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News : Business Dec 10, 2013 - 5:16:15 AM

Local employment law firm to present strategies for leave law obligations

By Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.

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SPRINGFIELD, WORCESTER, MA & MERIDEN, CT - Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., the leading labor and employment law firm serving the greater Springfield, Massachusetts area, today announced Partner Susan G. Fentin and Attorney John S. Gannon will present a webinar on Thursday, December 19, 2013 discussing leave law obligations. Specifically, the presentation will address how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and workers’ compensation are affecting workplace policies and procedures. The live, extended webinar will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will conclude at 4:45 p.m. ET. For more information about how to register for the webinar visit

In June 2013, a federal court ruled against UPS Inc. for their inflexible leave policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims that the package delivery company violated the ADA by allowing only a 12-month leave of absence, failing to provide disabled employees further reasonable accommodations for their disabilities and firing them if they exceeded those parameters. Earlier this year, the EEOC also issued revised publications on the rights of employees protected under the ADA – specifically four documents addressing employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities.

“With cases like this as well as new ADA revisions, it's clear that the EEOC is targeting employer leave policies like never before,” said Fentin. “We will provide clarity to help businesses maintain compliance and keep policies up-to-date.”

Participants of this interactive one-day event will learn how intersecting ADA, FMLA, and workers' compensation regulations impact policies and procedures and how to adapt them. Respectively, the webinar will address:

What the leave and disability laws require and the order they should be applied
Key differences between a “serious health condition,” a “disability” and a “workplace injury”
How to tell if someone with cancer is disabled under the ADA and the documentation you may request
What to do when issues related to an employee’s performance may be due to mental illness
How to tell if a temporary transfer or change in duties or hours is the answer
The game plan for returning a workers’ compensation claimant to work
What a leave policy should never state
How to have difficult conversations with protected employees about attendance, conduct or performance-based issues

“Complicated questions arise when the line separating employee FMLA rights, applicable workers’ compensation coverage and employee rights under the ADA is blurred,” said Gannon. “Employer obligations can get murky, so it's imperative that you know how to determine precisely what you can and can't do when facing the treacherous triangle of disability and leave laws.”

Attorney Susan G. Fentin is a partner in the labor and employment firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., which has represented exclusively management interests for more than 40 years. She is experienced in teaching master classes on both the FMLA and ADA. Her practice concentrates on labor and employment counseling, advising large and small employers on their responsibilities and obligations under state and federal employment laws, and representing employers before state and federal agencies and in court.

Attorney John S. Gannon is an associate in the Springfield, Massachusetts office of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. He defends employers against discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, and related claims. In addition, he conducts comprehensive workforce wage and hour audits and reviews workplace policies for compliance with state and federal employment laws.

About Skoler, Abbott & Presser
Founded in 1964, Skoler, Abbott & Presser is a boutique firm that exclusively practices labor and employment law and represents only the interests of management. The firm’s practice areas include all aspects of labor and employment law, including traditional labor law, contract negotiations, union avoidance, and arbitrations; employment litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies; employment counseling, policy review and training; and a wide range of other areas of the law related to the management of employees, including ERISA issues, reductions-in-force, compliance with state and federal employment statutes, and audits of human resources practices. The firm has ten attorneys in its main Springfield office and two attorneys who practice of counsel to the firm, one of whom specializes in ERISA. In addition to its offices in Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts, the firm also has an extensive practice in Connecticut with a satellite office in Meriden, Connecticut. Further information about Skoler, Abbott & Presser can be found on its website,

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