When you find out about a possible FMLA qualifying leave after it has started, how far back can you go to retroactively designate the leave? Athey, an attorney with The Robert E. Miller Group in Kansas City, Missouri, was joined by a colleague, consultant Kristi McKinzey, in a recent webinar sponsored by BLR/HRHero. Athey offers three retroactive designation scenarios:
FMLA: Family & Medical Leave Act
"In yesterday’s Advisor, attorney Julie Athey said retroactive designation of Family and Medical Leave could be dangerous. Today, she offers three scenarios to help HR managers understand the possible pitfalls, plus we announce a timely webinar on leave management and PTO."
"The underlying assumption for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) is that it is generally in your interest to capture all absences that are FMLA‐related, says consultant Kristi McKinzey, PHR. She offers four common hazards employers face when they don’t track all absences."
Mckinzey, a consultant with The Robert E. Miller Group in Kansas City, Missouri, was joined by a colleague, attorney Julie Athey, in a recent webinar sponsored by BLR/HRHero.
Hazard # 1: Counting Against Attendance Policy
If you had reason to know an absence was due to an FMLA‐qualifying reason, you can’t count the absence against employees under your attendance policy even if it was never designated as FMLA and even if HR never knew about it—but the supervisor did.
"We know from our readers that year in and year out, leave management is their number one headache. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the major culprit, but in total there are more than 450 pieces of federal and state leave legislation governing leave. (See infographic below.)"
And, of course, each type of leave has its own set of eligibility, entitlement, notice, documentation, and tracking requirements, and oftentimes the requirements overlap.
To help our readers cope with this thicket of leave laws, BLR—after evaluating a number of leave management systems—is proud to announce that we have established a partnership with Presagia to offer Presagia Enterprise and Presagia SimplyLeave, the most comprehensive leave management software solutions on the market.
"The infamous 4-hour workweek is probably not going to happen for you, but there are ways to free up time, says consultant Amy Letke, and one way to do that is to outsource some nonessential functions."
What Is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the contracting of an internal business process to a third party organization, says Letke, who is founder and CEO of Integrity HR, Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky. She offered her tips at BLR’s Strategic HR Leadership Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.
What’s the Difference Between Outsourcing and Offshoring?
"Thanks to all 3,706 participants in our 2013 Employee Leave Survey! Highlights:"
"There will be complicated questions to resolve, but the government knows this and will do what they can to provide guidance and a path on what is next."
With the DOMA ruling so recent in our minds, employers have more unanswered employee benefits questions than ever before. Is it now illegal to tax healthcare benefits for a same-sex spouse? How should multi-state employers react if the final ruling comes down that only same-sex couples who reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages will be entitled to federal benefits? Will same-sex spouses who are now eligible for their partner’s health plan be able to immediately enroll?
"Yesterday’s Advisor offered tips on FMLA certifications; today, when you can “clarify” or “authenticate” those certifications, plus good news about a timely webinar that will give detailed practical advice on managing FMLA certifications."
"Under the FMLA, employers may request medical certification of the need to take leave for the employee’s own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a covered family member. But it’s easier said than done."
Under FMLA regulations, an employer may utilize DOL certification forms designed for this purpose (and why not use them, since you aren’t permitted to ask for any information not on those forms anyway?):
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Condition (WH-380-E)
- Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380-F)
- Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave (Form WH-385)
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave (WH-385-V).
"In yesterday’s Advisor, we offered 5 of our “9 essential skills of HR Managers”; today, the rest of the skills, plus an introduction to the all-things-HR-in-one-place website, HR.BLR.com®."
[Go here for skills 1 to 5]
HR Manager’s Key Skill #6—Discrete and Ethical
HR professionals are the conscience of the company, as well as the keepers of confidential information. As you serve the needs of top management, you also monitor their actions toward employees to be sure that policies and regulations are followed. You need to be able to push back when they aren’t in order to keep the firm on the straight and narrow. Not an easy responsibility!
"There’s big money at stake when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) comes calling, primarily because a mistake with one employee often results in penalties involving many employees. Individual numbers may be small, but multipliers drive the total to surprising heights."
And it’s worse in targeted industries. Although no industry is immune from investigation, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has targeted low-wage industries with vulnerable, and often immigrant, workforces, and those industries with a history of chronic violations. Those include:
- Garment manufacturing
- Health care
- Day care
- Janitorial services
- Temporary help