FMLA Needs in Super Market Chains
Franchises such as Supermarket chains are one example of an industry that is required to adhere to the Family and Medical Leave Act. Eligibility is determined if a chain employs 50 employees or more. If the company has several chains and a particular worksite or store does not employ 50 employees at that particular site, it must take into consideration other nearby sites that are part of its chain. For example, if the combined number of employees at two chains within a 75 mile radius employs 50 employees or more, the supermarket is considered a covered employer and must adhere to the FMLA. Supermarkets are already struggling to expand market share and develop growth potential to compete with rival chains. However, not adhering to the act may have serious financial consequences. An inaccurate handling of the process involved in the Family and Medical Leave Act has a potential for lawsuits and fines, further exacerbating costs for the chain. Finding a way to effectively deal with the Family and Medical Leave Act, avoiding employee discrimination and fines is an important consideration for supermarket chains.
The FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they meet certain criteria. Employees may take leave for serious health conditions involving themselves, their spouse, child or parents. The birth, adoption and fostering of a child are also considered to be appropriate reasons amongst several others. Some categories and definition of criteria under this act may vary between states. There are also different rules of coverage for military families, and so supermarket chains should ensure they have a thorough understanding of the Act and how it applies to them.
Employees may take their leave in one block or they may choose to take their leave intermittently throughout the 12 month period. For employees who decide to take FMLA intermittently, employers can ask for recertification of medical documentation when previous certification has expired, or every 30 days. To ensure that the leave process is appropriately handled, employees must track leave and record all relevant documentation. Tracking processes can ensure that employers do not offer too much or too little leave to their employees.
To comply with FMLA regulations, an employer may choose to utilize software specifically designed to administrate, record and advise on the Family Medical and Leave Act. Some software specifically designed for this purpose contains applications that provide monthly updated federal and state regulations, and provide calculations for employee eligibility for leave based on workflow to consistency. Such software is able to determine the amount of leave to be offered to eligible employees and provide auto-generated leave letters to reduce company’s’ overheads. They also provide dashboards allowing employers to analyze monitor and measure leave of all employees recording all relevant data in one place.