Article Summary

"Changing Currents in Employment Law" is the D.C. Bar's annual three-hour event featuring legal updates and practice tips from the area's top employment attorneys — all for CLE credit. TELG's Scott Oswald serves as faculty chair and will moderate the event on October 25, 2023. Here he previews the panel on spotting potential discrimination during mass layoffs with panelist Christopher Wilkinson of Perkins Coie LLP.

This article by was published by The Employment Law Group, P.C. on June 27, 2023.

Changing Currents 2023 – Panel Preview: Discrimination in Mass Layoffs



» “Changing Currents in Employment Law” will take place on October 25, 2023. Click here for more details and registration options.


(Transcribed and edited lightly by The Employment Law Group)

R. Scott Oswald:Welcome to our preview of this year’s “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” the D.C. Bar’s three-hour fast-paced fall CLE covering cutting edge topics in employment law.

I’m Scott Oswald. I am faculty chair of “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” and I am joined by Christopher Wilkinson who is a senior counsel at the law firm of Perkins Coie.

Hey, Chris!

Christopher Wilkinson: Hey, how are you doing, Scott? Glad to be here.

Oswald: Well, we are really happy to have you here as well – in particular speaking at this year’s “Changing Currents in Employment Law.”

Your panel is “Bias Cuts? How to Avoid (or Prove) Discrimination in a Mass Layoff,” and boy, Chris, we’ve seen – just all over the news – tech, firms, banks, and all kinds of big businesses downsizing really seemingly in droves lately. Tell us just a little bit about your panel and your co-panelists.

Wilkinson: Our panel will walk through the legal landscape facing employers as they embark on thinking through RIFs and layoffs and employees who may be subject to some form of downsizing. The legal landscape here is pretty complex, and the pitfalls for employers can be costly.

Oswald: So, if I’m in the audience, let’s say, and I come to Changing Currents and I’m hearing your panel this year, what can I expect to learn?

Wilkinson: Well, you can expect to learn a lot of different things. There are questions that come up on any of these issues: What’s the current state of the law? How federal and state laws may apply when you’re thinking about RIFs? What actions can employers take that can ensure that they’re not targets of potential discrimination claims?

But, you know, one of the things in my experience is that these RIF decisions move lightning fast and can get messy, so this presents opportunities for lawyers representing workers. The panel will really walk through something that moves pretty quickly – more for employers themselves. Employees also can be at risk for mistakes that employers will make.

Oswald: Chris, thank you. I am really looking forward to seeing you at this year’s “Changing Currents in Employment Law.”

It’ll be October 25th, 2023, at the D.C. Bar headquarters. You can join us live or virtually on your Zoom screen. We look forward to seeing you then.


R. Scott Oswald is managing principal of The Employment Law Group, P.C. Christopher Wilkinson is senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP.


» “Changing Currents in Employment Law” will take place on October 25, 2023. Click here for more details and registration options.