FMLA and ADA friends: You’ve known me long enough to appreciate that I don’t engage in a whole lot of shameless self-promotion. But can you indulge me one time to do so here?
Let me explain.
Over the past few years, employers have increasingly asked me to develop a service in which I provide practical guidance on troublesome FMLA and ADA issues they face for a flat monthly fee. They’ve grown weary of running up a costly and unpredictable legal bill with their attorneys, and they need an alternative.
Here is your alternative.
Beginning July 2015, I am offering employers CALM — Compliance in Accommodations and Leave Management — which is a flat $750 per month service to assist them with day-to-day FMLA and ADA questions. Under our CALM service, I am delighted to answer whatever FMLA/ADA question you throw at me, but the value of this kind of retainer is to provide employers and third party administrators practical guidance and clear direction on the most complex and difficult leave management and accommodation questions you face, answers to which you won’t find online or even with a ton of research. You and I develop the arrangement in a manner that works best for you – whether it’s a series of short calls, quick email communications, or several calls or emails that require longer, strategic discussions. The arrangement is flexible, allowing you to designate the individual(s) to contact me directly.
A more detailed outline of our CALM service can be accessed here.
Examples of Issues Covered by our CALM Service
Over the past few months, the following is a sampling of the questions I have helped employers address with our CALM service:
- How to deal with FMLA administration where an employee returns certification after the 15-day deadline or never returns one at all
- Helping an employer analyze whether a handful of text messages from an employee constituted sufficient notice of the need for FMLA leave
- Administering FMLA leave in a workforce where employees hours vary from week to week (requiring analysis and application of 825.205(b)(3))
- Whether a TPA should designate an absence as FMLA leave where an employee sought leave to care for a spouse, but where the only “caring for” function was babysitting the kids (this issue is hardly a slam dunk – it required discussion and analysis of the Gienapp case, which I highlighted in a previous blog entry)
- Best practices in applying the same-sex spouse FMLA regulations in the four states covered by an injunction issued by a federal court in Texas
- Providing critical guidance to an employer in responding to DOL inquiries during an audit of FMLA administration
- Addressing potential light duty accommodations for a pregnant room attendant at a luxury hotel who was placed on restrictions throughout her pregnancy
- Helping employers draft and revise model correspondence to an employee seeking a workplace accommodation
- Reviewing a customized FMLA medical certification form and reasonable accommodation questionnaire an employer wanted to implement for its multi-state locations
For the past five years, I have maintained this FMLA Insights blog to provide you practical guidance in handling extremely difficult and sensitive FMLA and ADA issues. I also have built a national practice counseling and defending employers ranging from small family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies on some of the most difficult leave management and workplace accommodation issues. I have developed this practice by providing employers practical advice that matches their business objectives. If you know me at all, you know that your questions will be answered directly, with a specific recommended course of action that is reliable, practical and lawful.
It’s worth noting that I will be the attorney helping you address these issues – I am not going to pass you off to another colleague less experienced in the area.
Who is the Ideal CALM client?
That’s the beauty of this service. It matches your needs with one flat, monthly cost. It’s predictable, and I am convinced it beats any current arrangement you have with your current counsel.
If you need to touch base several times each month on questions for your workforce of 200 employees, I address your needs. If you are a busy in-house counsel or HR professional who doesn’t specialize on leave or accommodation issues or you simply need timely answers for internal clients to help lighten your workload, I am a mere phone call away.
Why a Flat Fee and Why is this Particular Rate Effective?
You face increasing pressure to lower your legal and HR costs, so you need to engage counsel that can help you solve problems in the most cost-effective manner. This flat-fee service helps you maintain predictable legal costs in one of the most troublesome areas of employment law. You don’t have to worry about how much each phone call or email is going to cost — everything is included in a flat, monthly cost.
Why $750? I find that many of my clients contact me several times each month and for several hours at a time. This flat fee assures you that you will always get your money’s worth without having to worry about your attorney dinging the bell every time you call. We will re-evaluate after three months to ensure your leave management and accommodation needs have not changed.
CALM clients also receive reduced costs on FMLA training, audits and state updates in the leave management area. Our CALM brochure explains more.