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Navigating Novel Employment Issues in 2020

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 57 minutes
Recorded Date: October 28, 2020
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        • COVID-19 Employment Issues
                - Working Remotely
                - Essential Businesses
                - Leave Laws
                - Return to Work
                - Medical Issues
        • Worker Classification
        • Natural Disasters
        • California Laws
        • Political Activism
        • Gender Equity
        • Immigration
        • Employment Engagement
        • Compensation & Wages

Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 28, 2020


We have witnessed an abundance of employment issues in 2020 from employee safety concerns, sick leave policies, social distancing, and healthcare and benefit plans, to further issues surrounding employment contracts, furloughing, recruitment challenges, privacy, biometric data collection and the disclosure of employees infected with the virus. It has certainly been a tumulus year from employment law. In this session, we will examine the key challenges of 2020 and best practice to approaching and resolving these challenges and disputes, whilst also take a look at 2021 and how the regulation needs to change to improve employee welfare in the future.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence, and Power in Law Virtual Conference held on October 28th, 2020.

Provided By

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Robin M. Solomon

Ivins, Phillips & Barker

Robin helps employers successfully design and administer retirement plans, health & welfare benefits, and executive compensation arrangements. She has more than 20 years of experience developing practical solutions to complex employee benefit problems.

Robin advises Fortune 500 publicly-traded companies, closely held businesses, and tax-exempt organizations on a broad range of benefit and compensation issues. She has extensive experience with the design and administration of tax-qualified pension and 401(k) plans, and she routinely advises plan benefit committees on their fiduciary obligations. Robin possesses a particular aptitude for counseling clients on workforce and benefits integration following an acquisition, and she is experienced with the unique problems faced by large controlled groups. Robin has been individually recognized by Chambers & Partners for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.

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Jenna Yott

Associate General Counsel
Able Services

Jenna Yott is Associate General Counsel with Able Services, the largest family-owned building maintenance and facilities engineering company in the U.S. with more than 20,000 employees in 31 states. She counsels business leaders and human resources on all manner of legal issues involving employee and traditional labor relations as well as how to stay compliant with new and existing legislation. She also oversees employment and labor litigation matters, including class actions and agency investigations.

Jenna previously was a litigation associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She graduated from Drew University and received her law degree from University of California, Berkeley

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Amanda Happle


Amanda joined Patagonia as counsel in 2015 and was drawn to the company because of its mission statement to save our home planet and its emphasis on work life balance. Through her work as the legal department’s lead for labor employment, ethics and compliance issues, she is able to shape and expand on the company’s commitment and policies that benefit working families and increase gender equity and diversity in the work place. Before Patagonia, Amanda was in private practice as a civil litigator.

Amanda earned her B.A. at Duke University and J.D. at McGeorge School of Law, UoP and lives in Ventura, CA with her husband and two daughters, who are proud alumni of Patagonia’s onsite childcare, Great Pacific Child Development Center.

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Emily Knoles

Senior Corporate Counsel
Delicato Family Vineyards

Emily is the Senior Corporate Counsel of Litigation and Employment at Delicato Family Wines, one of the fastest growing wine companies in the United States.

Prior to joining Delicato, Emily had extensive experience litigating class action and individual personnel labor and employment disputes from both the employee and the employer side of the bar. Using this experience Emily now provides counsel and strategic legal guidance regarding personnel policies, employment disputes and business litigation.

Emily holds a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and dual B.A.’s in English and Political Science from the University of Southern California. Emily serves on the Marin Women’s Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Council, advocating for the rights of women and girls in Marin County.

Emily received her Bachelors in Arts in English and Political Science from the University of Southern California (Fight on!) before obtaining her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University. Additionally, she has a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine.

Emily lives in Marin with her husband and two kids, where they are usually found riding bikes, hiking, watching Warriors Basketball or Trojan Football. When she’s not working or taking care of her kids, Emily serves on the Marin Women’s Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Council, advocating for the rights of women and girls in Marin County.

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Kirsten Hotchkiss

VP, Global Employee Relations & Employment Counsel
American Express

Kirsten Hotchkiss is Vice President, Global Employee Relations and Employment Counsel for GBT US, LLC, dba American Express Global Business Travel, a business travel management company with over 12,000 employees. A practicing attorney for over 30 years, Ms. Hotchkiss has extensive experience in helping employers manage the complex array of employment laws, investigating and responding to employee concerns, and defending and resolving claims brought against them.

As in-house counsel, Ms. Hotchkiss has always focused her attention on finding new and creative ways to avoid litigation, manage employee concerns, and maintain harmony in the workplace. She has counseled and trained hundreds of supervisors on employment legal issues. In addition, she provides advice and guidance on the development of new policies and programs designed to improve the employee experience.

Throughout her career, she has been active in both bar association and civic activities within her community. Currently, she serves on the Board of Historic Mitchelville, the first town of formerly enslaved people in the United States.

Ms. Hotchkiss is a qualified mediator, the owner of an employment law training business, EmLaw Training, and the co-founder of the on-line website for legacy planning, My Life’s Message (

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Rachel Lubert

Assistant General Counsel

Rachel Lubert is the Assistant General Counsel of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the largest global Jewish nonprofit. Active today in some 70 countries, JDC works to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and help Israel overcome the social challenges of its most vulnerable citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish. JDC’s reach extends beyond the global Jewish community by providing high-impact disaster relief and long-term development assistance worldwide.

Rachel provides legal counsel to support JDC’s programming in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and provides governance support to JDC’s New York headquarters and Board of Directors. Rachel also handles employment matters for U.S. based employees and sets global organizational policy.

Before going in house, Rachel worked as an Associate in the litigation department of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman for 8 years where she focused on complex commercial litigation.

Rachel holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland in Journalism and a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law.

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