Thursday, May. 31, 2012
From left to right: Conference co-chair Thomas J. Flannagan, Esq., conference keynote speaker Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe and conference co-chair Margaret H. Paget, Esq.
Annual Labor & Employment Conference provides updates in case law, trends in wage enforcement and more
The Labor & Employment Section hosted its annual spring
conference on May 18 at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. Conference
Co-Chairs Thomas J. Flannagan and Margaret H. Paget provided
attendees with an opportunity to listen to substantive panel
discussions throughout the day-long event. In addition, conference
attendees were treated to a keynote address from Boston
Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan.
Panelists covered a variety of topics, including an update on
the most important employment law case developments, a discussion
of the soon-to-be enacted "Transgender Equal Rights Act," and
emerging trends and issues in the areas of wage and hour
enforcement and worker misclassification. Additionally, seasoned
employment litigators joined Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders
in providing attendees with practical tools and tips for improving
courtroom advocacy. The day concluded with a panel of commissioners
from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, who
discussed current trends in employment discrimination law and
recent and planned regulatory and procedural changes at the
Keynote speaker Ryan touched on the current state of the
relationship between players unions and team owners in professional
sports. Now that the NFL and NBA have negotiated new collective
bargaining agreements, Ryan indicated that "the NHL will be the
next labor negotiation to keep an eye on since the current CBA is
set to expire in September of this year." Ryan also spoke about how
the influx of statistics and the "fantasy league" culture that has
developed over the last decade is taking away from the pure
enjoyment of sports.
"With the wealth of information through blogs, social media and
talk radio, fans have a forum to express their opinions like never
before, making sports columnists dinosaurs," Ryan said.