The corona crisis that all businesses are facing is going to change much of the traditional roles and responsibilities across various departments. People are forced to work from home and maybe even look after someone who is homebound, sick, or quarantined. In essence, along with facing work stress, there is also a role of caregiver to be performed.
During such crisis, it is the Human Resource department that most employees turn to. HR professionals seek an action plan on how to deal with the myriad of questions that are asked related to leave, pay and medical issues. Organizations need family and medical plan manager to handle the queries and guide the leadership on how to handle crisis, compliance issues and keep an action plan ready, especially with the announcement of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created to help employees balance demands of their workplace considering needs of their families. The Act has been expanded in the recent emergency under the Emergency Paid Leave Act related to leave policies for employees affected by the public health emergency.
How can you minimize FMLA violations?
With many conditions and caveats for FMLA and its emergency expansion to meet the crisis facing millions of workers, it makes sense to appoint a manager to deal with millions of queries, processes and procedures that will arise.
Most employees who can work are doing so remotely. Even after the curbs on free movement are lifted, many will continue to work from home. Hence, the Human Resource department has to appoint a manager exclusively to deal with FMLA. He/she has to start collaborating closely with finance, IT and other departments to implement new rules that display the organization’s commitment towards their employees during a challenging situation. According to SHRM.org, many managers violate FMLA rules and regulations thus putting their companies at risk leading to lawsuits and fines slapped by Department of Labor.
Micromanaging FMLA regulation can be an exhaustive task for even the most competent managers. Too often, managers are not trained enough about FMLA to recognize an FMLA leave or understand the protection that employees gain from the law. Without properly tracking employee leave and ensuring compliance with the latest Federal and State FMLA requirements, companies can be liable to face lawsuits from avoidable FMLA compliance violations.
With SHRM’s FMLA Manager, businesses can easily notify and track important leave dates, milestones and entitlements over the course of the calendar year. It is designed to help managers keep a tighter grasp on federal, state, and company-specific family and medical leave programs. With the aid of FMLA Manager’s leave reports, addressing staffing gaps can become manageable.
The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to employees who have worked for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours during that preceding 12 months. Without being able to track absences or the accurate number of hours worked, it becomes daunting to determine whether or not an employee is eligible for FMLA leave time.
SHRM's FMLA Manager allows companies to effortlessly track all elements of HR directly related to absence management. Managers won’t make the mistake of accidentally counting leaves and thus, maintain accuracy with minimal back-and-forth.
In addition, the FMLA online service helps companies accurately convey DOL and OSHA issued guidelines to its employees. The tool helps in reassuring employees of all possible help in trying circumstances and posting regular updates. What would otherwise be a pool of scattered FMLA eligibility data becomes instantly manageable with SHRM’s FMLA Manager.