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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), together with the Retail Litigation Center (RLC), kicked off the second annual Retail Law Conference in Chicago on Nov. 8. The event’s first day was attended by a record-breaking number of attendees, according to Arlington, Va.-based RILA. The conference runs through Nov. 9
Open to retail and consumer product general counsel, senior legal executives, the conference aims to help retailers navigate the current legal landscape of the industry.
“The Retail Law Conference is an outstanding opportunity for retailers and their legal teams to increase their legal knowledge and learn how their peers in the industry are managing the many challenges affecting retail,” noted Janet Dhillon, EVP, general counsel and secretary at Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and RLC chair.
Added RILA President Sandy Kennedy, “We’ve … heard nothing but excellent feedback from attendees on the quality of networking and content from today’s presentations.” Kennedy promised “another great day tomorrow ,with a lineup of outstanding speakers and a forward-looking agenda.”
The inaugural day’s sessions began with a panel discussion on California law, during which general counsels from Jo-Ann Stores and Whole Foods Market discussed the state’s laws that affect the retail industry. The session included enforcement policies and the challenges of compliance, and explored the legal developments around such issues as employment laws, Song Beverly, Proposition 65 and supply chain.
The day continued with a panel of corporate compliance officers discussing the challenges of today’s ever-expanding government regulation. Moderated by Jacey Kaps, parnter at Rumberger Kirk and Caldwell PA in Orlando, Fla., the panel included Phyllis Harris, SVP and chief compliance officer at Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Susan Pifer, chief compliance Officer at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc.
After lunch, attendees discussed the NLRB specialty health care decision with conversation centering on quickie elections, the application of NLRB standards to a union-free employer’s policies and procedures, reporting obligations under the LMRDA, labor board initiatives, and a new government workplace notice of employee rights.
Finally, Mark Halperin co-author of Game Change, told attendees what they can expect the political landscape to look like next year.