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2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management

Product Code: VFM09132022

1st Attendee $399.00*
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BONUS: Receive a free download of our "5 Tips for Successful FMLA Administration & Compliance" infographic, which can serve as a handy reminder of how to remain compliant under the FMLA

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management

Tuesday, September 13 – Wednesday, September 14, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern, daily

In 2021, there were over 280 cases of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) discrimination reported by the U.S Department of Labor, which is an increase compared to 2020's total of 266 cases. While FMLA discrimination is down compared to 2019 and years prior, it is clear that employers are still interfering with employees' FMLA rights.

Additional data from last year also reveal that roughly 430 employees were impacted by FMLA interference, costing employers almost $1.5 million in back wages and other penalties. With the liability risks involved when improperly administering FMLA leave, this topic has become increasingly popular in the business world—and even the most seasoned employment attorneys will agree that mastering this law is tough.

While FMLA leave compliance can be tricky for employers with the best of intentions, surveys have found that a large percentage of managers don’t even fully understand FMLA basics. This likely means employers need to reexamine their FMLA training practices for managers—and what better way than with our 2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management.

Join Teresa Shulda, a partner at Foulston Siefkin, for a live, interactive FMLA master class on September 13-14, 2022. Uncover FMLA basics and be on your way to becoming a master of the FMLA with this special virtual event.

Through this informative training, your HR managers will be able to simplify your organization's leave program and also learn

  • How to determine FMLA eligibility quickly and easily;
  • What qualifies as a serious health condition;
  • Tips and guidance for “gray area” conditions, including multiple concurrent conditions;
  • The “do’s and don’ts” of return-to-work certifications;
  • Handling suspected FMLA abuse without running afoul of the law;
  • How to manage intermittent and reduced-schedule leave;
  • How the FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) interact;
  • And more!

*Attendees will also receive 60-day access to the on-demand recording of this master class.

Here's what past attendees have said:

"Incredibly informative and well put together, I really appreciated the real-world scenarios to practice and apply what was discussed. Teresa Shulda is awesome!"

"Great program - the examples were helpful to apply the knowledge to unique circumstance. Even though I have been handling FMLA already, I found every minute of this course useful"

"Very valuable - I enjoyed the examples and the overall knowledge Teresa brings to the seminar"

"I thought it was excellent! It really helped that she was able to provide examples of real-life experiences."

"I enjoyed it and I received a lot of beneficial information. It was a refresher for me but also learned other things as well."

"Easy to register and understand. I like that I am able to see the recording so I can go back and get notes or go back and re listen when I missed something."

"Very well presented. Particularly liked how the presented provided many examples of cases."

"Theresa did a great job addressing questions throughout the presentation."

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management


Day 1—Mastering FMLA Fundamentals

12:00 p.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Presenter Introduction

12:05 p.m. – 1:05 p.m.
FMLA Eligibility: Getting It Right

Establishing employee eligibility is the critical first step in administering FMLA leave, and it’s a step that’s easily overlooked in the flurry of notices and certifications that follow a request for leave. But confirming that employees are eligible to take requested leave in the first place sets the foundation for a fair and consistently applied leave program.

This topic will also set the foundation for our program, as we’ll use this introductory session to briefly assess your current knowledge of FMLA fundamentals. We’ll also highlight recent trends and developments affecting leave and discuss how to proactively adjust your policies and practices to ensure compliance with the ever-changing regulatory, legal, and practical landscape.

We’ll cover:

  • A quick overview of FMLA basic requirements;
  • How to determine FMLA eligibility quickly and easily;
  • How the FMLA rules and related court decisions affect key definitions, such as who qualifies as a covered family member;
  • How the FMLA is interpreted as allowing leave to employees to care for other family members suffering from a serious health condition; and
  • A discussion of state-specific FMLA laws, which provide more job-protected leave and have lower thresholds for application; and
  • Recent trends and developments affecting leave.

1:05 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Managing Serious Health Conditions and Medical Certifications

At the heart of many FMLA leave requests is the serious health condition. Whether the condition is the employee’s own or that of a covered family member, employers will often need additional guidance to assess whether a condition qualifies for FMLA leave. In addition, there are many things you can do to award leave time correctly and prevent FMLA abuse. Understanding your rights to request certification—and to delay or deny leave when certification is incomplete or insufficient—is an empowering tool in your leave toolbox.

The DOL has proposed revisions to several model certification forms, which employers nationwide often use to administer FMLA leave. This session will cover the latest updates concerning the DOL’s proposed revisions and the practical impact this development could have on:

  • WH-380E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition; WH-380F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition;
  • WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities; WH-382 Designation Notice;
  • WH-384 Certification for Military Family Leave for Qualifying Exigency;
  • WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Caregiver Leave; and
  • WH-385V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave

We’ll also discuss the process of requesting recertification in compliance with FMLA requirements, as well as the steps you must take if you wish to require a medical release for return to work (aka fitness-for-duty certification).

You’ll learn:

  • How to spot a serious health condition on the FMLA certification;
  • Tips and guidance for “gray area” conditions, including multiple concurrent conditions;
  • How to obtain additional information and how to verify when the initial medical certification is vague or incomplete;
  • What to check when an employee wants leave to attend special education meetings for his or her child;
  • Your options when an employee or doctor doesn’t cooperate with obtaining the required certifications;
  • How to handle recertification requests;
  • How to prepare a successful and practical return to work policy; and
  • Return to work strategies that work, and strategies that can backfire.

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims

The 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;
  • What to do if an employee refuses an FMLA designation;
  • Selecting the best FMLA leave calendar year for your organization;
  • What to do when vacations and/or holidays fall during an employee’s FMLA 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; and
  • How to train supervisory staff to avoid asking questions or taking action that can spark liability.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with Presenter

Have lingering questions about points raised during the first day of this intensive FMLA 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 presenting attorney before you wrap up for the day.

Day 2—Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA Rules, DOL Regulations, and Court Rulings

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mastering the Tough FMLA Issues

It’s one thing to grasp individual FMLA rules, but it’s another thing entirely to put those pieces together in the real world. For example, intermittent leave seems pretty straightforward on paper, but how employers really manage it is another story. What about temporary light-duty positions and fluctuating work schedules? Reinstatement after leave? And finally, how do you handle an FMLA investigation by the Department of Labor (DOL)? This session will help you learn:

  • What “intermittent” means and how the 12-week FMLA entitlement is calculated when an employee takes intermittent or reduced-schedule;
  • How to handle leave duration;
  • How to calculate leave for fluctuating work schedules;
  • The rules regarding substitution of various types of paid leave for FMLA leave;
  • When employees have job reinstatement rights and when they do not;
  • How eligibility requirements are clarified for employees who are jointly employed;
  • Tips on how to effectively manage an FMLA investigation by the DOL; and
  • How to conduct a successful self-audit to ensure compliance with FMLA and its policies.

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws

The 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 the FMLA. In this session, we’ll cover:

  • How the FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) interact;
  • How to balance your obligations under the FMLA, ADA, and other laws;
  • 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 the FMLA;
  • When you can require employees to take FMLA leave concurrently with workers’comp leave; and
  • Recent developments in state leave laws, including paid sick leave, family leave, pregnancy accommodation, and other trends.

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Intensive Workshop: Applying Your Knowledge

During this highly interactive portion of the FMLA Master Class, your trainers, who are practicing labor and employment attorneys, will walk you through a series of scenarios demonstrating the real-life FMLA issues that stump even the most seasoned 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 interpretations, 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 the tricky FMLA 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 the employee is not sufficient
    • The employee does not return the certification
    • The employee refuses to update the certification if the need for leave changes
    • The employee does not submit fitness-for-duty certification at the end of leave

2. Intermittent leave:

    • Certification of the need for intermittent leave
    • Specific information on when leave is needed and the expected frequency and duration
    • What to do if an employee uses more leave than expected
    • What to do when an employee has a chronic case of "Monday-Friday absence-it is”

3. Reduced-schedule leave:

    • Certification and specific information on reduced hours and 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 before 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 the employee is on FMLA leave

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

    • Not able to return to work at the 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

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A with Presenter

Still have questions about the information that was covered? Use this chance to get custom guidance to all your burning questions before the course comes to a close.

— Agenda subject to change —

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management


Teresa L. ShuldaTeresa L. Shulda, Partner, Foulston Siefkin

Teresa Shulda, a partner in Foulston Siefkin’s Employment & Labor Practice Group, has been litigating workplace disputes and advising on employment law matters throughout her career. Much of Shulda’s practice includes advising clients on compliance-related issues and litigation-avoidance tactics. Working hand-in-hand with Human Resources departments, company owners, and in-house legal counsel, Shulda crafts strategies that meet the company’s goals and fulfill federal and state requirements. Shulda also regularly defends employers against discrimination claims, including those involving age, race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, and FMLA allegations.

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management

Frequently Asked Questions

What computer set-up do I need to attend this class?

This will be hosted on the GoToMeeting platform. Attendees should have access to a computer that has a microphone and speakers/headphone connection to participate. There is also an option to dial in if needed. You can read the full system requirements for GoToMeeting by visiting You can also test your system by visiting

2022 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Basic Skills for Employee Leave Management

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