2019 EEOC-Denver Training Seminar (SOLD OUT)

This event qualifies for 7.5 SHRM


This seminar satifies the 8-hour annual training requirement for federal EEO Counselors and federal EEO Investigtors.

This seminar has been awarded 7.5 HRCI credits.

This seminar has been awarded 9 CLE Credits (Colorado)


EEOC-Denver Agenda

(This seminar will consist of 90-minute topic modules. Unless otherwise noted, modules will provide a legal review and panel discussion of the EEOC law specified. Legal review will be given by an EEOC attorney. Unless otherwise noted, all panels will consist of high-ranking EEOC/CCRD enforcement/investigative personnel and will be moderated by an EEOC attorney.)


7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. : Registration and Continental Breakfast


8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. : Welcome

Elizabeth Cadle, District Director, Phoenix District Office


8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. : Module 1

                     Harassment in the Workplace – Taking a Wrong Turn

8:15 am – 9:00 am

Lucila G. Rosas, Supervisory Administrative Judge

Phoenix District Office


Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates all laws enforced by the EEOC. This session will discuss illegal harassment and EEOC’s mandate to combat all forms of workplace harassment.


Panel Discussion

9:00 am – 9:45 am

Amy Burkholder, Director, Denver Field Office

Christopher Padilla, Supervisory Investigator, Denver Field Office

Anick Flores, Systemic Investigator, Phoenix District Office


Lucila G. Rosas, Supervisory Administrative Judge

Phoenix District Office


On October 17, 2013, an EEOC Investigator conducted a face-to-face intake interview with a Complainant. Complainant made several allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. This panel will discuss where the company took wrong turns in its duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct harassing behavior.


9:45 am – 10:00 am                      Break


10:00 am – 11:30 am: Module 2

                     Legal Update: Retaliation

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Lisa Schnall, Senior Attorney

Office of Legal Counsel


Retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination and the most common discrimination finding. EEO laws prohibit punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination. This session will discuss recent retaliation cases and provide practical information and advice about legal compliance and prevention strategies.


Panel Discussion

10:45 am – 11:30 am

Supervisory Investigator, Denver Field Office

Shannon Breen, Systemic Investigator, Phoenix District Office

Senior Investigator, Denver Field Office


Lisa Schnall, Attorney, Office of Legal Counsel


This panel will review a systemic investigation involving allegations of sexual harassment and retaliatory discharge. The panel will discuss how a group of complainants, unrepresented by legal counsel and inexperienced in the law, were able to make a credible claim of retaliation.


11:30 am – 1:00 pm:                     Luncheon


11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Mediation – Panel Discussion

                                  Melinda Caraballo, Deputy Director, Phoenix District Office

                                  Maria Vela, Mediator, Denver Field Office

                                  Mediator, Colorado Civil Rights Division


Elizabeth Cadle, District Director, Phoenix District Office


Mediation is an informal and confidential way to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral mediator, who is trained to help people discuss their differences. Mediators guides parties to work out their own solutions to problems. This panel will discuss the benefits to mediation in an EEOC and/or CCRD charge.


12:45 pm – 1:00 pm:                    Break


1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Module 3

                 The Americans with Disabilities Act

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Rita Kittle, Supervisory Trial Attorney

Denver Field Office


This session will provide an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the employer’s requirement to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business.


Panel Discussion

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

Amy Burkholder, Director, Denver Field Office

Rita Kittle, Supervisory Trial Attorney, Denver Field Office

Helbis Varangot, Senior Investigator, Denver Field Office


Rita Kittle, Supervisory Trial Attorney, Denver Field Office


The panel will discuss an ADA systemic investigation involving a company’s leave policy and practice and explore the employer-provided leave policy and where this conflicted with the ADA. This panel will also discuss other reasonable accommodation issues under the ADA.


2:30 pm – 2:45 pm:                       Break


3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Legal Update – Be an EEOC Partner, Not an EEOC Statistic

                               Laurie Jaeckel, Senior Trial Attorney

                               Denver Field Office


This session will provide an overview and analysis of what is on the legal horizon. Be an EEOC partner, not an EEOC statistic. (No panel discussion will follow)


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Executive Panel – Learn from the Experts

                                (Panel discussion only)


                               Amy Burkholder, Director, Denver Field Office

                               Elizabeth Cadle, District Director, Phoenix District Office

                               Aubrey Elenis, Director, Colorado Civil Rights Division

                               Melinda Caraballo, Deputy Director, Phoenix District Office


Sam Anderson, Outreach Coordinator, Colorado Civil Rights Division


When does a charge of discrimination push the “alert button” for the EEOC and/or CCRD investigative staff and causes a charge to continue moving forward in an investigation? This final panel of experts will discuss wrong turns that some companies have made and what lessons could be learned.


NOTE: There will be no wait list for this seminar once registration closes.

Speaker and Presenter Information

This is the only seminar which has 100% of the faculty from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Colorado Civil Rights Commission.


Samuel Anderson: Sam Anderson is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD), a Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Prior to stepping into his current role with the Division, Sam mediated and conciliated settlements in housing, employment, and public accommodation cases. Sam has also overseen the Division's intake unit and investigated discrimination claims. Prior to joining the Division, Sam served as a Law Clerk in Colorado's First Judicial District for the Honorable Judge Philip J. McNulty and the Honorable Judge Dennis Hall. Sam earned his J.D. in 2012 from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and his B.A., cum laude in 2007 from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Sam was admitted to practice law in Colorado in October 2012. The CCRD is charged with enforcing the State of Colorado’s antidiscrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.  The CCRD promotes and protects civil rights throughout the State, and works to eliminate and prevent discrimination through investigation, education, mediation and enforcement. 

Amy Burkholder currently serves as Director for United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Denver Field Office. Prior to serving as the Director, Ms. Burkholder was the Denver Field Office Enforcement Manager. Originally from Indiana, Ms. Burkholder graduated from Loyola University in Chicago, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Shortly after obtaining her degree, she began working for the EEOC-Chicago District Office as an investigator. Later, Ms. Burkholder moved into the systemic investigator role. From the EEOC-Chicago District Office, Ms. Burkholder was promoted to Director of the Las Vegas Local Office. While serving as the director of the Las Vegas Local Office, Ms. Burkholder worked with a strong team and oversaw the investigation of several high-profile cases including the conciliation of Holiday Systems International in Las Vegas. In her first year as the Denver Field Director the Denver Office entered into strong conciliation agreements with Coca-Cola Refreshments, Teamsters, and Cargill Meats. Ms. Burkholder believes the Denver Field Office has one of the best EEOC teams in the nation and is impressed with the strong work ethic of her staff. She believes the Denver Field Office staff has earned a good reputation with the public as being fair, thorough, and professional. Ms. Burkholder occupies her spare time in advocacy work and while in Las Vegas became involved with The Shade Tree domestic violence shelter. Ms. Burkholder has a strong interest in providing employment training for victims of domestic violence.

Shannon Breen Else has been with the EEOC since 2001.  Ms. Breen Else began her career as an Investigator in the Chicago District Office.  In March 2005, she transferred to the Denver Field Office under the Phoenix District Office.  Ms. Breen Else was selected as the Phoenix District’s Systemic Coordinator in January 2009 and was promoted to Lead Systemic Investigator in December 2009. As a Lead Systemic Investigator, Ms. Breen Else leads the systemic program in investigating large cases that involve pattern and practice, policy and class cases that have a broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic location.  Ms. Breen Else also assists and guides all other systemic investigations within her District.  She regularly presents and trains Investigators nationwide on systemic topics.  Ms. Breen Else has demonstrated a strong commitment to enforcement, outreach, education, and partnership with other offices and agencies. Ms. Breen Else is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. She received the prestigious EEOC Chair’s Opportunity to Reward Excellence (CORE) in 2005 for the Abercrombie & Fitch Consent Decree. The EEOC Chair’s Honor Awards for Champion of Justice and Delivering Results Through Teamwork in 2015 for the Patterson-UTI Drilling Consent Decree. Ms. Breen graduated with honors from Michigan State University.

Rita Byrnes Kittle is Supervisory Trial Attorney for the Denver Field and Albuquerque Area Offices of EEOC. Before joining EEOC in 1999, Ms. Kittle was in private practice in the Denver area for 11 years, specializing in employment and labor law. Ms. Kittle received her Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies from Antioch University through the AFL-CIO George Meany Center for Labor Studies, College Degree Program and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law. She received the Howard Jenkins Award of Excellence in the field of Labor Law. She is admitted to practice in Colorado and Nebraska, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She authored “Successfully Litigating an ADA Case,” Trial Talk, Vol. 55, Issue 3 (republished in The Prairie Barrister, a publication of the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys), and co-authored “Litigating Claims for Hostile Work Environment,” Trial Talk, Vol. 52, Issue 4 (republished in The Prairie Barrister).

Elizabeth Cadle: Elizabeth Cadle was appointed District Director of the Phoenix District Office and a member of the Senior Executive Service, effective October 30, 2016. Ms. Cadle has served as the Deputy District Director in Phoenix since 2011until she was named Acting District Director in November 2015; prior to that she held positions as Enforcement Manager in the New York District Office and Director for the Buffalo Local Office. Ms. Cadle began her inspiring 40-year EEOC career in Buffalo and progressed from clerk-typist to investigator support assistant, investigator, supervisor and enforcement manager. Ms. Cadle developed a strong expertise in systemic case development and served on the 2005 Systemic Task Force. During her tenure in the Phoenix District she directed the investigation of a number of impact cases including Patterson Drilling, a racial harassment case which resulted in a $14 million consent decree; Whitten Inn, where the owner of several hotels forced employees to Anglicize their names in order to work and discharged employees in retaliation if they refused; Pitre Buick, a case where a class of males were subjected to egregious sexual harassment by a sales manager and which settled for over $2 million; and MCM Elegante Hotel, which denied employment to a Muslim applicant because she wore a hijab, resolved via a consent decree with the charging party receiving $100K and the employer changing its hiring practices to allow for religious accommodation. Throughout her management career, Ms. Cadle has used her knowledge and skills to develop and deliver training to supervisors, managers, investigators and ISAs, serving as a national trainer for a variety of Enforcement courses including the New Investigator Training program.

Melinda Caraballo is originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin; where she graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Majoring in Criminal Justice. She later moved to Puerto Rico and attended "La Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico" where she obtained her Masters in Criminal Justice.  Melinda joined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charlotte, NC District Office in 2005, as a Federal Investigator. In 2010, she served as an Enforcement Supervisor in Phoenix, AZ. Later in 2015, Melinda worked in Washington, D.C. in the Office Federal Program/Field Management Programs as a Program Analyst and most recently Melinda is currently serving as Phoenix District’s Deputy Director.   Melinda is fluent in Spanish and has also leveraged her language skills to promote EEOC and the laws enforced by the Commission.

Aubrey Elenis was appointed Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division in June 2016. She is a former investigator for the Colorado Civil Rights Division, a Colorado attorney, an active member of the community, and a passionate defender of civil rights.  While working as an attorney at Gordon & Rees, LLP, Elenis counseled and defended clients against claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, harassment, breach of contract, and other labor and employment disputes.  Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Elenis worked at the Colorado Civil Rights Division as an Investigator, and later, as the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution & Outreach Supervisor.  During her time at the Division, she conducted numerous investigations into high-profile allegations of housing and employment discrimination, while also supervising and facilitating mediations and conciliations for the Division and providing Equal Employment training sessions throughout the State. Elenis is a graduate of the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. The CCRD is charged with enforcing the State of Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.  The CCRD promotes and protects civil rights throughout the State, and works to eliminate and prevent discrimination through investigation, education, mediation and enforcement.

Anick Flores is the Lead Systemic Investigator for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the Phoenix District Office which includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Ms. Flores served honorably in the United States Air Force and is a proud Veteran.  Following her five years of military service, Ms. Flores graduated cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminology in 2008. Since joining EEOC in 2009, Ms. Flores has investigated hundreds of charges of employment discrimination under all statues enforced by the EEOC.  Many of these investigations involved pattern and practice and class allegations of systemic discrimination. Ms. Flores’ negotiation skills have resulted in successful conciliation and settlement agreements that have resulted in significant monetary relief for affected class members, implementation of EEO training for employees and management at employers, and changes to employers’ EEO policies and/or practices. Ms. Flores is one of the Commission’s trainers and has conducted nationwide systemic and conciliation training, not only for agency employees but also for the Fair Employment Practices Agencies in her district.   She is currently on a Commission development team to provide nationwide anti-harassment training with a focus on sexual harassment that is currently being delivered in FY’ 2019. Ms. Flores is passionate about educating employers and employees on rights and responsibilities under the statues enforced by the EEOC.

Philip Gross (B.A., M.A., M.P.A.) Philip Gross currently serves as an Enforcement Supervisor. Mr. Gross began his career with EEOC as an Investigator (Bilingual). In this capacity, Mr. Gross investigated charges of discrimination in the private sector. Prior to coming to EEOC, Mr. Gross worked for at the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations. Mr. Gross obtained his B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Spanish and Political Science.  Thereafter, Mr. Gross earned his M.A. degree in Spanish from the University of Georgia. In 2003, Mr. Gross completed his M.P.A. degree at the Graduate School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado-Denver.

Laurie Jaeckel: Laurie Jaeckel is a Trial Attorney in the Denver Field Office of the EEOC. In that role, she has been lead counsel on several employment discrimination cases, including systemic cases under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII. Before joining the EEOC in 2015, Ms. Jaeckel was an associate at Reilly Pozner LLP, where she worked for five years on the firm’s biggest case involving RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraudulent transfer claims. She also served as Special Counsel for the State Public Defenders Office. In 2009 and 2010, Ms. Jaeckel clerked for Judge Carlos Lucero on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Jaeckel graduated first in her class at Northwestern University, where she received a B.A. in American Studies and was a Fulbright scholar. She also graduated first in her class at the University of Denver Strum College of Law. Between college and law school, Ms. Jaeckel worked for two years as a Housing Counselor at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. She is the author of Cunningham v. California: The Shifting Balance of Judge and Jury, 85 DENV. U. L. R. 153 (2007). 

Christopher Padilla (B.S.): Christopher Padilla currently serves as an Enforcement Supervisor. Mr. Padilla began his career with EEOC as an investigator in 1992. He has worked in the capacity of Intake Supervisor. Mr. Padilla currently serves as an Enforcement Supervisor and in this capacity, he supervises investigators and administrative personnel. In fiscal year 2019, Mr. Padilla was selected to train staff in the Phoenix District Office on investigative techniques. Prior to his employment with EEOC, Mr. Padilla was employed with the United States Department of Justice, Department of Corrections and the United States Marshal Service. He also served as an Undercover Officer for the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and worked with the South Metro Task Force. Mr. Padilla is a proud veteran of the US Army and the U.S. Army Colorado National Guard. He was activated to Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield in August 1990. He completed 14 years of total military service and was Honorably Discharged in 1991 at the rank of Staff Sargent 9E6). Mr. Padilla is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver. He received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management. He has graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Academy in Glynco, Georgia. 

Lucila (Lucy) G. Rosas currently serves as the Supervisory Administrative Judge for the Phoenix District Office, where she supervises a team of Administrative Judges and presides over federal sector employment discrimination cases. Prior to this position, Ms. Rosas was a Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the EEOC.  In that capacity, she advised the General Counsel on a wide variety of issues, including litigation, appeals, and amicus briefs.  She also served as the Lead Coordinator of the EEOC’s Immigrant Worker Team (IWT), a team established to address issues affecting immigrant workers, including issues related to farmworkers and human trafficking. From 1999 to 2010, Ms. Rosas was a Senior Trial Attorney with the legal units of both the Phoenix and the San Francisco District Offices of the EEOC.  In that capacity, she litigated employment discrimination cases on behalf of victims of discrimination, including large class actions and cases involving farmworkers and other vulnerable workers.  Ms. Rosas developed and litigated the following key cases:  EEOC/Tamayo v. Harris Farms, Inc., a landmark case involving egregious sexual assault and retaliation of a farmworker woman by her supervisor.  A jury awarded Ms. Tamayo nearly $1 million - the first federal jury verdict of this kind; EEOC v. Go Daddy Software, Inc.,  where a jury found defendant liable and awarded $390,000 to a Moroccan and Muslim worker subjected to retaliatory termination; and  EEOC v. Univ. of Phoenix and Apollo Group, Inc.,  a class case which settled for $1.875 million  for non-Mormon counselors subjected to religious discrimination and retaliation. In 2015, Ms. Rosas was awarded the MAFO Government Employee Leadership Award (GELA) for her national work on behalf of farmworkers and immigrant workers.  In 2011, Ms. Rosas received the Immigrant Liberty Award by the Colorado chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for her advocacy work on behalf of the immigrant community.  She has also been a recipient of the EEOC’s Chairwoman Award for her work in EEOC v. Harris Farms case. Ms. Rosas obtained her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley.  Ms. Rosas resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and three daughters.   She grew up in Southern California and is a former farmworker. 

Lisa Schnall is a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In this capacity, she provides strategic legal counsel and advice on a range of complex employment and legal matters to Commission staff, senior leaders, business owners, managers, attorneys, Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion professionals, employees, and members of the public. She has trained hundreds of managers, Human Resources personnel, business owners, attorneys, investigators, employees, interns, and students, and has represented the Commission domestically and internationally. Between June 2013 and October 2015, Ms. Schnall served as a Special Assistant to EEOC Commissioner Constance S. Barker, the Chair of EEOC’s Small Business Task Force. In this role, she helped the Commissioner develop and implement strategies to help small businesses understand and comply with federal employment discrimination laws. From 2006 to 2009, Ms. Schnall served as a Special Assistant to EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp. Ms. Schnall provided advice to the Chair regarding the development and approval of Commission litigation, amicus participation, and federal sector appellate decisions. She also oversaw the Commission’s Youth@Work Initiative, a national campaign to promote positive work experiences for young adults. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Schnall received an A.B., summa cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis. She received a J.D. from American University, where she served as the Articles Editor of the Journal of Gender, Social Policy, & the Law. She is the proud aunt of a niece and nephew who reside in Denver, Colorado. 

Helbis Varangot (Bio pending)

Maria Vela is a senior mediator with the EEOC-Denver Field Office. Having spent her entire professional career with the EEOC, Ms. Vela joined the EEOC’s Enforcement Unit after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism. She was promoted to the position as an investigator and then to the position as mediator. Ms. Vela was among the original mediators hired when the EEOC Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit (ADR) was developed. Ms. Vela enjoys her role as a mediator and considers ADR a unique and valuable opportunity because it provides an alternative option to investigations. In the ADR process, trained mediators will guide individuals through a process to resolve disputes and craft agreements which benefits both stakeholders of the dispute. Having lived in Denver for about 28 years, Ms. Vela considers Denver her hometown.

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Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 8:00am - 5:00pm

Denver Marriott West
1717 Denver West Boulevard
Golden, CO 80401
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