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Disability, Leave and Health Management

Employers are faced with an increasing number of—and often conflicting—federal, state and local laws impacting how to manage employees with disabilities, illness and family/personal obligations.

Overview

Our Disability, Leave & Health Management Practice Group takes a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to addressing the complexity of disability, leave and health management issues so that employers can maintain legal compliance. At all times, our goal is to help employers reduce the risk of employment litigation, decrease the costs associated with absent and under-productive employees, help contain health care-related expenses, and promote employee health, safety and wellness.

As part of our legal services, we assist employers with navigating complex leave administration questions that require an understanding of federal, state and local laws such as the FMLA, state leave laws, ADA, GINA, HIPAA, COBRA and ERISA. We also offer practical advice on integrating legal obligations under those laws with company paid time-off, disability and group health benefit programs. Some of the specific services we provide include:

  • Reviewing and developing leave and attendance policies;
  • Reviewing and developing template forms and letters used to administer leaves of absence and to process reasonable accommodation requests;
  • Reviewing and developing management guidelines to assist in administering and integrating leave and benefit programs in compliance with federal and state laws;
  • Monitoring and summarizing state leave laws, including a rapidly growing number of state and local paid sick leave laws, to guide day-to-day decision-making for employees who are absent or on leave;
  • Providing legal advice on individual leave and accommodation issues; and
  • Training on integrated disability and absence management compliance obligations.

In addition, our litigation attorneys have extensive experience defending employers against legal challenges to disability management decisions before courts and administrative agencies, including class action litigation.

ADA Title III

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III) requires virtually every business that provides goods and services to the public to make its products and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities. These Title III mandates create complicated compliance issues that many businesses are only beginning to grapple with and understand. Read More

Wellness Programs

Despite their popularity, wellness programs are drawing increased scrutiny under a variety of federal laws such as the ADA, GINA, Title VII, the ADEA, the EPA, HIPAA, ERISA and the ACA. Depending on the wellness program design, state law may also regulate these programs. We were one of the first law firms to write and speak about the... Read More

The Team

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Apr 20

Melville, NY
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SHRM Long Island Breakfast Series: The Future is Now: How and Why “Big Data” Is Changing the Workplace – and HR – As We Know It

April 20, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST
1350 Old Walt Whitman Road - Melville, NY
Credits: HRCI - 1.5, SHRM - 1.5
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Apr 27

Riverhead, NY
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SHRM Long Island Breakfast Series: What a Pain: How to Respond to Difficult Disability Management Issues

April 27, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST
1830 Route 25 - Riverhead, NY
Credits: HRCI - 1.5, SHRM - 1.5
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May 18

Melville, NY
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SHRM Long Island Breakfast Series: Jackson Lewis Presents: Take Your HR Professional To Work Day

May 18, 2017 - 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST
1350 Old Walt Whitman Road - Melville, NY
Credits: HRCI - 1.5, SHRM - 1.5
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Apr 27

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Preparing for 2018: The New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals

April 27, 2017 - 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST
Credits: CLE - Pending*, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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California Legal Update Webinar Series

October 26, 2016 - 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM PST
Credits: CLE - Pending, HRCI - Pending, SHRM - Pending
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Archived

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It Pays to Be Sick: Executive Order 13706 and What it Means for Federal Contractors

October 20, 2016 - 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM EST
Credits: CLE - 1.0/1.2*, HRCI - 1.0, SHRM - 1.0
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March 16, 2017

Arizona’s Voter-Approved Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Law Constitutional, State High Court Affirms

March 16, 2017

In a much-anticipated decision, the Arizona Supreme Court has unanimously ruled to uphold Proposition 206, the November 2016 ballot initiative that increases the Arizona minimum wage and requires employers in the state to offer paid sick leave to employees. Chief Justice Scott Bales stated in the March 14 order that the seven-member... Read More

March 13, 2017

Double Up: New Jersey Senate Introduces Bill to Double Benefits for Paid Family Leave

March 13, 2017

The New Jersey State Senate has introduced legislation to expand benefits under the state’s Paid Family Leave Law. The bill (S-3085) would double the benefit period from six weeks to 12 weeks and increase the amount of compensation to the employee while on leave. Effective on July 1, 2009, New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave... Read More

March 6, 2017

New Paid Family Leave Benefits for New York Employees: What Employers Need to Know

March 6, 2017

New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL) will provide broad paid family leave benefits through the state’s existing Disability Benefits Law for all employees who have worked at least 26 consecutive weeks (or 175 days for part-time employees) for the employer. The law also will provide such employees with the right to a... Read More

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March 27, 2017
SHRM

Paul Patten Comments on the EEOC's Proposed Guidance on Preventing Harassment

March 27, 2017

Paul Patten comments on concern about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s advocacy for respectful workplace training in "EEOC Guidance Draws Fire For Stance On Orientation Bias," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

March 24, 2017
Law 360

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Comment on EEOC Workplace Harassment Guidance

March 24, 2017

Jackson Lewis attorneys comment on the EEOC’s proposed enforcement guidance on unlawful harassment in "EEOC Guidance Draws Fire For Stance On Orientation Bias​" published by Law360. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

March 21, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Matthew Camardella Discusses OFCCP’s Sex Discrimination Rule and Student Employees

March 21, 2017

Matthew Camardella discusses student-workers and OFCCP’s sex discrimination regulations, in "Contractor Colleges Walk Bathroom Tightrope With Student-Employees," published by Bloomberg BNA. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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See AllBlogs

4.5 Million Disability Discrimination Verdict Against Auto Dealer Who Failed to Investigate
March 22, 2017

A federal jury in Florida has awarded $4.5 million against an auto dealer for claims of disability discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). Axel v. Fields Motorcars of Florida, Inc., No. 8:15-cv-893-17JSS (M.D. Fla. Feb. 22, 2017). Read More

Congress Proposes Adding Parental Bereavement Leave to FMLA
March 21, 2017

On March 16th, a bipartisan group of Representatives, which included Paul Gosar, Don Beyer, Martha McSally, Brad Schneider, Tom Suozzi and Barbara Comstock, introduced the Parental Bereavement Act of 2017, also known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act. See H.R. Read More

By Heather C. Panick

Fear of Failure – Terminating Employees with Extensive FMLA and non-FMLA Absences
March 21, 2017

It’s a scenario that frustrates many employers.  An employee with extensive intermittent FMLA absences, possibly including absences for different covered reasons, is also absent for many unspecified or unprotected reasons which lead to progressive discipline.  The employee’s absences eventually reach the point of warranting termination Read More