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Home | Upcoming Webinars | FMLA/CFRA Abuse in California: Legal . . .

FMLA/CFRA Abuse in California: Legal and Practical Ways to Stop Employees Working the System

California Employer Advisor Webinar

Live webinar coming Thursday, November 29, 2012
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon (Pacific)

"I get migraine headaches and require time off as needed."

Sound familiar? If you employ in California, it's just one intermittent leave example under FMLA and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) that can give you a headache of your own!

FMLA and CFRA leave can be significantly abused, particularly with unpredictable episodic or chronic conditions since they're very broad and forbid you from making in-depth inquiries about the medical basis for your employee's absence. And, unlike reasonable accommodations for disabilities, where you may have an undue burden defense, eligible employees can neither be denied the right to take a leave for which they medically qualify nor refused reinstatement upon return.

Leave abuse can range from fudging eligibility or "persuading" a healthcare provider to certify the medical need, to creatively scheduling discretionary appointments to coincide with your busiest work days, to even working a part-time job while on authorized leave. And what about those certifications that simply say "absences as needed for flare-ups"? Can you impose any objective standards for enforcement without being charged with "leave interference;" or worse, retaliation?

Participate in this interactive webinar, and you'll learn:

  • Advance notice you can require before honoring leave requests
  • How to track patterns of abuse like "Monday/Friday syndrome"
  • Key distinctions between FMLA and California law on leave eligibility, stacking, and multiple tracking leaves, information you can—and can't—ask for in medical certifications, and variables on managing leave
  • Why a worker's failure to obtain continuing treatment could work to your advantage
  • How to avoid supervisor "assumptions" about abuse—such as concluding that an employee on leave must be immobile; confined to bed at all times
  • How to craft a policy that allows you to take disciplinary action against workers who don't provide adequate documentation for repeated absences
  • Key call-in rules for every employee using authorized intermittent leave that prevent leave for unrelated absences
  • Ways to get complete medical certifications/recertifications and how to identify certification form tampering
  • When California HR managers can require a second medical opinion to determine if an employee actually has a serious health condition
  • How to minimize disruptions caused by an employee's frequent absences due to doctor's appointments
  • What to do when an employee's Facebook postings suggest leave abuse
  • How far you can go to catch an FMLA/CFRA abuser in the act—and what you need to consider before having an employee tailed
  • Objective factors that trigger a misconduct investigation for leave abuse, elements of a neutral investigation, and restrictions on how you can conduct surveillance of CFRA-protected employees
  • How to lawfully disqualify employees on leave from certain bonuses as a way to combat abuse
  • How to prevent retaliation or leave interference claims when investigating FMLA/CFRA abuse

In just 90 minutes, learn how to retake control of your employee leave management process, and assert your right to prevent CFRA and FMLA leave abuse. Register now for this informative event risk-free.

This webinar is exclusively available to our CEA Online subscribers. If you're already a CEA Online subscriber, and would like to attend this webinar free of charge, please click here to register.

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About Your Speaker:

Attorney Patricia Eyres is the managing partner of Eyres Law Group, LLP, a specialized law practice focusing exclusively on helping employers in the areas of labor, employment, and education law. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, school districts, and public agencies. In addition to guiding employers through the maze of risks associated with workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, she is an expert on return-to-work, reasonable accommodation, and leave of absence compliance.

As founder and president of Litigation Management & Training Services, Inc., Eyres speaks internationally, consults with organizations on developing and enforcing effective policies, and trains managers to lead within legal limits. Her workshops focus on methods for preventing costly lawsuits or minimizing disruption when unavoidable claims occur.

Eyres has earned the National Speakers Association's Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the speaking profession's highest international measure of professional platform skill and proven professional achievement. She was named a Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Platinum Speaker for 2006-2007. MPI Platinum Speaker designation denotes the top-rated speakers at MPI National Conferences based on audience interaction, content, delivery, humor, and professionalism.

This program has been approved for 1.5 recertification credit hours toward PHR and SPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). This program is also a California-specific continuing education activity for PHR-CA and SPHR-CA recertification. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HRCI homepage at The use of this seal is not an endorsement by HRCI of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met HRCI's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

California Employer Resources is an approved MCLE Multiple Activity Provider, and this program has been approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. For more information, please contact our customer service department at (800) 695-7178.

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