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ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Summit: Mastering HR's Intersecting Leave Law Obligations - On-Demand

ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Summit: Mastering HR's Intersecting Leave Law Obligations - On-Demand

Product Code: YZWA101717D

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ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Summit: Mastering HR's Intersecting Leave Law Obligations - On-Demand

This Virtual Workshop is now available on-demand.

WORKSHOP SNAPSHOT: Learn how to maneuver your overlapping and confusing compliance obligations under leave and disability laws.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) has agreed to pay $2 million to 90 current and former employees who allegedly were discriminated against on the basis of disability. The EEOC had filed a class action lawsuit in 2009 alleging that UPS automatically “fired disabled workers when they reached 12 months of leave, without engaging in the interactive process required by law,” according to an EEOC press release.

The case underscores the importance of ensuring that the steps you’re taking to ensure that disabled workers are provided reasonable accommodations, which may include additional leave time, will pass legal muster.

That’s often easier said than done, though, because addressing an employee’s rights at the intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state workers’ compensation laws can be quite complex.

Which laws apply, and in what order? When does leave run consecutively, and when does it run concurrently? Can a single condition or injury span across two or even all three of these protective (and complex) laws?

Learn more with this intensive, on-demand workshop on how intersecting ADA, FMLA, and workers’ comp regulations affect your policies and procedures, and what you MUST do to ensure you’re in compliance:

  • Why inflexible leave policies may violate the ADAAA
  • How to distinguish between a serious health condition and a disability that might require leave
  • Current definitions for parent, child, and spouse under the FMLA
  • How to handle requests for extensions of leave after FMLA leave expires
  • The differences between “FMLA-land” and “ADA-territory” and how understanding that can help you handle leave requests


All Times Eastern

Session 1: Navigating the Maze of Disability and Leave Laws: Key Differences Between the ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Comp
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Presented by John S. Gannon, Esq., Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.

  • What the leave and disability laws require and the order in which they should be applied
  • Key differences between a “serious health condition,” a “disability,” and a “workplace injury” 
  • What you should be asking to analyze whether an employee is eligible for leave in the first place 
  • Physical and mental conditions that generally qualify as disabilities under the ADA
  • Short-term conditions that may be substantially limiting and thus would entitle an employee to protection under the ADA
  • How the ADA Amendments Act expanded the scope of disabilities covered under the ADA to potentially include more individuals and conditions than ever before
  • The most common types of leave and disability discrimination claims the EEOC is targeting now, and how to avoid becoming a casualty of litigation 

Session 2: Handling Common Physical and Psychological Conditions under FMLA and the ADA
12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Presented by Susan G. Fentin, Esq., Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. 

  • Practical challenges employers face concerning a laundry list of physical and psychological claims, such as cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, substance abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism 
  • When cancer is considered a serious health condition under FMLA, and the documentation you may require from the employee for FMLA leave
  • How to tell if someone with cancer is disabled under the ADA and the documentation you may request 
  • Types of workplace accommodations that may be necessary for many common physical and psychological conditions, including flexible scheduling for treatment 
  • Examples of when a pregnant employee eligible for FMLA reduced-schedule, intermittent, or block FMLA leave may also be “disabled” under the ADA—and your duties in that case
  • What to do when you suspect issues related to an employee’s performance may be due to mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or substance abuse
  • How to effectively communicate with employees who may be emotional or acting in an erratic manner due to their mental status 
  • When substance abusers’ and alcoholics’ absences should be designated as FMLA leave—and the information you need to make the right call
  • How to address a situation where a substance abuser or alcoholic requests an accommodation under the ADA
  • What you should do to handle threats or other behavior that’s disruptive to your workplace
  • Common mistakes to avoid when managing mentally ill employees, so you don’t misstep under the ADA or FMLA
  • How to successfully handle an employee’s return to work following a stint in rehab 
  • Potential accommodations you should be prepared to make for diabetic employees, including intermittent leave for treatment, breaks to check blood-sugar levels, part-time or modified work schedules 
  • When reassigning an employee with diabetes to a different role may make the most sense
  • How much information you can legally disclose to supervisors and coworkers about accommodations being made for employees
  • How to obtain the medical documentation you need to adequately address requests for accommodation, which may include reduced hours or time off 
  • Best practices for maintaining privacy and confidentiality 
  • What the EEOC is now saying about a mental health provider’s role in a client’s request for a reasonable accommodation at work 
  • The practical challenges HR may now face when addressing requests for reasonable accommodation now that new DSM-5 diagnostic mental disorder categories and symptoms have been released
  • What impact the AMA’s designation of obesity as a disease could have on how the ADAAA is interpreted with respect to obese employees
  • How to gauge the reasonableness of accommodations obese employees may seek, including the potential obligations to alter the workspace to accommodate larger employees
  • How to address safety concerns related to obese employees
  • Whether obesity is likely considered a serious health condition under FMLA, and how to address the day-to-day challenges that may arise when an obese employee needs time off for medical treatment

1:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

Session 3: Reinstatement and Your Right to Fitness-for-Duty Certifications 
2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Presented by Kimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq. Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. 

  • The general rules under FMLA and the ADA governing fitness-for-duty and other medical exams 
  • What FMLA and ADA have to say about reinstatement rights 
  • How to get the information you need to make educated decisions concerning light duty and other accommodations without asking intrusive—and possibly illegal—questions 
  • What not to do so you don’t inadvertently spark “regarded as” disabled claims under the ADA
  • How to tell if a temporary transfer or change in duties/hours is the answer
  • The types of records supervisors should never have access to
  • Where to store medical records and fitness-for-duty test results for protected employees
  • The game plan for returning a workers’ compensation claimant to work—how to get the information you need to determine if they he or she can safely perform the job without running the risk of re-injury
  • How to go about making the call on whether to grant additional block or intermittent time off as accommodation for an employee who’s no longer entitled to leave under FMLA or workers’ compensation law
  • How one’s “record of disability” may affect reasonable accommodation-related issues
  • Tips for handling requests for reassignment to vacant positions 
  • The type of documentation you may request to support an employee’s accommodation request 
  • Examples of the types of ADA accommodations that may be warranted based on the circumstances, including potentially restructuring a job, reducing work hours, or changing the employee’s work schedule 
  • Factors the EEOC, a judge, or a jury are likely to consider when determining if granting an ADA accommodation would have placed an undue hardship on your organization

3:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Session 4: How to Discipline and Terminate Protected Workers Under ADA and FMLA
3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
Presented by Erica E. Flores, Esq., Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.

  • What it means to be protected under the ADA and FMLA
  • How to maintain compliant leave policies and practices
  • Tips for documenting compliance with ADA/FMLA obligations when monitoring leaves, absences, and performance concerns
  • Factors to consider when determining whether an employee’s continued absence creates an undue hardship on your organization—how long is too long?
  • Your ADA/FMLA obligations when an employee seeks to return to work with restrictions
  • How to have difficult conversations with protected employees about attendance, conduct, or performance-based issues
  • What to do if a protected employee fails to meet the corrective action goals you’ve established



Susan FentinSusan G. Fentin, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.

Susan G. Fentin, an attorney with the labor and employment firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., has represented exclusively management interests for more than 20 years. She is experienced in teaching master classes on both the FMLA and ADA. Her practice concentrates on labor and employment counseling, advising large and small employers on their responsibilities and obligations under state and federal employment laws, and representing employers before state and federal agencies and in court.

John GannonJohn S. Gannon, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. 

Attorney John S. Gannon is an associate in the Springfield, Massachusetts office of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. He defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, and related claims. In addition, he conducts comprehensive workforce wage and hour audits and reviews workplace policies for compliance with state and federal employment laws. He is a regular contributor to business publications and the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter, and a frequent speaker on employment-related legal topics, such as wage and hour compliance, personnel policies and practices, and employment litigation.

Kimberly KlimczukKimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. 

Attorney Kimberly A. Klimczuk has been a partner at Skoler, Abbott, & Presser, P.C. since 2011. She has successfully defended clients in state and federal court and before administrative agencies in a variety of areas of employment law, including wage/hour law, discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, and breach of contract. In addition, Ms. Klimczuk has assisted employers in compliance matters involving the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and drafted numerous affirmative action plans for them. She is a frequent speaker for a wide variety of associations and organizations and is an active member of the Western Massachusetts community.

Erica FloresErica E. Flores, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. 

Attorney Erica E. Flores joined Skoler, Abbott, & Presser, P.C. in 2013. She has successfully defended employers in single-plaintiff and class action discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation, wage and hour litigation, whistleblower and contract litigation, and employee benefits litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Flores regularly advises clients with respect to legal compliance issues, policy decisions, litigation avoidance strategies and day-to-day employment decisions.


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