FMLA, ADA, And Workers’ Comp Overlap: How To Effectively Navigate New Compliance Challenges
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Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a ruling in which the court suggested that a policy with a strict limit on medical leaves of absence might be enforceable. This ruling leads to many questions. For instance:
These are all complicated issues of significant importance to employers nationwide—and issues that arise all the time when the line separating employees’ FMLA rights, applicable workers’ comp coverage, and rights under the ADA isn’t always clearly drawn.
- Can an employer have such a policy and what risks are associated with that type of policy?
- What happens if the employer eliminates the employee’s position while s/he is out on leave or discovers evidence of wrongdoing while the employee is on FMLA?
- Can the employer refuse to reinstate the employee to his/her previous position?
- And, how does the striking increase in EEOC retaliation cases factor into the leave equation?
Employer rights and obligations can get murky, and it’s imperative that you know how to determine precisely what you can and can't do when facing the treacherous triangle of disability and leave laws.
Join us when seasoned employment attorney, Susan G. Fentin of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., will explain where the ADA, FMLA, and workers’ compensation laws may overlap. She’ll provide real-life examples of the types of situations that may come up to trigger multi-layer obligations under these laws, so HR knows what to do—and not do—when.
- What “substantially limited” in the performance of a major life activity means under the ADAAA
- What to do when an employee requests additional time off following the expiration of FMLA leave
- Real-life scenarios highlighting ADA, FMLA, and workers’ comp interaction, such as:
- How to handle a situation when you question an employee’s ability to return to work and/or safely perform his/her essential job functions and, therefore, want to order a fitness for duty exam or obtain other medical documentation before allowing him or her to return to work
- How to determine whether an employee with a “serious health condition” that’s protected under FMLA qualifies as “disabled” under the ADA
- What to do if an ill or injured worker has exhausted an FMLA or other approved leave and is still unable to return to work
- Tell-tale signs that your existing leave policies and practices could spark claims against your organization
- A checklist to follow before reassigning, transferring, or terminating an employee protected under federal disability and leave laws
- Important distinctions between the rules that govern FMLA leave and a medical leave of absence, how a work-related injury can affect an employee’s right to a leave of absence, and what to do to help protect your company from legal action
About Your Presenter
Susan G. Fentin, Esq.
Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.
Susan G. Fentin practices in Springfield, Massachusetts, office. She has been named as a Super Lawyer in Massachusetts since 2008 and has been listed as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Massachusetts by the prestigious Chambers & Partners rating agency.
In 2015, she was named one of the top 50 women attorneys in Massachusetts. She teaches FMLA and ADA Master Classes on behalf of BLR and speaks frequently to employer groups about issues related to labor and employment. Prior to attending law school, she had a career in business and owned and operated her own company, giving her unique insight into the employment problems faced by business owners.
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