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2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Product Code: VFM06292021


1st Attendee $349.00*
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2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Tuesday, June 29 – Thursday, July 1, 2021

Program Length: 13 hours

BONUS: Receive a FREE copy of our handy FMLA Intermittent Leave Time Tracker with your registration!

If you missed our first FMLA Master Class, you're in luck! The next FMLA Virtual Master Class will take place June 29—July 1, 2021. Join Taylor English's Raanon Gal, Deborah Livesay, and Ann R. Schildhammer for this highly anticipated event!

When President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the American Rescue Plan) into law in March 2021, it expanded the qualifying reasons for employee leave and tax credits available to employers for providing paid leave to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

However, the American Rescue Plan does not require employers to provide paid leave. Leave provisions within the requirements of the FFCRA are strictly voluntary with the benefit of tax credits if leave is provided. As mentioned above, the American Rescue Plan also expands the qualifying reasons for leave under the emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and the emergency family medical leave act (EFMLA) as well as the amount of available tax credits.

It is important for employers to understand the impacts the American Rescue Plan will have on EPSL, EFMLA, and nondiscrimination provisions. It's also safe to say that managing leave in the COVID era has come with many challenges.

Employers need to ensure that all HR staff and all managers who deal with employee leave requests are well-versed in the finer details of FMLA-related leave. HR professionals, in particular, should understand who is eligible for leave, how much they're eligible for, how to track FMLA absences, and how intermittent FMLA leave is managed.

Administering FMLA leave can be made easier if you have a clear procedure that employees understand and can easily utilize when the need for leave arises. Additionally, HR professionals must understand the various forms and deadlines for remaining compliant under the FMLA, in addition to other federal laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and workers' compensation claims.

Become a master of the FMLA and simplify your leave program after attending our brand new FMLA virtual master class, where you'll 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 ADA interact,
  • And more!

2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Agenda

*All Times are in Eastern

Days 1 & Day 2: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Pacific
Day 3: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Pacific

Day 1—Mastering FMLA Fundamentals: FMLA 101

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 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 to coordinate state and federal leave when covered family members differ; and
  • Recent trends and developments affecting leave.

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
30-Minute Break

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 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. While the regulations do provide some assistance, the medical certification is a critical resource for employers here. 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 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-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition; WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Serious Health Condition of the Family Member;
  • WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities; WH-382 Designation Notice;
  • WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave;
  • WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave; and
  • WH-385-V 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:

  • Tips and guidance for "gray area" conditions, including multiple concurrent conditions;
  • What to do when a medical certification is incomplete or unclear;
  • 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;
  • When you may require employees to provide recertification of a serious health condition; and
  • The "do's and don'ts" of return-to-work certifications.


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

30-Minute Q&A for Day 1

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 attorneys before you wrap up for the day.


Day 2—Mastering FMLA Fundamentals: Overcoming the Tougher FMLA Challenges

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 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 FMLA designation
  • Selecting the best 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


2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
30-Minute Break

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 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:

  • How to manage intermittent and reduced-schedule leave
  • 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
  • Tips on how to effectively manage an FMLA investigation by the DOL


4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Final Questions and Closing for Day 2

Still have questions about topics discussed during the day's workshop, or need to touch on an important idea or two from earlier in the day? Now's the time to get clarification from the attorneys before the day comes to a close.


Day 3—Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of FMLA Rules, DOL Regulations, and Court Rulings

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 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;
  • 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.


1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Applying Your Knowledge: Reduced-Schedule Leave, Holidays and Shutdowns, and Medical Certifications

The final part of day 3 of this FMLA Master Class will continue with highly interactive hypotheticals with your trainer, who is a practicing labor and employment attorney. The presenter 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 have an open discussion 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:

  • Reduced-Schedule Leave:
  • Certification and specific information on reduced hours and expected duration
  • Updating certification
  • Tracking leave time


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


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


1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

15-Minute Break

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Applying Your Knowledge: Intermittent Leave, Discipling and Termination, and Return-to-Work

Attendees will continue to apply the knowledge they've learned using hypothetical situations related to intermittent leave, disciplining employees who are on FMLA leave, and how to handle the return of an employee who was on leave.

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
  • Abuse of intermittent leave (Mondays and Fridays and/or before and after holidays)


Discipline & Termination (3 parts):

  • 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


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


2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Closing for Day 3


Agenda subject to change

2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Speakers

Raanon Gal  

Raanon Gal focuses his practice on defending employers in employment discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), wage and hour, harassment, and wrongful termination litigation. Gal also helps companies with risk management and instituting preventative measures to avoid liability.

He has represented clients in a variety of industries and has provided representation under Employment Practice Liability Insurance arrangements. He also has experience in representing clients concerning cases involving noncompete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, employment/business torts and wage and hour litigation. His practice also encompasses all areas relating to the counseling, training and representation of management clients in federal and state courts, as well as before state and local agencies.

Deborah Livesay

Deborah Livesay focuses her practice exclusively in the area of labor and employment. She has spent the last 19 years representing management in all aspects of the employment relationship. Livesay routinely defends employers in employment-related litigation in various jurisdictions across the country, including litigation involving discrimination and harassment claims, wage and hour complaints, breach of employment contracts and restrictive covenants, and state tort claims.

Livesay also routinely advises clients on and helps clients develop proactive strategies for compliance with federal and state employment laws in areas such as employment discrimination (Title VII), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), restrictive covenants, substance abuse, wage and hour, and the WARN Act. She also advises clients on employment policy design and review, reductions-in-force, and plant closings; conducts management training programs, oversees internal investigations; and negotiates and drafts employment, restrictive covenant, and separation agreements.

Ann Schildhammer

Ann Schildhammer is an experienced litigator whose practice concentrates in general business/commercial litigation, employment litigation and HR counseling, personal injury defense, premises liability, and real estate and title litigation. Utilizing her experience as former general counsel for a top-40 home building company, she also provides general business advice in the areas of legal and regulatory compliance matters, risk management and the supervision of outside legal counsel.

Schildhammer has extensive experience handling all aspects of commercial litigation, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and related tort claims such as fraud and negligence. In her employment practice, she has successfully resolved numerous employment discrimination claims, wrongful termination matters, and claims involving restrictive covenant agreements. Schildhammer also frequently provides management and employee sensitivity training on various HR issues, including sexual harassment; conducts internal employment audits; and prepares and provides advice on employment contracts and separation agreements.

2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced 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 to participate, there is also an option to dial-in over a phone line if you need to connect on your phone. You can read the full system requirements for GoToMeeting by visiting https://support.goto.com/meeting/help/system-requirements-for-attendees-g2m010003. You can also test your system by visiting https://support.logmeininc.com/gotomeeting/get-ready.

2021 FMLA Virtual Master Class: Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Credit Information

HR Certification Institute HRCI
SHRM Preferred Provider

CREDIT INFORMATION: This program has been submitted to the HR Certification Institute® for review.

 

BLR®—Business & Learning Resources is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program is valid for (11.75) PDCs. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.”
The live credits expire July 1, 2021
The on-demand credits expire 12/31/21.