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Facing the Inevitable Conversation-How Employers Can Help Employees Live with End-of-Life Situations

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Community Grief and Counseling Center at Hospice of the Valley
4850 Union Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124
(408) 559-5600

7:30 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast
8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. – Program

Complimentary (includes continental breakfast)

Click here to register online

Call 408.938.2449, or email:
RSVP requested by Monday, September 17, 2012.

As an employer, what are your responsibilities to:

  • an employee who is facing a serious or life-limiting illness?
  • to the survivors of an employee who dies suddenly?
  • or to an employee who is caring for a seriously-ill spouse or parent?

Facing the emotional, practical and legal challenges of answering these questions is an increasing part of the employer’s Human Resources role.  Hospice of the Valley, a leading nonprofit provider of hospice and palliative care, and grief counseling in Northern California, and the employment law practice of Berliner Cohen have put together a unique, eye-opening educational experience that will examine case studies drawn from real-life situations to help you develop practices and policies and provide meaningful resources for your workforce when they face times of personal crisis.

An employer’s role in the assessment and the understanding of ever-changing regulations and the ability to meet compliance requirements are vital to ensuring an organization’s growth and mitigate liability.  The emotional, practical and legal challenges of assisting employees who are facing serious or life-limiting illness or death are addressed from the very different perspectives of an expert in ethics and grief counseling, and a leading employment law attorney.  Together, they will review common scenarios and provide guidance with regard to the policies and practices that will prepare the HR professional to become a meaningful and supportive resource.

What can you learn from this program?

  1. Understand grief and the impact it can have on employees and learn how to compassionately address the immediate needs of employees who are confronted with serious, life-limiting illness and loss.
  2. Review the legal obligations that employers face in working with employees who are facing serious illness or impending death – whether their own or an immediate family member.
  3. Evaluate the policies and resources that a workplace can provide to any employee.


Brad Leary, LCSW, Director of Social Services & Counseling of Hospice of the Valley, Silicon Valley’s preeminent non-profit provider of hospice, palliative care and grief counseling services.  Brad has over eleven years of healthcare experience with an emphasis in hospice, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations and strategic development of HOV’s counseling services and Community Grief and Counseling Center. Further, he represents Hospice of the Valley in collaboration with Santa Clara University in the Hope Study; Markkula Center for Applied Ethics in the Healthcare Ethics Internship Program; and, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) pilot program.

Hospice of the Valley, based in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, provides end-of-life care and services, including hospice, palliative care and grief counseling for adults and children. The Transitions Program offers emotional support, education, and practical assistance for families facing serious illness. Hospice of the Valley publishes a community website for caregivers and families at A nonprofit organization serving Santa Clara County since 1979, Hospice of the Valley honors all cultures, beliefs, values, and traditions, and is committed to serving its diverse community and providing equitable access to care for all regardless of their financial ability.

Roberta S. Hayashi, Employment Law & Litigation Partner, Berliner Cohen.  Roberta has over twenty-five years experience representing and advising employers in employment law and business litigation.  She has trial experience in wrongful termination, discrimination, and misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information actions in both state and federal court. In June 2003, she was named one of the “Top 50 Women Litigators” in California by The Daily Journal, and named as a 2009 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. She was also named the 2009 Professional Lawyer of the Year by the Santa Clara County Bar Association.  She is a frequent speaker on employment law and legal ethics. She is a faculty member at Lincoln Law School on employment law, past president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and a member of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and Bench/Bar/Media/Police Committee.

Berliner Cohen’s experienced employment law attorneys advise and represent employers and managers on a full range of legal issues affecting the workplace, including harassment and discrimination, unfair competition and trade secrets, wrongful discharge, wage and hour issues, and labor disputes. The firm is one of the largest and oldest law firms in San Jose serving the business and regulatory needs of private business and public agencies. For over 45 years, the Firm has developed the special expertise required by a diverse client base consisting of nationally recognized business interests and a number of Silicon Valley’s largest national and multinational corporations, new ventures, leading real estate developers and brokerages, cutting-edge technology companies, healthcare and other service providers, banking and financial institutions, municipalities, public agencies and individuals. Berliner Cohen also meets the growing demands of the San Joaquin Valley with its expanding offices in Merced and Modesto.

1.5 hours of general CLE credit available.