Raising the Bar hosts 'Employee Leave Policies that Work'


Raising the Bar, an educational series raising employer awareness of current issues in employment and labor law and offered by Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law PC, returns Wednesday, May 20, to discuss best practices for developing leave policies and procedures that work. Nearly half a dozen state and federal laws can come into play when an employee is absent, according to Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law.

“It can be harder to manage employees who are absent than employees who actually show up to work,” Nemeth said.

It’s not just about understanding when and how different laws apply, though; it’s also about putting policies and procedures in place that work well with the laws, Nemeth continued.

“Earlier this year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Michigan, ruled that an employer’s statement in a handbook that employees ‘are’ covered by, and eligible for, leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prohibited the employer from later arguing that one of its employees was not eligible for leave – even though the employee did not meet the FMLA’s eligibility requirements,” Nemeth said. “From this ruling and juggling the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers compensation, short term disability and long term disability, it’s no wonder this is the topic we get the most questions about.”

“Employee Leave Policies that Work” will help employers understand how to manage absent employees and how to develop leave policies and procedures that work. Specific topics to be covered include:

• Defining notice requirements for employees and employers under the FMLA, ADA, PDA and workers compensation.

• Criteria on medical examinations and certification of fitness for duty requirements.

• Best practices for managing intermittent leave and for controlling abuse.

• Understanding employee benefits and job protection while on leave.

“Employee Leave Policies that Work” will be held on Wednesday, May 20, from 9 to 11:45 a.m. at the Detroit Marriott Troy, 200 W. Big Beaver Rd. in Troy. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. The cost of the event is $75 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, e-mail Pamela Perkowski at pperkowski@nemethlawpc.com or call 313-567-5921.