Your employees (PEOPLE) are your most valuable asset. In times of need, these employees may ask to step away from work to care for themselves or a loved one. Common examples include surgery and birth of a child. If you are new to FMLA administration, you may be wondering if you are required to grant the time off, who is eligible, and what ownership you have in the process.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) “entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.” If you are a covered employer or unsure if you are a covered employer, we offer resources and best practices to make FMLA administration EASY.
FMLA Made EASY
Consider an FMLA administrator like Unum. A leave administrator makes leave management easier on your team offering resources and an established process.
Employers required to provide FMLA leave:
- Private employers with 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous calendar year.
- All public agencies – employees must meet eligibility requirements.
- Work for a covered employer.
- Have worked for that employer for at least 12 months as of the FMLA leave start date.
- Have a minimum of 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12-month period immediately before the FMLA leave start date.
- Work at a location where the employer employs at least 50 employees within 75 miles of that worksite as of the date when the employee gives notice of the need for leave.
- See the Employer Guide below for additional eligibility for airline flight crew employees.
Qualifying circumstances for leave:
- Birth of child/newborn bonding within one year of birth.
- Child placement for adoption or foster care within one year of placement.
- Serious health condition preventing the employee from performing the functions of his or her job – including incapacity due to pregnancy.
- Care for spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
- Qualifying need of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.
Offer resources to your employees and leaders. And, conduct recurring training.
The above information comes directly from the Employer Guide to FMLA. This guide is for employers and should be given to HR and people leaders. The Employee Guide should be readily available to employees. Some employers make it available upon hire or post it on the company’s intranet. All covered employers are required to provide general notice to their employees via a poster and a written form such as a general handbook. Both guides are available online and can be printed.
Employees must provide notice of their need for FMLA leave, but they do not have to specifically mention FMLA. This is why leadership training is critical. It should encourage open communication and dialogue between employees and supervisors. Once an employee alerts his or her leader or HR of their need or an instance that may qualify, the company has been given notice and the certification process begins.
Unum offers several different trainings. Rob Larson recently conducted a SHRMGP workshop on FMLA, An In-Depth Legal Review, worth 2.5 recertification credits for SHRM and HRCI. Many leave administrators offer general, deep dive, and leadership trainings to their clients.
Hopefully, this overview gives you a foundation and resources to help support your most valuable asset.
TruPath is a proud member of SHRMGP. Megan McQuade, TruPath’s Community Relations Director, sits on the SHRMGP Board of Directors and helps with speaker selection.
As a trusted recruitment source for more than 15 years, recruiters at TruPath have a customizable process that helps our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs.