Unum, DMEC offer education forums for employers, industry professionals

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Unum (NYSE:UNM) and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) are teaming up for the 16th year to offer a series of online educational forums on disability and absence management.

This year’s online forums will cover topics relevant to employers and industry professionals including New York’s new Paid Family Leave (PFL) law, strategies for managing call centers, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), keys to developing successful return-to-work programs and creative strategies to maintain productivity and employee morale, while balancing consistent FMLA and ADA practices in support of the working caregivers.

“Online education has become a popular option for absence and disability professionals to get current and timely information and best practices,” said Terri L. Rhodes, DMEC CEO. “The topics presented in the Virtual Education Forums are top of mind for industry professionals, and through DMEC’s partnership with Unum, we have reached thousands of individuals in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.”

DMEC is the only association devoted to providing education for integrated disability and absence management professionals. Its membership represents employers from the Fortune 500 to those with fewer than 500 employees. For 16 years Unum and DMEC have partnered on the Virtual Education Forum Series, one of the first web-based learning forums in the industry.

“Unum values the partnership with DMEC and the opportunity to provide relevant information on these important topics,” said Michelle Jackson, assistant vice president of Workforce Solutions Group at Unum. ”Our VEF in January offered guidance for employers on when and how to communicate with employees about FMLA and was very popular, with more than 1,300 attendees. We hope more employers and industry professionals take advantage of these great opportunities to come together and share expertise on the ever-changing world of disability and absence management.”

The 2018 forum schedule is as follows:

  • March 20: “Congratulations, the baby has arrived – now what?” (Focus NY PFL 2.20) Presenters: Ellen McCann, assistant vice president and legal counsel for Unum, and Nora Ketron, manager in Unum’s FMLA unit.
  • May 15: “Don’t hang up! There are strategies to manage absence in call centers.” Presenters: Stephanie Willett and Heidi Bimrose, directors in Unum’s Workforce Solutions Group.
  • July 17: “ADA: Navigating through the process.” Presenter: Danette Washum, manager in Unum’s Leave Management area, and Michelle Jackson, assistant vice president of Workforce Solutions Group for Unum
  • Sept. 18: “The building blocks of absence management: Keys to developing a successful RTW program.” Presenters: Marcy Ledford and Heidi Bimrose, directors in Unum’s Workforce Solutions Group
  • Nov. 13: “Working caregivers: Multiple jobs, multiple stressors, multiple leaves – oh my!” Presenters: Stephanie Willett and Tori Weeks, directors in Unum’s Workforce Solutions Group

These sessions are held on Tuesdays at noon Eastern/ 9 a.m. Pacific. The one-hour presentations will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session. To register, visit DMEC and select the Virtual Education Forum you wish to attend. 


The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) is the only association dedicated to providing focused education, knowledge, and networking for absence and disability professionals. Through its national and regional education programs, DMEC delivers trusted strategies, tools, and resources to minimize lost work time, improve workforce productivity, and maintain legally compliant absence and disability programs. Visit www.dmec.org to learn more. 


Brian Baker, 423-294-7839


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About Unum Group

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2022, Unum reported revenues of about $12 billion and paid $8 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®. 

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