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2020 FMLA Master Class: Michigan Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

Michigan: 2020 FMLA Master Class

Product Code: FMI09232020


1st Attendee $549.00*
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2020 FMLA Master Class: Michigan
Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management

On-Site Seminar:
Livonia (Detroit), Michigan | Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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 Michigan Employment Law Letter has crafted a cost-effective and engaging solution: 2020 FMLA Master Class: Michigan - Advanced Skills for Employee Leave Management. This intensive day-long workshop provides the comprehensive knowledge you need to master real-life issues. An experienced Michigan 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: Getting It Right  
8:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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

Mastering the Tough FMLA Issues
11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 

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

Lunch (included with your registration) 
12:15 p.m.–12:45 p.m. 

All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws 
12:45 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

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.

Break
2:00 p.m.– 2:15 p.m.

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

Applying Your Knowledge
2:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m. 

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

Part III Final Questions and Closing

Final Questions and Closing 
3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Have lingering questions about points raised during 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.

Your Michigan Faculty with Bodman’s Workplace Law Practice Group

Gary Fealk, a member with Bodman, practices in all areas of labor and employment litigation on behalf of private and public sector employers. He has particular expertise in union/management relations including collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) and in multi-employer benefit fund collection actions. He has extensive experience defending discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims in state and federal courts and before the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He also represents employers in cases involving non-competition agreements, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Before joining Bodman, Fealk was a shareholder in a highly regarded southeast Michigan-based labor and employment boutique law firm where he represented management exclusively in a broad range of labor and employment matters. Fealk has been listed in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2015 under Employment & Labor. He is a member of the American Employment Law Council and has been selected by his peers as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers since 2018. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan (Labor and Employment Section), the Oakland County Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section), the American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association-Eastern District of Michigan Chapter. He is a frequent author and presenter to professional and employer groups and previously served as co-editor of the Michigan Employment Law Letter from 2015-2019.


Rebecca Seguin-Skrabucha of Bodman’s Workplace Law Practice Group concentrates her practice in advising employers on compliance with state and federal employment and labor laws. She also has experience defending employers on a variety of employment claims before state and federal courts and before administrative agencies including the EEOC and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. She has represented employers in disputes involving claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and alleged violations of the FLMA, ADA, ADEA, and FLSA. Before joining Bodman, Seguin-Skrabucha practiced with a highly regarded southeast Michigan labor and employment boutique law firm. She is a frequent author on labor and employment law topics and served for over a year as a monthly columnist for the Michigan Employment Law Letter. She was a contributor to ICLE’s 2018 Labor and Employment Law Institute. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan (Labor and Employment Law Section), the American Bar Association, and the Oakland County Bar Association (Member, Employment Law Committee and New Lawyer Committee).

Program Location and Date

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Where: Detroit Marriott Livonia 
17100 North Laurel Park Drive
Livonia, MI 48152
734-462-3100
Hotel Website
Venue Contact: Danielle Bastianelli danielle.m.bastianelli@marriott.com