2020 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer
Compliance Conference

Session and Speaker Agenda

DMEC Compliance Conference AttendeesAbsence and disability professionals have the daily responsibility to mitigate risk for their organizations through the effective management of their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) programs. Complex questions and challenges arise that require compliant solutions. The 2020 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, March 23-26, 2020, in Boston, MA, will provide the answers you need to confidently address these issues and become the leave expert in your organization.

For the full list of sessions and speakers, download the 2020 DMEC Compliance Conference program.

Monday | March 23

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
MONDAY PRECONFERENCE WORKSHOP: PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE
9:00-10:00 am Get Ready: PFML Laws are Coming!  
In the last several years, four states (WA, MA, CT, OR) and the District of Columbia have adopted statutory paid family and medical leave (PFML) laws. They join four other states (CT, NJ, NY, and RI) that have had PFML laws in effect for some time. We expect this trend to continue and anticipate that additional states may adopt these laws in 2020. In this session, we will examine what these laws mean for employers and explore the similarities and differences of the various state PFML laws. We will provide guidance to employers about how to understand and prepare for the disruptive forces of these new, expanding laws.

Workshop Speakers
Abigail O’Connell, JD, Senior Counsel, Sun Life U.S.
Marjory Robertson, JD, AVP & Senior Counsel, JD, Sun Life U.S.
10:00-10:30 am Coffee & Conversation Break
10:30-11:30 am Paid Family Leave: Exploring The Impacts to Other Benefit Programs  
Since paid family leave (PFL) was first established in California in 2004, it has caused chaos for both employers and benefit providers. With more states passing legislation and the government considering a federal program, the topic of paid leave is not going away anytime soon. Spring Consulting Group and ClaimVantage conducted a research study to examine the potential impact PFL might have on employers, insurance carriers, and brokers, beyond regulatory requirements. Using a 360 degree view, this session will share findings from the research and industry at large and share concerns and trends we may see over the next few years.

Workshop Speakers
Karen English, CPCU, ARM, MBA, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
Marcy Updike, PRC, User Experience Researcher, ClaimVantage

11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch on Own
1:00-2:00 pm Coordination of Benefits: A Practical Guide for Employers   
With the paid family and medical leave (PFML) landscape constantly changing, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for employers to manage the complexity associated with multiple benefit options for their employees. This complexity may lead some employers to question the value of offering optional or non-mandated state benefits to their employees. In this session, we will provide practical information that will help explain what you can and can’t do when coordinating benefits; demonstrate the value of short-term disability and other company paid leaves in light of new and emerging state PFML offerings; and reinforce the importance of a robust benefits program for your organization.

Workshop Speakers
Marissa Mayfield, MBA, Sr. Product Manager, Statutory Disability & PFL, Lincoln Financial Group
Sarah Montgomery, JD, Assistant Vice President & Senior Counsel, Lincoln Financial Group

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2:00-2:30 pm Coffee & Conversation Break
2:30-3:30 pm Creative Strategies for PFML Compliance and Effective RTW  
As more states are legislating paid family and medical leave (PFML), employers will be faced with more employees taking time away from work. During this session, we will address the concerns employers have about employees utilizing PFML. We’ll share tips and strategies to prepare return-to-work (RTW) policies and processes in compliance with these new laws and the ADA, and explore how to foster a supportive RTW environment that returns employees to productivity as swiftly and safely as possible. We will also address parity for employees who are employed in various states which may not have PFML laws passed, and the ongoing need for short-term disability insurance regardless of state plan availability.

Workshop Speakers
Kimberly Mashburn, National Accounts Practice Lead, The Hartford
Rachel Wesley, MEd, CRC, LPC, CEAS, Clinical and Vocational Rehabilitation Director, The Hartford

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3:30-4:30 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 day’s preconference workshops.

Workshop Speakers
Karen English, CPCU, ARM, MBA, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
Marissa Mayfield, MBA, Sr. Product Manager, Statutory Disability & PFL, Lincoln Financial Group
Marjory Robertson, JD, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life U.S.
Rachel Wesley, MEd, CRC, LPC, CEAS, Clinical and Vocational Rehabilitation Director, The Hartford
First Time Attendees
5:00-6:00 pm First-Time Attendee Orientation & Mixer  
First-time attendees can join us for a beverage and an overview of what to expect at this year’s conference.
Evening Event
6:00-7:30 pm Opening Welcome Reception   
Mix and mingle with colleagues and peers from across the country at the 2020 opening welcome reception.

Sponsored by:


Tuesday | March 24

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast & Visit with Exhibitors
General Sessions
8:30-8:45 am Welcome & Overview  

Speaker
Terri L. Rhodes, CCMP, CLMS, CPDM, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, DMEC
8:45-9:30 am Keynote: Disabilities in Today’s Workforce – How Trauma Shaped One HR Executive’s Business Practices  
At the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, Heather Abbott enjoyed a high-powered career as a human resources executive with a Fortune 50 company. Key to her job responsibilities was a focus on equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and hiring and retention of women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Little did Heather know that one day she would become the very kind of employee she was entrusted to protect. Hear how Heather’s professional views changed as a result of her traumatic injury, and how businesses today can benefit from her experience.

Keynote Speaker
Heather Abbott, Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor

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9:30-10:00 am Coffee & Conversation Break with Exhibitors
10:00-10:30 am DOL FMLA Updates  
U.S. Department of Labor FMLA Branch Chief Helen M. Applewhaite will provide expert insight on recent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) opinion letters, regulatory updates, including proposed revisions to the FMLA forms, and information on the processes in place for receiving and responding to questions and comments about the FMLA. Come and hear the latest dispatches from headquarters on all things FMLA.

Invited Speaker
Helen M. Applewhaite, Branch Chief, Branch of FMLA and Other Labor Standards, Wage and Hour Division, US DOL
10:30 am-12:00 pm FMLA/ADA Review: The Twists and Turns of Another Year  
The interaction and application of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) remain persistent and complex for employers. In this perennial must- attend session, we will review significant FMLA & ADA case law developments from the past year, identify emerging case law trends, and discuss recurring issues that continue to get the courts’ attention. On a practical level, we will assess the impact of the cases on day-to-day practice in the management of employees with medical conditions.

Speakers
Alexis Knapp, JD, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
Jeff Nowak, JD, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC

Sponsored by:

12:00-1:30 pm Lunch & Visit with Exhibitors  

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Concurrent Sessions
1:30-2:30 pm 1A. Coast to Coast: Leave, Accommodation, and Disability Administration  
A “one size fits all” approach to leave, accommodation, paid leave, and disability policies is often not attainable for national employers or local employers trying to attract and retain local talent. Leave and accommodation laws and disability and company policies vary by state, region, and market; and the FMLA and ADA are interpreted differently by the federal circuit courts across the country. In this session, we will provide employers with a coast-to-coast understanding of absence, accommodation, and disability management and explore how to compliantly develop programs that meet your organization’s geographic needs.

Speakers
Ashley Chodorowski, Senior Business Consultant, FINEOS
Megan Holstein, Esq, SVP Absence and Claims Product, FINEOS
1B. Leave Solutions, Strategies, and Challenges from All Sides: A Panel on Outsourcing, Insourcing, and Cosourcing  
Is there one solution for your organization when it comes to determining leave compliance and process strategy? What makes insourcing, outsourcing, and cosourcing processes run smoothly, and what are the challenges? During this facilitated panel discussion, we will constructively discuss issues such as making vendor relationships work, expectations, topics to discuss with vendors when choosing an outsourcing partner, and the life of a leave process when outsourcing. We’ll offer opportunities and challenges for all leave process options, including outsourcing, insourcing, and cosourcing.

Panel Speakers
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC

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1C. Leverage Technology to Level Up Your Accommodation Program  
Effectively accommodating employees is no easy feat, whether for an Americans with Disabilities accommodation request or as part of a broader stay-at-work/return-to-work program. In this session, we’ll explore the technology that employers can leverage to bring their accommodation program to the next level, including case management technology, and leveraging point solutions such as Physical Demands Analysis and Functional Capacity Evaluations, to support the interactive process. Technology and best practices shared will be equally applicable to managing the ADA interactive process as well as SAW/RTW planning, giving you the tools to both keep your employees productive while at work and safely return them to work when appropriate.

Speakers
Patty Borst, National Practice Leader – Disability and Absence Management, The Partners Group
Geoffrey Simpson, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Presagia
1D. Eeny, Meeny, Accommodate, or No?  
Does your accommodation process feel like a guessing game? Do you ask yourself questions such as when to ask for medical support, how to accommodate in an open floor plan environment, and whether to approve that third ADA leave extension? In this session, we’ll provide practical solutions to help participants find simple solutions to even the most complex accommodation situations. Using cell phone polling technology, we will ask participants what they would do in various ADA accommodation scenarios, providing tips for untangling the issues and finding a simplified path forward. Bring your own accommodation challenges for discussion.

Speakers
Linda Batiste, JD, Principal Consultant, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Allyson Kambach, CLMS, FMLI, Director, Disability and Absence Product Management, Prudential

1E. The Intersection of the ADA & Workers’ Compensation Laws: Prevent Discrimination and Retaliation  
Employers have an obligation not to discriminate against disabled employees under respective state laws. How does the federal statute prohibiting discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coincide and interact with the various state workers’ compensation laws? How can employers be mindful of the respective state laws in practical application to prevent not just discrimination, but also to prevent claims of retaliation? During this session, we’ll address disability in the context of state workers’ compensation laws and how it is different/similar to the ADA with the ultimate goal of successful return to work.

Speakers
Sharlene D. Lee, Esq, Employment Law Attorney, Nevers, Palazzo, Packard, Wildermuth & Wynner, PC
Samuel H. You, Esq, Principal, Ro & You, LLP
2:30-3:00 pm Dessert Break with Exhibitors  

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3:00-4:00 pm 2A. Compliance and Beyond: Supporting Workplace Trans Inclusion and Gender Expression  
State and local laws demonstrate a trend of support for gender inclusiveness. As a result, HR and diversity leaders must embrace transgender and gender non-conforming employees by educating their entire workforce. Utilizing a case study, we will assist you in identifying legal issues related to gender expression and identity, as well as explore best practices for establishing gender transition guidelines, supporting correct pronoun usage, updating employee documentation and systems, and handling a request for gender-neutral or gender-identified restrooms and other facilities.

Speakers
Maureen K. Bogue, JD, Founder, Pacific Employment Law
Erin L. Winters, JD, Of Counsel, Pacific Employment Law

2B. Mental Health and the ADAAA: A Blueprint for Management
Employees with mental health conditions can pose challenges for leave professionals as they look to identify the employees’ needs, provide accommodations, and assist with return to work. In this session, we’ll discuss the legal contours and ramifications of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), as well as pragmatic solutions and resources for providing accommodations and return-to-work support. We will also share best practices for keeping a psychologically healthy workplace to stave off mental health issues.

Speakers
Kate Harri, Founder and President, MA, Licensed Psychologist, Working Solutions, LLC
Dawn C. Van Tassel, JD, Founder, Van Tassel Law Firm

2C. USERRA: Supporting Uniformed Services and Military Families 
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is the most contrary of all leave laws — general principles that apply to other state and federal leaves of absence have no place under USERRA. We’ll give you the opportunity to test your USERRA IQ, and you’ll likely find some very surprising answers. From avoiding getting tripped up by the escalator provision to layering on similar (but different) state laws and company military policies to leaves of absence for the family members of military personnel — some of them paid under the new state family and medical leave laws, we’ll discuss how to comply with these various laws and honor our service members and their families.

Speakers
Marti Cardi, JD, Vice President, Product Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc
Gail Cohen, JD, Director, Employment Law & Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc

2D. Massachusetts PFML: The Ins, Outs, and the Intersections with Other Benefits  
As part of a sweeping trend, Massachusetts will become the sixth state to mandate paid family and medical leave benefits starting in 2021. In this session, we’ll help you understand how the MA PFML will interact with leave under the FMLA, short-term disability benefits, and other paid time off and benefit programs and dive into how MA PFML compares to the other state paid family and medical leave laws.

Speakers
Michael Doheny, JD, General Counsel and Undersecretary of Labor, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Jaclyn L. Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
Abigail O’Connell, JD, Senior Counsel, Sun Life U.S.

2E. Safety-Sensitive Roles and the ADA  
Is it ever appropriate to deny an accommodation for safety reasons? If so, when? It may come as a surprise to some employers that an employee with a medical condition that poses a risk in the workplace may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, even if that job is a safety-sensitive position. Can a bus driver who suffers from diabetic seizures or a surgeon with a bi-polar condition be entitled to ADA accommodation? In this session, we’ll discuss court cases on these topics with results that might surprise you!

Speaker
James Venable, JD, SPHR, Vice President of Employment Law, Absence & Accommodation Compliance, ReedGroup

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4:00-4:15 pm Comfort Break
Regional Roundtable Discussions
4:15-5:15 pm Regional Roundtable Discussions  
Join your regional peers for small-group discussions on hot topics in your geographic location. Share challenges, opportunities, and best practices from your organization’s experience.
Concurrent Session: The Employer Story
4:15-5:15 pm 3A Redefining Accommodations: WalMart’s Central Intake Call-In Program  
Join your regional peers for small-group discussions on hot topics in your geographic location. Share challenges, opportunities, and best practices from your organization’s experience.

Speakers
Kirk Hancock, Accommodation Service Manager, WalMart Stores, Inc
Maggie Steuck, Sr Operations Manager, Sedgwick

Moderator
Herminio Vargas, Jr., MBA, MPA, JD, Program Manager – Integrated Absence Management, WalMart Stores, Inc

Short Quick-Dives
4:15-4:40 pm 3B. Navigating the Differences Between the FMLA & the ADA  
In this session, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between the FMLA and the ADA. We’ll walk through a side- by-side comparison of FMLA and ADA requirements to help you understand how and when these laws impact your employees, when the laws overlap, and best practices on managing those interactions.

Speakers
Peter Fabiankovic, JD, Corporate Council, MetLife Group Benefits
Dan Iskra, Director, Group Disability Product Development & Management, MetLife Group Benefits

4:50-5:15 pm 3C. 20 Common FMLA Mistakes in 25 Minutes  
As they say, the devil is in the details. During this practical session, we will highlight 20 FMLA mistakes you might not even know you are making, and we’ll pinpoint some positive preventative strategies employers can implement to avoid making these mistakes.

Speakers
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC

Evening Open

Wednesday | March 25

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast & Visit with Exhibitors
General Sessions
8:30-9:30 am What to Expect When You’re Expecting . . . A Visit from the DOL
You’ve just received an email from a former employee with a laundry list of complaints around your organization’s management of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your CEO and the Department of Labor (DOL) were included on the email. How do you navigate communications with the employee and how does the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the enforcement authority for the FMLA, handle these claims? In this session, enjoy an open dialogue between a WHD FMLA expert and an experienced employer-consultant attorney as we discuss the best ways to be prepared well before you get that email.

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
9:30-10:00 am Coffee & Conversation Break with Exhibitors
10:00-11:00 am How to Prepare for a FMLA/ADA Retaliation Investigation  
How should employers approach a retaliation investigation? Responsiveness and documentation are key factors to arrive at the best outcome. In this session, we’ll help you prepare for a potential investigation, learn the right questions to ask, and understand the steps involved during the investigative process.

Speaker
James Venable, JD, SPHR, Vice President of Employment Law, Absence & Accommodation Compliance,
ReedGroup
11:00 am-12:00 pm What is Good Faith and How Do You Demonstrate It?  
Compliance requires getting the basics right, but how do you design and implement a culture that goes beyond compliance and promotes acceptance and civility? It requires thinking through all the communication “touch points” and shifting from a mindset of compliance to a truly interactive process (as the law intended). During this session, we’ll explore how to view your disability compliance program through this lens to see where changes can be made for the better — for both the employer and employee.

Speaker
Rachel A. Shaw, MBA, President, Shaw HR Consulting, Inc

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12:00-1:30 pm Lunch & Visit with Exhibitors  

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Concurrent Sessions
1:30-2:30 pm 4A. From Daunting to Doable: Conquer Creating Essential Job Functions
Developing essential job functions is critical for proper administration of the FMLA and the ADA, but you may be unsure what exactly that means or how to approach developing them. In this session, we will address what essential job functions are, the legal reasons why they’re so critical, and examples of how to best approach developing accurate job descriptions.

Speakers
Barb Aloni, MA, CDMS, Disability and Productivity Consultant, The Standard
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC

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4B. Defensible Documentation: Cross the T’s and Dot the I’s  
You’ve likely heard the advice to document, document, document. After all, documentation is a key component in demonstrating what steps took place once you were put on notice of an accommodation request. But what does that really mean? Your organization might struggle with knowing how to capture the appropriate level of documentation, and a lack of documentation or documenting inappropriate information within an ADA request can impact a court’s ruling if the employer’s actions are challenged in litigation. In this session, we’ll discuss how to more effectively document the interactive process from the beginning through the end of an accommodation request.

Speaker
Danette Washum, Manager, ADA Support Services, Unum
4C. Is Your Employee Phoning It In? The Comings and Goings of Remote Workers & Flexible Work Schedules  
In today’s work culture, flexibility can be the hallmark of a positive environment. With emerging communication technologies becoming commonplace, the lines between in-office and at-home work have blurred, allowing for a variety of work situations. But there are limits to an employer’s obligations, and not every role in an organization lends itself to this flexibility. During this session, we will explore the grey areas in between and discuss the not-so-obvious cases where employers, employees, the EEOC, and the courts have dealt with tricky situations around telecommuting, attendance, accommodations, intermittent leave, and more. We will also discuss bills proposed in the recent legislative sessions and their impact on this space, including “fair workweek” and work flexibility proposals.

Speakers
Christy Traupe, Product Market Manager, Integrated Disability and Absence Management, FINEOS
Lori Welty, Esq, Absence Management Senior Compliance Attorney, FINEOS

Sponsored by:

4D. Ultimate Engagement: Program Integration, ADA and Career Mobility Consultation   
In this session, we’ll explore what drove Baystate Health System to implement a unique strategy around program integration, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and career mobility within the organization. We’ll discuss their approach of providing an internal advocate to assist employees who need modified job responsibilities due to injury or disability and find them a comparable position. We’ll also explore qualitative results of the new strategy, share employee success stories, and discuss the overall value of the integrated systems.

Panel Speakers
Joe Barone, MSW, BCD, Employee ADA Case Manager, Baystate Health
Karen English, CPCU, ARM, MBA, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
Laura McCormick, Manager, Disability & Leave Management, Baystate Health

Moderator
Teri Weber, ACI, PMP, Partner, Spring Consulting Group

4E. Tools, Techniques, and Technologies for Developing a Disability Compliant and Inclusive Workplace  
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that globally there are more than one billion people with disabilities. Increasingly, chronic health conditions and disabilities are becoming more common in the workplace, which means creating disability compliant and inclusive workplaces is a business imperative. In this session, we will share the most effective practices from employers known for being inclusive and share JAN’s Workplace Accommodation Toolkit to give you applicable tools for workplace accommodations.

Speaker
Linda Batiste, JD, Principal Consultant, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
2:30-3:00 pm Dessert Break with Exhibitors  

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3:00-4:00 pm 5A. Weeding Through the Challenges of Marijuana in the Workplace  
More states are legalizing marijuana, both for medical and recreational use, but it remains an illegal Schedule 1 substance at the federal level. This poses significant challenges for employers in knowing how to handle employees who use marijuana. In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into marijuana’s impact in the workplace and discuss how to navigate all the complexities. We’ll share how the state marijuana laws interact with other regulations, discuss the impact on drug testing and zero-tolerance drug policies, and explore marijuana’s role as an alternative pain treatment in workers’ compensation and disability management claims.

Speakers
Heather Luiz, Senior Vice President, Workforce Absence, Sedgwick
Meredith Simoneaux, Assistant General Counsel, Sedgwick

5B. Post-Implementation Program Initiatives: Maximizing the Efficiency Gains of Your Leave and ADA Solutions  
Whether you outsourced administration of your absence management program years ago or just recently went live with a technology tool for your leave and ADA administration, there is no time like the present to start capitalizing on the gains of your significant investment. In this session, we will provide a roadmap to determine and prioritize what comes next. Join us as we take you through one organization’s journey in their continued progress towards their ultimate goal of building efficient, compliant practices that provide best in class service to their employees, managers, and HR teams.

Speakers
Patty Borst, National Practice Leader – Disability and Absence Management, The Partners Group
Brycie Repphun, CPDM, Account Executive – Total Absence Management, The Partners Group

5C. Balancing the ADA with Performance Management  
Managing employee performance and conduct is crucial to an employer’s business, as it impacts productivity, efficiency, and the general workplace environment. However, when performance issues intertwine with a claimed disability, employers may be unsure as to how they can address the situation. This presentation will discuss approaches an employer can take to handle performance issues appropriately while ensuring compliance with the ADA.

Speaker
Janet Lee, JD, Counsel, Cigna

5D. Artificial Intelligence: The Opportunities and Risks  
As technology evolves, artificial intelligence (AI) presents tremendous capabilities from interpreting speech to creating a knowledge base of frequently asked questions from employees to predictive analytics that can assist employers in managing absence and engaging with employees. But AI also raises concerns about privacy, security, and profiling. In this panel discussion, we’ll explore how to use AI effectively without crossing privacy and security lines.

Panel Speakers
Dustin Goodwin, VP of Business Development, AI Blockchain Advisor
Chad Sharf, SVP, Development, AbsenceSoft
Michael Sonne, PhD, VP of Innovation and Research – MyAbilities

Moderator
Seth Turner, MBA, VP, Business Development, AbsenceSoft

3:00 – 4:30 pm 5E. Winning at FMLA Leave Certification  
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations provide employers with an important tool to verify that an employee’s leave request qualifies as FMLA leave: the FMLA leave certification process. But, along with the certification process provided for in the FMLA regulations, comes deadlines and “do’s” and “don’ts” that can challenge even the most seasoned leave management professional. Join us for a closer look at FMLA leave certification, as we focus on how to get the information you need when you need it. Bring your questions, and we’ll talk strategy!

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

4:00-4:15 pm Comfort Break
Regional Roundtable Discussions
4:15-5:15 pm Compliance Roundtable Discussions  
Join your peers for small-group discussions on complex compliance topics. Share challenges, opportunities, and best practices from your organization’s experience.
Concurrent Session: The Employer Story
4:15-5:15 pm 6A. Employee Engagement with Paid Family Leave  
In this session, hear about Paychex’s journey to create national supplemental paid family leave for all its employees. With a program that supports parents of over 400 babies born each year and employee caregivers, Paychex will share how they designed a program that aligns with the Family and Medical Leave Act, offsets state benefits, and is paid through the corporate payroll department. They’ll share their goal and strategy around offering paid family leave to all employees and creating an experience that allowed employees to focus on what’s important in their lives.

Speaker
Teresa Wesley, Manager, Absence Mgmt & Safety, Paychex, Inc

Short Quick-Dives
4:15-4:40 pm 6B. 10 Easy Steps to Earn Honors in ADA Accommodation Compliance  
Most employers find trying to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to be both scary and confusing. That is understandable because the rules regarding required ADA accommodations are unclear, ever-changing, and often conflicting. In this session, we’ll discuss practical, easy-to-follow guidance and common-sense approaches that you can implement immediately and ensure compliance in your workforce.

Speakers
Abigail O’Connell, JD, Senior Counsel, Sun Life U.S.
Marjory Robertson, JD, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life U.S.

4:40-5:15 pm 6C. Best Practices in Coordinating the FMLA & the ADA  
When building a compliant leave and disability program, it’s important to understand when and how the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) interact. In this session, we’ll share insights on how the two laws overlap, when an FMLA leave may trigger the ADA interactive process, when leave is an appropriate accommodation, and best practices for coordination of the two laws. Using real claim scenarios, we’ll also discuss tips for time tracking and vendor coordination.

Speakers
Peter Fabiankovic, JD, Corporate Council, MetLife Group Benefits
Dan Iskra, Director, Group Disability Product Development & Management, MetLife Group Benefits

Evening Event
6:00-7:30 pm Happy Hour  
Come mingle and relax with attendees and exhibitors after a full day of sessions. Enjoy complimentary drinks and nibbles during happy hour.

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Evening Open

Thursday | March 26

7:00 am-12:00 pm Registration Open
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast
General Sessions
8:30-9:30 am Return to Work: Exploring Effective & Compliant Solutions  
A return-to-work (RTW) program can be difficult to manage along with all of the other important tasks leave professionals and supervisors are responsible for handling each day. In this entertaining session, we will explore RTW options for occupational or nonoccupational injuries and illnesses and discuss how these options can assist employers in maintaining compliance and getting employees back to work. “Sheldon Cooper” and “The HR Director” will make a return appearance to discuss modified duty, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the countless other questions that can surface during the course of these conversations.

Speakers
Bryon Bass, CLMS, SVP, Disability and Absence Management Practice & Compliance, Sedgwick
Kimberly T. Webb, JD, Principal Consultant, Kimberly T. Webb Consulting

9:30-9:45 am Coffee & Conversation Break
9:45-10:45 am The ADA: Where Employers Are Getting It Right (and Wrong)  
Landmark cases such as Severson have given employers more tools for effectively managing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) leave; yet some employers are still missing the mark when it comes to avoiding ADA pitfalls. In this informative session, we’ll talk about how employers have improved their ADA game and cover recent cases against employers, and what you can learn from their mistakes.

Speakers
Matt Morris, JD, VP of FMLASource, ComPsych
Rich Mrizek, JD, Trial Attorney, EEOC
10:45 am-12:00 pm 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
Francis P. Alvarez, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Alexis Knapp, JD, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
Jaclyn L. Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
12:00 pm Closing Remarks & Grand Prize Giveaway  

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12:00-12:30 pm CEU Information & Questions