundtable” – Phoenix – May 12, 2012
- Major Benefits Company – “Hot Topics In Employment Law: Make Sure Your Company Is Ready!” – Atlanta – May 3, 2012
- Association of Residential Cleaning Services – “Managing Within the Law” – Orlando – April 14, 2012
- SHRM Atlanta – “Best Practices When Severing Employees” – Atlanta – March 13, 2012
- November 4, 2017 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution – “Sexual harassment complaints shed light on widespread issue”
- September 5, 2017 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – “Federal judge tosses Obama-era overtime rule”
- May 9, 2017 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – “Gov. Deal signs medical marijuana expansion”
- January 31, 2014 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – “Atlanta Employers Watch NLRB Rulings”
- June 17, 2013 – org – “Develop Your Managers’ Legal Awareness”
- May 2013 – Legal Management – “Manual Makeover: Advice for Updating and Modernizing Your Firm’s Employee Handbook”
- April 29, 2013 – Cleaning Business Today – “Independent Contractors: How to Respond to DOL Audit”
- March 2013 – Cleaning Business Today – “Best Practices When Responding to Workplace Theft”
- November 9, 2012 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – “Best Practices for Interviewing & Hiring – Avoiding Legal Exposures”
- June 25, 2012 – org – “Ensure that Employees Know Wage and Hour Policies”
- March 13, 2012 – Atlanta Business RadioX – Radio Interview – “Hot Topics in Employment Law”
- August 2, 2017 – The Daily Report – “The Time May Be Right for Isakson’s Bill on Unions”
- June 2012 – Security Management Magazine – “Avoiding Harassment Headaches . . . Crafting a Program to Deter Harassment in the Workplace”
Doug Kertscher is a 25-year veteran of the State Bar of Georgia and accomplished trial attorney. He is a partner in the firm Hill, Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP, which he co-founded over seventeen years ago, and represents clients in litigation involving employment matters such as wage disputes, whistleblower law, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Doug is the former Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Labor & Employment (EEO) Section and a frequent speaker on hot topics in employment litigation. Doug has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite, Super Lawyers, and holds a 10.0 rating from AVVO.