2021 Virtual Education Forum Webinar: New Year, New Insights – Challenges and Best Practices

Jennifer NelsonVirtual Education Forum, Webinars

Wednesday, Feb. 17

9:00 am PT | 12:00 pm ET

The importance of leave was reinforced during 2020 with the unprecedented circumstances brought on by COVID-19. Human resource professionals nationwide were once again tasked with understanding and navigating multiple leave laws, while guiding their workforce through the complexity. Determining eligibility, applicability, and interactions between the various legislation challenged HR.

To assist in navigating the complex maze, the wage and hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published COVID-19 guidance, including numerous Q&As — addressing the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) paid leave provisions, application of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and issues arising from COVID-19 impacts.

In this session, we will examine the DOL’s 2020 FMLA Request for Information (RFI), including comments reflecting challenges and best practices. Additionally, the DOL also released simplified FMLA forms that employers can use during the FMLA process. We will review applicable case law and highlight recent DOL opinion letters to assist in staying abreast of FMLA guidance.

This webinar will be 90 minutes to accommodate additional Q&A.

DMEC members receive free registration for webinars. Log into your DMEC account prior to registering to receive member pricing.

Learning Objectives

  • Review current themes from the DOL’s 2020 FMLA Request for Information (RFI) forms.
  • Identify how current events have impacted the FMLA.
  • Explore applicable case law as it relates to the FMLA.


Helen Applewhaite
Branch Chief
U.S. Department of Labor
Helen M. Applewhaite is the branch chief of the FMLA and other labor standards branch (FMLA-OLS) for the U.S. Department of Labor’s wage and hour division in Washington, D.C. Ms. Applewhaite directs a small staff dedicated to providing subject-matter expertise on the application of the provisions of several key laws that provide workers protections in balancing the demands of the workplace and needs of their families. The FMLA-OLS branch interacts with the public daily, providing telephone technical assistance, outreach to employers, employees, and other stakeholders, and responses to written inquiries. The branch also interacts regularly with agency field enforcement staff and specialists to guide and assist in the consistent and effective enforcement of these provisions of the law. Ms. Applewhaite has 24 years of experience with the wage and hour division, beginning her career as an investigator working in Virginia and West Virginia. She has worked with the FMLA policy branch for over 17 years, and oversees the development of all national policies and procedures in all areas of the FMLA.
Angela Ripper
Assistant Vice President, Special Counsel
Ms. Ripper has worked for Unum for 22 years. In 2000, she helped build the leave management center, a unit within Unum that administers FMLA and state leave laws for employers and customers, which now covers 1.6 million lives and administers 227 state leave laws. She continues to provide legal support for the leave management center and has done so since its inception. Ms. Ripper speaks at seminars nationally on FMLA and ADA, and is featured annually by DMEC with a representative from DOL to speak on FMLA. She is a certified trainer for SHRM and CE credit. Ms. Ripper advises HR on decisions ranging from initial hires to disciplinary actions to termination. She also advises on RIF’s, reviews contracts, and advises the leave management center on the FMLA and the ADA. Additionally, she negotiates contracts for service for the leave management center. Ms. Ripper received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986 and her JD from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1989.


This session qualifies for the following CEUs: 1 ADMS, 1 CDMS, 1 CLMS, 1 PHR, and 1 SHRM. To qualify for CEU credit:

  • You must attend the full duration of the webinar. Following the webinar and once attendance has been confirmed, you will receive an email with CEU reporting information.
  • You must register for and watch the webinar individually. Group participation does not qualify for CEU credit.

CLMS Logo_RGB_PNGExclusively offered by DMEC, the Certified Leave Management Specialist (CLMS) program is the only professional designation of its kind that provides interactive, hands-on training to ensure your programs effectively comply with state and federal leave laws. Learn more about the CLMS program.

 Registration Fees

Registration Fees
DMEC members Free
Nonmembers $29.99

DMEC members receive free registration for webinars. 

Sponsored by:
Link to Unum Website