Francis P. Alvarez

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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.

Latest Articles

The U.S. Department of Labor issued today an Administrator’s Interpretation of the FMLA Regulation defining “in loco parentis” relationships as part of the FMLA’s definition of “son” or “daughter”.  Is this “big news” and, if so, why?   One could always argue that individuals standing ‘in loco parentis” to a child covered under the FMLA could take FMLA leave for the birth or adoption of that child or to care for a child with a serious health condition.  So why is the DOL making such a big deal out…
Citing research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on June 5, 2010, the New York Times reported that one in five women are obese when they become pregnant.  The article states “obesity might be contributing to record-high rates of Caesarean section and leading to more birth defects and deaths for mothers and babies.”  As well illustrated in the NYT piece, the impact on mothers and their families can be heart-wrenching.  But one back story may be the impact on health care costs.  These are pretty eye-opening statistics ……
When a law, such as the ADA, restricts an employer’s rights to take reasonable, measured steps to promote workplace safety, it ought to be re-examined.  Years ago, Justice Souter observed that preventing employers from considering “risk to self,” an ADA rule many disability rights advocates had sought, would have put the ADA at “loggerheads” with federal OSHA policy requiring employers to ensure the safety of  “each” and “every” worker.  Chevron USA, Inc. v. Echazabal, 536 U.S. 73, 85 (2002). I have always thought…
An employee goes on FMLA leave unable to work temporarily due to uncontrolled diabetes. The employee’s essential job functions include driving a forklift and working with other dangerous machinery. Many in the workplace are aware of the situation because the employee lost consciousness while working and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Sound familiar? Two weeks into the leave, the employee calls and says he is ready to return to work –…
Welcome to our new 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 hope to confront some of the more thorny legal and practical issues employers face when managing issues involving employee health, attendance, leave and family responsibilities. Most will involve issues under the Americans…
Many employers limit “transitional work” or “light duty” to individuals with work-related injuries. But is such a practice lawful? Most believe it is. Many years ago, in fact, the EEOC specifically endorsed the practice, with some caveats, in its Enforcement Guidance on the ADA and Workers’ Compensation. However, in a September 2009 EEOC press release announcing an ADA lawsuit filed against Supervalu-Jewel Osco, the EEOC reported it was challenging rules that limited light duty to…
ABC News has reported that a Fairfield, Connecticut woman, Pamela Fink, yesterday filed claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that her employer violated GINA when it terminated her employment on March 25, 2010. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (pdf), which went into effect for employment law purposes on November 21, 2009, prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of an employee’s “genetic…