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2019  FMLA Master Class: Louisiana - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Louisiana: 2019 FMLA Master Class

Product Code: FLA09052019


1st Attendee $549.00*
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2019 FMLA Master Class: Louisiana
Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

On-Site Seminar:
Baton Rouge, LA | Thursday, September 5, 2019

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 Louisiana Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2019 FMLA Master Class: Louisiana - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. An experienced Louisiana 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

Registration 
7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m. 

Part IMastering FMLA Fundamentals 

FMLA Eligibility: FMLA Eligibility: Granting FMLA Leave When It’s Due and Getting It Right under the Rules  
8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
In their efforts to promptly assess, approve, and designate employee leave requests, employers sometimes overlook—or shortchange—the critical first step in administering FMLA leave—establishing employee eligibility. Ensuring 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. You’ll learn:

  • 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
  • Recent trends and developments affecting leave


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. Whether the condition is the employee’s own, or that of a covered family member, often employers will 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.

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 (a.k.a. fitness for duty certification).

You’ll learn:

  • Tips and guidance for “grey area” conditions, including multiple concurrent conditions
  • What to do when a medical certification is incomplete or unclear
  • 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
  • The “do’s and don’ts” of return-to-work certifications

 

Break 
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
  • 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


Mastering Tough FMLA Issues 
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
It’s one thing to grasp individual FMLA rules, but 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 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


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 the FMLA and 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
  • Recent developments in state leave laws, including paid sick leave, family leave, pregnancy accommodation, and other trends

Break
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. 
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 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 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


Part III Final Questions and Closing


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 Louisiana Faculty Attorneys with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Jennifer AndersonJennifer Anderson
Partner 

Jennifer L. Anderson is a partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group and represents employers and management, exclusively, in labor and employment law matters. She is licensed in Louisiana and Texas, and represents publicly-traded and private companies in a variety of industries, with an emphasis in energy, including oil and gas drilling and production related services, banking and financial services, and healthcare. Ms. Anderson’s practice is focused on wage and hour compliance and litigation, and she has represented employers in more than 200 Fair Labor Standards Act cases, including more than 50 class and/or collective actions.

She also defends employers and management before state and federal administrative bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Labor, and serves as lead counsel in the arbitration and litigation of labor and employment disputes at the trial and appeal levels under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and similar state and federal laws governing employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Her litigation experience also includes representing employers in breach of contract, non-competition, non-solicitation, and employment-related tort claims. 


Christine WhiteChristine White
Partner 

Christine M. White is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group in the firm's New Orleans office. Since her admission to the bar, she has focused on employment litigation and is an experienced advocate for employers. 

Ms. White has successfully defended clients in cases involving critical workplace issues on both the federal and state levels. She has extensive experience representing employers against claims of race, sex, age, national origin, and disability discrimination, as well as breach of contract, wrongful termination, retaliation, defamation, harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. Ms. White's practice also focuses on wage and hour compliance and litigation. In addition to handling U.S. Department of Labor audits and investigations for companies, she has represented employers, primarily in the energy industry, in numerous individual, mass plaintiff, and collective actions involving these issues. 

Program Location and Date

When: Thursday, September 5, 2019 
Where: Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel 
7000 Bluebonnet Boulevard 
Baton Rouge, LA 70810 
1-225-215-7000
Venue Contact: Tina Buckley tbuckley@renaissancebatonrouge.com
Parking: Complimentrary
Hotel Website

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