A Lawyer’s Guide to the Employee Handbook


Re-Broadcast on January 11, 2018

The employee handbook is a critical document that is referenced in nearly every employment case. This presentation will offer crucial insight for attorneys that counsel both companies in the preparation of employee handbooks and a handbook’s applicability, as well as employees and how the employee handbook applies to them. This presentation is essential for any attorney that practices labor and employment law, as it will articulate a thorough review of common issues that arise out of the employee handbook, as well as discuss relevant emerging issues within labor and employment law and how those issues can be mitigated through a well-written employee handbook.

This course is co-sponsored by Wolters Kluwer.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   The Employee Handbook Overview
•   Social Media & The Internet At Work
•   Emerging Topics
•   Case Law Review

Date / Time: January 11, 2018

•  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•  12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•  11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•  Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•  On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.


Kathleen C. Chavez, Esq. is a founding partner of Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC.

Ms. Chavez earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1998 from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University in 1995. She was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1998 and is admitted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Trial Bar, Federal Court of Claims and has been admitted pro hac vice in cases nationwide.

Ms. Chavez is an accomplished trial attorney who has extensive complex civil litigation experience (including class, multi-plaintiff, mass tort and individual), including multi-district litigation (“MDL”), federal and state civil litigation, administrative proceedings and arbitration. She frequently serves in leadership roles, on committees and as a team member in some of the most challenging and transformative complex civil litigation nationwide. Her practice areas include a range of complex matters, involving competition law, consumer fraud and unfair trade practices law, environmental law, technology law, intellectual property and trademark law, qui tam law, civil rights law, contract law, Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) law, labor and employment law and hour, insurance and other state and federal statutory and common law claims.

Ms. Chavez has utilized her diverse experience and unique background to consistently provide invaluable contributions in cases that require the cooperation and collaboration of multiple plaintiffs’ counsel. Whether as a leader or a team member, Ms. Chavez consistently offers an unparalleled level of advocacy, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to her clients. Recoveries from the cases in which she has been involved (including verdicts, judgments and settlements) exceed $7 billion dollars and involve a diverse range of complex civil claims.

Ms. Chavez is a member of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), the Chicago Bar Association (“CBA”), the Federal Bar Association (“FBA”), the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and the Kane County Bar Association (“KCBA”) and the Womens Bar Association of Illinois (“WBAI”). She is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, and has received numerous recognitions and distinctions, including certification as an American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) Employment Panel Arbitrator; Leading Women Lawyers; and Top Employment Lawyers for Employees, Chicago Lawyer Magazine; Top Women Lawyers, Top 10 % of Lawyers in the USA, Lawyers of Distinction; Chicago Lawyer Magazine; and inclusion in selective and peer-reviewed organizations such as: Leading Lawyers, Esteemed Lawyers of America® and Lawyers of Distinction.

Elizabeth C. Chavez, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC. Ms. Chavez received her juris doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2016, she was licensed to practice in the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

Ms. Chavez practices in the areas of complex civil litigation, civil rights and labor and employment law. She has experience representing employees in front of administrative agencies (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Department of Labor) and state and federal courts. Ms. Chavez recently obtained a $6.45 million jury verdict on behalf of two plaintiffs who brought claims against their former employer and alleged the employer subjected them to a hostile work environment because of their sex. Davis, et al. v. Packer Engineering, Inc. (Case No. 11-cv-07923, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois).

Ms. Chavez is a member of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), the Chicago Bar Association (“CBA”), the Federal Bar Association (“FBA”), and the Kane County Bar Association (“KCBA”). She is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (“WBAI”). Ms. Chavez most recently spoke at the Kane County Bar Association Employment and Labor Law Seminar (Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment); mylawCLE (HIPAA Law for Lawyers: A Must-Know Guide to New Compliance Requirements); (Understanding the Basics, and Not-So-Basics, of the Attorney-Client Privilege & Work Product Doctrine); and (International Trademark Registration: Advantages & Disadvantages of International Registration (IR) Through the Madrid Protocol)

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Section I. The Employee Handbook
a) Is an employee handbook a contract?
b) What Every Handbook Should Include…
c) Enforcement
d) Problematic Provisions
e) Practice Pointers

Section II. Social Media & The Internet At Work
a) Policies
b) Usage and Monitoring
        i. Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
        ii. Maintaining Records and Computer Search History

Section III. Emerging Topics
a) Zero-Tolerance Drug Policy (Medical Marijuana and the ADA)
b) Password Protection Policies
c) Bonus Structures—how much detail does there need to be?

Section IV. Case Law Review