ADA & FMLA Compliance Manual

This publication was updated for the April 2021 ADA & FMLA Compliance Update and is available in searchable PDF and hard copy formats.

NELI hosts the nation's most comprehensive update of legal developments and practical advice on questions regarding ADA and FMLA compliance, a program unique to NELI.

Day One covers the wealth of new cases on the definition of “disability,” including cases on new "major life activities" and tips for training supervisors to avoid “regarding” an individual as disabled under the newest legal standards. We'll examine new cases on the meaning of “qualified,” including whether employers may change job functions and quantity standards, the importance of up-to-date job descriptions, whether handling job stress, getting along with co-workers, particular schedules, and lifting are considered “essential,” EEOC’s controversial positions on attendance, shifts, and overtime, and whether the agency’s positions have been changing under the Trump Administration, the danger of inflated performance evaluations, and the importance of analyzing inconsistent doctors’ notes. In addition, we'll discuss the latest Courts of Appeals cases, including the meaning of “reasonable,” what technically triggers the duty to interact, and particular accommodation requests such as leave, schedule adjustments, work-at-home, requests for an irritant-free workplace, change of supervisors, or paid parking, and surprising new cases on non-competitive reassignment. Day One also includes sessions on Direct Threat Issues and Understanding Conduct Rules.

Day Two starts with a session on the latest cases and EEOC policies concerning the ADA's restrictions on medical questions and exams. This is followed by a comprehensive FMLA update, which will provide extensive practical guidance on many issues, including the latest Advisory Opinion letters from DOL, along with practical guidance on DOL audits and on-sites. A thorough review of recent court decisions will include cases on the importance of clear and accurate communications, coverage and eligibility issues. We'll cover the requirements of notice by the employee and the employer, how far employers can go when requiring employees to provide notice of intermittent absences according to specific employer procedures, whether an employer can still designate FMLA-qualifying leave if the employee refuses, the meaning of “equivalent position,” the risks of eliminating the job of an employee on FMLA leave, best practices in managing the medical certification process, the duty to return an employee to work when the employer disagrees with the doctor’s fitness for duty certification, whether any leave is FMLA protected if the certification is turned in late, whether/how an employer can require a medical exam upon return to work from an FMLA leave, and tips for managing intermittent leave abuse including fraudulent use of leave and the good faith, honest belief defense.

The chapter headings below reflect the agenda of this important annual program. We are grateful to our distinguished panel of faculty members for their contributions to the newly revised course manual.

Chapter Headings:

  • Update on the Definition of “Disability”
  • Developments on Whether an Individual is “Qualified”
  • Practical “Reasonable Accommodation” Issues
  • Direct Threat Issues
  • Understanding Conduct Rules
  • EEOC Documents: Selected Recent Cases - and more
  • Requesting Medical Information Under the ADA
  • Update on Complex FMLA Issues

This Manual is available for shipment and download in late April. After August 1st, please contact NELI at to check on the availability of the print version.

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