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Bob Oberstein

Arbitrator, Mediator/facilitator, Fact-finder/Investigator, Trainer and Educator

Bob Oberstein has over 52 years of Labor/Employee Relations experience on all sides of the labor-management table including as a neutral (arbitrator, mediator) in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a Commissioner, Maricopa County's Judicial Merit System Review Commission; Member, City of Phoenix Fire and Police Pension Boards; and Member/Chairman, City of Phoenix Civil Service Board. He is also the recipient of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director's Certificate of Recognition for Achievement in Promoting Positive Labor-Management Relations. Bob has served as Director, of the Labor Management Relations Program at Ottawa University, Phoenix (OU), Arizona where he taught conflict resolution, grievance processing, arbitration, and negotiation among other courses. He also served OU as Ombudsman for all student, faculty, and support disputes as well as the Disabled Student Liaison and received recognition in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Bob currently mediates in the Family, Civil and Small Claims courts in the State of Washington and serves on the permanent panels/rosters for the FMCS Arbitration Roster (Regions 1, 2, 4, and 7); Oregon Employment Relations Board (OERB); Washington Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC); State of California Mediation and Conciliation Service (SCMCS) Public Employment Relations Panel; American Arbitration Association (AAA) Workplace Investigation Panel; Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Hearing Officer Panel; Eglin Air Force Base & American Federation of Government Employees Local No. 214 Arbitration Panel. In the past, Bob served as mediator and arbitrator on the employment, labor, commercial, and construction panels for the American Arbitration Association and for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He was also the initial trainer and advisor for the U.S. EEOC’s Phoenix Regional Office’s mediation program where additionally, he served as a mediator. Bob has also served as facilitator/mediator for the Interest-based bargaining process for several labor negotiations as well as being a Special Master (Arb-Med) in labor-management grievance resolution.

Bob holds a BA in English/Education from St. John's University, a Master of Science in Social Science and Graduate Certificate of Labor Studies from Long Island University, and a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane University Law School.

Live-webinar by: Bob Oberstein

    • 90 mins March, 13 2024

      The Ancient Art of Listening

      Human Resources

      Listening, truly listening, and not merely being silent or politely waiting for your opportunity to speak or to correct the speaker, is among the hardest work you might ever do. But to truly listen completely so that you are not only hearing but processing what the speaker wanted you to hear and to learn, with your heart as well as with your brain takes practice. However, one must first be aware of this set of listening skills before one can begin to practice and then hopefully perfect one's ability to listen completely. 

      This webinar will identify the proper environment, skills, and techniques to assist the participant in continuing to develop and improve their ability in this most important and ancient of arts.

Recorded-webinar by: Bob Oberstein

    • 90 mins

      Preparation and Presentation of Your Case at a Hearing or Arbitration

      Human Resources
    • 90 mins

      Do’s & Don’t of Workplace Investigation - Navigating the Legal Minefield

      Human Resources
    • 90 mins

      Writing Comprehensive Investigation Reports on Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying in the Workplace

      Human Resources

      Among the many types of charges to investigate are those alleging discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Regardless of which one, all should require a professionally written report documenting not only your findings of fact but that your investigation was done objectively, and in a timely manner. So, you need to be prepared to not just conduct a proper investigation but to also show that you did. That means your report must be beyond reproach so it can withstand any appeal or challenge which may negatively reflect upon the integrity and credibility of your investigation!

      If done right your report can help remedy/resolve the situation. If done wrong, it all too often makes things worse. So, it pays to know how to do it right every step of the way.

      In short, this webinar can help you and your organization understand and demonstrate that you met the requirements to conduct an effective and professional investigation.

      Let’s face it, it is a minefield out there so it’s important to be able to show you knew what you were doing and did it well!

    • 150 mins

      Essential Survival Skills for Labor Relations: What you absolutely must know!

      Human Resources

      Labor Relations means collaborating with a Union, and possessing just Human Resources knowledge does not necessarily guarantee triumph in a unionized setting. This is because the distinct nature of Labor Relations and its various regulations mandate more specific expertise, which will be covered in this online seminar. Thus, whether you belong to either end of the spectrum, are a novice to Labor Relations, pondering it as a potential career option, or are already an expert in the field and aiming to expand your insight, this webinar is an ideal platform for you!

    • 90 mins

      Navigating Privacy Issues in the Workplace

      Human Resources

      Although privacy is a dynamic issue of growing concern in essentially every modern workplace, there is still no single comprehensive law governing workplace privacy. Instead, privacy in the workplace is more of a patchwork quilt coming under a variety of laws covering recruitment; medical inquiries; background and misconduct investigations; monitoring and surveillance; honesty; psychological, drug, and alcohol testing; medical and personnel records; off-duty conduct; employer information; etc. So, it’s all the more reason to attend this webinar to learn about where the boundary lines are in this rapidly growing area of concern and what is and is not permissible.

      Most employees insist they have privacy rights, especially at the workplace. But few know what those rights are. Likewise, not every employer or manager know what the employer's privacy rights are or what their obligations are when it comes to respecting an employee’s privacy rights and what the penalties are for not doing so and that was in a pre-Covid-19 world!

    • 90 mins

      FMLA Step by Step Compliance Guide for 2023

      Human Resources

      Although the Family Medical leave Act (FMLA)was enacted 29 years (1993) ago the workplace still has problems complying with its requirements. Sometimes that required compliance is ignored because either the employer or the employee is not aware of their obligations, rights, or both. This webinar is designed to make that compliance easier to understand regardless of if it is a first line supervisor, manager or leave/benefits administrator or the employee.

    • 90 mins

      Empowerment for Employee and Organizational Success: Treating Employees as Adults

      Human Resources

      When leaders don't treat their employees as competent, independent adults, they create some of the most significant barriers to an organization's success. Workers are adults with responsibilities and obligations. It seems obvious, but so many people are treated like children at work: too much oversight, micromanagement, and employer reactions that hinder rather than enhance performance, especially when it comes to traditional discipline as the “go-to” default for performance/behavior problems. 

      Tired of applying the same types of discipline and still getting the same old mediocre or short-lived results? Or maybe it was a “righteous” discipline, but it still was overturned or mitigated by a hearing officer or arbitrator. If so, you might be ready to broaden your horizons and consider how treating employees like adults not only avoid these issues but empower employees to act like adults which can also result in positive changes to not only their conduct and performance but to your bottom line as well.

    • 90 mins

      Internal Investigation Crash Course: When and How to Conduct an Investigation

      Human Resources
    • 60 mins

      Detecting Truth, Deception, and Lies while conducting an Investigation

      Human Resources

      Truth can be elusive! Especially if someone’s lips are moving! Because there is always more to know if someone is being less than truthful. If the focus of your investigation is to establish the facts how then is it possible to find out the truth when the information you are receiving might not be accurate? Being able to know when, and if someone is being forthright/candid and truthful is a high-level skill set that, when properly developed can increase one’s value to the organization as well as have its uses on a personal level. 

      This unique and comprehensive webinar will discuss why you might have to deal with inaccurate/incorrect or questionable information and how to identify it, deal with it, and even how to make it work to your and the organization’s advantage.

    • 90 mins

      From Tweets to Termination: Understanding Social Media Policies in the Workplace

      Human Resources

      Over the last decade, the prevalence of social media has changed the landscape of the workplace – and the landscape of employment law. It's a lot more than just "sexting." or visiting inappropriate websites! 

      Do you have a social media policy? Are employees aware of it and have they been trained in its proper application? Is your social media policy aligned with all your other policies and/or collective bargaining agreement(s), the National Labor Relations Act (Section 7 Rights) and/or your state and local labor and employment laws, and the Federal Trade Commission's regulations?  Does your social media policy protect individual rights regarding confidentiality and the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech? If you recruit using social media, are you in compliance with the Fair Credit and Reporting Act? Does it protect copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property, and trade secrets? Are your "take down" protocols adequate? Who owns an employee's social media account(s) and what happens when they exit the organization? 

      This webinar will help you understand all the aforementioned and how to have an effective social media plan for your organization in order to protect all stakeholders.

    • 90 mins

      Empowerment for Employee and Organizational Success: Treating Employee's as Adults!

      Human Resources

      When leaders don't treat their employees as competent, independent adults, they create some of the most significant barriers to an organization's success. Workers are adults with responsibilities and obligations. It seems obvious, but so many people are treated like children at work: too much oversight, micromanagement and employer reactions that hinder rather than enhance performance, especially when it comes to traditional discipline as the go to default for performance/behavior problems. 

      Tired of applying the same types of discipline and still getting the same old mediocre or short-lived results? Or maybe it was a righteous discipline, but it still was overturned or mitigated by a hearing officer or arbitrator. If so, you might be ready to broaden your horizons and considering how treating employees like adults not only avoid these issues but empower employees to act like adults which can also result in positive changes to not only their conduct and performance but to your bottom line as well.

    • 90 mins

      The Ancient Art of Listening

      Human Resources

      Listening, truly listening and not merely being silent or politely waiting for your opportunity to speak or to correct the speaker, is among the hardest work you might ever do. But to truly listen completely so that you are not only hearing but processing what the speaker wanted you to hear and to learn, with your heart as well as with your brain takes practice. However, one must first be aware of this set of listening skills before one can begin to practice and then hopefully perfect one's ability to listen completely. 

      This webinar will identify the proper environment, skills and techniques to assist the participant in continuing to develop and improve their ability in this most important and ancient of arts.

    • 90 mins

      Do’s & Don’t of Workplace Investigation: A legal Minefield

      Human Resources

      Are you prepared to conduct a proper investigation? Will that investigation be objective or show bias, even implicit bias? Will it respect the rights of both employees and employer, and do you know what those are? Or will it make an otherwise good case bad by committing some of the more common mistakes?

      Learn the answers to all these questions and more so you can be prepared to avoid the common mistakes of others and make sure your next investigation is as professional as possible. It’s a minefield out there so it’s important to look before you leap!