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Race And National Origin Discrimination In The Workplace

2020 Fall Seminar

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Date Published

October 29, 2020


National Employment Lawyers Association


2020 Fall Seminar, Discrimination, National Origin


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2020 has placed the fight for racial equality in the spotlight with the Black Lives Matter movement and the tragedy of COVID-19. These events have surfaced the harsh realities people of color face every day, including in the workplace. As advocates, we must be equipped to recognize and respond to the nuances of our clients’ situations and the power of this moment. Race And National Origin Discrimination In The Workplace covers cutting-edge issues in race and national origin discrimination cases, how to respond to common defenses, discrimination and intersectionality, how to combat implicit and explicit bias, and much more.


“The Time Has Chosen Us”: Litigating Race & National Origin Claims
Moderator: Marcus G. Keegan
Speakers: Eric Bachman & Maria G. Diaz
Whether you are new to litigating race and national origin discrimination cases or a seasoned attorney, this session will address how to successfully litigate your cases. Topics include how to recognize race and national origin discrimination claims at intake, the incredibly important overlap and differences between §1981 and Title VII claims, and the ways our current moment in the movement for racial equality can impact your case.

Doing The Work: Fighting Racism In The Practice Of Law
Moderator/Speaker: Phillis h. Rambsy
Speakers: Carla D. Brown & Cynthia F. Wilkinson
Implicit biases affect everyone’s perceptions and decisions, and it is up to every individual to do the work of examining and addressing these preconceived notions. Even plaintiffs’ employment lawyers, and members of their staff, are not immune from holding biases that can affect how you select cases, work with your client, and interact with witnesses, opposing counsel, and juries. This training will provide tools to identify the implicit (and explicit) biases in our own practices and make us stronger advocates.

Recognizing And Combatting Implicit Bias In Judges And Juries
Moderator/Speaker: Rebecca L. Salawdeh
Speakers: Honorable Bernice B. Donald & Toni J. Jaramilla
Just as all legal practitioners make evaluations based on their own implicit or explicit biases, so too do employers, judges, juries, and other key decision makers in discrimination cases. Our experts will discuss how to recognize implicit bias and build a case that addresses and combats these biases, from the discriminatory action itself all the way to the jury box.

Intersectional Discrimination In Race & National Origin Cases
Moderator: Kalpana Kotagal
Speakers: Maureen T. Holland & Yvette N.A. Pappoe Rarely does discrimination occur in a vacuum. Too many judges continue to interpret Title VII as compartmentalizing discrimination into discrete categories, often excluding the intersectional experience faced by members of protected classes. This panel will discuss the ways in which race and national origin discrimination are inextricably linked to other types of discrimination such as age and sex, and how to litigate intersectional claims in a post-Bostock world.

The Effects Of Immigration Status On Race & National Origin Litigation
Moderator: M. Nieves Bolaños
Speakers: Marsha L. Rucker & Meredith B. Stewart
There are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, of which an estimated 6-7 million are workers. Most of these workers suffer discrimination and legal abuse in silence due to fear of coming forward. This panel will discuss not only the challenges of taking on representation in these situations, but also what protections exist for these workers.

Proving Pretext In Race & National Origin Discrimination Claims
Moderator: Kira Fonteneau
Speakers: Jason Bailey & Christopher Ho
One key summary judgment battleground in race and national origin cases is proving that the proffered reasons for an employment action are illegitimate and pretextual. This panel will discuss how to prove that pretext exists, including which discovery techniques to use to find evidence that supports your argument.

Addressing Common Defenses To Race & National Origin Claims
Moderator/Speaker: Megan S. Goddard
Speakers: J. Bernard Alexander, III & Michael L. Pitt
When litigating race and national origin claims, there are several common defenses employers will assert. From the rise of fake “diversity” programs at top corporations, to the outmoded jurisprudence surrounding the “severe or pervasive” standard, this panel will discuss how to build your case to address these defenses.

This program is eligible for 8.5 credits (based on 60 minutes), of which 2.50 may qualify for elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion credit, in applicable jurisdictions. NELA certifies that the seminar conforms to the standards for approved activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. NELA is an approved continuing legal education provider in California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont.

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J. Bernard Alexander, III
Alexander Krakow + Glick, LLP

J. Bernard Alexander, III prosecutes demanding private and public sector employment cases. He has tried over sixty cases to... Read More

Eric Bachman

Eric Bachman is a Principal with Zuckerman Law, where he is the Chair of the Discrimination and Retaliation Practices.... Read More

Jason Bailey

Jason Bailey serves as Special Economic Justice Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). As Special... Read More

Maria de las Nieves Bolaños

Maria de las Nieves Bolaños was an attorney with Robin Potter & Associates beginning in 2009 and is now a partner at... Read More

Carla D. Brown

Carla Brown is admitted to practice in state and federal courts throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland.... Read More

Maria G. Diaz

Maria G. Diaz is the founder of THE DIAZ LAW FIRM and serves as Of Counsel to the law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg.... Read More

Hon. Bernice B. Donald

The Honorable Bernice B. Donald, a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit appointed by President... Read More

Christy England

Christy England is the Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow and Policy Advocate at The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law... Read More

Kira Fonteneau

Kira Fonteneau practices in Birmingham, Alabama. Before law school, Kira spent several years working in operations management... Read More

Megan S. Goddard

Megan S. Goddard is an employment discrimination lawyer devoted to protecting equality in the workplace. After attending... Read More

Christopher Ho

Christopher Ho is a senior staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center in San Francisco where, as... Read More

Maureen T. Holland

Maureen T. Holland graduated from Vermont Law School, cum laude. She is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Vermont... Read More

Toni J. Jaramilla

Toni J. Jaramilla believes in creating positive social change through dedicated and compassionate advocacy for the rights of... Read More

Marcus G. Keegan

Marcus G. Keegan graduated from Emory University Law School in 2002, and began his legal career as a Trial Attorney for the... Read More

Kalpana Kotagal

Kalpana Kotagal is a Civil Rights & Employment Partner at Cohen Milstein and co-author of the "Inclusion Rider,"... Read More

Alexandra Mateescu

Alexandra Mateescu is an ethnographer and staff researcher in the Labor Futures initiative at the Data & Society Research... Read More

Yvette N.A. Pappoe

Yvette N.A. Pappoe is an Associate in the Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice Group at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.... Read More

Michael L. Pitt
Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Rivers & Golden, PC

Michael L. Pitt is a founding member of Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers, P.C, representing represents individuals... Read More

Phillis H. Rambsy

Phillis h. Rambsy is a partner in the Spiggle Law Firm, with offices in Nashville, Tennessee, Arlington, Virginia, and... Read More

Marsha L. Rucker

Marsha L. Rucker is the regional attorney for the Birmingham District of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission... Read More

Rebecca L. Salawdeh
Salawdeh Law Office

Rebecca L. Salawdeh has devoted her legal career to the representation of individuals in employment litigation. She has been... Read More

Meredith B. Stewart

Meredith B. Stewart is a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Immigrant Justice Project. Since... Read More

Julia Ticona

Julia Ticona is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, where her research investigates digital... Read More

Cynthia Forman Wilkinson
Wilkinson Law Firm, PC

Cynthia Forman Wilkinson has been representing plaintiffs in individual employment discrimination and civil rights cases for... Read More

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Program Titles and Supporting Materials

This program contains the following components:

“The Time Has Chosen Us”: Litigating Race & National Origin Claims - Video
Doing The Work: Fighting Racism In The Practice Of Law - Video
Recognizing And Combatting Implicit Bias In Judges And Juries - Video
Intersectional Discrimination In Race & National Origin Cases - Video
The Effects Of Immigration Status On Race & National Origin Litigation - Video
Proving Pretext In Race & National Origin Discrimination Claims - Video
Addressing Common Defenses To Race & National Origin Claims - Video
Race and National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace Handout - Paper
Supplemental Materials - Paper
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If applicable, you may obtain credit in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously for this program (see pending/approved list below). If electing credit for this program, registrants in jurisdictions not listed below will receive a Certificate of Completion that may or may not meet credit requirements in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, credit will be only awarded to a paid registrant completing all the requirements of the program as determined by the selected accreditation authority.

Click on jurisdiction for specific details:

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How to Attend

Join the self-paced program from your office, home, or hotel room using a computer and high speed internet connection. You may start and stop the program at your convenience, continue where you left off, and review supporting materials as often as you like. Please note: Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser. We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari for best results.

Technical Requirements
You may access this course on a computer or mobile device with high speed internet (iPhones require iOS 10 or higher). Recommended browsers are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

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