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2021 Webinar: Walking the Line Without Crossing It: How to Have Respectful Conversations in the Workplace

May 4, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

ALFA International repurposed some of the innovative and transformative 2021 International Client Seminar (ICS) sessions into the “Encore Transformation Webinar Series.” The session titled, “Walking the Line Without Crossing It: How to Have Respectful Conversations in the Workplace,” was offered as a complimentary webinar on May 4, 2021, at 12:00 pm Central Time.  CLE credit is available for this webinar. 

Click here to view the webinar recording. 

Webinar Materials:

About the Webinar:

This webinar is an encore presentation of a session from ALFA International’s International Client Seminar (ICS) this past March. During this session, the panel discusses how conversations in the workplace (and outside of the workplace) have become more difficult and contentious as people discuss racial, sexual and political issues, and react with hostility and sometimes violence to the opinions of others. This panel will explore the underlying cause of the visceral reactions we sometimes have to the comments of others and address how to have a greater understanding of varying perspectives among those in the workplace and how to engage in respectful dialogues. There will be a live Q&A with the panel after the recording to answer any questions attendees may have.


JOEL HLAVATY is one of the founding partners of Frantz Ward LLP, the ALFA International member firm in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a member of its Management Committee. Joel focuses his practice on the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment litigation, and regularly appears in federal and state courts and administrative agencies of all jurisdictions on claims arising under federal and state labor and employment laws. Joel graduated from John Carroll University with honors with a double major in philosophy and psychology and a minor in mathematics, and he received his law degree with honors from the University of Akron. Prior to entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He focuses his practice on the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment litigation. Joel routinely advises employers on all aspects of their relationships with employees, as well as with respect to matters concerning litigation prevention and human resources management, and he regularly defends them in federal and state courts of all jurisdictions on claims arising under the various federal and state labor and employment laws. He also represents employers with respect to complaints and charges filed with the EEOC and OCRC, NLRB and SERB, and with OSHA and the DOL, as well as with health care and ERISA issues and complaints, and collective bargaining issues and strike disputes. Joel is also a frequent presenter at seminars and management training programs on a wide variety of topics. Joel is a member of the Ohio Bar Association and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and is the past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Cleveland Bar Association. In 2010 and continuing, Joel was named one of Ohio’s Super Lawyers and is listed in U.S. News Best Lawyers in Cleveland.


CHARLES (CJ) HARKNESS leads Diversity Affairs at Baldwin Wallace University. As the Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator stationed in the Office of the President, CJ provides senior leadership as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Currently, he is charged with oversight of the University’s diversity initiatives impacting all facets of the BW community. Outside of his work in higher education, CJ serves as Pastor of People’s Community Church in Berea, Ohio. He earned degrees from Mount Union College and Ashland Theological Seminary. In addition to diversity management, CJ has served the community through his work as a consultant, program manager, course instructor and non-profit board member. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., CJ has a passion for helping others reach their potential and strives to accomplish this through diligent advocacy, candid advising and provocative programming.

BYRONA J. MAULE is a shareholder in the Oklahoma City-based ALFA International member firm, Phillips Murrah P.C., where she practices Labor and Employment Law. She represents corporations in all areas of labor and employment law transactions and litigation, such as contracts, independent contractor agreements, policies and procedures, unemployment, EEOC/state human rights charges, wage and hour compliance, and provides employment training for businesses and governmental entities. Byrona is a former Commissioner on the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission; she frequently conducts employment law training and regularly authors on current labor and employment law issues. Byrona graduated Order of the Barristers from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law in 1986.

KIM METRICK is Vice President, Employment Law, Legal Operations and Investigations for the Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain with more than 8,000 pharmacies across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kim began her career with Walgreens in 1995 as a Senior Attorney and has held various management positions. In her current role, Kim is responsible for leading a team of employment law and employee benefits attorneys and legal staff professionals engaged in a broad-based national employment and accessibility law practice. Together they work with Business Leaders and Human Resources to support employment decisions that reduce risk and drive business objectives. Kim also oversees the Legal Operations Function at Walgreens. Prior to joining Walgreens, Kim was an associate with the law firm of Ross and Hardies (now McGuire Woods). Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Kim is a frequent speaker on employment law topics and is active in various community service organizations. A longtime advocate of diversity within the legal industry, she is a past President of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. Her work to advance women’s initiatives was also recognized by Best Lawyers magazine, where she was awarded a Woman of Influence award in 2017. She was also the 2018 recipient of the Women’s Bar Foundation Rise Up and Reach Back award for her contributions to the legal profession and efforts to advance women’s initiatives in law. Kim serves on the University of Michigan, Political Science Advisory Board and the Posse Foundation Advisory Board.

TOM SMITH is Vice President, Associate General Counsel of Dick’s Sporting Goods (headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA), which he joined in 2012. Tom oversees human resources, privacy, e-commerce and firearms licensing and provides support for various business functions, including the customer service, procurement, and strategic investments teams. Tom is also actively involved in risk and compliance matters and leads the Company’s COVID 19 store operating requirements legal team, responsible for the analysis of state and local orders governing store operations and providing guidance on CDC recommendations, health and safety best practices and de-escalation procedures. Prior to joining Dick’s, Tom was Vice President of Legal and Employee Relations for Charming Shoppes, Inc. in Bensalem, PA. His prior employment also includes serving as General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources for PMC Group, Inc., a Philadelphia-based chemicals and plastics company, and law firm experience as a Partner in DeRaymond & Smith in Easton, Pennsylvania, and an associate in the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith. Tom obtained his law degree, cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law in 1988. He is an active musician who has played bass guitar for one or more rock bands continuously since 1982 and is an avid outdoorsman and nature enthusiast.


May 4, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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Taylor Doherty
(312) 642-5244