Disability discrimination charges accounted for 31.9% (or approximately 27,000) of the individual charges received by the EEOC in fiscal year 2017. Among the most common impairments alleged in these charges included anxiety disorder, depression, manic depressive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and “other psychological disorders." Every day, employers hear from advocates, lawyers, and pundits alike who proclaim the importance of accommodating employees with disabilities. But what happens when a disability is, for all intensive purposes, invisible? How should employers determine whether or not a disabled employee can be reasonably accommodated, and what information can employers seek in making that determination? And what happens when an employee’s psychological disability affects their conduct and/or job performance? Being able to counsel employers and HR professionals on how to timely and properly address these issues as they arise is critical to reducing the likelihood of expensive, protracted litigation.
This course, presented by Goldberg Segalla employment and labor attorneys Allison E. Ianni, Esq. and Michael S. Katzen, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, offers a primer for both outside and in-house legal counsel on how to analyze and address mental health conditions in the workplace with the goal of both avoiding litigation and putting an employer in a strong position to defend a lawsuit in the event litigation is inevitable.
Michael Katzen, a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and
Mike routinely defends employers, both directly and as Employment Practices Liability (EPL) panel counsel, in employment litigation matters brought in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums like the American Arbitration Association. Mike also represents employers before a wide variety of administrative agencies, including the U.S., New Jersey, and New York State departments of labor; the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights; the New York State Division of Human Rights; and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
While much of his practice involves defending employers once a dispute has arisen, Mike also focuses a great deal of his practice on providing employers with practical advice to avoid lawsuits. Mike routinely counsels employers on day-to-day human resources (HR) and employment law issues, including employee discipline, terminations, discrimination/harassment, leaves of absence, overtime, independent contractor and unpaid intern/volunteer classifications, workplace accommodations, trade secrets, social media, and protected union-related activity. He audits employment practices, delivers management training, and assists employers in investigating allegations of employee misconduct such as theft and discrimination/harassment. Mike also prepares HR policies, employee handbooks, and employment contracts, as well as confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-compete agreements.
While Mike represents employers from a wide variety of industries, he focuses particular attention on businesses in the
Mike frequently trains and presents to attorneys, business groups, and clients on a variety of topics, including accommodating employees with disabilities under the ADA; the interaction of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), ADA, and workers’ compensation; the Affordable Care Act’s “employer mandate”; conducting effective workplace investigations; and avoiding wage/hour pitfalls.
Allison Ianni, a partner resident in the firm’s New York City office, counsels management on all aspects of employment law. She also defends employers of all sizes in employment-related litigation in state and federal courts, before administrative panels, and in other venues of alternative dispute resolution throughout New York State. She has represented clients in the media, higher education, insurance, hospitality, and retail industries, among others.
Allison regularly defends employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour violations. She has served as lead counsel in federal and state employment discrimination cases as well as throughout administrative charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR), and the New York Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR), from inception to completion. She has also handled wage and hour complaints and investigations before the New York State Department of Labor.
A significant part of Allison’s practice involves counseling management on human resources issues, including hiring, evaluating, disciplining, and terminating employees; managing leaves of absence and other employee accommodations; drug testing; and wage and hour laws. In addition to advising on federal compliance issues, Allison leverages exceptionally deep knowledge of New York State- and City-specific laws and regulations, including the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, the New York City Paid Family Leave Law, the New York Labor Law, and more, to help clients mitigate risk and avoid investigations, enforcement actions, claims, and litigation. She also frequently conducts management and employee training, including Equal Employment Opportunity and anti-harassment/anti-discrimination training; conducts factual investigations in a variety of litigation and pre-litigation contexts; and drafts and revises employment-related documents including severance agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, employment agreements, personnel policies, and employee handbooks.
Allison also has experience advising and representing management and executives in a wide range of complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts, including matters involving shareholder, patent, real estate, and bankruptcy disputes.
After graduating cum laude from New York University with a bachelor’s in Journalism and English Literature, Allison attended Hofstra University School of Law. She served as notes and comments editor for the Hofstra Law Review, gained additional experience as a legal intern with the Hofstra University Office of General Counsel, and graduated cum laude.
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