Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. In this presentation, Emily Linn and Mindy Wetzel will explain and unpack the nuanced definition of what conduct may constitute sexual harassment, discuss what's at stake for employers who don't properly respond to allegations of harassment, including possible personal liability for managers and HR professionals, and talk through strategies you can implement to prevent workplace harassment. We will also highlight the latest legislative changes to federal and Texas sexual harassment laws, and provide several recent case examples considering sexual harassment to aid in your understanding of what constitutes actionable harassment. Participants will leave the presentation with an understanding of how to prevent, identify, and address sexual harassment in order to maintain a respectful and harassment-free workplace.
Emily Linn assists employers with a variety of labor and employment law issues. She has experience representing clients in both administrative and litigation matters involving disputes brought under various federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Emily’s practice also includes advising clients on various employment matters including discipline, separations and reductions in force, leave and accommodation issues under the ADA and FMLA, religious accommodation under Title VII, contingent worker and independent contractor classifications, federal and state child labor laws and workplace safety concerns. Emily has experience reviewing policies, handbooks, and providing management and employee training. Emily also regularly conducts internal workplace investigations for higher education institutions and private employers related to allegations of employee misconduct, including discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Prior to joining Littler, Emily was an attorney at a regional law firm in Austin, Texas, where she represented and counseled public entities on routine employment matters and government-specific issues, including immunity and responding to open record requests and subpoenas for client documentation. While in law school, Emily was an authorities editor on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and interned in the office of the general counsel of a federally owned electric utility corporation.
Melinda J. Wetzel is an active litigator in federal and state court. She has argued before the Fifth Circuit of Appeals and won two federal trials, a bench trial in the Western District of Texas and a jury trial in the Southern District of Texas. Mindy regularly defends clients in civil litigation involving claims under:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
• Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
• Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
• Equal Pay Act (EPA)
• Various other state and federal employment laws
Mindy also represents clients at various forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as private and agency-based mediations and arbitrations. She assists clients with personnel investigations and pre-litigation resolution, and presents client trainings on a variety of topics, including discrimination and harassment avoidance.
Previously, Mindy served as an assistant attorney general in the General Litigation Division of the Office of Attorney General, where she defended the state of Texas, its officials, and employees in constitutional and employment litigation matters in state and federal court.
Prior to moving to Austin in 2019, Mindy practiced law for five years in Illinois. During that time, she litigated claims for contributions and withdrawal liability under ERISA in federal courts across the Midwest, and represented school districts, municipalities, community colleges, and other public entities in Illinois state and federal courts as well as in labor arbitrations and grievance proceedings.