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Event Details

    Annual WKHRMA and Central Kansas SHRM Seminar (2020)

    Date: October 19-26, 2020
    WKHRMA in partnership with the Central Kansas SHRM Chapter
    The 2020 Annual WKHRMA and Central Kansas SHRM Seminar is now a virtual event! A Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the event.
    $45 WKHRMA and Central KS SHRM Members; $60 Guests (non-members)
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    The Annual WKHRMA and Central Kansas SHRM Seminar will be held on Monday, October 19, and Monday, October 26, 2020.  Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at approximately 11:45 a.m.  WKHRMA is excited to partner with the Central Kansas SHRM Chapter to host this virtual event!


    Please use this link to register for this year's seminar. Our registration deadline is Thursday, October 15th at 12:00 noon.

    About the Presentation

    Day 1 – October 19th - 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.

    Session 1 – COVID related Issues: This session covers various COVID-19 issues employers will face in the fall/winter of 2020. We will cover topics related to preventing COVID related litigation, returning employees to in-person work, employee testing, ongoing work from home issues, school closures and working parents, matters related to FFCRA and CARES Act requirements, the interplay with Title VII/FMLA/ADA and other anti-discrimination laws, the use of masks and other PPE, and general workforce safety concerns.

    Session 2 – Legal Update and Wage & Hour Issues:  This session takes a look at some of the emerging trends in employment litigation and recent court decisions of importance.  We will also take a look at changes in wage and hour law over the past year while reviewing some of the more basic issues confronting employers in that context, including white collar exemptions and computing overtime wages. 

    Day 2 – October 26th - 9:00 – 11:45 a.m.

    Session 1 – Unseen Disabilities: This session will explore a realistic case study of both substance abuse and mental health conditions employers may face in the workplace. Through this session we will provide tips and best practices for employers faced with sensitive employee health related issues.

    Session 2 – Politics in the Workplace:  This session will explore some of the issues employers may face with respect to unprecedented workplace tension during this election season, including a 10-Step Action Plan to assist employers in navigating these difficult issues. 


    Melody Rayl

    Melody Rayl is a partner in the Kansas City office.  Melody counsels and advocates for private and public-sector employers in all aspects of employment litigation and traditional labor law. Melody regularly advises and counsels her clients through difficult situations with an eye to preventing litigation before it occurs and provides training to supervisory and management level personnel on a variety of employment related topics.  When litigation does occur, Melody works with employers in defending individual discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation, as well as collective action wage and hour disputes and other employment class action litigation, from inception through resolution before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.  Melody also assists clients in opposing labor union organization activities and during collective bargaining negotiations.

    Melody has been named a Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star for seven consecutive years.  Prior to engaging in the practice of law, Melody served 6 years on active duty in the U.S. Army and 20 years as a law enforcement officer in a variety of roles.  She also spent one year as a police advisor in post-war Bosnia Herzegovina, during which time she supervised the Internal Affairs Investigation Unit responsible for investigating allegations of police misconduct.  Melody’s background provides her with the ability to assist both private and public-sector clients in effectively investigating claims of discrimination and harassment.

    Lauren Sobaski 

    Lauren Sobaski is an associate in the firm’s Kansas City office. She focuses her practice on employment discrimination and related litigation, employment law training, drafting policies and procedures, and wage and hour law.

    Prior to engaging in the practice of law, Lauren spent 15 years in human resource management. This experience gives her a unique insight into the employment law matters that are most important to her clients. Most recently, Lauren was a human resource consultant at Paychex, where she provided human resource management to 75 businesses operating in 20 states. Lauren’s significant career in human resources positions her well to work with her clients to identify and obtain practical business solutions to their toughest employment issues.

    Lauren is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), which is issued by the Human Resource Certification Institute, and a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

    During law school, Lauren served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri. She also interned at the United States Department of Labor Office of the Solicitor, where she worked on OSHA and wage and hour investigations.

    Annual Seminar Sponsors

    Thank you to the following sponsors for your generous donations. Your kindness helps us make our annual seminars successful.

    Freedom Claims Management, Inc.
    Hays Companies of Kansas City
    Qualified Plan Advisors
    Nex-Tech Wireless 
    Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball
    Hays Chamber of Commerce 

    If you are interested in sponsoring our upcoming seminar, please email