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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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Jul 27

Riverhead, NY
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SHRM Long Island Breakfast Series: The Inevitable Facts of Life for HR Professionals

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

April 27, 2017 - 2:00 PM 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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July 20, 2017

Final New York Paid Family Leave Regulations Released: What Employers Need to Know

July 20, 2017

The Workers’ Compensation Board adopted the final regulations for New York’s new Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL) on July 19, 2017. Final Regulations were issued previously by the Department of Financial Services on May 16, 2017. PFL will provide broad paid family leave benefits through the state’s existing Disability Benefits Law... Read More

July 19, 2017

Claim of Massachusetts Employee Fired for Medical Marijuana Use May Proceed, State High Court Rules

July 19, 2017

An employee fired after she tested positive for marijuana on a test administered in the hiring process should be able to proceed with her “handicap discrimination” claim under Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled. Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, SJC -12226 (July... Read More

July 18, 2017

Nevada Issues Official Notice for Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act for Immediate Posting

July 18, 2017

The Nevada Equal Rights Commission has issued an official Notice for the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. Under the Act, most employers with at least 15 employees must immediately: post the Notice in the workplace in a conspicuous place at their business locations, in an area that is accessible to employees; provide all... Read More

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July 10, 2017
SHRM

Kathryn Russo Comments on Complications of Multistate Employers Drug-Testing Policies

July 10, 2017

Kathryn Russo comments on best practices for multistate employers with drug-testing policies in "How Can Multistate Employers Develop Solid Drug-Testing Policies?" published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

July 7, 2017
Northeastern Retail Lumber Association

Kathryn Russo Authors "Workplace Impacts of Recreational Marijuana Laws"

July 7, 2017

Kathryn Russo authors "Workplace Impacts of Recreational Marijuana Laws," published by Northeastern Retail Lumber Association. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

June 24, 2017
ACC

Stephanie Cerasano and Joseph Lynett Author "Telecommuting as a Disability Accommodation"

June 24, 2017

Stephanie Cerasano and Joseph Lynett author "Telecommuting as a Disability Accommodation," published by Association of Corporate Counsel. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Will Employers Be Forced to Accommodate Employees Who Test Positive for Marijuana?
July 20, 2017

On July 17, 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless of the employer’s drug free workplace and drug testing policies.  While this decision is binding only in Massac Read More

Claim of Massachusetts Employee Fired for Medical Marijuana Use May Proceed, State High Court Rules
July 20, 2017

An employee fired after she tested positive for marijuana on a test administered in the hiring process should be able to proceed with her “handicap discrimination” claim under Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled. Barbuto v. Read More

FMLA Leave Does Not Shield An Employee From Disciplinary Action Unrelated To The Leave
July 19, 2017

The Court of Appeals of North Carolina recently held that an employer didn’t interfere with an employee’s rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or retaliate against her by contacting her to schedule her disciplinary hearing while she was on FMLA leave. Jennings v. Univ. of N.C., N.C. Ct. App., No. COA16-1031, 7/5/17. Read More

By Heather C. Panick