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.