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2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management in California

2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management in California

Product Code: F17CA7

1st Attendee $499.00*
Additional Attendee(s)
Save $100.00$399.00 each


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2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management in California

On-Site Seminar:
San Diego | Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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/CFRA 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 your state's Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management in California. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. Experienced 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:

  • How to judge a “serious health condition” the way a real judge would, and eliminate disputes about what does and doesn’t constitute it 
  • The latest FMLA/CFRA revisions, so you don’t risk noncompliance 
  • What recent FMLA/CFRA court decisions really mean, so you can adjust your policies accordingly 
  • Why FMLA/CFRA recordkeeping continues to trip up even the savviest human resource managers, and some solutions to avoid similar mistakes 
  • How to tame the intermittent leave and reduced schedule beasts, and put a stop to abuse and fraud 
  • How FMLA/CFRA, ADA, and state workers’ comp laws overlap, so you can avoid violations 
  • And more!


"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 – 8:30 a.m.

Morning Session
Part I
Mastering FMLA/CFRA Fundamentals 

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
FMLA/CFRA Eligibility: Granting FMLA/CFRA Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right 

Oftentimes employers neglect to take the critical first step in administering FMLA/CFRA 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/CFRA leave to care for covered family members has changed dramatically as the definition of who is a family member has been altered by FMLA/CFRA 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:

  • How to determine FMLA/CFRA eligibility quickly and easily
  • How the FMLA rules and recent court decisions define who qualifies as a covered spouse
  • Caring for adult children
  • Determining in loco parentis status
  • How to coordinate leave when CFRA and FMLA differ

9:00 – 9:45 a.m.
Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications

At the heart of many FMLA/CFRA leave requests is the serious health condition. The  regulations offer guidance and allow you to require medical certification, but there are a multitude of possible reasons for needing FMLA/CFRA leave. Assessing the information requires keen judgment, and this session will show you how to make these crucial calls. You’ll learn about:

  • Illnesses and injuries that may be serious health conditions even though the regulations say they generally aren’t
  • How many health conditions it takes to be “serious”
  • How often your employee needs to see a healthcare provider
  • What to do if a medical certification is incomplete or unclear
  • Your options if an employee or doctor doesn’t cooperate with obtaining the required certifications
  • When you may require employees to provide recertification of a serious health condition
  • The “do’s and don’ts” of return-to-work certifications

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
Meeting FMLA/CFRA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims

The FMLA and CFRA are 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/CFRA leave year. A good grasp of timing rules—and learning how to monitor other key areas of FMLA/CFRA usage—can help you prevent abuse of FMLA/CFRA entitlements and fend off litigation. This session covers:

  • DOL’s new FMLA poster and Employer Guide to the FMLA
  • DFEH’s new required posters for CFRA and PDL
  • How to give the notices required under FMLA and CFRA—on time and on point
  • What to do if an employee refuses FMLA/CFRA designation
  • Selecting the best type of FMLA/CFRA leave year for your organization
  • Counting holidays that fall during leave
  • Rules regarding “making up” FMLA/CFRA leave
  • Handling suspected FMLA/CFRA abuse without running afoul of the FMLA or CFRA
  • How to legally terminate employees who are on or just returned from FMLA/CFRA leave

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Mastering the Tough FMLA/CFRA Issues

It’s one thing to grasp individual FMLA/CFRA 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 an investigation by DOL or DFEH. This session will help you learn about:

  • Managing intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • Managing leave duration
  • Calculating leave for fluctuating work schedules
  • The rules regarding substitution of various different types of paid leave for FMLA/CFRA leave
  • When employees have job reinstatement rights and when they do not
  • Ensuring compliance in joint employment cases
  • Tips on how to effectively manage an investigation by the DOL or DFEH

11:30 – 12:15 p.m.
All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Leave Laws

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.

  • How the FMLA and CFRA differ when it comes to pregnancy leave; and how they interact with PDL
  • Why FMLA serious health conditions are more likely to qualify as disabilities under the ADAAA and FEHA
  • When you should offer leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA/FEHA
  • How to offer accommodations other than leave without violating the FMLA/CFRA
  • When you can follow workers’ compensation rules on FMLA/CFRA information gathering
  • When you can require employees to take FMLA/CFRA leave concurrently with workers’ comp leave
  • What kind of benefits Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides and when it comes into play
  • Employers’ rights and obligations under paid sick leave laws in California
  • How the changes in the state Kin Care law affect employee leave

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon Sessions
Part II
Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA/CFRA Rules, DOL/DFEH Regulations, and Court Rulings 

1:15 – 4:00 p.m.
(Mid-workshop break from 2:30 to 2:45 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/CFRA issues that come up in daily work life.

You’ll dive deep into:

1. Addressing issues with medical certifications and what to do when:

  • Certification submitted by employee is not sufficient
  • Employee does not return the certification
  • Employee refuses to update the certification if need for leave changes
  • Employee does not submit fitness-for-duty certification at end of leave

2. Intermittent leave

  • Certification of need for intermittent leave
  • Specific information on when leave is needed, expected frequency and duration
  • What to do if an employee uses more leave than expected
  • Abuse of intermittent leave (Mondays and Fridays, before and after holidays)

3. Reduced schedule leave

  • Certification and specific information on reduced hours, expected duration
  • Updating certification
  • Tracking leave time

4. FMLA/CFRA during the holidays and shutdowns

  • How to count FMLA/CFRA leave during holidays
  • Administering FMLA/CFRA leave during extended plant or office shutdowns
  • Determining whether an employee on FMLA/CFRA leave during holidays is entitled to holiday pay

5. Addressing performance issues that arise prior to the request for leave

  • What to do when an employee requests FMLA/CFRA leave in the midst of the disciplinary process or just before discipline or termination steps are taken
  • Addressing performance issues that arise during intermittent or reduced schedule leave
  • Addressing performance issues discovered while an employee is on leave
  • Reductions in force while employee is on FMLA/CFRA leave

6. Return to work—what to do if an employee is:

  • Not able to return to work at end of leave (ADA/FEHA considerations)
  • Cleared to return to work with restrictions
  • Temporarily unable to perform essential functions
  • Unable to perform essential functions in the long-term

7. FMLA, CFRA, and PDL – and how they work together

  • Employer coverage and employee eligibility under PDL
  • When FMLA can run concurrently with PDL or CFRA leave

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Final Questions and Closing

Have lingering questions about points raised during this intensive FMLA/CFRA 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 California Faculty with Fisher & Phillips LLP

Danielle GarciaDanielle Garcia

Danielle Garcia is an associate in the San Diego office. Her practice focuses on representing clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, including traditional labor relations management, harassment, and discrimination. She has experience defending cases in state court, federal court, arbitration proceedings, and before the National Labor Relations Board. Danielle’s client base spans over the construction industry, law firms, and several other industries. Danielle also represents Native American Tribes pertaining to employment and labor law concerns, and understands the unique needs of the Tribal community.

Danielle also devotes a considerable amount of her practice to counseling employers to avoid costly litigation. Danielle educates executives, human resource teams, and other corporate groups on how to fairly and effectively manage their workforces through things like:

  • Creating and implementing employee handbooks and policies; 
  • Advising regarding hiring, performance evaluation, documentation, and discharge decisions; 
  • Managing leave issues and developing strategies to prevent leave abuse; 
  • Auditing for compliance with various wage-and-hour laws; and 
  • Training HR and management. 

Jim FessendenJim Fessenden

Jim Fessenden is a partner in the firm’s San Diego office. A large portion of Jim’s practice is focused on ensuring the firm’s clients are able to conduct their business while avoiding the threat of employment litigation. Jim regularly counsels clients through difficult terminations, drafts complex pay and bonus plans for executives, and creates policies designed to protect the firm’s clients.

When clients do find themselves in litigation, Jim has a well-documented track record of successfully representing employers in all aspects of litigation in both state and federal courts, including at the trial and appellate levels. Jim is frequently retained to handle some of the most complex cases, particularly class actions, where his work has resulted in class action claims being dismissed both at the pleading stage and at the certification stage.

David MonksDavid Monks

David Monks is a partner in the firm's San Diego office. He counsels employers on a wide variety of matters, including employee discipline and termination, wage and hour issues, disability accommodation protocols, family and medical leave issues, investigations of harassment and other misconduct, and independent contractor issues.

In addition, David has substantial experience defending employers and managers against lawsuits and administrative claims involving discrimination, harassment, defamation, breach of contract, and violations of wage-and-hour laws.

As an avid proponent of proactive training and compliance, he presents training seminars on preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace, workplace investigations, wage-and-hour compliance, disability management and accommodation, and other areas.

David's practice has included assisting religious organizations, restaurants, hotels, school districts, credit unions, homeowner associations, professional employer organizations, franchisors, retail markets, and medical practices. 

Danielle MooreDanielle Moore

Danielle Moore is a partner in the firm's San Diego office and co-chairs the Fisher Phillips firm-wide Women's Initiative and Leadership Council.

She represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and wage-hour class action lawsuits, as well as employment handbook and personnel policy preparation, and general preventive advice including hiring, discipline and termination practices. Danielle has experience litigating matters in state and federal courts, state administrative tribunals, and in arbitration.

Danielle regularly conducts management training and lectures on employment issues. She also teaches an employment law course at San Diego State University and serves on the Human Resources Advisory Board for the University. Danielle also serves on the Board of Directors for the PHCC Academy and the Lawyers Club of San Diego. Danielle also serves as President of the Lawyers Club’s North County Chapter. 

Aaron OlsenAaron Olsen

Aaron Olsen is a partner in the firm's San Diego office. He counsels and defends employers of all sizes on the full spectrum of employment issues.

Aaron's experience includes: 

  • Defending numerous companies ranging in size from small, family-owned local restaurants to Fortune 500 corporations on wage-hour class action claims and PAGA cases; 
  • Defeating class certification motions and obtaining summary judgment on behalf of employers in wage-hour class actions; 
  • Defending PEOs on wage-hour and wrongful termination claims brought by worksite employees; 
  • Defending employers on claims that newly-hired employees misappropriated trade secrets obtained from their prior employers; 
  • Representing employers in actions to protect trade secrets, including obtaining temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions; 
  • Defending employers in actions alleging discrimination and wrongful termination; 
  • Counseling employers on compliance with employment laws and providing trainings for management employees; 
  • Aaron regularly lectures on employment law issues and also teaches an employment law course at San Diego State University.

Adam SloustcherAdam Sloustcher

Adam Sloustcher is an associate in the firm's San Diego office. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment litigation, including employment discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and wage-hour lawsuits and workplace violence injunctions. Adam also counsels clients and develops measures to prevent litigation and governmental investigations. 

Miranda WatkinsMiranda Watkins 

Miranda Watkins is an associate in the firm's San Diego office. Miranda is passionate about counseling businesses of all sizes on their day-to-day labor and employment issues, offering preventative advice and tools to protect employers. She also litigates cases on variety of issues, including disability discrimination claims, leaves of absences, wage and hour claims, retaliation and wrongful termination. She represents employers in a range of industries in all areas of labor and employment law. Before joining Fisher Phillips, Miranda worked as an associate attorney for a national law firm, focusing on employment and general civil litigation matters. 

Megan WinterMegan Winter 

Megan Winter is a partner in the firm's San Diego office. She handles administrative and civil employment matters before state and federal courts and government agencies.

Her practice involves representation of employers in a variety of matters including harassment and discrimination litigation, wage and hour class actions, and family and medical leave law.

Megan also assists employers in developing workplace policies and procedures, and she regularly advises employers regarding day to day employment issues and ways to avoid employment claims and litigation.

Megan also frequently provides supervisor training for employers. Upon graduating from law school, Megan was awarded the ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law. 

Program Location and Date

When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Where: Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego/Del Mar 
11025 Vista Sorrento Parkway 
San Diego, CA 92130 
Hotel Website

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