Susan Fentin of Skoler, Abbott & Presser to Co-Present Bipolar Employees: HR’s Legal and Practical Accomodation Roadmap

Attorney Susan G. Fentin of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. will co-present Bipolar Employees: HR’s Legal and Practical Accommodation Roadmap, a special webinar for business owners nationwide on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST. Attorney Fentin will be joined by Tom Wootton, author of The Bipolar Advantage, The Depression Advantage, and Bipolar In Order in presenting the live webinar.

With the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act’s (ADAAA) final regulations, many new physical and mental impairments are considered disabilities, even those that may be controlled by medication, including impairments related to an employee’s mood and emotional state. This has opened the floodgates to new litigation and employee demands, and workplace conflict. Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depression or Manic-Depressive Disorder, affects 1 in 20 Americans and employees who have been diagnosed with this condition will very likely now be considered disabled under the ADAAA.

Although treatable with medication, Bipolar Disorder is considered a lifelong condition. Bipolar employees may exhibit racing thoughts, poor judgment, impulsive behavior, irritability, and many more issues that affect their ability to function at work, which poses a serious problem for employers who must accommodate them.

In just 90 minutes, viewers of the interactive webinar will learn how to recognize the symptoms that employees diagnosed with bipolar disorder may exhibit, as well as the legal and practical obligations for accommodating them. Areas to be addressed include:

  • The best practices for reasonably accommodating employees with bipolar disorder
  • What bipolar disorder is, the number of people affected, signs of the disorder, medicinal side effects, and other indicators of which employers should be aware
  • Possible limitations of employees with bipolar disorder
  • Types of workplace accommodations a doctor may recommend for someone undergoing treatment
  • How to tell if someone who is bipolar may be disabled under the ADA
  • When an accommodation may be considered an undue hardship
  • How the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) impacts employees with bipolar disorder and those caring for family members with the diagnosis
  • When bipolar disorder is considered a serious health condition entitling an employee to block, intermittent, or reduced schedule leave under FMLA
  • How to deal with performance issues and safety concerns when an employee is on treatment medication
  • Documentation required for FMLA leave
  • How to handle privacy issues, such as what constitutes medical information and how to ensure HIPAA and GINA compliance
  • Practical steps employers can take to help bipolar employees manage their workloads, meet deadlines, reduce distractions, and boost performance
  • How much information can be legally disclosed to supervisors and coworkers about an employee’s condition
  • What an employer may request from an employee as proof that he or she  is disabled
  • How to effectively and legally handle attendance-related issues

The cost for the interactive webinar is $247 and is, as always, risk-free: 100% satisfaction is guaranteed or the cost of the program will be refunded. To register, please log on to and select EVENTS.

Attorney Susan G. Fentin is a partner in the labor and employment firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., which has represented exclusively management interests for nearly 50 years. She is experienced in teaching master classes on both the FMLA and ADA. Her practice concentrates on labor and employment counseling, advising large and small employers on their responsibilities and obligations under state and federal employment laws, and representing employers before state and federal agencies and in court.

Tom Wootton is the author of The Bipolar Advantage, The Depression Advantage, and Bipolar In Order. Wootton developed and integrated new concepts into the first Bipolar In Order workshops in 2002. Since that time he has developed a series of workshops dealing with depression and bipolar disorder. He is considered a leading consumer advocate and speaker and gives talks to consumer groups, mental health leaders, and doctors.