April 18, 2013

Workshop will focus on employment, labor law

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Understanding relevant law is one the keys to successfully operating a business, and the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host a workshop “Updates in Employment and Labor Law,” on May 3. 

The presentation is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. followed by a networking lunch.  The workshop takes place at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, located at 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale.

The guest speakers include Thomas E. Berry, Jr., A. Courtney Cox and Raven Akram, all from the St. Louis law firm of Sandberg, Phoenix and Von Gontard P.C.  They will discuss pay issues, employment policies and handbooks, labor law updates, social media updates, current trends in employment law, sexual harassment and hiring, discipline and termination. 

Cox represents businesses in employment-related litigation.  He is the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.  In that post, he directed 35 assistant U.S. attorneys and other staff covering the federal court district comprised of the 38 southernmost counties in Illinois.  He was in private practice in Benton for 25 years before becoming U.S. attorney.

Berry has represented clients before state, federal and local administrative agencies and in state and federal courts nationwide.  He has extensive expertise in business management.  The Illinois Business Journal named him one of the 2009 Southwestern Illinois All-Stars, and he is a frequent contributor to the publication. 

Akram’s law practice focuses primarily on business and business litigation, employment law, employment counseling and family law.  The St. Louis Business Journal named her as one of the publication’s “30 Under 30” honorees in 2011.  She volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate with Voices for Children, representing children who are victims of abuse and neglect and advocating for their best interests. 

The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required no later than April 30.  To sign up, or for more information, call 618/536-2424, email sbdc@siu.edu or visit the website at www.siusbdc.com.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.