This is a complimentary Webinar from the Gordon & Rees - ExecuSummit-ONLINE series. This is a 1 hour webinar with a live Q&A session right after.

This panel will focus on the changes that are expected in the work force as the country emerges from shelter in place ordinances, including measures that employers are expected to implement to safeguard employees. The panel will analyze the various screening measures and the attendant pitfalls of such actions. This panel will also discuss the claims on the horizon stemming from adverse employment actions taken in response to the economic shutdown.
Wednesday May 13, 2020, starting at 11:00 AM EDT
Mercedes Colwin
Panel Moderator - Founding Partner, GRSM New York Office

Mercedes Colwin, a highly successful trial attorney, is the founding partner of Gordon & Rees’ New York City Office. She handles a wide variety of litigation, including employment law, commercial litigation, class actions, products liability, professional liability, wage and hour class actions, civil rights violations and criminal law.

Ms. Colwin has defended thousands of cases throughout the country to a favorable result and won over ninety percent of her numerous trials and arbitrations. She regularly litigates business disputes and defends corporations and executives of Fortune 500 companies accused of wrongdoing, including claims of sexual misconduct.

Prior to private practice, Ms. Colwin served as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights. During these nine years of service, while a partner at a major regional New York law firm, she presided over three thousand cases brought under federal and state discrimination laws.

Ms. Colwin has received several significant honors. Forbes Business American Airlines named Ms. Colwin one of the six most influential women in America. The list includes dignitaries such as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Notre Dame Law School presented Ms. Colwin with the prestigious Graciela Olivarez Award for outstanding achievement as a leading Hispanic lawyer of the highest ethical and moral standards. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor received the same award. MultiCultural Law magazine also profiled Ms. Colwin in a Leadership Interview titled, Reaching Back to Diversify the Legal Professional. Human Resources Magazine named Ms. Colwin as one of the Nation’s Most Powerful Rising Employment Attorneys.

Widely regarded as one of the top national legal analysts on the Fox News Network, she regularly appears on the network to discuss critical national legal issues.

New York
U.S. District Courts, New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar
Professional Liability Underwriting Society
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association
National Association of Insurance Women
New York County Lawyers Association
The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
Council on Litigation Management
Victoria A. Lipnic
Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Victoria A. Lipnic serves as a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was first named to the Commission by President Obama in 2010, when she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a five-year term. In 2015 she was re-nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a second five-year term. On January 25, 2017, she was named Acting Chair of the Commission by President Donald J. Trump, a position she held for nearly two and a half years.

During her tenure as Acting Chair, Lipnic led the Commission to major accomplishments on both policy and operational matters. Because of her work on the Commission's 2015-2016 Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace (a panel she co-chaired with then-Commissioner Chai Feldblum), the Commission was well-positioned when the #MeToo movement arrived in the fall of 2017. Lipnic ensured that the Commission doubled-down on the work of the Select Task Force and used every tool of the agency's resources, from outreach to education to enforcement, to lead on the harassment issue. She worked closely with Congress to secure additional resources for the agency. She also highlighted age discrimination as one of her signature issues, leading the Commission to hold a public meeting on the topic and culminating in a report in June 2018. During her tenure as Acting Chair, the Commission also made major strides on operational matters. The Commission saw the most dramatic improvement in its backlog of private sector charges, reducing it to the lowest level in 13 years. And, she created the position of Chief Data Officer for the agency, its first ever, and oversaw the re-organization of the agency's new Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics, the most significant operational change to the agency in 25 years.

Throughout her tenure, Commissioner Lipnic has played a key role in a wide variety of Commission activities and policies. Immediately upon her arrival, she was integral in the Commission's development of regulations under the bipartisan ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She has worked to promote the Commission giving public hearing, and often guidance, to important workplace issues such as the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, employer-provided wellness programs, harassment prevention, and the use of social media in the workplace and big data in employment. In 2014, she helped lead the agency's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including organizing an event in Chicago, Illinois, to recognize the pioneering role of female flight attendants in the early enforcement of Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination. She has also taken great interest in issues relating to equal pay, the good governance of the Commission, increased transparency and public participation in policymaking, and the proper role of the EEOC as a regulatory enforcement agency.

Commissioner Lipnic has brought to the EEOC a breadth of experience working with federal labor and employment laws. From 2002 to 2009, she served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards, where she oversaw the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and the Office of Labor Management Standards. During her time as Assistant Secretary, among other accomplishments, she oversaw the development of the nation's first military family leave regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act and led the OFCCP's efforts on equal pay. She has also worked on Capitol Hill as Workforce Policy Counsel to the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before her work for Congress, she acted as in-house counsel for labor and employment matters to the U.S. Postal Service for six years. She also served as a special assistant for business liaison on the staff of then U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Malcolm Baldrige. Immediately prior to her service at the Commission, she was of counsel to the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in its Washington, D.C., office.

She received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Allegheny College and her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. She grew up as "the mayor's daughter" - her father was the mayor of her hometown of Carrolltown, Pennsylvania, for 25 years. She says he taught her from an early age the importance of civic participation and of effective and accountable government.
Michele Fenice
Vice President, Claim Leader, Chubb Insurance
Michele Fenice is Vice President, EPL Claim Leader for the East Region at Chubb. Michele leads a team of lawyers and insurance professionals handling employment practices liability litigation matters. Michele joined the organization in May 2004.

Before to joining Chubb, Michele spent time at Gulf Insurance Group as well as AIG. Prior to entering the insurance industry, Michele was an associate with the law firm of Gorlick, Kravitz & Listhaus.

Michele received her law degree from New York Law School and her undergraduate degree from Albright College.

Jennifer Weinstein
Assistant Vice President, Management Liability Claims, OneBeacon Insurance Group
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