The Complexity and Interplay Among ADAAA, FMLA, and Worker's Comp (WC) - How Do They Work Together, or Not?

Susan Strauss

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Description: 

Challenges - It’s confusing isn’t it?  How are we supposed to keep it all straight when there are times when the legal requirements of both Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the  American Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) are similar, yet at other times one law contradicts another?  We find that we can’t comply with both laws at the same time, so which one takes precedence over the other?  And where does WC come in?  To complicate matters even more, WC is a state law, while FMLA and ADAAA are federal laws, and there are other state civil rights laws that also impact FMLA and the ADAAA.  Consider that an injury under WC may also be a “serious health condition” under FMLA. State laws may differ from federal laws by covering additional health conditions, may apply to small organizations, or may cover situations in which the federal laws have no say such as domestic abuse.  As HR, we have the responsibility of sifting through these laws to ensure that we comply with each law that provides the best benefit to our employees. These laws provide entitlements to our employees which means they are not considered an optional benefit.  So, even if you fail to apply the law to your employee,   they can claim protection anyway. For example, if you fail to provide appropriate leave under FMLA, that does not remove the employee’s right to a job-protected leave.  The ultimate goal of all three laws is to assist the employee to return to work.

Financial – Costs related to absenteeism, turnover, liability based on civil rights laws, costs related to investigations 

Topic Background:

Ensuring compliance with FMLA can be frustrating for many HR professionals who are uncomfortable with the Act.  This leads to litigation.  Then, to add the ADAAA legal requirements adds to the confusion which can also lead to discrimination under civil rights law.  Sometimes sprinkled in with FMLA and the ADAAA is WC – the nexus among the three legal requirements, especially as it relates to leave, medical certification, and getting the employee back to work as quickly as possible, can be daunting.  This webinar will separate the three laws and examine how each law applies to work situations.

Why one should attend the training:

The webinar addresses laws that HR is responsible for upholding.  When the laws are not followed, it increases the liability for the organization and interferes with a fair and equitable work environment for employees.  The interplay among Workers’ Comp, ADA, and FMLA is confusing to many HR professionals, this webinar will help decipher the complexities.

  • To review the intricacies of  how WC, ADAAA, and WC intersect to provide employees’ coverage under these acts
  • To discuss the challenges in terminating an employee after they have expended their FMLA benefits without ignoring their rights through the ADAAA or state laws
  • To identify steps to follow when an employee fails to provide the requested and required medical certification
  • To explain the process in responding to an intermittent leave request that may include a potential ADAAA accommodation
  • To describe essential documentation guidelines to prevent liability
  • To outline best practices when conducting the legally required interactive process when determining an accommodation
  • To clarify a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities based on the ADAAA
  • To discuss the criteria for essential job functions 
  • To determine if and why you need a second or third medical opinion
  • To judge WC/ADAAA light duty restrictions while  keeping FMLA intermittent and reduced scheduled leave viable

Areas will be covered during the Session:  

The learning objectives tell what will be covered.

  • Tips - To identify the top ten FMLA leave mistakes

Target audience:

This webinar is for all industries so identifying specific job titles is not realistic.  That said, the following general job titles should attend:

  • VP of HR
  • All HR directors, managers, and generalists
  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Director of Risk Management
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Speaker: Susan Strauss,

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector. Dr. Strauss has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News and other television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as Harvard Education Newsletter, Lawyers Weekly and Times of London. Susan is the recipient of the Excellence in Educational Equity Award from the Minnesota Department of Education for her work in sexual harassment in education. She has spoken about sexual harassment at international conferences in Botswana, Egypt, Thailand, and the U.S. She consulted with the Israeli Ministry of Education, as well as with educators from Israel, England, Australia, St. Maartin, Bali, and Canada. She traveled to Poland and conducted research on sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Polish workplaces with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. She has consulted with health professionals in Beirut regarding violence in healthcare. Susan has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor's degree in psychology and counseling, a master's degree in community health, and professional certificate in training and development. She has been involved in the harassment and bullying arena since 1985