Welcome to the Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog! Most would agree that health and family are the most precious things in life. Most employers recognize this but, as the saying goes, they “have a business to run.” In this blog, we try to confront some of the more thorny legal and practical issues employers face when managing issues involving employee health, disability, attendance, leave and family caregiver responsibilities. Most will involve issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and analogous state and local laws.
We try to keep you engaged as courts and federal agencies weigh in on the meaning of reasonable accommodation, the obligations to provide medical leaves, and legal restrictions governing wellness and health promotion programs, medical privacy, and workplace injury prevention efforts. We also strive to keep you informed about significant pieces of proposed legislation, articles or events that may reshape how we work together in the 21st Century workplace. So much is happening so fast in the fascinating world of work. We all need to pay attention and be aware of the direction in which these important laws are developing. We hope you enjoy our posts and, if you get a chance, send us an email to let us know what you think. A few other thoughts before you move to our latest posts.
This blog is made available and operated by Jackson Lewis P.C. for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis P.C. and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. In addition, the resource material for our blog posts is varied, and includes government publications, complaints filed and decisions issued, as well as various reports from the media. These materials may include allegations or facts determined after resolving the credibility of witnesses. In reporting on these matters, the firm takes no position on the truth or falsity of the allegations or the appropriateness of those credibility determinations. Finally, Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.
Francis P. AlvarezEmail
Francis P. (Frank) Alvarez is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is the Leader of the Disability, Leave and Health Management Practice Group, which assists employers in meeting the legal and practical challenges posed by federal and state laws protecting injured and ill employees.
Counseling hundreds of employers each year, Mr. Alvarez spearheads the firm’s effort to provide imaginative and creative solutions to the complex array of workplace disability and health management issues faced by both large and small companies. In the Jackson Lewis tradition, Mr. Alvarez counsels clients with the goal of either avoiding litigation entirely or improving outcomes before administrative agencies, courts and juries.
Mr. Alvarez especially enjoys assisting clients conduct the “individualized assessment” required by a growing number of federal and state laws. These efforts include helping employers effectively communicate with employees and medical providers in an effort to evaluate potential risks to health and safety posed by employee injuries or illnesses. In an area of law in which there often are few bright lines, Mr. Alvarez attempts to develop practical and constructive solutions centered on the concept he calls “tc2” — taking care of employees and taking control of risks.
Recently, Mr. Alvarez has begun leading the Firm into another exciting and fast-developing area of workplace law called “health management.” Challenged by increases in health care and work injury costs, employers are searching for innovative ways to motivate employees to participate in wellness and health promotion programs. Mr. Alvarez leads a team of Jackson Lewis attorneys who advise employers on ways to implement these important programs while complying with emerging and largely undeveloped federal and state law protections.
Mr. Alvarez writes and speaks frequently on disability management issues, including legal developments under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He has delivered presentations at major speaking engagements, including SHRM’s national and legislative conferences. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Alvarez has represented employers as lead counsel in both trial and appellate courts and has successfully tried employment discrimination claims to verdict.
Patricia Anderson PryorEmail
Patricia Anderson Pryor is a Principal and Litigation Manager of the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is an experienced litigator in both state and federal courts, representing and defending employers in nearly every form of employment litigation, including class actions.
Ms. Pryor represents and advises employers in federal and state administrative proceedings, in all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, and in managing all aspects of the employment relationship. She has represented employers before the EEOC, the DOL, the DOJ, the OFCCP, and the NLRB, in addition to various state agencies.
Ms. Pryor also works with employers to avoid litigation by developing effective policies and practices, including harassment policies, social media policies, FMLA practices, attendance programs, affirmative action programs and wellness plans. She conducts proactive wage and hour audits, harassment investigations and compensation/pay equity reviews.
She is a frequent speaker at legal seminars and to employers and professional groups and provides training to managers and human resource professionals on a wide variety of employment and legal issues, including wage and hour issues, harassment, disability, the Family and Medical Leave Act, pay equity and affirmative action obligations. She has been featured on the radio program “Employment Straight Talk” and has published a number of employment law articles.
While attending law school, Ms. Pryor was a member of the editorial board of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.
Learn more about Ms. Pryor on the Jackson Lewis website.