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2018 FMLA Master Class: Pennsylvania - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Pennsylvania: 2018 FMLA Master Class

Product Code: FPA09272018

1st Attendee $549.00*
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2018 FMLA Master Class: Pennsylvania
Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

On-Site Seminar:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Thursday, September 27, 2018

Morning Focus: Master FMLA Essentials to Make Sure Your Knowledge Foundation is Up to Date 
Afternoon Focus: FMLA Compliance Scenarios and Case Studies for Real-World Application 

Lunch is included with your registration! 

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 Pennsylvania Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2018 FMLA Master Class: Pennsylvania - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. An experienced Pennsylvania attorney will provide substantive instruction on FMLA compliance in light of new and existing regulations, court rulings, and application of this far-reaching law. You’ll engage with your instructor 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 judges do, 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 
  • Where FMLA recordkeeping trips 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 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 a.m.–8:30 a.m. 

Part IMastering FMLA Fundamentals 

FMLA Eligibility: Granting Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right  
8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Could you be missing critical first steps in managing FMLA leave—determining employee eligibility? A defined, consistent process helps you not only deny leave when employees don’t qualify, you’ll grant leave for a period that is reasonable and necessary when they do.  In this opening session, gain new insights on eligibility determinations and recent trends and developments affecting leave. You’ll be armed to adjust policies and practices in 2018 to ensure compliance with the changing regulatory, legal, and practical landscape. You’ll learn:

  • How to determine FMLA eligibility quickly and easily
  • How the FMLA rules and related court decisions define who qualifies as a covered family member
  • How to coordinate leave for workers caring for adult children
  • Rules related to determining in loco parentis status
  • How to coordinate state and federal leave when definitions of “covered family member” differ

Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications 
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
At the heart of many FMLA leave requests is the serious health condition. The regulations do offer some guidance and allow you to require medical certification, yet there are a multitude of reasons for needing time off. Assessing those reasons requires keen judgment, and this session will show you how to make the right call. 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”
  • 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

10:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m. 

Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims 
10:15 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
FMLA is ruled by deadlines for giving and receiving information, for measuring how much leave has been taken, and for determining how much leave employees have remaining in a given 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:

  • 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 the law
  • How to manage employee leave without risking claims of interference
  • How to legally discharge employees who are on or just returned from FMLA leave

Mastering Tough FMLA Issues 
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
It’s one thing to understand FMLA rules, but another thing entirely to apply them in the real world. For example, intermittent leave seems pretty straightforward, but what about temporary light-duty positions and fluctuating work schedules? Reinstatement after leave? How do you handle an investigation by DOL? This session will show you:

  • How to manage intermittent and reduced schedule leave
  • How to handle leave duration
  • How to calculate leave for fluctuating work schedules
  • Rules on substitution of various types of paid leave for FMLA leave
  • When employees have job reinstatement rights and when they do not
  • Tips on how to effectively manage an FMLA investigation by the DOL

Networking Power Lunch (included with your registration) 
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m. 

All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws 
1:15 p.m.–2:30 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. In this session we’ll cover:

  • How FMLA and ADA interact
  • 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 ADA leave cases and agency guidance
  • How to offer accommodations other than leave without violating FMLA
  • When you can require employees to take FMLA leave concurrently with workers’ comp leave
  • Recent developments in state leave laws, including paid sick leave, family leave, pregnancy accommodation, and other trends

2:30 p.m.– 2:45 p.m.

Part IIIntensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA Rules, DOL Regulations, and Court Rulings

Applying Your Knowledge
2:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
In this highly interactive portion of the FMLA Master Class, your faculty of labor and employment attorneys will walk you through a series of scenarios illustrating real-life FMLA issues that stump even the most seasoned of HR practitioners. You’ll discuss case-studies with the lawyers and fellow attendees to determine the correct course of action, based on the facts and FMLA compliance principles.

Recent court rulings, long-standing precedent, DOL interpretations, opinion letters, and regulations—as well as the trainers’ own experiences in advising clients—are interwoven into this engaging afternoon workshop to provide actionable guidance on tricky FMLA challenges facing HR and employers in 2018. We’ll dive deep into:

1. 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 during holidays and shutdowns

  • How to count FMLA leave during holidays
  • Administering FMLA leave during extended plant or office shutdowns
  • Determining whether an employee on FMLA 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 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 leave

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

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

Final Questions and Closing 
4:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Have lingering questions about points raised during this intensive FMLA 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 Pittsburgh Faculty with the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC


Mario Bordogna, Esq.Mario Bordogna, Esq.
Senior Counsel
Clark Hill, PLC 

Have a leave question or want help with a separation?  Need an employment handbook or training program put together? Recently learn that a Complaint will draw you into state or federal Court or in front of an agency, or have to deal with a union grievance or collective bargaining? Mario Bordogna, Senior Counsel in Clark Hill’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, can help. 

As an attorney, counselor and advocate who takes pride in partnering with employers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and elsewhere, he works with clients on the front end to keep them in legal compliance with labor and employment laws, but also is there to assist them on the back end if things happen to go wrong and they need a strong and experienced litigation advocate. 

For two decades, Mr. Bordogna has represented employers in sectors like health care, energy, hospitality, manufacturing, education and others, understanding their business and helping them achieve their goals to legally and more efficiently manage their workforce.  He adds value to his clients by being a dependable attorney they can count on for assistance when almost any employment issue arises, including in the areas of HR and employment counseling (hiring, firing, leave issues, employment handbooks and policy development);  labor–management relations (collective bargaining, grievances, union avoidance, arbitration); employment litigation (discrimination, wrongful discharge, sexual harassment, wage and hour); Pennsylvania workers’ compensation, and general employment and civil litigation.   

Mr. Bordogna’s wealth of skill and experience in the labor and employment arena has been regularly recognized by his clients and within the legal community.  He was selected as a Super Lawyer three times and has been selected as a Best Lawyer in America continuously since 2016.  He is a Board Member of the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, a member of the Leadership West Virginia class of 2011, and the chairs the West Virginia Manufacturers' Association's HR Committee. He also has been repeatedly sought after as a speaker over the years by corporate, in-house, insurance, and HR clients, and is often requested to present to local, regional, and national audiences on a wide range of employment and HR topics.

Vanessa M. Kelly, Esq. Vanessa M. Kelly, Esq.
Senior Counsel
Clark Hill

Vanessa M. Kelly’s
 clients seek her experienced, confident counsel in addressing their employee management needs. She provides legal services including risk assessment and risk avoidance in employee terminations, accommodating disabilities, addressing workplace misconduct, protecting key personnel and proprietary information, performing reductions in force, and implementation of workplace policies designed to avoid disputes and comply with state and federal law.  Her clients appreciate her focused and pragmatic approach to resolving their problems, her creative and collaborative energy and her passion for assisting her clients achieve the best possible outcome.  Her clients know she has the experience and aptitude they require.  She is a Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent rated attorney and a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.® 

Employers turn to her to defend them against employment claims in state and federal courts and in prosecuting and defending enforcement of restrictive covenants, both in New Jersey and in other jurisdictions. Ms. Kelly works collaboratively with employer practices liability carriers in defense of claims asserted against their policyholders. She is an experienced trial lawyer having conducted jury and bench trials and arbitration. She also has experience defending employers against claims raised in state and federal administrative agencies, especially human rights agencies and wage and hour forums. 

When employers need to investigate employment issues, Ms. Kelly performs those investigations on their behalf and counsels her clients through the process of investigation and remedial measures. She is a certified Title IX investigator. She has significant experience in drafting employment agreements, restrictive covenants, separation agreements, and independent contractor agreements. She has created human resource functions and processes, and their implementing forms and policies for new or growing businesses, employee handbooks, operating manuals and other important employment policies. 

Ms. Kelly writes and speaks on employment law issues. She is a frequent speaker for the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law. She serves as a Management Co-Chairman of the Executive Contracts and Compensation Subcommittee and recently spoke at the ABA's Employee Rights and Responsibilities Subcommittee Meeting in March 2013. She has addressed members of the Employers Association of New Jersey on protecting proprietary information and the Society of Human Resource Professionals on Discrimination issues. She has been a contributing editor to the American Bar Association, Employment Section and BNA’s jointly prepared State-by-State compendiums, including Covenants Not to Compete, Defining Proprietary Information, Employee Duty of Loyalty, and serves a Regional Editor for the Employment At Will treatise. 

Ms. Kelly currently serves as the Co-Chair of Clark Hill BOLD - Princeton, the firm's strategy to promote women within the firm, the legal profession, and the business community.

Ms. Kelly received her J.D., with Honors, from George Washington University Law School and her B.A., cum laude, from Bucknell University. She is licensed to practice in New Jersey and New York.

Holly Maurer-Klein, SPHR, SHRM-SCPHolly Maurer-Klein, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Director of HR/Advantage Advisory
Clark Hill

Holly Maurer-Klein has worked extensively in the human resources field as a senior-level practitioner and advisor to both large and small businesses. She handled all aspects of human resource management in her previous role for a rapidly growing relocation services provider. Prior to joining HR/Advantage Advisory, Ms. Maurer-Klein was president of an HR consulting firm that focused on providing strategic advice and day-to-day HR support on recruiting, compensation, and employee relations to a variety of corporate and non-profit entities. She also served as managing director of the Human Resource Management Group at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Ms. Maurer-Klein is a frequent presenter, including being selected as a speaker at the 2006 national SHRM conference, on the topic, “Introverts and Extroverts: How much Space is Too Much Space?” A graduate of the Entrepreneurial Fellows Program at the Katz Graduate School of Business, she has a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and holds both SHRM-SCP and SPHR credentials. She is also a winner of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s “Best 50 Women in Business” in Pennsylvania.


Program Location and Date

Pittsburgh Embassy SuitesWhen: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton Pittsburgh-Downtown
535 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hotel Website





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