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Workplace Shooting: Employers’ Legal Obligations and Survival Strategies

Total Credits
1 - 1.5
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With a number of high-profile workplace shootings being reported, employers have begun asking with greater frequency what should they do to prepare their company and employees for such an event. As an employer, what are your legal responsibilities if a shooting occurs in your workplace or at a company-sponsored or sanctioned event? For you and your employees, what are the recommended survival strategies? Are employers obligated to offer survival training? Are employers liable if they don't? These questions and many more will be addressed.

Lecturer Bios

Andrew W. Singer, Esq.

Andrew W. Singer leads Tannenbaum Helpern's Employment Law Practice Group, which offers a full spectrum of legal services from everyday counseling to complex employment litigation. With extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, he regularly advises companies with various human resource and compliance issues:


  • draft and negotiate employment agreements and executive compensation structures
  • draft non-competition, non-solicit and confidentiality agreements
  • counsel companies on restrictive covenant enforceability
  • draft and negotiate severance agreements


  • wage and hour compliance, including overtime computation and exemptions from overtime, minimum wage, payment and deduction from wages, commissions and draw structures, bonus and incentive compensation, governmental wage and hour audits, recordkeeping, and federal and state labor laws
  • independent contractors, misclassification analyses, consulting agreements, and governmental audits
  • privacy concerns, including federal and state workplace privacy laws, off-duty conduct laws, drug-testing, and background and credit-checks

HR Policies

  • social media policies and technology and e-mail usage policies
  • anti-discrimination, including sexual harassment, retaliation, accommodating the disabled and religion, and handling internal corporate investigations
  • employee termination, WARN Act compliance, and COBRA
  • human resource and compliance counseling, including drafting and reviewing employee handbooks, drafting job descriptions, vacation and PTO policies, family and medical leave compliance, military leave policies, and issues related to employment applications

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

  • defend discrimination and retaliation claims based upon sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability, age and any other protected class in federal and state courts
  • handle discrimination matters filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights

A frequent speaker on employment law topics and emerging trends, Andrew regularly conducts training seminars for supervisory and managerial employees covering equal employment laws and sexual harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, wage and hour laws, independent contractor misclassification, workplace violence, social media policies, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other leave policies, workforce reduction and the WARN Act, and other employment law developments.

Andrew has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Mark W. Smith, Esq.

Mark W. Smith is the founder of Smith Valliere PLLC. Having worked as a trial lawyer and business attorney for over a decade, Mr. Smith's courtroom accomplishments have captured the covers of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Law Journal and have been reported in every major media outlet. The media calls Mr. Smith "a powerhouse lawyer," a "rising public intellectual," "a high-stakes, high-profile Wall Street litigator" and "one of the fastest rising legal stars in the country." Mr. Smith is also a New York Times bestselling author of four books, a former professor of law, and frequently appears as an expert legal commentator throughout the national media.

Mr. Smith has tried jury and bench trials in state and federal court and has litigated cases involving billions of dollars. He has tried cases involving complex synthetic derivative financial products, real estate transactions, large corporate raiding efforts, partnership disputes and international commodity trades. As co-counsel in a federal jury trial, Mr. Smith won a million-dollar judgment in a precedent-setting civil rights case that a cover story in The New York Times proclaimed to be the largest of its kind in New York history. Mr. Smith tried the largest no-fault insurance trial in U.S. history for $23 million, and represented New York businesses in a multi-billion dollar challenge to New York's participation in the "cap and trade" scheme called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Mr. Smith represented Texas state legislators before the United States Supreme Court and represented African-American women seeking to start a hair braiding company in a highly publicized constitutional challenge to New York state economic regulations.

After graduating from the New York University School of Law, Mr. Smith clerked for a federal trial court judge. Upon the completion of his clerkship, Mr. Smith joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York City. From there, he joined the high profile, nationally recognized law firm of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP where he was a full partner for several years.

Mr. Smith's legal practice covers a broad spectrum of areas, including complex commercial disputes in the following: business, employment, computer software, securities, civil rights, bankruptcy, constitutional, real estate, intellectual property, medical malpractice, class actions, casinos and antitrust matters. Mr. Smith has litigated matters involving major international companies such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia, A.I.G., Adelphia Communications Corp, Talk Miramax, FoxMeyer Drug Company, Continental Grain Company, Unilever, Salomon Smith Barney, and the U.S. Trust Company.

Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Smith is often sought out as an advisor to companies and individuals seeking to avoid engaging in activities leading to costly disputes or legal liability. Mr. Smith has provided counsel to clients engaged in a wide variety of commercial transactions and business dealings including companies doing business in China, Hong Kong, and the European Union. Mr. Smith has advised clients in connection with matters involving employment, severance, licensing, agency, assignment, intellectual property, film financing, publishing, settlement, and secured lending agreements and arrangements. Mr. Smith has advised creditors, debtors, and debtors-in-possession on bankruptcy issues. He has advised magazines, pet product companies, bestselling authors, bank trustees, bloggers, music organizations, attorneys, and celebrity clients.

As both a former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law, and former editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Mr. Smith has been recognized as a legal expert by several publications such as Policy Experts 2003: The Insider Guide to Public Policy Experts and Organizations, The Journalist's Guide to Legal Experts, and Policy Experts 2000: A Guide to Public Policy Experts.

Mr. Smith has frequently appeared as an expert legal analyst throughout the national media and appears regularly on CNN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNBC. He has also been the subject of numerous articles in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, the New York Observer, the National Law Journal, Slate, The Hill and ABC News' The Note.

Mr. Smith is a member of the American Theatre Wing's Advisory Committee and a Broadway Tony Awards voter. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Ball Players of America.

Mr. Smith has achieved an AV Preeminent Lawyer ranking by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest ranking available for an attorney. Mr. Smith's professional and personal accomplishments earned him an Alumnus of the Year honor from the University of South Carolina's Honors College and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bronx, New York Conservative Committee.

Born in Maryland and raised in Vermont, Mr. Smith played semi-professional baseball in the Northern League for the Saxtons River Pirates. He then went on to receive a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of South Carolina where he was a member of the All American Debate Team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

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