2019 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer
Compliance Conference

Session and Speaker Agenda

DMEC Compliance Conference AttendeesAbsence 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. The 2019 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, May 6-9, 2019, in Portland, OR, will answer these questions, giving you the opportunity to serve as a leave expert in your organization.

Download the PDF program or view the full agenda below.

Monday | May 6

8:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
Accommodations in the Workplace Preconference Workshops
9:00-10:00 am ADA and Intermittent Leave: How to Determine Whether or Not the Accommodation is Reasonable? 
With the recent 7th circuit court decisions regarding leave as an accommodation, many employers are grappling with how to reconcile these requests/needs with EEOC guidance. Intermittent leave is an area where many employers struggle to meet ongoing business demands while ensuring there is an appropriate response to accommodation needs. This session will focus on leave as an accommodation, intermittent leave needs while assessing business needs. Intermittent leaves are the hardest leaves to manage because they have a direct effect on staffing levels, often cause productivity and morale issues and sometimes leave is abused by employees. We will explore intermittent leave basic, tips for effectively responding to such requests and recommendations when you suspect abuse.

Workshop Speaker
Bryon Bass, CLMS, SVP, Disability and Absence Management Practice & Compliance, Sedgwick
Kimberly T. Webb, JD, Director National Technical Compliance – ADA Accommodations, Sedgwick
10:00-10:30 am Coffee & Conversation Break
10:30-11:30 am Creative Accommodations: Finding the Right Fit 
The complexity of accommodation request made under the ADA continues to expand. An area of growing complexity is the request for service animals due to a defined condition. How can you discern between service and emotional support animals? And what is an employer obligated to accommodate? While an adjusted work schedules or accessibility modification are more frequently requested navigating request in the new agile or flexible workplace can bring it’s own challenges for an employer. How can an employer support workstation modifications in the new fluid work setting? An employer’s ability to identify appropriate, reasonable, and sometimes out-of-the-box alternatives are all part of a compliant and robust accommodation process and may even support successful return to work. Our experts will share best practices and resources around less common ADA request to include service animals, workstation modifications, job restructuring and more.

Workshop Speakers
Daris Freeman, JD, Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel, Unum
Danette Washum, Manager, ADA Support Services, Unum
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch on Own 
1:00-2:00 pm The Answer Is No! Say “No” Legally and Effectively 
Sometimes it feels like we have to say “yes” to any request for a leave of absence or accommodation regardless of the business case or the situation. The truth is, sometimes it is ok to say “no.” This session will review and study various cases in which the courts have said that the circumstances justified the employer’s refusal to grant a leave of absence or reasonable accommodation. Come to this session to learn and understand not only when it is ok to say “no,” but how to legally and effectively do so.

Workshop Speaker
Jaclyn Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
2:00-2:30 pm Coffee & Conversation Break
2:30-3:30 pm ADA Leave: The Six Things You Should to Be Doing 
Employers have long felt helpless in fielding ADA requests for leave as an accommodation. But recently, courts have outlined important limits on what, when and how much needs to be accommodated. In this informative session, Matt Morris, attorney and VP of FMLASource at ComPsych, and Rich Mrizek, trial attorney with the EEOC, will discuss and debate these developments and give a step-by-step approach to what you should and shouldn’t do in order to stay compliant with the ADA.

Workshop Speakers
Matt Morris, JD, VP of FMLASource, ComPsych
Rich Mrizek, JD, Trial Attorney, EEOC
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.

Speakers
Jaclyn Kugell, JD, Partner, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP
Matt Morris, JD, VP of FMLASource, ComPsych
Rich Mrizek, JD, Trial Attorney, EEOC
Danette Washum, Manager, ADA Support Services, Unum
Kimberly T. Webb, JD, Director National Technical Compliance – ADA Accommodations, Sedgwick
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 2019 opening welcome reception.

Sponsored by:

2019 DMEC Compliance Conference Partner Sponsors

 

Tuesday | May 7

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

Speaker
Terri L. Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, DMEC
8:45-9:30 am OPENING REMARKS: Keeping Up with the FMLA – Updates and Trends 
With the first release of new opinion letters since 2009, including clarifying the application of FMLA to live organ donors, the Department of Labor (DOL) has been busy! And despite more than 25 years of learnings and clarification, employers still grapple with requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Hear directly from an official from the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division as we get up to speed on all things FMLA. We will examine the 2018 opinion letters, continue our discussion on FMLA forms, and explore FMLA compliance trends and challenges from the perspective of the DOL.

Invited Speaker
Helen M. Applewhaite, Branch Chief, Branch of FMLA and, Other Labor Standards, Wage and Hour Division, US DOL
9:30-10:00 am Coffee & Conversation Break with Exhibitors
Sponsored by:

Broadspire
10:00-11:00 am A Look Back: Insights Into Key 2018 FMLA & ADA Cases 
If the recent patchwork of state and local laws have kept you busy and distracted, let this session be the answer to your compliance update questions! Our legal expert will catch you up on the major FMLA and ADA court decisions from 2018 so you don’t miss a beat in managing your absence and disability programs. Hang onto your seats for a fast-paced overview of the impacts these decisions will have on your compliance programs, emerging case law trends, and recurring themes that continue to hold the courts’ attention.

Speaker
Francis P Alvarez, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
11:00 am-12:00 pm 50 Shades of FMLA: Dealing with Those Gray Areas 
The FMLA regulations are long and detailed — and yet, there are many unanswered questions around FMLA requests and leaves. The DOL provides limited guidance for items not already nailed down in the regulations. So, what is an employer to do? In this session, two FMLA experts will discuss some of the FMLA gray areas that plague employers, provide recommended practices, and tie those recommendations to the regulations, case law, and sometimes even logic! Head-scratching issues like variable schedules and calculation of leave, managing intermittent frequency and duration, a spouse’s concurrent request for time off, denied vacation requests, and more coincidences will all be covered. Join us and bring your own gray-area challenges.

Speakers
Marti Cardi, Esq, Vice President – Product Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc
Jeff Nowak, JD, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
12:00-1:30 pm Lunch & Visiting with Exhibitors 
Concurrent Sessions
1:30-2:30 pm 1A. Bio-Psycho-Social Toolbox: A Step Toward Solving the Opioid Crisis 
Contrary to what politicians seem to believe, simply passing legislation will not solve the opioid crisis. Truly solving the crisis requires executing on three separate — and daunting — directives: 1) getting those already addicted off drugs; 2) addressing at-risk employees who are newly diagnosed with pain; and 3) solving the chronic pain puzzle, which is the primary driver of the opioid addiction crisis. Join a dynamic group of panelists to review the epidemiology of this crisis with a focus on its impact to employers and a “bio-psycho-social toolbox” for employer participants. Using case scenarios and audience polling, the panelists will explore the addictive nature of opioids, the effect they have on employees, and the range of solutions for safe, effective, and ADA-compliant return to work. Employers will learn to engage the right resources at the right time to effectively address this crippling epidemic.

Speakers
Kerry McCarron, JD, Associate General Counsel, MelroseWakefield Healthcare
Adriana St. Cyr, Director, Insurance & Business Operations, Tufts Medical Center
Rachel Wesley, MEd, CRC, LPC, CEAS, Vocational Rehabilitation Director, The Hartford

Moderator
Adam Seidner, MD, Chief Medical Officer, The Hartford
*Sponsored session
1B. What’s Your Appetite for Risk? Compliance Questions with No Good Answers 
On the surface, FMLA regulations may appear comprehensive and clear, but dig deeper and things can start looking murky. For example, regulations make clear that employees who are employed outside of the US aren’t counted for purposes of determining employer coverage or employee eligibility in terms of the 50 employees in 75-mile radius rule, but what about when employees work outside the US on an intermittent basis – do those hours count toward the 1,250 hours? If an employer voluntarily provided more than 12-weeks of leave to an employee for an FMLA qualifying reason and they have a rolling back calendar, can they count the additional weeks of leave against the employee’s entitlement if the employee requests leave in the next year? Employers grapple with FMLA questions like these that don’t have definitive answers. This session explores different resolutions to these types of questions, pros and cons, and attendant risks.

Speakers
Megan Holstein, JD, SVP Absence and Claims Product, FINEOS Corporation
Janet Lee, JD, Counsel, Cigna
*Sponsored session
1C. STUCK: What Do Employers Do When the Disability Interactive Process Isn’t So Interactive 
This solutions-focused presentation will address the realities of what employers can do when employees are unwilling or unable to fully participate in the disability interactive process. Rachel is nationally known as a dynamic presenter and as an expert in the ADA compliance matters. In this session, she will expertly guide you through how to ensure your interactive process has the tools needed to stay in control and manage your disability compliance obligations and your business! This session will leave you feeling empowered, entertained and with tangible tools to enhance your organization’s good work.

Speaker
Rachel A. Shaw, MBA, President, Shaw HR Consulting, Inc
*Sponsored session
1D. KISS Accommodations: Keep it Simple, Silly! 
Do your ADA accommodation issues feel complicated? Bring them to this session for specific feedback from experts! Issues like multi-extension leave requests, inflexible supervisors, and the intersection of disability and performance issues often find employers reaching for complex solutions when the real key may be in keeping it simple. During this session, industry experts — and session colleagues — will weigh in on your issues and troubleshoot simple solutions. This session will provide practical guidance to help employers untangle the issues and find a simplified path forward.

Speakers
Linda Batiste, JD, Principal Consultant, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Allyson Kambach, CLMS, FMLI, Director, Disability and Absence Product Management, Prudential
1E. Walk-the-Walk: Implementing a Successful Early RTW Program 
We know absenteeism results in lost productivity, and return to work is a “win-win”: it generates cost savings for employers and improved health and employment outcomes for employees. Yet many employers have struggled to move past “talking the talk” to actually implement successful programs. Employers face real and perceived hurdles when creating a formal program, including the cost of time and resources to develop and implement, and the ongoing management required. Employers may not know where to start. This program presents on the methods, tools and strategies used by PG&E to develop and implement a successful transitional return-to-work program. The session will discuss valuable lessons learned so that other employers can benefit from this experience and move forward in implementing programs of their own.

Speakers
Roberta Etcheverry, MBA, Disability Management Specialist, DMG: Diversified Management Group
Todd Torres, Manager, Integrated Disability Management Programs, Pacific Gas & Electric
2:30-3:00 pm Dessert Break with Exhibitors  
Sponsored by:

Morgan Brown & Joy, LLP
3:00-4:00 pm 2A. Marijuana in the Workplace: Employer Considerations for an Evolving Trend 
Medical marijuana is now legal in more than half the states in the nation, and nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Despite the fact that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, this rising tide of green — and limited federal direction — makes it difficult for employers to know how to prepare and respond to these changes. Join this panel discussion to gain insights and new strategies to tackle this issue. We will address employment law factors, talent acquisition and management practices, HR drug testing and impairment policies, workplace safety considerations,  and clinical applications for workplace accommodations. We’ll address any “burning” questions you have on this topic.
Speakers
Kristin Williams, Human Resources Director, Woodward, Inc
Mary Kay O’Neill, MD, MBA, Partner, Mercer
Kate Wilkinson, JD, Senior Director & Assistant Counsel, The Standard

Moderator
Breanna Scott, Director, Product and Service Management, The Standard
*Sponsored session
2B. Effectively Handling an Increasingly Clever ‘Bad’ Employee While Staying Compliant 
In this session, we’ll take a look at anecdotal, yet relevant, case examples of issues facing the workforce today, with a focus on managing employees who use the FMLA, the ADA, and workers’ compensation (WC) to pre-empt a good faith termination or disciplinary action. We will examine the use of WC by employees to create employer liability, protect against termination, and establish facts for an otherwise speculative disability claim. We will examine complicated issues that arise when there is legitimate cross-over between WC/FMLA/ADA and RTW issues and accommodations. Lastly, we will explore creative ways of leveraging litigation in WC cases to help secure outcomes in civil employment suits.

Speakers
Megan Sullivan, JD, Senior Partner, Michael Sullivan and Associates
Eric DeWames, JD, Attorney, Of Counsel, Michael Sullivan and Associates
Lisa Aguiar, JD, Managing Partner, Michael Sullivan and Associates
*Qualifies for CLMS ethics credit
2C. How to Maximize Use of Technology to Manage FMLA, LOA, ADA, and STD 
The path to implement technology can be daunting, from gaining organizational buy-in, to selecting the right partner, to implementing and optimizing technology use to drive business results. Learn from experts who have used technology to improve efficiencies, drive results and improve employee experience. This session will focus on every step of the process from preparing your organization for technology, selecting the right partner, implementing a solution and managing the relationship after implementation.

Speakers
Patty Borst, Consultant, The Partners Group
Abby Carroll, Total Rewards Manager, Tillamook
Brycie Repphun, CPDM, Account Executive – Total Absence Management, The Partners Group
Seth Turner, MBA, VP, Business Development, AbsenceSoft
2D. My Employee on Leave is Doing WHAT on Facebook? Using Technology to Detect, Confront and Prevent Leave Abuse 
Employees fraudulently taking leave impacts an employer’s bottom line, company resources, and the morale of the employees who are working harder to cover the work of employees on leave. The use of social media, video surveillance, and other technology, if properly utilized, can effectively detect and prevent leave abuse. What can employers do if an employee is posting on social media while on leave, or is otherwise suspected of leave abuse? What are the legal risks? This session will provide attendees with the guardrails needed to successfully use technology to confront leave abuse by highlighting recent cases and using real-life case studies.

Speakers
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis, PC
*Qualifies for CLMS ethics credit
*Sponsored session
4:00-4:15 pm Comfort Break
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.
Evening Open

 

Wednesday | May 8

7:00 am-5:00 pm Registration Open
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast & Visiting with Exhibitors 
General Session
8:30-9:30 am Mastering FMLA Notices & Forms 
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) required notices and medical certification forms can prove challenging for employers, and evaluating the information provided to make compliant decisions can feel like a daunting task. During this interactive session, we’ll help you master the requirements of FMLA notices and forms and understand the associated employer responsibilities. We’ll provide detailed information about FMLA notices and forms and discuss considerations and challenges when qualifying leaves under the FMLA. We’ll also review relevant case law and recent Department of Labor opinion letters and discuss the implications for employers.

Speakers
Daris Freeman, JD, Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel, Unum
Michelle Jackson, MSW, CLMS, Assistant Vice President, Unum
9:30-10:00 am Coffee & Conversation Break with Exhibitors
10:00-11:00 am Building an Effective Paid Time Off & Leave Program: What You Need to Know 
Human resources is determined to deliver innovative flexible work arrangements to ensure effective talent acquisition and retention. Your CFO is insisting those programs avoid million-dollar accruals at year end. The legal team keeps sending you emails warning against PTO programs that conflict with the ever-expanding array of state and local paid leave laws. How do you begin to unpack all these competing considerations and priorities? Is it even possible with the current patchwork of federal, state, and local leave considerations? What does a compliant program look like and how does your company’s program measure up? Don’t miss this session where we will unpack all the points your company must consider when designing a lawful and effective paid time off and leave program that will suit your needs today and carry you strategically into the future.

Speakers
Francis P Alvarez, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
11:00 am-12:00 pm Are You Ready? Emerging Paid Statutory Leave Programs 
In this session, we’ll explore best practices for emerging paid statutory leave programs. You’ll hear how an employer adjusted company plans to align with new leave laws, and how they formulated a plan for growth in the statutory paid leave space. We’ll also discuss challenges employers need to adapt to for multiple state leave laws as well as potential federal bills under consideration. And finally, we’ll elaborate on the top three statutory requirements of each state and host a Q&A session with all panelists.

Speakers
Sara Borgardt, Lead Manager, Human Resources Total Rewards, AXA US
Blaine Clotfelter, First Vice President, Consultant, American Benefits Consulting
Jeff Jones, Principal, Lead Consultant, American Benefits Consulting

Moderator
Dan Iskra, MetLife
12:00-1:30 pm Lunch & Visiting with Exhibitors 
Concurrent Sessions
1:30-2:30 pm 3A. Drugs, Alcohol & Behavior: Fitness for Duty, the ADA & FMLA 
When unusual behaviors impact workplace safety, employers have a responsibility to address them. Learn how one employer leverages vendors in the fitness for duty process to identify the underlying causes for the behavior and seek to address them while also assuring employees their legal rights to leave and accommodations when applicable. Examples of situations concerning employees who are and who are not covered by DOT requirements will be discussed.

Speakers
Tyler Friess, Human Resources Advisory, Puget Sound Energy
Lillie Yates, Human Resources Analyst, Puget Sound Energy

Moderator
Jenny Haykin, MA, CRC, Integrated Leaves & Accommodations Program Manager, Puget Sound Energy
3B. A Quest to Reach the Right Result: Effects of a Moral Compass on Plan Administration 
As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to aligning care with Catholic healthcare ethics practices. This fosters disciplined decision-making processes, which promote Ascension’s Mission, Vision and Values. Come hear how this commitment impacts Ascension’s role as a plan sponsor and plan administrator of a disability plan covering more than 100,000 employees. The presenters will discuss the moral and legal compasses that guide Ascension’s disability plan design and administration, as well as the challenges that arise when trying to balance values and the law in an effort to achieve the right result for plan participants.

Speakers
Kristy Wrigley-Durer, Practice Area Senior Attorney – Employee Benefits, Ascension Health Alliance
Amy Blaisdell, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC
*Qualifies for CLMS ethics credit
3C. Roundtable Discussion: A State Regulator, Employer and Administrator Perspective of WA Paid Family
& Medical Leave 
Washington will be the 5th state to offer paid family and medical leave benefits starting in 2020, but employers have action to take in 2019. Setting up a Paid Family and Medical Leave is no easy task. Get a jump on 2019 and learn how your business can prepare to implement this mandatory program by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD). This is your opportunity to hear from AND ask questions to the ESD, an employer and a TPA to gain insightful background into this state-mandated paid leave program works.

Speakers
April Amundson, Policy Analyst for Paid Family and Medical Leave, Washington Employment Security Department
Marti Cardi, Esq, Vice President – Product Compliance,rix Absence Management, Inc
Brittany McVicar, Policy Analyst for Paid Family and Medical Leave, Washington Employment Security Department
Erin Penland, CEBS, Sr. Benefits Specialist, DSW, Inc

Moderator
Lori Welty, Esq, Absence Management Senior Compliance Attorney, FINEOS Corporation
3D. The A-Z Of Technology To Elevate Your Accommodation Program 
Technology is growing in importance across workforce management, enabling employers to go from simply administering their workforce to becoming strategic managers. This holds true for ADA/ADAAA programs; however, this area is still plagued by spreadsheets, sticky notes, and paper. With an influx of new technology, we are poised for change. This session will take a broad look at the technology available today to manage the interactive accommodation process. We will share best practices for employers regardless of whether they are insourced or outsourced. We’ll also explore how technology can overcome obstacles in the accommodation process, and examine the specific features and functionalities that various technologies can offer.

Speaker
Geoff Simpson, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Presagia
*Sponsored session
3E. Innovative Leave Programs: Meeting the Needs of a Multigenerational Workforce 
The workplace is rapidly changing with increases in flexible hours, remote supervision and work, and broader responsibilities. And the workforce is changing — with more mobility, shifting family dynamics, and added responsibilities for those caring for children and aging parents. As older workers are staying at work longer, the workplace is becoming more multigenerational — with needs and preferences unique to each generation. Workers want more flexibility not only in hours and working location, but also in their leave benefits. And they are more willing to change jobs, further complicating the already tight labor market.More employers are responding to these changes by creating company-specific leave programs, many of which are paid, as a strategy to attract and retain top talent. The level of creativity is interesting with programs ranging from paid time off to welcome a new child to paid leave to bond with and train your new puppy. This session will explore how changes in work and workers are creating demands for new approaches to leave, how companies can use these as opportunities for a competitive advantage, and strategies for developing company leave policies to help ensure goals are met and risk is mitigated.

Speakers
Kristin Hostetter, Senior Consultant, Group Products, Lincoln Financial Group
Glenn Pransky MD MOccH, Scientific Consultant, Lincoln Financial Group
*Sponsored session
2:30-3:00 pm Dessert Break with Exhibitors  
Sponsored by:

Zurich
3:00-4:00 pm 4A. Breaking Down Mental Health’s Impact on Absence Management 
Is your employee depressed or just unqualified? Not knowing the difference could cost you. The signs of a mental health condition can be misleading and are often misconstrued as an employee putting little to no effort into their job responsibilities. Are you confident you’ll be able to identify the signs of a mental health condition? York’s Senior Vice President of Absence Management, Heather Luiz, and Assistant General Counsel, Meredith Simoneaux will walk you through some of the common indicators of a mental health condition. Discover how HR managers often misinterpret these signs, leading to confusion, weakened morale and, in extreme cases, litigation. Learn what your responsibility is under the ADA and how you can create a workplace environment that supports employees facing mental health conditions.

Speakers
Heather Luiz, Senior Vice President, Absence Management, York Risk
Meredith Simoneaux, Assistant General Counsel, York Risk
*Sponsored session
4B. Case Study: A Healthcare Employer’s Outsourced ADA Solution 
Join us as we explore workplace accommodations at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. As a teaching hospital with 10,000+ employees, Dartmouth-Hitchcock saw the need to implement a robust accommodation handling process to facilitate their numerous accommodation requests. They will walk us through every step of their program from communication and documentation review to resolution – and everything in between! Their process incorporates a collaborative partnership between the teaching hospital and vendor that has provided enhanced benefits to the hospital’s human resources staff, employees and managers. You will hear about the process from the perspective of both Human Resources and the vendor’s Accommodation Specialist. In addition, employment law counsel will provide guidance about legal and compliance issues associated with this outsourced solution.

Speakers
Casey Hatten, CRC, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, Sun Life Financial
Marjory Robertson, JD, AVP & Senior Counsel, Sun Life Financial
Crystal Teffner, Sr Benefits Analyst, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
4C. Medical Certifications: How to Maximize One of the FMLA’s Most Important Tools  
In managing an FMLA leave, nearly everything rides on the certification – initial cert, recertification, 2nd/3rd opinions, and more. Without a good, solid cert at the outset of a leave, you are left without guidance when you need it most. And as the leave progresses, your recertification rights are one of the best tools the FMLA regulations give you. So how do you ensure that you have the best certification and information you are entitled to at the start of a leave? When, why, and how can you use recertification to properly manage a troublesome leave situation? What grounds are available for a 2nd opinion, and how do you use that? What role can a fitness-for-duty certification play in managing FMLA and when can you use it? Leave this session with confidence that you can manage medical certifications and get all information you deserve from the process.

Speakers
Gail Cohen, JD, Director, Employment Law & Compliance, Matrix Absence Management, Inc
Jeff Nowak, JD, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson PC
4D. Leave Management of the Future: Tools and Tricks to Enhance the Experience 
The leave landscape is changing and expanding at a dizzying pace, and employers are challenged to not only stay abreast of the changes but pressed for time to educate and communicate benefits to employees. How can employers utilize digital tools to improve the leave management process and enhance the employee experience while streamlining the workflow? Apps, integrations, and platforms abound and making sense of what is available can be challenging. Come learn how you can leverage cloud-based technology and apps to support and improve your leave management process and keep employee information secure. You’ll discover how three innovative approaches are revolutionizing the leave management process.

Speakers
Michelle Jackson, MSW, CLMS, Asst Vice President, Unum
Anna Steffeney, Founder & CEO, LeaveLogic
*Qualifies for CLMS privacy credit
4E. Making the Pieces Fit: Overtime, Harassment and Compensation’s Interplay with Leave of Absence 
Leave of absence is just one piece of the employment law puzzle in which human resources and benefit professionals play. Many decisions made in one employment practice also impact leave and accommodation administration. Not understanding and recognizing these areas of interplay creates risk for your organization. Learn the relationship between absence laws and other employment laws, such as wage and hour, anti-discrimination laws, benefit laws, labor laws, and more.

Speakers
Janet Lee, JD, Cousel, Cigna
Lori Welty, Esq, Absence Management Senior Compliance Attorney, FINEOS Corporation
*Sponsored session
4:00-4:15 pm Comfort Break
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.
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.
Evening Open

 

Thursday | May 9

7:00 am-12:00 pm Registration Open
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast 
Sponsored by:

Sun Life Financial
General Session
8:30-9:30 am Paid Family Leave at the Federal Level: An Objective Comparison of Three Leading Proposals Across the Political Spectrum 
There is broad bipartisan support for legislation to address paid family leave. We’ve seen the onslaught of piece-meal legislation to address the need, but are we finally gaining traction on a federal solution? This session will analyze and compare three proposed federal bills from the last legislative session — the Economic Security for New Parents Act, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act, and the Workflex in the 21st Century Act. We will discuss each bill and give a balanced overview of the key features, from funding and benefits, to employer and employee rights and obligations, giving employers a comprehensive look at the current federal PFL landscape.

Speakers
James Venable, JD, SPHR, Vice President of Employment Law, Absence & Accommodation Compliance, ReedGroup
Sue Woods, Senior Compliance Counsel, ReedGroup
*Sponsored session

9:30-9:45 am Coffee & Conversation Break  
Sponsored by:

Sun Life Financial
9:45-10:30 am Overcoming Obstacles and Reaching for the Stars! 
Don Thomas first dreamed of becoming an astronaut and flying in space when he was just six years old. At the age of 35, he was selected by NASA to be an astronaut. Only two months after beginning training, doctors diagnosed Don with thyroid cancer. Following surgery and radiation and beating the odds, he went on to fly four Space Shuttle missions, spending 44 days in space, and orbiting the Earth 692 times during his 20-year career with NASA. While facing the tremendous challenge of a cancer diagnosis, the NASA management team and doctors fully supported Don and allowed him to continue with his training once he had recovered. Without the exceptional support of the entire NASA team, he never would have been able to achieve his lifelong dream of flying in space.

Speaker
Don Thomas, Astronaunt, Scientist, Educator, and Author
10:30-11:45 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
Amy Blaisdell, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, PC
Sheri Giger, JD, MS, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
David Mohl, JD, Principal, Jackson Lewis PC
11:45 am-12:00 pm Closing Remarks & Grand Prize Drawing 
Sponsored by:

Allsup

Speaker
Terri L. Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, DMEC
12:00-12:30 pm CEU Information & Questions