Samantha M. Adams, a Modrall Sperling shareholder, was a speaker at the 2015 EEOC Albuquerque Training Institute Seminar. Chosen by the EEOC as a representative advocate for employers in New Mexico, Sam was part of the panel "Best Practices in an EEOC Mediation" where she enjoined the nearly 500 participants to be prepared, saying "there is no point in going forward with mediation without preparation."
Preparation most frequently takes the form of knowing the facts and issues involved. It is also critical for employers to be informed of where they are vulnerable.
"Be realistic, and understand that while there are at least two sides to any situation, it is possible there could be three, four, five sides. If you understand everyone's perspective—no matter how many there might be—this preparation will enable compromise," she added.
Another way to promote achieving a workable compromise: Bring the right people to the mediation. Sometimes the employer wants to send the president, but this person might not be as well informed as other employees. What is needed in this situation is someone who knows what happened.
Rounding out the panel were Kevin J. Osterman, ADR Coordinator, EEOC Phoenix District Office; Christopher R. Venegas, Mediator, EEOC Albuquerque Area Office; and Dr. Jaime Phillips, Administrative Law Judge, NM Department of Workforce Solutions.
Nathan T. Nieman, a Modrall Sperling associate, was a speaker at a July 2015 Seminar for the Four Corners Human Resource Association (FCHRA). FCHRA is an organization for professionals, including business owners, who work in human resources administration. FHRCA is an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management.
As a presenter at the seminar and a member of a panel, Nathan spoke concerning the interplay between workers' compensation and human resources issues. As he noted, workers' compensation claims present unique challenges for employers and often require an understanding of and compliance with other applicable state and federal laws.
Wayne Farmer, an Ombudsman for the New Mexico State Workers' Compensation Administration and Mike Byrd from Hub International also participated as panelists and presenters at the seminar.