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One of the most complex jobs for HR professionals is administering employee leaves while remaining in compliance with a myriad of laws. In fact, many HR professionals refer to the interplay of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Workers' Compensation as the Bermuda Triangle of Employment Law because of the perils involved in navigating the interplay between these complicated laws.

When dealing with employee absenteeism, employers need to carefully navigate the "Bermuda Triangle" of leave laws. This confusing and potentially costly place is created by the intersection of the Oregon and federal family leave laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and the workers' compensation laws. An employee with frequent or unreliable absences will often have protection under these laws.

Many HR professionals and employers feel a sense of dread when navigating "the Bermuda Triangle of leave laws." This session will focus on the interplay between the various laws dealing with employee leaves and provide practical guidance on how to steer clear of stinging jellyfish in the form of the DOL, the EEOC, and state and local administrative investigative agencies looking to make examples of employers that fail to comply.

When employers consider all elements while managing an employee's leave or claim, the overlapping processes of ADA, FMLA, and workers' compensation run more smoothly. Because the ADA interacts significantly with the other two, the ADA interactive process is key to helping employers avoid being sucked into the Bermuda Triangle of HR law.

Participating in this webinar will provide participants with a clear understanding of each of these laws and how they interact with each other, incorporating that information into company policies, and the ability to communicate those policies to employees.  

Why you should Attend

Some employee absence events may trigger not just one law, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state workers' compensation laws. Violations of these laws may cause penalties to employers and, in some cases, even to managers.

Nothing can trip HR professionals up as much as the Bermuda triangle of leave laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and Worker's Compensation. Not only are these laws complicated and legalistic, but they are difficult to apply and even more confusing when worker's compensation is involved.

The intersecting of these three laws is complicated and open to problems if not handled correctly. ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation have different goals and protections for employees, yet all three have provisions that may require an employer to give job-protected time off when the right circumstances are met.  

The majority of unscheduled and scheduled absences are related to the illness of employees or their family members. Under those circumstances, one, both, or all three of these laws may be involved. Violations of these laws may result in lost wages, back pay, reinstatement, retroactive benefits, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. 

It's essential for employers to understand Federal and State laws with respect to these three laws in order to be compliant. In addition to employers' legal responsibilities, employers also have moral and ethical responsibilities to ensure employees receive the benefits and protections these laws provide.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • Recognizing the interaction of the ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation Laws
  • Understanding the purposes of the three laws and why they often conflict
  • The areas of interplay between the three laws those employers need to consider when managing employee absenteeism
  • Handling return-to-work issues, including permissible certification requirements.
  • How the overlapping processes of ADA, FMLA, and WC can run more smoothly.
  • The ADA interactive process - key to avoiding the Bermuda Triangle

Who Will Benefit

  • HR Professionals
  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Business Owner 

Speaker Profile

Steven G. Meilleur, Ph.D., SPHR – is President, CEO – PRAXIS Management Solutions, LLC, a New Mexico-based management consulting firm specializing in human resources, employee relations, leadership, training & organizational development, organizational research and assessment, strategic & operational planning, and non-profit organization management and governance. Dr. Meilleur has more than 40 years of management and executive-level experience in human resources, risk management, and organizational management in the private non-profit public, and private for-profit sectors.

Dr. Meilleur also serves as Senior Vice-President and Risk Services Consultant for Human Resources and Employment with Poms & Associates, a national risk services and insurance brokerage firm. His previous work experience includes public, private, and nonprofit organizations, in executive and management capacities.

He is also on the faculty of the UNM School of Public Administration in the graduate program, teaching in the areas of human resource management, nonprofit organization management, leadership, dispute resolution, organizational change, and human resource development. He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country, and is a published author in the areas of human resources, marketing, leadership and management development, organizational change and innovation, non-profit organization management, and board development.

Dr. Meilleur received a BA in English Literature and Education from Bucknell University, an Executive MBA from the University of New Mexico's Anderson Graduate School of Management, and his Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Learning from UNM. He received his certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management in 1995.