2018 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer
Compliance Conference

2018-dmec-fmla-ada-employer-compliance-conferenceSession and Speaker Agenda

Absence and disability professionals are tasked with the responsibility of limiting risk for their organizations through the effective management of their FMLA and ADA programs. Each day, complex questions arise that require compliant solutions.

How can you effectively weed through ADA accommodation guidance and case law and make compliant decisions that won’t cripple your business? What should be included in your front-line training program to avoid risk and equip supervisors with the tools required to recognize a leave or accommodation need? What catches the DOL’s attention and how can you avoid being unnecessarily vulnerable in an investigation?

The 2018 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, Apr. 30-May 3, in Orlando will answer these questions and many more, giving you the opportunity to serve as a leave expert in your organization.

Download the full program or browse the online agenda below.

Monday | April 30

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
Morning Preconference Workshops
8:30-9:30 am FMLA Administration: Demystifying the Intricacies 

According to the DOL, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has served as the cornerstone of the department’s efforts to promote work-life balance since it was signed into law in 1993. Despite 25 years working with its requirements, employers are often still stymied by the intricacies of the FMLA.

The FMLA becomes better defined as it ages; however, that definition sometimes brings with it more confusion. Your organization could end up on the wrong side of the next court ruling if you’re not familiar with the nuances of the FMLA; don’t just assume that you’re doing it right or that you know enough to get by.

During this session, you will gain better insight into the fundamentals and requirements of the FMLA, learn to eliminate FMLA confusion, understand what documentation is necessary to qualify an FMLA event, and explore real-life scenarios.

We will also help you better understand and administer the FMLA by:

  • Providing an in-depth overview of the FMLA and its regulations
  • Identifying common misconceptions and implementation pitfalls when administering the FMLA
  • Providing employers with a structured approach to address FMLA compliance

Workshop Speaker
David Mohl, JD, Associate Counsel, Global Labor & Employment, Chief Privacy Officer, The Hershey Company

9:30-10:00 am Coffee & Conversation Break 
10:00-11:00 am ADA Basics: Competence Builds Confidence 
Fundamental Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concepts can drive the design of effective reasonable accommodation (RA) programs, but the ADA competence and confidence of those responsible for implementing RA programs can have a significant impact on overall ADA compliance. Organizations are more likely to be successful in achieving ADA compliance when those responsible for processing ADA requests possess a practical understanding of the basic requirements of the ADA and recognize the benefits of disability inclusion.This session will enable you to build your ADA competence and confidence by learning the basic requirements of the ADA and receiving practical tips for compliance. A representative from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will share information about the financial and legal benefits of ADA compliance and offer best practices for promoting an inclusive workplace. We will also help attendees build their ADA competence and confidence by sharing practical guidance on:

  • The fundamental requirements of the ADA
  • The benefits and costs of providing reasonable accommodations
  • Best practices for inclusion

Workshop Speaker
Tracie DeFreitas, MS, CLMS, Lead Consultant, ADA Specialist, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

11:00 am-12:00 pm Lunch on Own 
Afternoon Preconference Workshops
12:00-2:00 pm Liability Alert! HR and Supervisor Ethical Missteps 
Disability and leave of absence laws impose requirements that guide employers into treating employees fairly and ethically — standardized rules for leaves and accommodations that apply equally to all. But, good rules and policies don’t always translate into ethical treatment of employees. A company with good employment policies can still get sued because of inappropriate statements, questions, or actions by Human Resources (HR) and management. This session will highlight real ADA and FMLA cases to help you gain a deeper understanding of ethical pitfalls in managing leaves and disabilities, such as misplaced benevolence, relying on stereotypes, what you ask, and how you communicate. Then, you will learn how to design HR and supervisor training that is effective and promotes ethical ideals.

Workshop Speakers
Marti Cardi, JD, Vice President, Product Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc
Jaclyn Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
2:00-2:30 pm Coffee & Conversation Break
2:30-4:30 pm 4 Steps to a Compliant and Effective ADA Disability Interactive Process 
This fast-paced, entertaining, and solutions-focused presentation that will provide you with tools to enhance your disability interactive process. Using a patented 4-step “Hallway” process, you’ll learn how to manage some of your most challenging accommodation requests — from supervisor limitations to “my disability made me do it”. This session will also include updated tools and resources for participants, and even if you come just for the information and samples, you’ll also leave feeling reinvigorated, empowered, and ready to get back to this important work!

Workshop Speaker
Rachel A. Shaw, MBA, President, Shaw HR Consulting, Inc
4:30-5:30 pm Preconference Wrap-Up: Ask the Experts! 
Wrap up the first day of sessions with a chance to ask questions of our experts on the topics covered during the afternoon preconference workshops.

Speakers
Marti Cardi, JD, Vice President, Product Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc
Jaclyn Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
Rachel A. Shaw, MBA, President, Shaw HR Consulting, Inc
Evening Event
6:00-7:30 pm Opening Welcome Reception  
Mix and mingle with colleagues and peers from across the country at the 2018 opening welcome reception.

Sponsored by:
2018 DMEC Compliance Conference Partner Sponsors

 

Tuesday | May 1

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
7:00-8:00 am Breakfast with Exhibitors 
Sponsored by:

Zurich
General Session
8:00-8:15 am Welcome & Overview 

Speaker
Terri L. Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, DMEC
8:15-8:45 am OPENING REMARKS
FMLA Compliance: Patterns, Principles, and Tools
 
What’s new from the Department of Labor (DOL) with FMLA enforcement and compliance assistance? What tools does the DOL provide to help employers understand their responsibilities under the law? What warning signs can the DOL flag from its deep dive into how an employer’s FMLA leave administration functions? An official from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division will discuss effective FMLA leave management strategies, and current efforts to improve compliance through a combination of enforcement and education.

Invited Speaker
Helen M. Applewhaite, Branch Chief, Branch of FMLA and, Other Labor Standards, Wage and Hour Division, US DOL
8:45-10:00 am FMLA/ADA Year in Review: Bloopers, Blunders, & Triumphs 
As creative employees submit new claims and anxious employers test the waters with new defenses, it’s important to understand recent case law and its impact on employment practices across the country. In this popular session, we’ll review recent major FMLA & ADA case law developments, identify emerging case law trends, and discuss recurring issues that continue to get the court’s attention. You’ll also gather tips and tactics that will keep your organization out of next year’s legal update.

Speakers
Ellen McCann, JD, Assistant Vice President and Special Counsel, Unum
Jeff Nowak, JD, Partner and Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Group, Franczek Radelet PC
10:00-10:30 am Coffee & Conversation Break 
Sponsored by:

Broadspire
10:30-11:30 am Disability Discrimination Nightmares! How to Ensure This Doesn’t Happen to You 
How can you learn from others’ disability discrimination failures in the areas of leave management and disability accommodation? We’ve got the answers. During this session, we will walk you through not only what happened in these cases, but how you can “tool up” your organization to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. You’ll leave not just with the critical information needed to manage these dynamic issues, but with samples to help you immediately implement best practices and solutions that work. Your participation during the session may be rewarded with more than just good advice (think, coffee cards)!

Speakers
Marjory D. Robertson, JD, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial Services Company, Inc
Rachel A. Shaw, MBA, President, Shaw HR Consulting, Inc
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch with Exhibitors 
Concurrent Sessions
1:00-2:30 pm 1A. Tune Up Time: Your Reasonable Accommodation Program Is Yearning for It 
We expect our reasonable accommodation programs to run like a finely tuned engine, but they don’t come with the yellow maintenance required light or the dreaded red engine light. So, when was your program’s last tune up or full-service inspection? In this session, we will cover what red and yellow indicators you should watch for, starting with the candidate and employee experience. We’ll discuss where you should focus your tune-up efforts, how you can keep your program running efficiently through streamlined communication, and what performance enhancements you can expect initially and over time.

Speakers
Kerry Daley, PHR, Absence Program Manager, Robert Half International
Kelly Dieppa, ALHC, ACS, Vice President, Broadspire
Karen English, CPCU, ARM, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
Teri Weber, ACI, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
1B. Leave as an Accommodation: When Is Enough, Enough? 
Statistics show that leave is the most common accommodation request under the ADA. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult request for employers. Common questions include what triggers the employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process? How much leave must the employer grant? Are there alternatives to granting leave? While there is no bright-line test for these questions, there is guidance. The EEOC published guidance and judges nationwide have ruled on this issue, but the topic still remains confusing. Most recently, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two cases which were employer-friendly in their outcome. So how does an employer weed through all this guidance and make compliant decisions that won’t cripple their business? You’ll explore examples and best practices during this session to help you answer this question and more.

Speakers
Heidi Bimrose, CRC, CEBS, Director, Workforce Solutions Group, Unum
Daris Freeman, JD, AVP & Legal Counsel, Unum
1C. Who Wants to Be an ADA Guru? 
When an employee approaches you for an accommodation, it can feel like you’re on a game show where your response could result in risk or reward. Answer correctly, and you have a motivated, loyal employee. Answer incorrectly, and you could face penalties, lawsuits, and months of headaches. In this session, participants will be our Accommodation Game Show contestants using cell phone polling technology. We will ask what you would do in response to various ADA accommodation scenarios and provide best practice tips and strategies for how employers should respond. Sufficient time will be left at the end of the session for employers to pose their own “what if” questions.

Speakers
Linda Batiste, JD, Principal Consultant, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Allyson Kambach, FLMI, CLMS, Director, Disability & Absence Product Management, Prudential
1D. Effectively Operationalizing Leave Management: What’s in the Secret Sauce? 
Although identifying and understanding hundreds of state and local leave entitlements is undeniably challenging, it’s just the beginning for companies seeking to develop next generation absence management programming. To get to the next level, companies must transform approaches to “operationalizing” absence management. In this advanced-level session, we will discuss the most vexing compliance, organizational, and technology obstacles facing companies today and share insights into the programmatic initiatives most likely to overcome them. If you are seeking insight into changes that will help you deliver enhanced employee experiences, lower costs, and improved employee productivity, don’t miss this session. We’ll cover the following topics during the session:

  • Reasons absence management programs fall short
  • Key differences in state and local leave laws that can frustrate effective programming
  • Emerging leave legislation that compounds compliance challenges
  • Resources and practices that create greater program “connectivity”
  • Organizational approaches that produce effective integrated programming
  • Ways to determine that your programs are moving on the right track


Speakers
Francis P. Alvarez, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Megan Holstein, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC

2:30-3:00 pm Break with Exhibitors  
Sponsored by:

Morgan Brown & Joy, LLP
3:00-4:00 pm 2A. You Be the Judge: ADA Accommodation Lessons from Judges & Juries 
When you read about a company facing litigation for not engaging in the ADA’s interactive process, do you wonder how your company would fare in a similar situation? How would it cope with an EEOC investigation? How would your processes stand up? This session will use recent court cases to illustrate employer accommodation obligations under the ADA as well as the boundaries of reasonableness, with a focus on leave as an accommodation. We will highlight best practices for identifying and responding to ADA accommodation issues and for managing and documenting the interactive process. The session will also present scenarios based on actual cases and let the audience “judge” the employers’ responses. Each scenario will include practical steps to respond effectively to each scenario.

Speakers
Lori Clary, JD, Assistant General Counsel, CareWorks Absence Management
Matthew Howes, Vice President, CareWorks Absence Management Moderator
Heather Luiz, CPDM, President, CareWorks Absence Management
*Sponsored session
2B. Creating a Comprehensive LOA Plan Based on Case Law: UPS Shows the Way 
Case law and its interpretation can often leave you wondering what you can do without crossing the line, while all that is desired is a specific program design that best fits your employees’ needs. Join us as UPS shares how it is possible to create a comprehensive leave of absence plan based on the latest legal and regulatory rulings. You will hear about their recent redesign of the company’s absence management program, including how they conducted the process, the variables they considered, the pros and cons of various options, and their successful outcomes.

Speakers
Kelly Parkinson, BSc, MBA, Global Process Director, UPS
Rebecca Spreckelmeier, BA, MS, VP, Group Benefit Claims, The Hartford
Janice Beeker, JD, Counsel, The Hartford
Moderator
Kimberly Mashburn, BSN, CCWS, National Accounts Practice Lead, The Hartford
2C. Hidden Gems and Little-Known Facts about the FMLA 
Since its passage in 1993, volumes have been written about the FMLA and how it impacts both employers and employees. However, do you know what is included in the 1,250 hours worked eligibility calculation and if the time an employee spends on an approved USERRA leave impacts FMLA eligibility? Also, what “options” should you consider when writing your FMLA policy? How about whether the FMLA applies to expatriate or in patriate employees? This session provides you with an opportunity to look at some of the lesser known clauses from the FMLA and how they impact your company’s leave administration process and practices. You will walk away with practical tips to ensure you are in compliance with all the nuanced components of the FMLA.

Speakers
Sharon Andrus, Director, National Technical Compliance, Sedgwick
Bryon Bass, SVP, Disability and Absence Practice & Compliance, Sedgwick
2D. Paid Sick Leave: It’s Getting Contagious 
Paid sick leave laws are rapidly spreading at the local and state levels, and an employer must be prepared or risk legal exposure. This in-depth session will explore the genesis of paid sick leave laws and offer best practices on maneuvering through the myriad laws, particularly for multi-state employers. Discussion and tips on how current leave policies can be affected will be explored, including maintaining compliance, and predictions on new developments for employers to be prepared for the future.

Speakers
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
*Sponsored session
4:00-4:15 pm Break
4:15-5:15 pm 3A. Current Status and Future Issues for Employment & Reasonable Accommodation Requirements under Title I of the ADA and ADAAA 
The employment and reasonable accommodation requirements under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) present an ongoing opportunity and challenge for employees and employers nationwide. In this session, we will review recent EEOC data, expert analysis, and actual court cases that will update and expand your knowledge of the progress and status of these requirements. In addition, provisions of proposed legislation now moving through Congress, “The ADA Education and Reform Act” (H.R. 620), will be discussed.We’ll also review common issues, that when mishandled, can lead to expensive litigation. Using real court cases, we will provide a practical overview of current areas of focus and best practices.

Speakers
Robert Hall, PhD, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Hall Associates
Geoffrey Simpson, Director of Sales and Marketing, Presagia
*Sponsored session
3B. FMLA/ADA Leaves: Creating a Foolproof Return-to-Work Process 
Employers know that they need to focus on health-related outcomes for return to work and stay at work, but what about compliance? What do the FMLA and the ADA have to say about the employer’s rights and, more importantly, responsibilities to get employees back to work after a leave? What about the federal agencies and courts? In this informative session, FMLA and ADA attorneys and experts will walk attendees through the most important legal issues and obligations when it comes to employees’ return to work.

Speakers
Richard Mrizek, JD, Trial Attorney, EEOC
Matt Morris, JD, VP of FMLASource, ComPsych
3C. FMLA/ADA Training for Managers: Building Effective Programs for Your Organization’s Front Line 
You’ve spent countless hours and resources implementing a solid process to handle requests for leave and accommodation. Your HR team knows the drill; the posters are displayed; the Eligibility and Designation notices are sent on time; and your policies have been blessed by the legal department. Yet you know that the best laid plans can be spoiled by one supervisor behaving badly. Join us for a practical workshop using real-life examples on creating a training program that will arm your front line with the tools they need to recognize when an employee has given adequate notice of their need for a leave or accommodation, to know their role in the process, and to know how to have the right conversations with employees.

Speakers
Kristi Durr, CPDM, Manager Leave, Disability, and Benefits, St. Charles Health System
Morgan Prin, MBA, CPDM, Disability and Leave of Absence Partner, St. Charles Health System
Daris Freeman, JD, AVP & Legal Counsel, Unum
Moderator
Brycie Repphun, CPDM, Account Executive – Total Absence Management, The Partners Group
3D. NY PFL Implementation Challenges: What You Need to Know 
The New York Paid Family Leave Law (NY PFL) went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, bringing with it many compliance challenges for employers. During this session, we’ll review the ever-evolving compliance landscape around NY PFL, including implementation challenges and key items to prepare for as well as discuss how digital absence management can provide solutions for those challenges. We will also provide a five-step process for managing paid family leave; discuss practical tips and examples on how to coordinate payments; provide an overview of implementation challenges and solutions; and highlight tips for benefit payments processing.

Speakers
Rob Say, Product Manager, FINEOS
Randi Weir, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, AVP Absence Management, FINEOS
Evening Open

 

Wednesday | May 2

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
7:00-8:00 am Breakfast with Exhibitors 
General Session
8:00-9:00 am A Man Walks Into a Bar…to Find His FMLA-Approved Coworker?! 
Fact or Fiction? Do you have to allow an employee to sleep under his desk during work hours as a reasonable accommodation? Can an employee claim disability discrimination if she was charged with an absence when she took her service dog to the veterinarian? If an employee explicitly requests vacation, can she later sue under the FMLA when she fails to return from vacation on time? And is an FMLA approved employee allowed at a bar? If you are like most employers, the requests you receive from employees are probably getting wilder and weirder by the day. Learn how to address these and other disability and leave-related issues. This session will provide case studies and offer best practices to apply in your company. Plus, find out what happens to the man in the bar!

Speakers
Janet Lee, JD, Counsel, Cigna
Scott Cooper, Partner, Co-Chair Labor and Employment Practice Group, Blank Rome LLP
*Sponsored session
9:00-10:00 am DOL Red Flags in FMLA Investigations 
DOL FMLA investigations may start with a complaint from a single employee. However, the DOL’s authority is very broad. During an investigation, the agency can explore the full scope of your FMLA practices. What catches their attention? Regardless of how an investigation begins, the DOL will be looking for systemic violations. What will the DOL find in YOUR FMLA practices? Don’t be left needlessly vulnerable by common missteps.

In this session, the head of the DOL’s FMLA Branch will help you to identify red flags that could reveal issues with your practices and policies, and an experienced FMLA attorney will discuss how you can proactively address these issues to stay in the clear.


Speakers
Helen M. Applewhaite, Branch Chief, Branch of FMLA and Other Labor Standards, Wage and Hour Division, US DOL
Marti Cardi, JD, Vice President, Product Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc

10:00-10:30 am Coffee & Conversation Break
10:30-11:30 am How to Audit Your Organization’s Actual FMLA and ADA Processes 
Are you sometimes shocked to learn how the FMLA is being implemented in your organization? Do supervisors and managers still approach you in frustration because they want to discipline an employee on intermittent leave? Or, do you learn about leaves months after they have begun? Are managers still making reasonable accommodation decisions on their own? Are things just too quiet? How can you determine before the lawsuit happens how well your organization’s FMLA and ADA processes are actually working? Attend this interactive session and learn strategies for assessing how your organization is managing legally mandated leaves of absences and reasonable accommodations. Actual processes to identify pitfalls and failings in your organization’s FMLA and ADA processes will be provided.

Speaker
Jaclyn Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch with Exhibitors 
Sponsored by:

Franczek Radelet PC
Concurrent Sessions
1:00-2:00 pm 4A. Managing Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking: Leaves and Protections for Victims 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that sexual violence, stalking, and assault affect the lives of millions of women and men in the United States. Reports indicate that victims experience higher rates of certain chronic illnesses and limitations in life activities. In an effort to support victims, dozens of states have enacted or are considering antidiscrimination, retaliation, and harassment protections and/or leave rights for victims. Almost every state allows employees who are victims of crime to take leave to attend legal proceedings. Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has provided guidance for employers on the topic. In this session, we will address the myriad of employee leave rights under state and federal law; state anti-discrimination and retaliation provisions; and the overlap with disability laws and reasonable accommodations.

Speakers
Maureen K. Bogue, Esq, Founder, Pacific Employment Law LLP
Erin L. Winters, Esq, Of Counsel, Pacific Employment Law LLP
4B. Certify This: Demystifying Challenging Medical Certification Situations 
Do medical certification issues leave you scratching your head or take up valuable time? If so, help is on the way. This session will offer key tips from an employment attorney turned practitioner on how to effectively analyze and respond to common, yet challenging, medical certification issues. Through interactive polling questions, session attendees will assess their own competency, while also learning about the process for reviewing and responding to challenging situations. Some examples that will be covered include vague certifications; circumstances in which an employee’s absences are inconsistent with their certification; and certifications that suggest an employee may be at risk for harm to self or others. For each scenario, available employer resources will be shared that ensure the appropriate administration of the FMLA as well as strategies for curbing abuse and how best to communicate and coordinate with managers.

Speaker
Melissa Oliver-Janiak, Esq, HR Director of Benefits, Standard Insurance Company
*Sponsored session
4C. How to Tell If Your Disability Plan Is Governed by ERISA Regulations 
What is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and how can you tell for sure if your disability plan is governed by ERISA? This session will cover the basics of ERISA disability plans, when the law applies and when it does not, what rules the disability plan and its administrator must follow, and more. We will also cover information on ERISA’s notice, disclosure, and plan administrator’s fiduciary rules and how ERISA interacts with other leave laws such as statutory disability and unpaid leave laws. In addition, due to the recent ERISA regulatory changes, we’ll also explore the status of the revised regulations and any recommended changes.

Speakers
Megan Holstein, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Lori Welty, Esq, Compliance Attorney, ReedGroup
4D. Statutory Benefits: What You Need to Know 
What is state mandated disability insurance and how do employer programs interact with the state benefits? During this session, we’ll provide an in-depth overview of which states mandate statutory disability and paid family leave insurance. We’ll also explore each states’ statutory disability and paid family leave requirements including which employers must provide coverage, employee eligibility, issues surrounding funding, and payment. Similarities and differences between the states’ will be highlighted.

Speakers
Robin Trefethen, Senior Account Service Manager, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Lais Washington, JD, Technical Director, LMB Compliance, Liberty Mutual Insurance
*Sponsored session
2:00-3:00 pm Break with Exhibitors  
Sponsored by:

Cigna
3:00-4:00 pm 5A. Total Absence Management: Navigating the ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Triangle of HR Law 
Working your way through the overlap of ADA, FMLA, and worker’s compensation laws can leave you feeling like you’re navigating the Bermuda Triangle of absence management. This complex intersection of multiple leave laws is perplexing to even the most seasoned professionals. During this session, we will explore the areas of interplay and how to employ best practices when the three laws interact. Case studies will be discussed to illustrate challenges and common pitfalls employers face.

Speakers
Linda Croushore, Director, Disability Services, WorkPartners
Jeff Swaney, Vice President of Workers’ Compensation, WorkPartners
*Sponsored session
5B. Using Technology to Transform Your ADA Programs from Good to Great 
Are you looking to take your ADA programs to the next level? During this session, we’ll show you how to use technology to efficiently manage ADA and accommodation requests and monitor and reduce risk by standardizing processes, individualizing outcomes, and developing timely and targeted communications and reports.We’ll also discuss how to prevent process gaps with thorough documentation and customized workflows; realize efficiencies by allocating the right resources and automating communications; and achieve measurable return on investment by reducing administrative costs.

Speakers
Tom LeRoy, PT, MSErg, ARM, Integrated Disability, Absence and Accommodation Manager, Maine Medical Center
Seth Turner, VP, Business Development, AbsenceSoft
5C. The Pregnant Employee Life Cycle: The Employer’s Three Trimesters 
Pregnancy is one of the most common, yet complex leave and employment issues with multiple laws and regulations on local, state, and federal levels that may be applicable to an employer. Employers need legally-sound, consistent policies to ensure compliance and avoid discrimination issues while still providing proper accommodations. An employer will face questions, concerns, and requests for time off and accommodations in three key phases: 1) pregnancy and birth (including prenatal care, disability, accrued paid time off, nondiscrimination, and accommodation obligations); 2) bonding/ parental leave; and 3) lactation (nursing or expressing milk) and caring for the child. During this session, we’ll highlight considerations for employers in each of the three phases and provide guidance to help employers successfully navigate the numerous pregnancy-related laws.

Speaker
Lori Welty, Esq Compliance Attorney, ReedGroup
*Sponsored session
5D. Pre-employment Psychological Screenings: Practical Uses and Legal Risks 
For many employers, suitability considerations when hiring include that a candidate is free from a psychological, emotional, or cognitive condition which would prevent them from performing the responsibilities of the job, including safety-sensitive duties. During this session, we will address the use of pre-employment psychological screening (PEPS) to assess whether a job candidate meets minimum requirements for psychological, emotional, and cognitive suitability; and whether those requirements stem from the law or the employer’s business needs. While PEPS can be an effective cost and time-management process for hiring, the ADA and other laws restrict when and how employers may use these tools. We will provide you with practical advice about how to use PEPS and address best practices for balancing benefits against the associated legal risk.

Speakers
Courtney Blanchard, Attorney, Nilan Johnson Lewis
Kathy Steele, PsyD, LP, Neuropsychologist, R3 Continuum
4:00-4:15 pm Break
4:15-5:15 pm Roundtable Discussions 
Join your peers for small-group discussions on hot topics covered during the week’s sessions. Share challenges, opportunities, and best practices from your organization’s experience.
Evening Event
5:30-6:30 pm Happy Hour 
Come mingle and relax with attendees and exhibitors after a full day of sessions. Enjoy complimentary drinks, nibbles, mini golf, and lawn games during happy hour at the Formal Pool.
Evening Open

 

Thursday | May 3

7:00 am-12:00 pm Registration Open
7:00-8:00 am Breakfast 
Sponsored by:

Sun Life Financial
General Session
8:00-9:00 am Fitness-for-duty Compliance: Preparing for the “What Ifs” 
The ultimate goal of fitness-for-duty (FFD) exams is to determine whether a worker can meet the physical and mental demands of a position. However, compliance issues may arise leaving employers unprepared to handle certain situations. In this interactive session, a panel of absence and disability professionals will guide attendees in managing the “what ifs” of FFD compliance, including:

  • What if an employee refuses a second opinion or FFD/ADA accommodation exams?
  • What if the employer disagrees with findings?
  • What policies should be coordinated when obtaining an FFD?
  • What if liability issues arise such as suspected drug/alcohol involvement?
  • What if there are personnel issues that complicate the exam?

Panelists
Adrienne Paler, MIM, CPDM, SPHR, Director, Total Health & Productivity Management, Integrated Disability and Absence Management, Sutter Health
Francis P. Alvarez, JD Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Bryon Bass SVP, Disability and Absence Practice & Compliance, Sedgwick

Moderator
Christi Doe, MEd, CPDM, Director, Disability & Absence Management Services, ECN, a division of Genex Services LLC

9:00-9:15 am Coffee & Conversation Break  
Sponsored by:

Sun Life Financial
9:15-10:15 am Employee Spotlight 
In the midst of compliance concerns and program management challenges, we can forget that the work we do each day impacts individual employees and families in our organizations. During this session, we’ll hear an employee’s inspirational FMLA/ADA story and how the support they received during their journey was instrumental in their successful return to work. You won’t want to miss this unique session that reinforces the importance of our daily work and interactions.

Speaker
To be announced
10:15-11:45 am Ask the Experts! 
Our closing “Ask the Experts” session allows conference attendees to submit their most challenging questions to our panel of distinguished FMLA/ADA legal experts. You provide the uncensored questions, and they provide the unfiltered answers. This interactive discussion between attendees and panelists allows audience members to have their “real world” questions answered by the specialists. Come prepared with your toughest questions and the most perplexing challenges faced by your company. And best of all, there will be no billable hours or consulting fees incurred!

Panelists
Megan Holstein, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
David Mohl, JD, Associate General Counsel, Global Labor & Employment, Privacy, The Hershey Company
Jeff Nowak, JD, Partner and Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Group, Franczek Radelet PC
11:45 am-12:00 pm Closing Remarks & Grand Prize Drawing 

Speaker
Terri L. Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, DMEC
12:00-12:30 pm CEU Forms Signed