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2020 ADA Master Class: Tennessee Advanced Skills for Employee Disability Management

Tennessee: 2020 ADA Master Class

Product Code: ATN10222020 

1st Attendee $549.00*
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2020 ADA Master Class: Tennessee Advanced Skills for Employee Disability Management

On-Site Seminar:
Chattanooga, TN | Thursday, October 22, 2020

This workshop is a state-specific comprehensive presentation of ADA issues. Major topics to be discussed include:

(Part I) Mastering ADA Fundamentals

  • Who’s Covered Under the ADA and Who’s Not
  • Your Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodation and What’s ‘Reasonable’
  • The Interactive Process:  From Request to Resolution
  • Practical Solutions to Complex Problems
  • Navigating Through the ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Maze
  • Response Strategies – Dealing with Mistakes, Avoiding Retaliation, and Mastering Your Defense of Claims

(Part II) Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of the amended ADA, EEOC Regulations and Guidance, and Court Rulings

  • Q & A Session

*BLR is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation and reviewing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This masterclasss is scheduled to be held as planned and we look forward to welcoming you to Tennessee.

Master Class Agenda

Morning Session  
(Part I) Mastering ADA Fundamentals

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
(*Please note building is locked before 8:00 a.m.)

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.        
Who’s Covered Under the ADA and Who’s Not

As the courts continue to interpret the amended ADA and its regulations, their decisions can affect the policies and procedures you have for managing employees with disabilities, responding to requests for accommodation, and documenting the interactive process. But, how can you know for sure when an employee is protected under the ADA? When does an employee’s impairment rise to the level of a disability? Does the ADA ever protect employees without disabilities?

We’ll cover:

  • How to determine whether an employee is “qualified” under the ADA
  • What kind of information you can ask for, and when
  • Using an individualized assessment to determine whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity
  • Actions that may create liability under the “regarded as” definition of disability 
  • When “routine” illnesses are likely to trigger your ADA compliance obligations 
  • How ADA protections apply for association-based issues

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.      
Your Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodation and What’s ‘Reasonable’
Once you determine that an employee or job applicant has a disability, you need to figure out if there’s a reasonable accommodation that will work for you and the employee. But to what lengths must you go to provide reasonable accommodation? Do you have to provide the specific accommodation requested by the employee? How do you determine whether an accommodation is an undue hardship? In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine whether an accommodation is reasonable
  • Apply recent court decisions on telecommuting, temporary transfers, and light-duty assignments
  • Gauge when you have done enough
  • Determine the financial commitment contemplated under the law
  • Train supervisors to spot when performance issues may signal a need for an accommodation

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.   
The Interactive Process:  From Request to Resolution
Once you are aware of an employee’s disability and the possible need for reasonable accommodation, you have a duty to engage in the interactive process with that employee to determine any possible reasonable accommodations.
In this session, you will learn:

  • When the process should begin
  • Who should be involved in the discussions
  • What kinds of information you need for the analysis
  • Duty of good-faith participation
  • GINA and HIPAA factors to consider
  • How to document your efforts

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.    
Practical Solutions to Complex Problems
Handling performance and conduct issues, absenteeism and tardiness, and other complex workplace problems is challenging enough, but when you add in the ADA’s requirements, it can leave you wondering what to do first.  This session covers:
Requiring covered employees to meet performance or attendance expectations
Substance and alcohol abuse
Perceived or “regarded as” having a disability
Chronic illnesses                                     

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Navigating Through the ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Maze
The overlap and varying requirements of these laws can make it difficult to determine an employee’s rights and an employer’s obligations. So, how do you handle health conditions that are covered under two or all three of these laws? This session outlines the differences in the laws and explains how to analyze situations when two or more of these laws interact. Employers also must consider applicable state laws which often have broader protection for employees and cover smaller employers.  This session will help with:

    • Determining if any or all of the laws apply and juggling conflicting requirements
    • Walking through the practical differences
      • Light duty
      • What you can and can’t ask when making medical inquiries
      • When you may require fitness-for-duty medical exams
      • How to ensure confidentiality under HIPAA, GINA, and other laws
    • Handling employee absences and requests for extended leave
    • Handling return-to-work issues, including medical restrictions and disability leaves                               

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 

Response Strategies – Dealing with Mistakes, Avoiding Retaliation, and Mastering Your Defense of Claims
So, despite your best efforts, you think your company may have made a mistake. What do you do now? In this session, you’ll learn some of the available options to help clean up any messes, and what you can do to prevent them in the future.

      • What do you do if your company has messed up? How far should you go to avoid litigation?
      • How retaliation claims under the ADA may arise—and employer actions that in most cases are likely to be deemed retaliatory 
      • Best practices for responding to EEOC charges
      • Tips on how to draft and update policies, records, training, and documentation protocols to improve your defenses to ADA claims

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.    

Afternoon Sessions

(Part II) Intensive Workshop Addressing the Real-Life Application of the ADA, EEOC Regulations and Guidance, and Court Decisions                                               
12:45 – 3:30 p.m.
(Mid-workshop break from 2:15 to 2:30 p.m.)

During this highly interactive portion of the ADA Master Class, our faculty of employment attorneys will walk you through a series of scenarios demonstrating the real-life ADA issues that challenge 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 ADA compliance principles

Recent court rulings, long-standing case law precedent, EEOC guidance 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 insights and practical approaches to help you master the tricky ADA issues that come up in daily work life.

You’ll take an in-depth look at:

1. Leave as an accommodation and how to handle

  • An employee’s requests for leave or an extension of leave
  • Missed return-to-work dates
  • Communication with an employee on leave
  • The interactive process and medical documentation

2. Light-duty and reassignment as accommodations

  • What the ADA does and doesn’t require
  • How to decide whether to continue light-duty status
  • When a position is considered “vacant”

3. Pregnancy-related disabilities

  • When a pregnancy-related impairment may be a disability
  • What’s required for accommodation
  • How to avoid adverse employment actions

4. Performance and conduct issues

  • When a disability isn’t obvious, such as when an employee has bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, depression, or another “unseen” psychiatric condition that may be a protected disability under the ADA
  • Fitness-for-duty exams
  • Applying performance standards and conduct rules in a way that minimizes legal risks
  • Using the interactive process

5. Return-to-work exams

  • When employers can require return-to-work exams
  • Job-relatedness and business necessity
  • Evaluating the ability to perform essential functions

6. Requests for accommodation

  • Handling requests on an individualized basis
  • Engaging in the interactive process
  • What’s reasonable – and what’s not
  • Emotional support/service animals

7. Fragrance sensitivity

  • Reasonable documentation of disability
  • Functional limitation and performance of essential functions
  • Reasonable accommodations

8. No-fault attendance policies

  • Exceptions for ADA accommodations
  • Keeping sick employees home
  • Accommodating sporadic, unpredictable absences

9. Obesity

  • As a physical impairment
  • As a covered disability
  • Fitness for duty exams
  • Managing accommodation requests

10. Workers’ compensation and ADA

  • Overlapping coverage
  • Interactive process and reasonable accommodation
  • Avoiding liability for a “regarded as” disability                           

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

This is your chance to ask any remaining questions you may have about the information covered in the workshop or the morning session.  Take advantage of this opportunity to get clarification from the attorneys.

Your Chattanooga Faculty with DiMuro Ginsberg, PC

Jonathan R. MookJonathan R. Mook, Esq.
DiMuro Ginsberg, PC

Jonathan R. Mook, a partner with DiMuro Ginsberg, is a nationally recognized authority on the Americans with Disabilities Act and the author of two treatises published by Matthew Bender Company, “Americans with Disabilities Act: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations” and “Americans with Disabilities Act: Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities.” Mr. Mook lectures nationally on the ADA and other employment law topics. He represents employers and businesses on matters relating to employment law, business torts, and business disputes. He frequently counsels employers on issues involving compliance with the ADA and accommodating disabled employees, as well as other employment related matters. He is a co-editor of the Virginia Employment Law Letter and a regular contributor to several legal publications, including Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin

Program Location and Date

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Where: Miller & Martin PLLC
Suite 1200 
Volunteer Bldg; 832 Georgia Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37402