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Skoler, Abbott & Presser to host ADA informative webinar


Aug. 21, 2014
SPRINGFIELD – Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., the leading labor and employment law firm serving the greater Springfield area, recently announced partners Susan Fentin and Kimberly Klimczuk along with attorneys John Gannon and David McBride will host a webinar Aug. 21 titled, “ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Summit: Understanding Your Intersecting Leave Law Obligations.”

Specifically, the presentation will address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and workers’ compensation are affecting workplace policies and procedures. The live, extended webinar will begin at 11 a.m. and will conclude at 4:45 p.m.

For more information about how to register, visit http://store.hrhero.com/events/virtual-conferences/ada-fmla-wc-082114.

In June 2013, a federal court ruled against UPS Inc. for their inflexible leave policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claimed that the package delivery company violated the ADA by allowing only a 12-month leave of absence, failing to provide disabled employees further reasonable accommodations for their disabilities and firing them if they exceeded those parameters.

Earlier this year, the EEOC also issued revised publications on the rights of employees protected under the ADA – specifically four documents addressing employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities.

“With cases like this as well as new ADA revisions, it's clear that the EEOC is targeting employer leave policies like never before,” Fentin said. “This boot camp will provide clarity to help businesses maintain compliance and keep policies up-to-date.”

Participants of this interactive one-day event will learn how intersecting ADA, FMLA and workers' compensation regulations impact policies and procedures and how to adapt them. Respectively, the webinar will address:

• What the leave and disability laws require and the order they should be applied;

• Key differences between a “serious health condition,” a “disability” and a “workplace injury;”

• How to tell if someone with cancer is disabled under the ADA and the documentation you may request;

• What to do when issues related to an employee’s performance may be due to mental illness;

• How to tell if a temporary transfer or change in duties or hours is the answer;

• The game plan for returning a workers’ compensation claimant to work;

• What a leave policy should never state; and

• How to have difficult conversations with protected employees about attendance, conduct or performance-based issues

“Complicated questions arise when the line separating employee FMLA rights, applicable workers’ compensation coverage and employee rights under the ADA is blurred,” Gannon said. “Employer obligations can get murky, so 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.”

Fentin has been a partner at the firm since 2004. Her practice concentrates on labor and employment counseling, advising large and small employers on their responsibilities and obligations under state and federal employment laws and representing employers before state and federal agencies and in court.

She speaks frequently to employer groups, conducts training on avoiding problems in employment law, and teaches master classes on both the FMLA and ADA. She is routinely named as a Super Lawyer, and since 2010, she has been ranked as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in the state of Massachusetts by the prestigious Chambers USA rating firm.

Klimczuk joined the firm in 2004 following graduation from Duke University School of Law, and became a partner in 2011. Her experience includes negotiating collective bargaining agreements and advising on contract interpretation.

She also successfully defends clients in state and federal court and before administrative agencies in a variety of areas of employment law, including: wage and hour law; discrimination; harassment; wrongful discharge; and breach of contract claims. Additionally, she also assisted employers in compliance matters involving the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and has drafted numerous affirmative action plans for them.

Gannon is an associate in the Springfield office of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. He defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and related claims. In addition, he conducts comprehensive workforce wage and hour audits and reviews workplace policies for compliance with state and federal employment laws.

McBride recently joined Skoler, Abbott, & Presser, P.C., having graduated from Cornell Law School in 2013. McBride’s practice is concentrated in labor law and employment litigation.

His prior experience includes working at a major labor union in New York, N.Y., on both labor and employment law issues, including employer compliance with federal employment laws and preparation for litigation and arbitration.

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