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Morning Focus: Mastering FMLA Fundamentals
Afternoon Focus: FMLA Compliance Scenarios and Case Studies for Real-World Application
Think employee leave management is a one-time policy issue? Be careful! New and confusing regulations, conflicting court decisions, and increasing employee abuse of FMLA protections means family and medical leave will remain one of HR’s biggest management headaches.
To help you master your obligations and avoid costly penalties, the publisher of Illinois Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2016 FMLA Master Class: Illinois - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. Experienced Illinois attorneys will provide substantive instruction on fundamental FMLA compliance principles in light of new and existing regulations, court rulings, and application of this far-reaching law. You’ll engage with your instructors and your peers, solving challenges you face day in and day out concerning intermittent leave, return to work, employee performance, and much more.
This event teaches employee leave management essentials while instilling the confidence you need to make the right coverage calls, control abuse and fraud, answer the toughest questions from employees and your executive colleagues, and avoid the expensive missteps that have devastated other employers.
You’ll enhance your advanced-practitioner skill set when you attend this satisfaction-guaranteed event and learn:
"When an employer routinely disregards the FMLA rights of its workers, whole families can be harmed. We will continue to use all enforcement tools at our disposal to uphold FMLA protections for workers and make sure that all employers operate in compliance with the law."
– Wayne Kotowski, Wage & Hour Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Master Class Agenda
7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.
Part I: Mastering FMLA Fundamentals
FMLA Eligibility: Granting FMLA Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right under the New FMLA Rules
8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Oftentimes employers neglect to take the critical first step in administering FMLA leave—determining employee eligibility. Taking defined, consistent steps in determining employee eligibility helps employers not only properly deny leave when appropriate, but also to grant leave for a period of time that is reasonable and necessary. Eligibility for FMLA leave to care for covered family members has changed dramatically as the definition of who is a family member has been altered by FMLA regulations, new court decisions, and changes in the family structure.
In this opening session, we’ll explain these developments and how to adjust your policies and practices to ensure compliance with the changing regulatory and legal landscape. You’ll learn:
Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications
9:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m.
At the heart of many FMLA leave requests is the serious health condition. FMLA regulations offer guidance and allow you to require medical certification, but there are a multitude of possible reasons for needing FMLA leave. Assessing the information requires keen judgment, and this session will show you how to make these crucial calls. You’ll learn about:
9:45 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims
10:00 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
FMLA is ruled by deadlines for giving and receiving information, for measuring how much leave has been taken, and determining how much employees still have remaining in a given FMLA leave year. A good grasp of timing rules—and learning how to monitor other key areas of FMLA usage—can help you prevent abuse of FMLA entitlements and fend off litigation. This session covers:
Mastering the Tough FMLA Issues
10:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
It’s one thing to grasp individual FMLA rules and another to put the pieces together in the real world. Intermittent leave seems pretty straightforward on paper, but how employers really manage it is another story. How is intermittent leave certified and calculated? What about temporary light-duty positions and fluctuating work schedules? Reinstatement after leave? And finally, how to handle a FMLA investigation by DOL. This session will help you learn about:
All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
FMLA seems pretty comprehensive, but it’s not the only law that applies when employees need time off for their own serious health condition, to care for a family member, or for other reasons. You need to know when other laws create different obligations—and how their requirements work in tandem with FMLA.
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Part II: Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA Rules, DOL Regulations, and Court Rulings
1:15 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
During this highly interactive portion of the FMLA Master Class, our esteemed faculty of labor and employment attorneys will walk you through a series of scenarios demonstrating the real-life FMLA issues that stump even the most seasoned of HR practitioners. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss issues with your trainers and fellow attendees to determine the correct course of action to take, based on the facts presented and your knowledge of fundamental FMLA compliance principles.
Recent court rulings, long-standing case law precedent, DOL interpretation opinion letters and regulations—as well as the trainers’ own experiences in advising clients—are interwoven into this engaging afternoon workshop with the goal of providing you with actionable insights into how to master the tricky FMLA issues that come up in daily work life.
You’ll dive deep into:
Final Questions and Closing
4:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Have lingering questions about points raised during this intensive FMLA hypo-driven workshop or want to revisit a fundamental concept or two from earlier in the day? Take advantage of this opportunity to get clarification from the attorneys before you wrap up for the day.
Your Illinois Faculty with the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP
Joel W. Rice
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Joel Rice, a partner in the Chicago office, has nearly 25 years of experience representing employers. Over the course of his career, he has handled the defense of hundreds of employment-related matters before federal/state courts and numerous agencies. He has successfully argued multiple appeals in federal and state courts. He has extensive experience representing employers in complex litigation, including collective and class actions under federal and state wage and hour laws. Mr. Rice counsels employers on all facets of employment law, including leave issues, harassment claims, and pay practices. He has assisted employers in successfully navigating wage and hour investigations brought by federal and state Departments of Labor. Joel is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Peter J. Gillespie, Esq.
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Peter Gillespie is Of Counsel in the Chicago office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. He represents and counsels management on a wide array of employment law-related issues, including workplace discrimination and harassment, covenants not to compete, wage and hour laws, retaliation, hiring, promotion and dismissal decision-making, workplace privacy, fraud, defamation, occupational health and safety issues, and statutory compliance. He has represented management in numerous compliance audits and collective actions under federal and state wage and hour laws. Mr. Gillespie provides employers with strategic advice to help meet their objectives while reducing potential litigation risks whenever possible.
Program Location and Date
When: Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Where: University of Chicago - Gleacher Center
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611