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

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

Product Code: VFM09282021

Availability: In stock

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BONUS: Receive a FREE download of our FMLA State Law Chart Builder with your registration! Use this resource to compare state requirements regarding family and medical leave with federal regulations to help ensure your organization's policies are fully compliant.

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

Now Available On-Demand.

Program Length: 10 hours

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released its fiscal year data for 2020 and while last year was unusual to say the least, one thing that remained the same: Employers continued to violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), resulting in $1,168,898 in back wages paid to impacted employees. Don't end up becoming another statistic, get a firm grasp on the FMLA and remain in compliance today!

FMLA leave is a more complex topic than it may seem. Basically, for any eligible employee at a covered employer, up to 12 weeks of leave must be provided each year for a qualifying event or events. While this may seem pretty straightforward, administering FMLA leave can actually be fairly complicated.

There are often multiple levels of the organization involved in administering FMLA. First, there’s the employee who needs to take the leave and who may or may not use the term “FMLA” or something related when requesting time off.

Also, a large percentage of employees will request leave from their direct supervisor, not from an HR FMLA expert, which means there are many more people who have to understand at least FMLA basics. Next, the direct supervisor isn’t necessarily going to be responsible for administering and tracking FMLA leave, especially when taken intermittently. These issues create ample opportunities for missteps.

This issue of complexity demonstrates why FMLA leave compliance can be tricky even for employers with the best of intentions. Don't let your company fall into a compliance trap! Become a master of the FMLA and simplify your leave program after attending our popular 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!

*Registrants will have access for 60-days from purchase.

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


(5 minutes)
Presenter Introductions

(1 hour)
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.

(1 hour)
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.

(1 hour)
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

(30 minutes)
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 attorneys before you wrap up for the day.

(5 minutes)
Closing Remarks

(1 hour)
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 fairly 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

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

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

(1 hour)
Q&A with Presenter

Still have questions about points raised during the day, or care to revisit a fundamental concept or two from earlier in the course? Use this time to get clarification from the attorneys before the training comes to a close.

(5 minutes)
Closing Remarks

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


Lauren Bushman

Lauren Bushman, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips LLP, represents employers in various areas of employment litigation, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and PAGA cases. Bushman also counsels clients on various employment matters including employee terminations, handbooks, and wage and hour issues.

Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Bushman was an associate at a small employment and business law firm. She assisted in defending school districts at trial against claims of civil rights violations as well as negligent hiring, retention and supervision.

Ben Carney

Ben Carney is an associate in the San Diego office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. He defends employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including against claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, PAGA penalties, and other employment-related matters both in civil court and California’s administrative enforcement agencies. Carney frequently advises clients on day-to-day workplace issues such as employment handbooks, personnel policies, and best practices. Ben also has traditional labor experience representing management in collective bargaining, unfair labor practices, union certification/decertification, and grievance resolution.

Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Carney was an associate in the Labor & Employment Practice of a regional full-service firm where he represented both public and private employers in a broad variety of labor and employment contexts. While attending the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Carney held leadership positions in the Journal of Law and Technology and Mock Trial program.

Danielle Moore

Danielle Moore is a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP. Moore has two primary objectives when counseling employers on labor and employment concerns: Limiting financial impact on their business and getting ahead of litigation as early as possible.

Whether defending accusations of employment discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, or retaliation, or analyzing a complex workplace issue, Moore works to understand her client’s goals and reach the best possible outcome. Especially amid threats of large-scale exposure—due to class action lawsuits or Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) actions—Moore’s deep understanding of the Labor Code helps minimize liability and reduce future risk.

As a young partner, Moore founded and cochaired the Fisher Phillips Women’s Initiative and Leadership Council to mentor and support rising women attorneys. Today the program benefits attorneys across the firm’s 36 offices.

Haylee Saathoff

Haylee Saathoff is an associate in the San Diego office of Fisher & Phillips LLP. She advises and defends employers in all aspects of employment law and litigation, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour claims, and other employment-related matters.

Saathoff graduated with distinction from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she served as a Comment Editor of the San Diego International Law Journal.
During law school, Saathoff gained diverse experience in the law, serving as an in-house intern for multiple San Diego-based companies with national reach. She also clerked at a mid-sized general practice law firm, and the State of California Department of Transportation.

During her undergraduate career at the University of Southern California, Haylee gained experience in marketing for a Pac-12 collegiate athletics program. She expanded on this experience during law school, serving as an athletic compliance intern for the University of San Diego. Saathoff’s experiences give her a keen insight into employer needs and make her an effective and compelling advocate for her clients.

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

Credit Information

HR Certification Institute HRCI
SHRM Preferred Provider

CREDIT INFORMATION: This program has been approved for 8.25 (HR (General)) recertification credit hour toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through the HR Certification Institute.For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

Business & Legal Resources (BLR) is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 8.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the SHRM Certification website at
The on-demand credits expire 12/31/21.