Making Paid Sick Days Work: Sharing Strategies Boston 2018 | Agenda

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Below you will find a draft agenda for the 2018 convening. To download the 2018 agenda click here

Thursday, November 8 

Breakfast/Registration     8:30 – 9:30am | Function Room
Welcome | Opening Remarks     9:30am | Function Room
Pronita Gupta,
Director of Job Quality, CLASP
Cynthia Mark, Chief of Fair Labor Division, MA AGO
World Cafe: Making Paid Sick Days Work     9:45 – 11:00am | Function Room
In this session, we will engage in small group discussions about key aspects of effective implementation and enforcement of paid sick day laws. We will use the World Café format to break into roundtables and provide all attendees with a chance to discuss new ideas, innovative practices, lessons, challenges and outcomes to date.
Moderator: Terri Gerstein, Director, State and Local Enforcement Project, Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program. 
15 Minute Break 
Plenary Panel | Strategic Communication     11:15 – 12:15pm | Function Room
How do you tell a compelling story about your work? This panel will explore strategic communications as another tool for effective implementation and enforcement of labor laws. Panelists will discuss the impact of amplifying victories and messages through media and social media. They will also share tips on how to develop media skills and proactively build relationships with reporters.

  • Moderator: Terri Gerstein, Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program. 
  • Mike Firestone, Chief of Staff and Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; 
  • Katie Johnston, Reporter, Boston Globe; and
  • Yungsuhn Park, Special Assistant to Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, California Labor Commissioner’s Office
Lunch     12:15pm | Function Room 
Breakout Session 1     1:15 – 2:15pm

(Workshop 1) Road to Strategic Enforcement: Understanding Employment Relationships with the Changing Nature of Work | Function Room
Companies are increasingly subcontracting, franchising, and using temporary staffing agencies and independent contractors, which complicates enforcement. Following brief presentations, presenters and audience participants will discuss what challenges agencies and advocates are finding as a result of the changing nature of work and brainstorm responses and enforcement strategies, with a particular emphasis on misclassification and joint employment.
Presenters: Sergio Flores, Employment Standards Program Manager, Tacoma; and Tia Koonse, Legal and Policy Research Manager, UCLA Labor Center

(Workshop 2) Fair Work Schedules: The Purpose of Fair Workweek Policies and Emerging Enforcement Issues | Room 205
Many jurisdictions have passed fair workweek laws to address the growing problem of volatile work schedules and their impacts on the economic security of low-wage workers. This session will provide an overview of these policies, and update on current legislative efforts and discussion about both challenges and strategies for enforcing such laws.
Presenters: Karina Bull, Policy Manager, Seattle OLS; and Julie Vogtman, Director of Job Quality, National Women’s Law Center

(Workshop 3) Exploratory Workshop: Caregiving for Chosen Family: Protecting Worker’s Rights | Room 275
This workshop will engage both agency administrators and advocates in identifying effective roles each can play in making sure workers know about and can use their paid sick days to care for extended family and “chosen family”.  Participants will 

  • Understand where these laws exist and the potential scale of their intended impact;
  • Explore early models for how regulations can reinforce the spirit of the law;
  • Hear what communications research suggests about how people think about chosen family and implications for effective outreach; and
  • Surface potential tensions and opportunities in outreach about and enforcement of paid sick days laws with inclusive family definitions

Presenters: Carl Charles, Staff Attorney, A Better Balance; and Wendy Chun-Hoon, Co-Director, Family Values @ Work

(Workshop 4) Skills Building: Calculating Paid Sick Days and other Atypical Damages | Room 265
In this workshop, participants will review the nuts and bolts of conducting audits  and explore different methodologies, including the CDC rule, to calculate damages as part of labor standards enforcement investigations, including paid sick days investigations.
Presenters: Kate Watkins, Assistant Attorney General, MA AGO; and Josh Pastreich, Supervising Compliance Officer, San Francisco OLSE

15 Minute Break
Breakout Session 2     2:30 – 3:30pm

(Workshop 1) Road to Strategic Enforcement: Investigations | The Commons 
Presenters will share tools and practices for effective investigations through case studies of investigations from their jurisdictions.  Participants will have the opportunity to share strategies and tools as well as collectively brainstorm on how to overcome obstacles to common challenges. 
Presenters: Daniel Yu, Senior Deputy Labor Commissioner, CA Labor Commissioner’s Office, Bureau of Field Enforcement; and Brian Walsh, Supervisor of Labor Standards Enforcement, Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights

(Workshop 2) Fair Work Schedules: Understanding the Critical Relationship Between Access to Hours and Income Volatility | Room 205
This session will be a deeper dive into many of the issues surfaced in the first fair work schedules workshop. It will focus on how unstable and unpredictable work schedules lead to increased underemployment and income fluctuations, further entrenching poverty, and how fair workweek policies and other policy initiatives, such as retention pay and minimum hours, can address income volatility. It will also explore barriers to enforcing these important laws and emerging strategies to address and improve this enforcement.
Presenters: Prof. Lonnie Golden, Penn State; Liz Vladeck, Deputy Commissioner, NYC DCA; and Carrie Gleason, Policy Director, OUR

(Workshop 3) Partnerships: Engaging Employers to Effectively Enforce Paid Sick Days and other Labor Standards | Room 265
Employers play a critical role in labor standards implementation and enforcement. This session will explore how agencies can effectively engage employers in order to promote compliance with the law, spread the word about employers’ responsibilities and encourage compliant employers to report violations by competitors. The workshop will also address the unique needs faced by small employers and what agencies can do to support them.
Presenters: Darius Foster, Business Engagement Specialist, Seattle OLS; and Sapna Mehta, Legislative & Policy Director, Main Street Alliance

(Workshop 4) Exploratory Workshop: The WorkIt App— Harnessing Technology for Outreach and Enforcement | Room 275
How can technology benefit workers? The Organization United for Respect (OUR) has developed WorkIt, an app to help workers in hourly jobs answer their questions about workplace policies and rights. The app has a rich database about the problems retail employees are experiencing and the questions they have. In this workshop, OUR will provide a short “behind-the scenes” tour of how WorkIt operates and workshop participants will explore how technology like WorkIt might be harnessed for outreach and enforcement.
Presenters: Catherine Huang, Chief Technology Officer and Eddie Iny, Campaigns Director, Organization United for Respect (OUR)

15 Minute Break
Plenary Panel | Building Strong and Effective Partnerships     3:45 – 4:45pm | The Commons 
The working relationship between enforcement agencies and community-based advocates, worker centers and unions is essential for ensuring the success of labor standards such as paid sick days. However, building and growing these relationships are often complicated, riddled with challenges, misunderstandings and miscommunication. This interactive session will delve deeper into some of these challenges and will allow agencies and advocates to share promising practices and brainstorm new ideas to better align missions and strengthen communications. 

  • Moderator: Pronita Gupta, Director of Job Quality, CLASP
  • Cynthia Mark, Chief of Fair Labor Division, MA AGO
  • Diego Low, Director, Metrowest Worker Center— Casa del Trabajador
15 Minute Break
Welcome Reception     5:00-7:00pm | Blue Sky Lounge 
Please join us to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be available. 
Keynote: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
Dinners on your own  7:00pm
CLASP will make reservations in case attendees would like to sign up for a group dinner.


Friday, November 9

Breakfast | Optional Regional Group Meet-ups     8:00am | Function Room
Want to learn more about how a neighboring jurisdiction is enforcing its labor standards and policies such as paid sick days? Interested in collaborating? Use this optional meet-up time to learn, connect and exchange ideas over breakfast! 
Plenary Panel | Immigrant Worker Voices      9:00 – 10:30am | Function Room
Immigrants have been among the most exploited of all workers in this country, and the fear they face in organizing and asserting their rights has increased in the last two years. This session will explore how immigrants are standing up even when faced with a near constant barrage of attacks – from workplace raids, travel bans and the end of DACA and TPS.  What are immigrants doing to demand their rights while facing threats of deportation, and how can law enforcement agencies help immigrant workers to assert their rights?

  • Moderator: Thomas Smith, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Justice at Work
  • Jose A. Palma, Legal Program Coordinator, Justice at Work 
  • Kerem Muñoz, Member, Centro De Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)
  • Abel Luna, Campaign and Education Coordinator, Migrant Justice
15 Minute Break 
Breakout Session 3     10:45 – 11:45am

(Workshop 1) Road to Strategic Enforcement: Industry Analysis and Mapping | Function Room
Industry analysis and mapping can help agencies target outreach and enforcement to where violations are most prevalent. It also allows investigators to consider all entities with control over workers and discover who is most likely to be able to remedy a violation and ensure ongoing compliance. During this session, presenters will share a case study of the retail industry and answer questions about industry mapping.
Presenters: Carrie Gleason, Policy Director, Organization United for Respect

(Workshop 2) Partnerships: What is the Employee’s Role in Enforcement? | Room 205
Paid sick days and labor standards can improve workers’ health, financial security, and benefit employers. But when it comes to enforcement, what is the worker’s role? This session will explore various agency and advocate perspectives on how and when the worker should be involved, from investigation through settlement. When do agencies include workers in the process and decision-making? What are the benefits and challenges with employee involvement?
Presenters: Sherry Leiwant, Co-President and Co-founder, A Better Balance; Lauren Moran, Deputy Chief, MA AGO’s Fair Labor Division; Ellen Love, Principal Administrative Analyst, San Francisco OLSE; Moderator: Wendy Chun-Hoon, Family Values@Work 

(Workshop 3) Skills Building: Working in the Shadows: U and T Visa Protections for Immigrant Survivors of Workplace Crimes | Room 265
This session will provide an overview about available legal protections for immigrant survivors of workplace crimes in the United States. In particular, the training will focus on the eligibility criteria for T and U nonimmigrant status. The panelists will also highlight common challenges that survivors may face in obtaining immigration status and best practices that law enforcement agencies may use to protect the rights of immigrant workers.  In addition, the training will address recent changes in immigration policy and practice that may impact the processing of applications for U and T nonimmigrant status. 
Presenters: Julie A. Dahlstrom, Director & Clinical Associate Professor, Boston University School of Law; and Jessie Hahn, Labor & Employment Policy Attorney, National Immigration Law Center

(Workshop 4) Exploratory Workshop: Enforcing Safe Time and Domestic Violence Leave | Room 275
As more jurisdictions adopt laws that enable survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking to take paid time away from work to address issues arising from the abuse, the question of effective outreach and education become paramount. In the current #MeToo moment, what are the barriers still preventing workers from using safe time and domestic violence leave? This session will explore questions like what does outreach looks like for these policies? How do we create safe spaces for workers to feel comfortable to request this kind of leave?
Presenters: Latifa Lyles, Vice President of External Affairs, National Network to End Domestic Violence

15 Minute Break 
Lunch     12:00pm | Function Room
Keynote: Erica Smiley, Co-Executive Director, Jobs With Justice
15 Minute Break
Breakout Session 4     1:30 – 2:30pm

(Workshop 1) Road to Strategic Enforcement: Thinking Outside the Box – How to Execute Enforcement Resolutions That Will Help Ensure Broad Industry Compliance | Function Room
While collecting owed back wages and penalties is of paramount importance, enforcement agencies are also looking to proactively prevent future violations and improve workplace conditions. This will be a collaborative session exploring terms for enforcement resolutions that promote ongoing compliance and benefit workers. Participants are encouraged to share creative terms and examples they are exploring in their jurisdictions as well as to develop new ideas for compliance and incorporating worker demands into resolutions. 
Presenters: Matthew Sirolly, Staff Attorney, CA Labor Commissioner’s Office; and Katie Jo Keppinger, Enforcement Manager, Seattle OLS

(Workshop 2) Fair Work Schedules: Strategies to Improve Business Implementation and Employer Compliance | Room 205
As more jurisdictions consider fair scheduling laws, the question of employer compliance is a key issue and consideration. Speakers in this session will share best practices and lessons from business engagement and the potential role of technology in furthering business implementation efforts.
Presenters: Kerem Levitas, Business Engagement and Policy Specialist, Seattle OLS; and Derek Jones, VP- Enterprise Solutions, Deputy 

(Workshop 3) Partnerships: Private Bar and Impact of Supreme Court Decision on Mandatory Arbitration Provisions | Room 265
How can enforcement agencies effectively work with the private bar to ensure that forced arbitration provisions do not erode labor law protections? This session covers key strategies for enforcing labor standards in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. Public enforcement is more important than ever, as private parties can be barred from accessing the courthouse and remedies. Participants will discuss arbitration provisions, the Epic decision, and strategies for addressing arbitration provisions in practice.
Presenters: ReNika Moore, Labor Bureau Chief, New York State Attorney General’s Office; and  Elizabeth Nicolas, Staff Attorney, Center for Popular Democracy

(Workshop 4) Exploratory Workshop: Overcoming Challenges to Enforcement | Room 275
Many jurisdictions, especially smaller cities and counties, face significant barriers in enforcing their paid sick days laws. These barriers range from a lack of statutory authority to limited funding to a question of political will. This session will share innovative approaches to funding mechanisms and offer participants an opportunity to brainstorm solutions, work-arounds and how to effectively use other enforcement tools, such as a private right of action.
Presenters: Laura Huizar, Staff Attorney, National Employment Law Project; and Stephanie Gharakhanian, Director of Research and Policy, Workers Defense Project

15 Minute Break
Small Group Meetings     2:45 – 3:45pm | Function Room
As we near the end of the Convening, we want to give agencies and advocates an opportunity to break into smaller affinity groups to discuss takeways, ask questions, share ideas, explore collaborations and build community. Each of these groups will have moderators to help facilitate the discussions.

  • AG Offices
  • Larger Agencies
  • Smaller/New Agencies 
  • CBOs/Union Groups
Wrap-up | Keynote     3:45pm | Function Room
Dr. David Weil,
Dean and Professor, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University; former Wage and Hour Administrator, US Department of Labor 

To view the program for the 2017 convening click here.