Is Your Company at Risk? 7 FMLA Compliance Mistakes
Non-compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is common, unfortunately, and that is costly for businesses and unfortunate for their employees. Denying employees their rights to have time off from their job for qualified personal reasons could lead to legal troubles, loss of good employees, and more. FMLA compliance does not have to be difficult, if you make smart choices for your company.
Here are just 7 mistakes a company could make when it comes to the Family and Medical Leave Act:
- Incorrectly determining employee eligibility. Do you know what situations warrant the invocation of the FMLA by an employee? Pregnancy complications, bed rest, bonding with an adopted child, or a serious family health condition all qualify. But there are employees who will try to abuse the FMLA benefits, and identifying who has a legitimate need and who does not is a job many human resource departments prefer not to shoulder.
- Not knowing how long the FMLA applies. The employees who invoke the FMLA will not all do so for the same reasons. Some situations may require long-term compliance while other situations call for intermittent compliance.
- Inappropriate handling of records. Do you have multiple locations? Do you have multiple people handling sensitive information? Without secure, centralized FMLA administration, there is a higher risk of non-compliance and greater potential for the leaking of personal details and protected health information.
- Poor mediation. Improperly handled complaints and poorly managed situations involving the administration and granting of the FMLA can lead to great legal, financial, and professional strife for a company. How you treat your employees, and how their benefits are dished out, will affect your reputation in your field among peers and current and future employees.
- Overworked HR staff. Generalists will have a hard time deciphering the many rules and regulations of the complex FMLA. Their primary job responsibilities can easily be neglected or hastily done when bogged down in the legalese and jargon of the FMLA. Your liability risk and risk of non-compliance go up when you neglect to have an expert dedicated to your company’s and employees’ benefits.
- Administrative errors. If your HR rep neglects to request recertification for ongoing intermittent leave, does not stay up to date on new FMLA legislative changes and regulations, does not properly document communications, and drops the ball in general in the administration of this act, that means employees may not receive the full benefits to which they are entitled, and your company is responsible.
- Being stubborn about company budget. You may want to keep all matters relating to employee benefits in-house to reduce expenses, but FMLA complaints filed by an employee, errors in the administration of the act, and more can all end up increasing your expenses. Talk to an expert and you will see that, ultimately, outsourcing FMLA administration actually costs less than putting this burden on a full-time human resources generalist.
The FMLA has many moving parts and pieces. If you don’t want to be caught in the wrong, outsource the work that comes with managing FMLA paperwork and regulations to an FMLA authority. You’ll reduce your company’s liability, avoid non-compliance, and prevent law violations. Learn more about getting help with the FMLA. Contact The Benefits Group to speak with a representative about your FMLA questions and administrative needs.