Medical certifications may just be the most effective tool in your arsenal for combating abuse of leave rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act and its California counterpart, the California Family Rights Act. They provide valuable insight into whether a claimed condition qualifies as a serious health condition.
Surprisingly, many employers don't take advantage of this powerful weapon for combating abuse. As a result, they're left second-guessing whether an employee's ailment qualifies them for protected leave.
Additionally, if an employee presents you with a doctor's note for an absence, it's in your best interest to request a medical certification. Otherwise, if you accept a note stating that an employee can't work and you later terminate that employee - for excessive absenteeism, for example - its quite likely that a court will find that you forfeited the right to challenge an assertion that she was covered under FMLA/CFRA in the first place.
In order to stay in compliance, it's crucial for California employers to get the information needed to properly designate absences, as well as practical, legally sound strategies for obtaining it.
Participate in this interactive webinar, and you'll learn:
- The differences between FLMA and CFRA, and why those differences are larger than you may realize
- A walk-through on where the current regulations for FMLA and CFRA stand
- What kinds of questions you are legally able to ask employees and their medical providers - and more importantly, what you can't ask
- What you can customize on FMLA certification forms to seek out the most information possible as you determine if a leave is medically necessary<
- What job descriptions have to do with leave requests - and why creating and updating job descriptions may just be the smartest thing you do in the leave management process
- What to do about that employee who mysteriously always seems to need to take intermittent leave on Mondays and Fridays
- The re-certification process - when to request re-certification, and how to get more information the second time around, particularly if the first request was too vague
- What to do when you get that funny feeling that an employee may be abusing leave - how to handle those tricky situations where you don't want to be taken advantage of, but where you also don't want to falsely accuse someone
- A review of rights, including what rights employees have, what timeline must they follow, and more
- The legal pitfalls of failing to get completed certification, and how to keep track of leave return dates and expired medical certifications
- Smart certification process strategies that would have any judge or jury ready to rule in your favor
And much more!
About your presenter:
Allen Kato is an attorney in the Employment Practices Group of Fenwick &West LLP in San Francisco. His practice concentrates exclusively on representing management regarding leaves of absence laws, equal employment opportunity, wage and hour, wrongful termination, privacy, unfair competition and trade secret matters, and litigating individual and class action lawsuits before courts and agencies. He also trains managers and human resources professionals on a regular basis. Kato regularly serves as a court-appointed neutral for the California Santa Clara Superior Court in employment law litigation. Kato holds bachelor's from the University of California, Davis and a law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. He is a member of the California Bar. Before Fenwick &West, Kato practiced for 15 years with the law firm of Schachter, Kristoff, Orenstein &Berkowitz.
In just 90 minutes, you'll learn everything you need to know about medical certification under both FMLA and CFRA. Register now for this informative event risk-free.