Failure to Recognize FMLA: A Common Employer Mistake
A common misconception among HR managers of small-to-midsize employers is the assumption that they only have a “few Family Medical Leave (FMLA) events occur per year.” Failure to recognize FMLA is a growing concern among companies ranging in size from 50 to 250 employees. The complexities of administering FMLA, along with the ever-changing regulations and increased DOL audits have escalated the distress of many already overwhelmed HR professionals.
Failing to recognize FMLA stems from the misbelief that an employee must request FMLA specifically. Often times, when an employee requests an unscheduled absence, a manager or supervisor does not know what questions to ask to determine if the absence is a qualifying FMLA event or not. Lack of training in FMLA administration often leaves managers vulnerable to disqualifying multiple FMLA events each year, leaving their company susceptible to absence abuse.
A recent survey concluded that the average U.S. worker takes 8.5 absences a year (Mercer’s Survey on Absence and Disability Managements, 2013.) If an HR manager is in charge of FMLA & absence administration for 100 full-time employees, that means he or she has approximately 850 absences to manage each year. The chance of only a “few” of those 850 absences being FMLA is extremely slim. The HR manager needs to know if an employee is absent to care for a sick family member, has a migraine or has the flu lasting more than 3 days; they could be qualifying for FMLA.
BASIC’s Absence Management and FMLA systems are designed to simplify employer administration and improve employer efficiency. Our mission is to create a “uniform and sustainable” method to track all employee absences without creating additional administrative burden. With BASIC, employers achieve greater ability to manage employee absence with critical data to help schedule staff and identify absence patterns by department, day or by employee with real time information and historical absence data.
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