The Ins and Outs of Accommodating and Managing Employees with Mental Disabilities

Thursday 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Session Description

Accommodating and managing employees with mental disabilities are among the most challenging undertakings HR professionals face today. This session will discuss those thorny issues, including an employer’s reasonable accommodation obligations, balancing employee confidentiality and co-worker concerns, leaves of absence, and workplace safety, among others.

Shelly Freeman

Shelly L. Freeman is a Principal in the Overland Park, Kansas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Freeman has nearly 30 years’ experience practicing labor and employment law.

Mid–career, she served as the Director of Corporate and Field Human Resources for a large, multi-state, publicly traded company, where she directed and supervised the human resources function for the corporate, manufacturing, distribution, and retailing components of the business.

She returned to private practice in 2001, and has continued  successfully first-chairing federal and state Court trials, appellate arguments, and labor arbitrations; representing employers in federal and state agency proceedings; conducting internal FLSA reviews and audits; assisting with restructuring efforts; drafting employee handbooks and HR policies for multi-state employers; and investigating harassment, fraud, and other internal issues. She regularly counsels employers on day-to-day HR issues.

Ms. Freeman’s practice has also included a particular focus on management training. She designs and delivers training for managers on a full range of employment topics, including anti-harassment, employment law for managers (including anti-discrimination, reasonable accommodation, managing attendance and leaves of absence, and FLSA/managing time), managing workplace gender transition, performance management, and effective leadership.

Ms. Freeman has been a featured speaker on various employment topics at national conferences and webinars for such organizations as the American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section; the Missouri Bar; the Heartland Labor & Employment Law Institute; the University of Kansas School of Law; University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) CLE; the Society of Human Resource Management of Greater Kansas City (SHRM-KC); the Missouri Chamber of Commerce; the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; and many private companies. In 2008, she was a guest panelist in the Edgar Snow Symposium in Beijing, China.

Kyle B. Russell is a Principal in the Overland Park and Kansas City offices of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents employers in administrative charges and lawsuits involving a wide variety of statutory and common law discrimination and retaliation cases.

Mr. Russell has also defended wage and hour collective and class actions involving alleged misclassification, off-the-clock work, failure to provide required meal and rest breaks, and failure to pay wages when due. He also has extensive experience prosecuting violations of covenants not to compete by former employees. In addition to employment litigation, Mr. Russell has commercial litigation experience defending multi-district and state-law consumer class actions and governmental investigations.

Mr. Russell has experience training managers on a wide variety of employment law issues, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, workplace violence, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family & Medical Leave Act. He has also advised employers and assisted with the implementation of nationwide arbitration agreement programs.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Russell practiced at a midwest law firm and previously spent eight years as in-house counsel for litigation, records management and legal systems for a Fortune 500 diversified financial services company, where he was responsible for developing and implementing records management, litigation hold and consumer arbitration programs.