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Philly SHRM Webinar

The issues of harassment, discrimination, diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias are among the most critical issues and challenges facing employers today. Employers cannot stop the discussion at just talking about the legal and textbook definitions of harassment and discrimination. Gone must be the days where employers simply check a box and provide generic and dry training on harassment and discrimination, often with an outdated video that is not relatable.

This session will focus on how to train managers and employees beyond the legal definitions of harassment and discrimination. If employers want to create a truly diverse, inclusive and safe workplace and culture, the focus has to be on what is appropriate vs. inappropriate and what makes people feel safe and included, rather than on what is “illegal.” The training needs to be engaging and interactive, giving employees real world examples of issues that may arise in their workplace, whether on-site, at a customer location, or at a work party or retreat. The training must not shy away from talking about important topics such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and how they can infiltrate the workplace either through overt discrimination/harassment or through unconscious biases and micro-aggressions.

Deirdre Groenen is Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel for Innovative Benefit Planning, LLC. Prior to joining the company, she worked in private practice and employment lawyer and she served as the Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel for a growing company for 7 years. She will discuss her real world experience of developing and implementing sensitivity and diversity training in the company and will provide practical takeaways and lessons learned to help you develop and evolve your company’s training initiatives.

Speaker: Deirdre Groenen, Esquire

Deirdre is an experienced employment lawyer and leader in human resources.

Deirdre has a unique background of litigation and in-house experience with 7 years in civil defense litigation, including extensive work in employment litigation and counseling, followed by 7 years leading, developing and scaling a Human Resources Department, and its policies and initiatives, to meet the needs of a dynamic and fast-growing company.

She has extensive experience in a variety of employment litigation and counseling matters, including FLSA classification audits and analysis, diversity and inclusion training, discrimination and harassment claims, retaliation claims, FMLA and ADA claims and enforcement, and other matters.

In her prior in-house role, Deirdre developed and scaled the Human Resources Department and its functions to meet the needs of a business, which grew from 800 employees in 2011 to 2,400 employees in 2018. She oversaw all areas of Human Resources, including employee handbook and other policy development, training on sensitivity, diversity and inclusion, workers’ compensation claims, and FMLA, ADA, and other leave administration. She was responsible for employee relations and investigation of harassment and discrimination claims.

In her current in-house role at Innovative Benefit Planning, LLC, she serves as an in-house attorney on legal matters and oversees her company’s internal Human Resources Department. She also serves as a Human Resources consultant to Innovative’s external clients, helping them navigate and tackle HR and compliance issues.


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