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Oklahoma Employers Get Help Meeting Latest Employee Leave Act Changes

Oklahoma City, OK (January 6, 2009) - In light of recent revisions to the Family and Medical Leave Act, attorneys with the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee & Taft will conduct a full-day seminar, FMLA Master Class: The Advanced Interactive Workshop for Oklahoma Employers on Wednesday, January 21 at the Marriott Oklahoma City.

Although the Department of Labor issued final FMLA regulations in 1995, it became apparent to lawmakers and employers that many provisions needed fine-tuning and clarification. These most recent revisions protect employees providing care to family members who serve in the military and revise existing FMLA provisions on required notices, leave designation, defining "serious health condition," medical and fitness-for-duty certifications, "light duty," overtime, settlement options, and paid leave substitution.

While they may eventually help clarify both employer and employee obligations when it comes to protected leave, the complexity and sheer volume of the changes can be daunting in the short term.

"Many of these FMLA changes will have a sweeping impact on the workplace policies of Oklahoma employers," says Charles Plumb, partner in the law firm's labor and employment law department and program moderator. "And given that so many were already having difficulty understanding FMLA ins and outs, it just makes sense to spend a day bringing everyone up to speed."

"But we'll go beyond these latest revisions to also clear up confusion that's been around since FMLA become law, like what's an employer supposed to do when FMLA and Oklahoma workers' comp laws overlap, and how to deal with employees demanding intermittent leave," he added.

Ample evidence indicates that FMLA is still a significant danger zone in the employer-employee relationship. For example, a restaurant manager was recently awarded $380,000 by a jury after returning from pregnancy-related FMLA leave to find her boss unwilling to reinstate her. She says he told her that her decision to have a family cost her her job.

"This kind of thing happens all the time," says Plumb, "when companies don't fully understand FMLA's broad reach. That's why we agreed to host this event."

HR managers, employers, and fellow counsel wishing to participate may register online at www.HRhero.com/ok-fmla or by calling 800-274-6774.

About The Program Moderators
In addition to practicing law, Plumb edits Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, a monthly print and online resource for employers statewide. He will be joined at the FMLA Master Class by fellow McAfee & Taft attorneys Sam R. Fulkerson, Nathan L. Whatley, and Betsy Wood. Each has many years of experience counseling Oklahoma employers facing workplace difficulties related to discrimination and harassment, leave act violations, and other claims.

About The Program Sponsor
FMLA Master Class: The Advanced Interactive Workshop for Oklahoma Employers and Oklahoma Employment Law Letter are both produced by Brentwood, Tennessee-based M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC. For 33-years, it has provided information resources to the corporate Human Resources and legal markets. Their list of largest clients closely matches the FORTUNE 500 while their overall customer base includes managers in every industry sector.

Contact: Pete McPherson, 615-661-0249, ext. 8057 or pmcpherson@mleesmith.com


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