1. Employees with Chronic Illnesses: Understanding Your Legal Obligation to Accommodate

Employees with Chronic Illnesses: Understanding Your Legal Obligation to Accommodate

Employees with Chronic Illnesses: Understanding Your Legal Obligation to Accommodate
Event ID: 18059
Recording: 15368

Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law, president and founder, HR Learning Center LLC
Price: $299.00, On-Demand includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
CE Credits: This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
Who Should Attend? HR, managers, supervisors, training, in-house counsel, financial officers, CEOs

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis, bipolar mood disorder, etc., are all examples of the types of chronic diseases people are living with:

  • Chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths each year in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control
  • About 133 million Americans—nearly 1 in 2 adults—live with at least one chronic illness and many of them are your employees

Many chronic illnesses do not cause the afflicted individual to be unable to work. In fact, increasingly the medical community is coming to regard certain chronic diseases as manageable. Many working-age adults with chronic health conditions are able to continue to work while being treated or expect to return to work once their treatment is completed. For HR this raises a new set of questions not only relating to the accommodations that may need to be made, but also whether and how the ADA and FMLA apply to those chronic illnesses and what these laws require HR to do. Further, how does HR engage in the “interactive process” as required by law, particularly at a time of great stress and worry for the employee? Also, can these chronic illnesses constitute a “serious health condition” under the FMLA? There are so many legal questions, and they are all likely to come into play when you are trying to show concern and compassion for a worried and ill employee. Please join Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law, as she reviews your legal obligations under the ADA, FMLA and GINA for accommodating employees with chronic illnesses, and offers best practice tips for dealing with a perilous legal situation at a time of great employee stress.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Find out whether chronic illnesses are considered a disability under the ADA
  • Discuss if chronic diseases are also covered under state disability laws
  • Understand how to respond to an employee’s request for a “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA
  • See when an employer is required to engage in the “interactive process”
  • Hear examples of “reasonable accommodations” for an employee with a chronic health condition
  • Learn if chronic health conditions constitute a “serious health condition” under the FMLA
  • Understand what rights employees with chronic health conditions have under the FMLA
  • Hear tips on avoiding legal pitfalls associated with dealing with chronic health conditions in the workplace
  • Find out what is considered “Genetic Information” under GINA
  • Review your obligations if an employee has genetic testing revealing he/she is likely to develop a chronic health condition
  • Review recent cases under the ADA and FMLA and GINA regarding discrimination against employees who have chronic health conditions


Your conference leader for “Employees with Chronic Illnesses: Understanding Your Legal Obligation to Accommodate” is Melissa Fleischer, attorney at law. Ms. Fleischer is a management-side employment attorney with 20 years of experience representing clients in employment law discrimination litigation as well as providing preventive counseling and training on workplace issues. HR Learning Center, LLC offers training seminars, webinars, and consulting on a wide range of workplace and human resources issues. She is also a frequent speaker on a wide range of employment law topics including: workplace investigations, anti-harassment training, FMLA and ADA training, workplace violence prevention, etc. Ms. Fleischer earned her J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and her B.A., cum laude, from New York University.


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