A Fine Line: Balancing Confidentiality While Addressing Reasonable Accommodation and Leave Requests

2020 Annual Conference & Exposition
Gain effective communication tools and strategies that deliver critical information relevant to job duties and performance while maintaining the trust and confidentiality that employees expect and are entitled to.

Expectations of confidentiality are one of the most important factors when employees come forward to discuss concerns or complaints about violations of disability and leave laws and policies. These expectations are amplified when the employee has a nonvisible disability or medical condition. Striking a balance between employee expectations for confidentiality and the employer's need for information that might impact the workplace is critical. Understanding how to address complex and sensitive situations effectively can help organizations meet these responsibilities while maintaining employees' trust and productivity. This session uses interactive exercises and realistic case scenarios to provide practical information and specific tools you can apply at work, including examples of ways to phrase and frame the discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and learn effective communication strategies to assess leave and accommodation requests.
  • Apply the newly acquired knowledge and perspective through an interactive case study exercise.
  • Gain strategies for balancing confidentiality while communicating necessary information with co-workers and supervisors when employees request leaves or reasonable accommodations.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 8:00am to 12:00pm

Susan W. Brecher Esq.

Susan W.
Brecher Esq.

Susan W. Brecher, Esq. is on the faculty and a Director at Cornell University, ILR Scheinman Institute. In addition, she is a legal consultant, conducts internal investigations, coaches and facilitates in the fields of employment law, employee relations and conflict resolution. For Cornell, Susan manages, develops instructional design and provides training and online instruction for open enrollment, e-learning and customized programs in Employment Laws, Employee Relations, Internal Investigations, Diversity and Inclusion and Conflict Resolution.

Ms. Brecher also was in-house employment Counsel at ABC and NBC and associated with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and Epstein Becker Green.

Judy Young


Judy Young is Associate Director at the Executive Education of Cornell University’s ILR School. She is responsible for the instructional design and management of public workshops and custom programs for HR and D&I practitioners seeking to advance their skills and leverage equity and inclusion for organizational effectiveness.  Judy’s focus is on developing and sharing strategies for effectively balancing legal obligations with promising practices that promote respectful and inclusive work environments for all.  Judy’s special interest and expertise include the inclusion of workers with disabilities and veterans and she has assisted many organizations in their efforts to increase the integration of these groups in the workplace. Judy  is a frequent presenter at major diversity, employment, and veteran-focused conferences and she is a member of the speaker’s bureau of the Society of Human Resource Management.   

Additional Fee & Registration Required
Amount of Credit: 
Credit Type: 
Session Type: 
Preconference Workshop
Ethical Practice
HR Expertise
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