Managing FMLA leave in-house is complicated and full of risk. Overwhelming paperwork and navigating legal requirements can quickly become a headache for any Human Resources department. BASIC offers a full range of FMLA Administration services to help companies avoid the most common FMLA mistakes, many of which have serious consequences. Here are some frequent mistakes made by companies that BASIC can help you avoid.
Employers have a responsibility to provide employees on FMLA leave with clear explanations of leave duration and to issue notices when an employee’s remaining FMLA leave time is about to expire. Failure to do so could result in FMLA violations and expensive litigation. Communicating in good faith with employees on FMLA leave can help employers avoid FMLA retaliation claims and save them thousands in legal fees and wrongful termination verdicts.
Not Recognizing FMLA Qualified Absences
It is up to employers to determine if an employee’s absence falls under the FMLA. Eligible FMLA leave instances are not limited to medical reasons and can include such events as bonding time with newly adopted children or a family member being deployed to military service. Employers who fail to recognize FMLA qualified absences could suffer devastating consequences including costly legal verdicts, where payouts can reach several hundred thousand dollars and beyond.
Inaccurate FMLA Leave Tracking
Failure to track employee absences can cost companies up to 7% of their payroll. Accurate absence tracking ensures employers only pay employees for the hours they work. FMLA leave must also be available to employees in the same increments available for other leave categories, from under one hour up to several weeks. Though keeping comprehensive data regarding leave can be laborious, acting on incorrect FMLA leave records could expose an employer to legal ramifications and crippling lawsuit payouts.
Employers are not allowed to penalize employees in any way for taking FMLA covered leave. Any action taken against an employee specifically due to FMLA leave is considered retaliation and constitutes a violation. This also includes making comments to an employee suggesting their FMLA leave has negatively affected their employment status, such as a manager telling a subordinate they should “walk on eggshells” after taking extended FMLA leave. This amounts to “intent to retaliate” and could result in severe consequences for employers.
Outsource the Burden of FMLA Management
For employers, the risk of managing FMLA internally is at an all-time high. That’s why more and more are choosing to outsource this burden. In fact, outsourcing FMLA management has increased over 25% in the past few years. Many employers are choosing to trust BASIC with their FMLA needs as we’ve grown to become a nationwide leader in FMLA outsourcing, thanks to our proprietary software and superior service. From companies with 50 employees to 15,000 employees, we administer FMLA and absence management effectively, efficiently, and most importantly, with guaranteed compliance.
Benefits of BASIC’s FMLA Ease Plus Solution
BASIC’s comprehensive FMLA Ease Plus service allows employers to take a hands-off approach to all potential FMLA absences and stay compliant. FMLA Ease Plus lets BASIC completely handle the most difficult aspects of FMLA (e.g. FMLA determination, intermittent leave, etc.) to avoid costly mistakes and provide peace of mind. One BASIC client with 450 employees and a 4% absentee rate per day saw an annual savings of $41,380 after contracting BASIC to administer their FMLA and Absence Management program. With BASIC, each client receives a Dedicated FMLA Case Manager and best-in-class service so you’re never on your own. Request a proposal today!