FMLA Needs in Health Care Companies?

All industries should be cognizant of the FMLA including Health Care companies, particularly as noncompliance can result in serious financial consequences. The Family and Medical Leave Act is a law which was passed in 1993 to allow employees to take necessary unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons or to substitute this with paid leave. Time take is protected, meaning the employee continues to be eligible for group health benefits (including dental and vision) and are eligible to return to the same (or equivalent) position upon their return. To be eligible for leave, an employee must be employed by a company which employs 50 or more workers. This does not apply to public agencies or local educational agencies. There are variations on the act depending on the industry and work role, such as instructional workers within schools, flight crew, and special criteria for military families.

FMLA allows employees to take necessarily unpaid leave for certain family or medical events, including birth of a child, adoption of a child, a serious health condition, an illness or serious health condition of a spouse, child or parent, amongst other events. Typically employees are eligible for 12 work weeks of unpaid leave within a 12 month period. However, as stated they must meet certain eligibility requirement as must the company itself. Finding ways to effectively manage the family and medical leave process for companies and their employees can save a lot of money, time, manpower, and ensure the company is adhering to the rules and regulations avoiding serious repercussions and fines.

Many companies are choosing to use software packages specifically designed to help streamline the process. The databases help to record and analyze employee leave, but often provide more comprehensive management solutions. For example, software has the potential to ensure companies are administering family and medical leave, in accordance to updated FMLA federal and state laws, and may provide monthly updates to its system for maximum compliance. As well as consolidating all employees’ leave data into one system, it may provide a “leave wizard,” a step by step guide on the process to be taken once a leave request is submitted. It can help in the decision making process by analyzing employees work status to determine if they meet eligibility for leave e.g. worked 1250 within the previous 12 months. As certain FMLA rules require certain documentation to be sent to employees within time sensitive timelines, these software often produce leave correspondence, automatically using letters which comply with state and federal legal requirements. It can help employers to monitor the employee’s absence, including a record of all leave documentation such as medical certification. Using software such as these programs can greatly help companies such as health care companies ensure full compliance of the Family and Medical Leave Act, including staying up to date with changes made to the act.


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