2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class: California
Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management
San Diego | Tuesday, June 6
Morning Focus: Mastering FMLA Fundamentals
Afternoon Focus: FMLA Compliance Scenarios and Case Studies for Real-World Application
New and confusing regulations, conflicting court decisions, and increasing employee abuse of FMLA and CFRA protections means family and medical leave remains one of California HR’s biggest management headaches.
To help you master your obligations and avoid costly penalties, the publisher of California Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2017 FMLA/CFRA Master Class: California - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management.
This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. Experienced California attorneys deliver substantive instruction on FMLA and CFRA compliance 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 and CFRA revisions, so you don’t risk noncompliance
- What recent court decisions involving employee leave really mean, so you can adjust your policies accordingly
- How FMLA and 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, ADA, and California workers’ comp laws overlap, so you can avoid violations
- And more!
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m. There will be morning and afternoon beverage breaks and boxed lunch will be included in registration fee.
Master FMLA administration in just one day by participating in this all-new program created just for California employers and HR management.
"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/CFRA Fundamentals
FMLA/CFRA Eligibility: Granting FMLA/CFRA Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
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.
- 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
Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
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 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Meeting FMLA/CFRA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
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
Mastering the Tough FMLA/CFRA Issues
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
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
All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State 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.
- 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 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
(Part II) Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA/CFRA Rules, DOL/DFEH Regulations, and Court Rulings
1:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Mid-workshop break from 2:30 p.m. 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
Final Questions and Closing
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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
Faculty: San Diego
James C. Fessenden
Fisher Phillips LLP
James Fessenden is a partner in the San Diego office of Fisher Phillips. He represents public and private employers in all aspects of employment law in both state and federal courts, and before administrative and governmental agencies. He has argued before the California Court of Appeal and numerous trial courts and administrative agencies. He has been a part of several arbitration and trial teams and recently he served as second chair in a jury trial resulting in a complete defense verdict. Mr. Fessenden also regularly defends clients in investigations by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), the Employment Development Department (EDD), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other state and local agencies. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to counseling clients and developing measures to prevent litigation and governmental investigations.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Fessenden practiced employment and entertainment litigation in the San Diego office of a national firm. Mr. Fessenden was included in San Diego Super Lawyers - Rising Stars in 2015 and 2016.
Danielle H. Moore
Fisher Phillips LLP
Attorney Danielle H. Moore is a partner in the San Diego office of Fisher & Phillips LLP and the chair of the firm's Women's Initiative and Leadership Council. She represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination, wrongful termination, workplace harassment, retaliation, unfair competition and wage-hour lawsuits, employment handbook and personnel policy preparation, and general preventive advice including hiring, discipline and termination practices. Ms. Moore as experience litigating matters in state and federal courts, state administrative tribunals, such as the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, and in arbitration. She regularly conducts management training and lectures on labor and employment issues. Danielle also teaches an employment law course at San Diego State University's College of Extended Studies and serves on the Human Resources Advisory Board for the College.
Ms. Moore was selected as one of SD Metro's 40 Under 40 for 2013. The award honors the top 40 business people in San Diego under the age of 40. She was also selected as a San Diego County Top Attorney for 2014 in the Labor/Employment practice category and was chosen as one of the Best of the Bar in 2014 for Labor & Employment. Danielle is "AV" Peer Review Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Aaron Olsen, Of Counsel in the San Diego office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, defends employers on the full spectrum of employment issues. His experience includes representing employers in state and federal courts in wage and hour class actions, defending employers in actions alleging discrimination and wrongful termination, and representing companies in actions alleging theft of trade secrets. He has successfully represented employers in more than two-dozen class actions. Mr. Olsen was selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers in 2014 and 2015 and cited as a "Rising Star" in 2012 and 2013.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Danielle Garcia is an associate in the San Diego office of Fisher Phillips LLP, where she counsels and defends employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including traditional labor relations management, wage and hour class actions, harassment, and discrimination. Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. Garcia worked as a human resource generalist and shift supervisor for a food manufacturing facility, where she participated in union negotiations and all other human resource matters.
Fisher Phillips LLP
Miranda Watkins is an associate in San Diego office of Fisher Phillips LLP. Her practice includes counseling and defending employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Before joining Fisher Phillips, she worked as an associate attorney for a national law firm, focusing on employment and general civil litigation matters. Ms. Watkins previously served as a law clerk for an administrative law judge at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where her work focused solely on federal employment discrimination matters.
Program Location and Date
When: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Where: San Diego
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego/Del Mar
11025 Vista Sorrento Parkway
San Diego, CA 92130