Harvard economist Freeman headlining annual Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute

Richard B. Freeman, the Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute, set for June 11 and 12 at the Seelbach Hilton, 500 S. Fourth St., Louisville. His speech is titled "The Citizens’ Share: Employee Ownership in the Era of Robotization."

The 32nd annual event’s theme this year is, "The Changing Landscape of Modern Employment."

Freeman is currently serving as faculty co-director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School, and is a Senior Research Fellow in Labour Markets at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance. He directs the Science and Engineering Workforce Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

Additionally, Professor Freeman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science. He received the Mincer Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Society of Labor Economics in 2006. In 2007 he was awarded the IZA Prize in Labor Economics. In 2011 he was appointed Frances Perkins Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Professor Freeman's research interests include the job market for scientists and engineers; the transformation of scientific ideas into innovations; Chinese labor markets; restructuring European welfare states, income distribution and equity in the marketplace; and forms of labor market representation and shared capitalism. Recent books include, What Workers Want (2007 2nd edition), What Workers Say: Employee Voice in the Anglo American World (2007), International Differences in the Business Practices & Productivity of Firms (2009), Science and Engineering Careers in the United States (2009), Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options (2010), and The Citizens Share: Putting Ownership Back Into Democracy (Yale Univ Press 2013).

Freeman agreed to the keynote earlier this year when he met Brandeis Professor Ariana Levinson during the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations Mid-Year Fellows Workshop.

Levinson calls him an "amazing mind in the world of economics."

Other event highlights

In addition to Freeman, other speakers include Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, Federal Judge for the U.S.

District Court, Northern District of Illinois; Barry J. Kearney, Office of the General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board; Carolyn L. Wheeler, Office of the General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Honorable Jonathan R. Weatherby, Administrative Law Judge, Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims; and Judge Ann Bailey Smith, Kentucky Circuit Court.

Also speaking will be Professors Christine Cooper from Loyola University Chicago; Marcia McCormick from St. Louis University Law School, Michael Z. Green, Texas A & M University School of Law, Alex B. Long, University of Tennessee College of Law and Ann McGinley, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law.

Area attorneys are also offering up their time for the sessions, including Garry Adams, Clay Daniel Walton Adams PLC; James Noll, chair of the KBA Labor and Employment Law Section; Patricia Thomas Bittel, Employment Arbitrator; Ben Basil, Priddy, Cutler, Naake & Meade PLLC; Tyson Gorman, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP; Lacey Napper, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Sherry Brown Keller, Fogle Keller Purdy, PLLC; Peter J. Naake, Priddy, Cutler, Naake & Meade PLLC; Paul Mollica, Outten & Golden; Douglas McSwain, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP; J. Kent Gregory, Sterling G. Thompson Co.; Pam Q. Devata, Seyfarth Shaw LLP; and Geoffrey Andrews, founder and COO of Social Intelligence Corporation.

Brandeis School of Law Dean Susan Duncan will open the event Thursday morning. Also on Thursday, Judge Pallmeyer will participate in a live skills workshop, titled "Objection! Evidentiary Issues in Employment Litigation," along with Professor Cooper, attorneys Basil, Gorman and Napper, and Brandeis students Aida Almasalkhi, Grace Chambers and Rebecca Reynolds.

Other session topics will include:

  • Arbitration of Employment Disputes - Issues and Awards
  • The ADA at 25
  • The ACA & Wellness Programs: Controlling Medical Costs While Dodging Expensive Employment Claims
  • NLRB Update
  • EEOC Update
  • Workers’ Compensation Update
  • The NLRA and the Evolving Workplace: Technological and Legal Issues
  • Employment Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Question of Ethics?
  • Keeping Hiring Practices Legal: New Data Sources, Background

Professor Levinson said this year’s event should be of interest to a variety of audiences, including those in law, the HR community and the business community.

"HR professionals will benefit because we have high quality speakers from across the country speaking on concrete, up-to-date topics such as hiring using new data sources, new ADA updates, workers compensation, the ACA and wellness and more," Levinson said.

The lineup also includes high ranking officials from the offices of the National Labor Review Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"You just don’t get this opportunity every day. We have national programming happening right here at home," Levinson said.

CLE hours, keynote discount available

The event will offer 14 CLE hours from the Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Bar Associations, including two hours satisfying the Kentucky ethics requirement.

Additionally, re-certification credit hours can be earned toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR from the HR Certification Institute.

Registration is $395 ($50 additional if printed material is requested).

Anyone who is interested in attending Freeman’s keynote speech only can do so for $10.

There is also a 10-percent early bird rate for registrations done prior to May 4.

Registration for the 32nd Annual Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute can be done online.

Program sponsors include:

  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, PC
  • LG&E and KU Services Company
  • Priddy Cutler Naake & Meade PLLC
  • Stites & Harbison PLLC
  • Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP