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Sex Discrimination & Sex Abuse in the Workplace, School and Sports

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: November 17, 2021
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  • The Federal Civil Rights Act – Title VII – relating to sex discrimination in employment
  • Select state and local laws regarding discrimination in employment
  • The Federal Civil Rights Act – Title IX, as it relates to sex discrimination & harassment in educational institutions and funded sports programs
  • Approaches and benefits of mediation of employment discrimination claims and Title IX Cases
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: November 17, 2021

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)


Our esteemed panel will evaluate the claims from a liability and damages perspective and how to best approach mediation and negotiation. Attendees will also be provided with an overview of the Federal Civil Rights Act - Title VII - relating to Sex Discrimination in Employment; the Federal Civil Rights Act - Title IX, as it relates to Sex Discrimination & Harassment in Educational Institutions and Funded Sports Programs; and approaches and benefits of mediation of employment discrimination claims and Title IX Cases.

This program was recorded on November 17th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Liz Paris

Partner & Hearing Officer Director
Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation

Liz Paris, AWI-CH, is a Partner with Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation. Her practice focuses on conducting workplace and Title IX campus investigations. Liz frequently serves as a Hearing Officer in Title IX campus sexual assault cases. She is available as an expert in evaluating Title IX and sexual harassment matters.

Prior to joining Van Dermyden Makus, Liz was employed at UC Davis where she routinely provided policy and contract interpretation to management and staff, responded to grievances and complaints, acted as the University Advocate for administrative hearings, and negotiated contracts with labor unions. Additionally, she conducted investigations and fact-findings. Prior to law school, Liz worked in Human Resources for various companies, providing advice and assistance with recruitment, hiring, termination, and performance management.

Currently, Liz conducts workplace investigations related to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and misconduct. She also conducts trainings for staff and management on a variety of legal issues, including sexual harassment and discrimination prevention, as well as how to conduct effective investigations.

Trained in Trauma Informed Forensic Interviewing, Liz is also an experienced investigator in Title IX sexual misconduct claims. Liz understands best practices in the Title IX arena, and the challenges facing schools and parties when sexual violence allegations surface. She has conducted investigations for K-12 Districts, as well as higher education institutions.

Liz is an expert in conducting Title IX Hearings. She serves as our Hearing Officer Director and routinely serves as a Hearing Officer for Title IX matters. In this role, Liz serves as the final adjudicator, completing the complaint and investigation process. She also serves as an Appeal Officer when students challenge the process, the outcome, and/or the sanction. Liz has overseen cases involving dating violence, drug abuse, sexual assault, and incapacitation. She has experience questioning parties using trauma-informed techniques, making admissibility and relevance decisions, and issuing well-reasoned, thorough decisions.

Liz serves on the faculty of T9 Mastered, a training program for college and school district officials involved in Title IX compliance and investigation.

Liz graduated from McGeorge School of Law in 2012 and earned an undergraduate degree from UC Davis. She is licensed to practice law in the State of California, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

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Edward Garcia, Jr., Esq.

Armijo & Garcia

Edward Garcia, Jr. concentrates his practice in all aspects of employment law. Mr. Garcia has extensive experience representing private and public sector employers of all sizes (including large national and multi-national corporations) as well as their managers and employees in lawsuits for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour issues, unfair competition, defamation, whistleblower claims, and various other tort claims. In this regard, he routinely handles claims made under various statutes, including Title VII, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, Mr. Garcia also defends businesses and property owners against disability access claims.

Mr. Garcia spends the majority of his time litigating matters in state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies such as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board. He also has extensive trial experience. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Garcia tried more than 20 cases to verdict before California juries.

Mr. Garcia has a strong track record of resolving complex matters effectively and efficiently. He regularly investigates and assesses risks and provides advice and counsel to employers on defenses and litigation strategies. He is a skilled negotiator, which enables him assist clients in resolving disputes through favorable settlements. When feasible, Mr. Garcia uses his strong writing and advocacy skills to obtain favorable judgments for his clients through dispositive motions, such as motions for summary judgment.

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Rhonda L. Epstein, Esq.

Hearing Officer, Employment Law
NAM - National Arbitration & Mediation

Rhonda L. Epstein, Esq. is a seasoned litigator with more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience in civil litigation. She concentrates her legal practice primarily in the areas of employment law and housing discrimination. Ms. Epstein is also experienced in various matters involving the directors and officers of cooperatives and condominiums, their Board of Directors, and property managers.

Ms. Epstein has handled cases arising under Federal, State and local discrimination laws including, The American with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as the New York State Executive Law, and the New York City Administrative Code. She has litigated all phases of these matters from inception through appeal in both the Federal and State Courts. Ms. Epstein has regularly appeared before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Additionally, she has participated in union arbitrations conducted through the auspices of the Realty Advisory Board.

She also has expertise and deep experience in defending claims stemming from the business judgment of corporate boards including housing cooperatives, condominiums, homeowners associations and not-for-profit organizations, litigating disputes involving the rights and powers of boards to control policy, hold corporate elections, enforce by-laws and lease provisions, and litigating disputes with sponsors and holders of unsold shares. She is a member of the New York City Bar Co-op and Condo Committee.

Ms. Epstein is a longtime proponent of Alternative Dispute Resolution. As a litigant, she has mediated hundreds of cases in Federal court, EEOC, and private mediation. In 2021 and 2019, Ms. Epstein was sworn in as a mediator to both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New. York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York respectively. She is also an affiliate member of the New York City Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and is a volunteer mediator with the EEOC. Prior to joining NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation) as a neutral, she served as a Supervising Attorney for a prominent New York law firm and as an in-house counsel for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. In that role, she supervised attorneys and a support staff with a combined caseload of more than two hundred files annually.

As both a litigator and mediator, Ms. Epstein has successfully counseled, supervised, and mediated employment law cases related to claims of age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, and pregnancy discrimination. She has taught continuing legal education (CLE) seminars on the topics of employment discrimination, sexual harassment and co-op and condo disputes and has managed the CLE programming for three house counsel offices. She is well respected professionally by both sides of the bar and is known for her fair and objective approach to the resolution of cases. Ms. Epstein has been awarded an AV Preeminent Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Further, she volunteers her time as a mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Rhonda L. Epstein, Esq. is available to mediate and arbitrate employment, housing, and co-op and condo matters throughout the New York Metro area.

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