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2016 FMLA Master Class: Washington - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

2016 FMLA Master Class: Washington - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Product Code: F16WA1

1st Attendee $397.00*
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2016 FMLA Master Class: Washington
Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

On-Site Seminar:
Seattle, Washington | Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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 Washington Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2016 FMLA Master Class: Washington - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. Experienced Washington 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 revisions, so you don’t risk noncompliance
  • What recent FMLA court decisions really mean, so you can adjust your policies accordingly
  • Why FMLA 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, ADA, and state workers’ comp laws overlap, so you can avoid violations
  • And more!

Master Class Agenda


7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. 

Welcome and Introduction
8:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m. 

2016 FMLA Developments
8:45 a.m.-9:30 a.m. 

FMLA compliance requirements saw major changes in 2015. In March, the Labor Department’s final rule defining who is a FMLA-covered “spouse” took effect. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision impacted FMLA. The DOL has also made it clear that employers will see an increase in on-site FMLA investigations. The year before, the EEOC issued important guidance concerning pregnancy in the workplace, which includes insights on best practices for managing pregnant workers’ leave.

In this opening session, we’ll explain these developments and how to adjust your policies and practices to ensure compliance with the changing regulatory landscape. You’ll learn:

  • How the new FMLA rule and Supreme Court decision define who qualifies as a covered spouse
  • The practical impact of what these changes mean for your existing policies and practices
  • How to prepare for an on-site FMLA investigation
  • About the DOL’s new FMLA forms for notice and certification
  • Ensuring proper recordkeeping
  • Preparing supervisors for DOL investigations and interviews, and
  • What EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance says about your obligations to provide leave and accommodation

Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications
9:30 a.m.-10:30 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:

  • 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
  • The best use of second and third opinions 
  • 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

Networking Break
10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. 

FMLA’s Rapidly Changing Covered Family Members

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. 

With new regulations, a Supreme Court decision, and DOL guidance governing same-sex marriage, leave for related military service members, in loco parentis relationships and more, it is getting harder and harder to determine who is a covered family member and more importantly, who is not. This session will provide clear-cut rules for making the call including:

  • Caring for adult children
  • Determining in loco parentis status
  • Where do stepchildren stand?
  • Who qualifies as a son or daughter for family military leave
  • How to coordinate state and federal leave when covered family members differ

Lunch (on your own)
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. 

Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.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. In tyhis session, you’ll gain a valuable understanding of:

  • DOL’s new notice and certification forms
  • How to give the four kinds of FMLA notices – on time and on point 
  • What to do if an employee refuses FMLA designation
  • Selecting the best type of FMLA leave year for your organization
  • Counting holidays that fall during leave 
  • Rules regarding “making up” FMLA leave
  • Handling suspected FMLA abuse without running afoul of FMLA
  • How to legally terminate employees who are on or just returned from FMLA leave

Mastering the Tough FMLA Issues
1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.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? This session explains:

  • Managing intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • Managing leave duration
  • Calculating leave for fluctuating work schedules
  • Determining leave rights when spouses work for the same company 
  • The rules regarding substitution of various different types of paid leave for FMLA leave
  • Mistaken designation and how to avoid it
  • When employees have job reinstatement rights and when they do not
  • How the courts are interpreting the most recent FMLA legislation and regulations and answering other tricky FMLA questions

Networking Break
2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. 

All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws
3:00 p.m.-4:00 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.

  • Why FMLA serious health conditions are more likely to qualify as disabilities under the ADAAA
  • When you should offer leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, including a discussion of new ADA leave cases
  • How to offer accommodations other than leave without violating the FMLA
  • What you must do to comply with privacy requirements when seeking medical certification of FMLA leave
  • When you can follow workers’ compensation rules on FMLA information gathering
  • When you can require employees to take FMLA leave concurrently with workers’ comp leave The interaction of FMLA with USERRA, GINA, COBRA, and other federal laws

What Happens Next & Your Final Questions
4:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Get an advance heads-up on what the future may hold for family leave and related developments, including the impact of regulatory changes, policy review suggestions, and continuing enforcement trends for 2015 and beyond. Then, pose your final questions to our master class faculty before concluding the intensive FMLA compliance training.

Your Washington Faculty with the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP

Catharine MorissetCatharine Morisset, Esq. 

Fisher & Phillips LLP 

Catharine Morisset, a partner in the Seattle office of Fisher & Phillips, focuses her practice on representing local and national employers in litigation in state and federal courts, on appeal, and also before the EEOC and similar state agencies in all aspects of workplace law, such as ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, NLRA, Title VII, and similar state laws. 
Ms. Morisset works with all sizes of employers across all industries, from local “Mom & Pop” wholesalers to national industrial manufactures, and she thrives on learning her clients’ operations and culture to become a practical business partner. She uses her litigation experience to work closely with clients to provide effective preventative counseling and workforce training. This includes regularly advising and training clients on, leaves, reasonable accommodations, investigations, employment agreements, drug testing, hiring, wage-hour compliance discipline, terminations, and layoffs. She is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management, and addresses chapters of human resources professionals throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Program Location and Date

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Hilton Seattle
1301 6th Ave.
Seattle WA 98101


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