HR Management & Compliance

Winter Illnesses = FMLA Questions. Where Will You Get the Answers?

With winter illnesses always high, your managers will look to you as a resource to learn more about the FMLA. But what resource is there for you?

As noted in a recent Advisor, winter is a time when 10 to 20 percent of the population suffers a case of the flu. That, so to speak, is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winter illness. Freezing temperatures, wind-chill, and stormy conditions lead to all manner of distress, from back problems from snow shoveling to far more serious heart and lung conditions, made worse by poor weather.

What it all spells is requests for absence from the job, for days or even weeks at a time, much of it coverable under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA.) That makes this an especially appropriate moment to make sure those who grant or deny leave in your organization are fully familiar with the Act’s requirements—and with its interactions with other leave-related laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers’ compensation, and state laws.

Stress That Managers Consult You About Leave

To some managers, leave is leave, and all these laws are essentially the same. The government doesn’t see it that way, and any failure to fully respect the rights allowed under each law’s specifics can bring serious legal consequences.

For this reason, it’s vital that you, as an HR professional, stress that managers consult with you on any question involving leave. But what reference will you consult with?

We’d like to suggest that this is a great time to take a no-cost look at the BLR’s Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide. For these reasons:

Try the Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide at no cost for 30-Days. Click here.

First, it makes one of the nation’s most complex employment laws understandable. The book is written in plain-English (as are all BLR products) and is packed with examples and common situations.

Second, it covers the law in sequence. Requests for leave are covered before maintaining benefits during leave. The next section covers return from leave, and that’s followed by extensive explanations of how to document and time-track leave against the permitted 12-week maximum, once it’s occurred.

State Leave Laws Usually Predominate

Third, the program admirably handles the matter of state leave laws, which are frequently more liberal than the federal FMLA. As the courts have repeatedly held that whichever law, federal or state, is more advantageous to the employee trumps the other, it’s vital to know your state’s provisions. Unfortunately, state law is usually published in obscure legal journals that are hard to find and hard to read if you do find them. The Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide puts the provisions of the law of your state (and every other) at your fingertips, with any differences from the federal highlighted.

Fourth, the book delves into ADA, especially as to how ADA compares with FMLA. The concept of “reasonable accommodation” under ADA is explained … one of the first times we’ve seen that done in an understandable way. And then, in handy chart format, common situations are compared under FMLA, ADA, and workers’ comp, as well.

Click to learn more about Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide or try it free.

The book then goes further into the miscellaneous reasons for legally-sanctioned leave, covering your requirements when an employee is called for jury duty, a mandated court appearance, or military service.

A final section includes all the materials needed to put a legal leave program into operation. These include mandatory posting notices, in both English and Spanish, sample leave policies and reproducible ready-to-use forms for leave request, status while on leave, and time tracking.

And to keep things up to date, the initial purchase includes quarterly updates and an FMLA-focused newsletter.

In other words, the Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance Guide is a complete reference to compliance with this complex law. And we highly recommend it.

The program is available for sample use in your offices for up to 30 days. There is no cost to try it, nor any obligation to buy it. We suggest you get a sense of it now by clicking on the table of contents and product samples links below. Then click on the one of the free trial links to learn more or begin your no-cost trial.

Download product sample
Download newsletter sample
Download table of contents

For more information on the FMLA Guide, or to start a 30-day Free Trial, click here.

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