Protected Leave Alphabet Soup: Staying Up-To-Date on CFRA, FMLA, PFL and PDL


Protected Leave Alphabet Soup: Staying Up-To-Date on CFRA, FMLA, PFL and PDL

Speaker Spotlight with Ryan Nell 

Alphabet Soup: Staying Up-to-Date on CFRA, FMLA, PFL and PDL

Both state and federal law provide a wide range of types of protected leave, whereby employees are permitted to take time away from work to attend to personal matters. Applicable provisions are usually created with the best of intentions. Employers rarely have any issue with providing employees with their entitled leave. However, statutory leave requirements are often complicated. This often causes well-meaning employers to unintentionally run afoul of the law.

This presentation will walk employers through the leave protections afforded to their employees. We will also discuss various best practices for ensuring that legal compliance is maintained. If you run or work for an organization facing these crucial and complex topics, then join keynote speaker Ryan Nell at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update.

In his concurrent session, Alphabet Soup: Staying Up-to-Date on CFRA, FMLA, PFL and PDL, Mr. Nell will discuss the common misconceptions about federal protected leave laws. He will also help attendees navigate qualifying events for employees’ protected leave. Furthermore, you’ll learn best practices on documentation and how to avoid legal implications in the complex landscape of protected leave laws.

Mr. Nell will provide takeaways such as:

  • Outline the various grounds for protected leave under state and federal law, as well as the applicability of leave laws to different employers
  • Discuss best practices for ensuring that employees are appropriately educated regarding their rights and permitted to take leave in the manner required by law
  • Consider ways to avoid falling victim to common leave pitfalls that frustrate well-meaning employers
  • Strategize how best to handle employee leave issues that fall outside of the confines of the law, but still warrant appropriate care and treatment

Mr. Nell’s PIHRA 2020 Legal Update keynote session will be informative and entertaining. It’s a must-attend for California employers who need to know about these complex legislative topics. In addition, business owners and HR pros will gain the insight needed to navigate the myriad state and federal leave laws. Above all, you’ll learn how to balance legal leave compliance while being a genuine partner to your employees. 

Speaker Spotlight: Ryan Nell, Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin

Special thanks to contributing writer and PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran Ambalavanan. Baskaran conducted this interview with PIHRA 2020 Legal Update presenter Ryan Nell.

PIHRA: Your title Alphabet Soup is interesting. Can you share two things employers can do to make the Alphabet soup palatable?

Ryan Nell: Preparation and flexibility. All too often, employers are too scared by the broad range of state and federal leave requirements. They may not take the time to understand what is required, or make certain that appropriate steps are taken (and plans are implemented) to ensure compliance. With a little bit of preparation, and, at times, a heavy dose of flexibility when it comes to working with employees, employers should be able to stay on the right side of the law. 

What can employers do to educate the workforce of their available leaves and their rights as prescribed by law? 

Ryan Nell: Employers should make a practice of reviewing leave policies on a yearly basis. As company sizes change and legal obligations morph over time, the requirements placed on employers are almost constantly moving. To avoid running afoul of the law without even realizing it, it’s best for an employer to set aside time each year to ensure that all protected leave policies are up to date and in compliance.

Often times well-meaning steps by employers could land in hot water with overlapping protected leave rules. How can employers navigate these safely?

Ryan Nell: Unfortunately, when protected leave laws overlap, they don’t always align. When faced with a situation in which protected leave laws don’t appear to arrive at the same conclusion, consider this. It’s almost always a best practice to choose the option that is most generous of, and protective to, the employee. When in doubt, though, never hesitate to contact your legal counsel.

In addition to the mandated laws, leave management is more about the culture of treating employees fairly and approaching their situations in a humane way. What are the things CA employers should consider to balance both?

Ryan Nell: Respect and empathy go a long way, both in avoiding legal trouble and in building and maintaining a successful workforce. The best employers are the ones that understand the importance of legal compliance. Furthermore, they partner openly and honestly with their employees in creating policies that support individual and collective goals and ideals. 

Why are you excited to present at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update?

Ryan Nell: 2020 will mark my second consecutive year speaking at the PIHRA Legal Update. I loved interacting with attendees, both during my presentations and during the course of the conferences. So, I certainly look forward to more of the same this year.

Are you getting HR Certified in 2020?

Join PIHRA’s preparation class led by expert instructors to help you pass your certification exam:

Register for the January 2020 SHRM-CP / SHRM-SCP Preparation Course

About Ryan Nell, Presenter at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

Alphabet Soup: Staying Up-to-Date on <yoastmark class='yoast-text-mark'>CFRA</yoastmark>, <yoastmark class='yoast-text-mark'>FMLA</yoastmark>, <yoastmark class='yoast-text-mark'>PFL</yoastmark> and <yoastmark class='yoast-text-mark'>PDL</yoastmark> with Ryan Nell at PIHRA 2020 Legal Update”>Ryan H. Nell is a shareholder and a leader in the firm’s employment and labor group. As an employment attorney, he is responsible for representing California employers statewide in both counseling and comprehensive litigation support.</p>
<p class=With the ever-changing landscape of California and federal employment law, Ryan prides himself on assisting clients in staying ahead of the curve in an effort to avoid legal trouble before it arises.

He has extensive experience representing clients in harassment, retaliation, and discrimination matters, as well as large-scale wage and hour lawsuits. Ryan speaks regularly on a wide range of topics aimed at assisting California employers in the avoidance of legal trouble before it arises, and his work in the field has led to his recognition as a Rising Star by San Diego Super Lawyers®.

Is it time to renew your PIHRA membership?

This special offer (for active PIHRA members only) also ends January 30, 2020:

Check out our Legal Update Renewal Bundles for Active PIHRA Members!

Interview Conducted by Baskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, PIHRA Programs Chair

Baskaran Ambalavanan, PIHRA Programs ChairBaskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, has more than two decades of HR experience in India, Oman, and the U.S. in both the functional HR and in the HRIS/HR Technology.

He is the Principal of Hila Solutions, LLC, a full-service HR Technology Advisory firm for SMEs. Baskaran earned his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, U.K. and also certified in SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, and PHRca.

He is based in Irvine, California and serving as the Programs Chair for PIHRA and an active volunteer leader in SHRM, IHRIM. In his role as PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran is instrumental in curating HR sessions for the PIHRA Legal Update and the California HR Conference. He is responsible for assembling the Task Force that selects California HR Conference speakers.

You can follow Baskaran’s insights on all things technology, HR, leadership, and strategy on Twitter at @baski_LA and LinkedIn. Register today to join us at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update near you and learn from the top legal experts in California!


Choose from 5 convenient locations! Lodging discounts available.

Rancho Mirage (½-Day) | Riverside | La Jolla | Anaheim | Burbank

Experience a comprehensive California legal update with PIHRA! In the world of human resources, staying ahead of constantly evolving employment laws and workplace legislation is essential. Certainly, PIHRA’s most famous flagship program will provide timely information, tips and crucial resources. Our expert speakers will help you cut through the complexity, so that you can protect your organization and effectively manage risk. 

→ Register Today! (Group discounts available)


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