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Fundamentals of FMLA

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Fundamentals of FMLA

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In this webinar, our HR expert reviewed the purpose and definition of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers under FMLA, as well as how to recognize potential reasons for covered leave and what necessary steps you can take as outlined under FMLA.

In this webinar, our HR expert reviewed the purpose and definition of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers under FMLA, as well as how to recognize potential reasons for covered leave and what necessary steps you can take as outlined under FMLA.

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Fundamentals of FMLA

  1. 1. Fundamentals  of  FMLA   Presented  by:  Torrence  Freeman,  PHR   G&A  Partners  –  HR  Generalist  
  2. 2. Agenda   •  What  is  the  Family  and  Medical  Leave  Act   (FMLA)?   •  Who  is  covered  by  FMLA?   •  Employers   •  Employees   •  Eligibility   •  Reasons  for  Leave   •  How  is  FMLA  processed?   •  What  am  I  responsible  for  as  an  employer?   •  What  are  my  employees  responsible  for?   2  
  3. 3. Before  we  get  started…   •  I  am  not  an  aMorney   •  This  material  is  not  legal  advice   •  This  presentaNon  is  not  a  subsNtute  for   experienced  legal  counsel     3  
  4. 4. The  Family  and  Medical  Leave   Act   4  
  5. 5. What  is  FMLA?   The  FMLA  enNtles  eligible  employees  of   covered  employers  to  take  unpaid,  job-­‐ protected  leave  for  specified  family  and   medical  reasons  with  conNnuaNon  of  group   health  insurance  coverage  under  the  same   terms  and  condiNons  as  if  the  employee  had   not  taken  leave.   Source:  Department  of  Labor,  Wage  and  Hour  Division  5  
  6. 6. Purpose  of  FMLA   •  Balance  the  needs  of  the  workplace  with  the   needs  of  families   •  Promote  stability  and  economic  security   •  To  promote  equal  employment  opportunity   for  men  and  women   Source:  Public  Law  103-­‐3  6  
  7. 7. Who  is  a  covered  employer?   •  Private  sector  employer  with  50  or  more   employees  in  20  or  more  weeks  in  the  current   or  preceding  year.   •  Includes  joint  employers  and  successors  in  interest   to  a  covered  employer   •  Public  agency,  including  a  local,  state,  or   Federal  government  agency,  regardless  of   number  of  employees   •  Public  or  private  elementary  school  or   secondary  school,  regardless  of  number  of   employees   Source:  DOL  Fact  Sheet  #28  7  
  8. 8. What  makes  an  employee  eligible?   •  Works  for  a  covered  employer   •  Has  worked  for  the  employer  for  at  least  12   months   •  Non-­‐consecuNve   •  Has  worked  1,250  hours  in  12  months   immediately  prior  to  leave   •  Works  at  locaNon  with  50  or  more   employees  in  a  75  mile  radius   Source:  DOL  Fact  Sheet  #28  8  
  9. 9. What  is  an  employee  enNtled  to?   •  Up  to  12  workweeks  of  leave  in  a  12-­‐month   period     •  Up  to  26  workweeks  of  leave  in  a  single  12   month  period  to  care  for  a  covered  service   member  with  a  serious  injury  or  illness   9  
  10. 10. What  can  an  employee  use  FMLA  for?   •  Birth,  adopNon,  or  foster  care   •  Care  for  a  spouse,  child,  or  parent  who  has  a   serious  health  condiNon   •  Employee’s  own  serious  health  condiNon   •  For  qualifying  exigency  (situaNon  arising   from  military  deployment)   10  
  11. 11. Types  of  leave   •  ConNnuous  Leave   •  Leave  taken  at  one  Nme   •  IntermiMent  Leave   •  Leave  taken  in  days,  hours,  or  less  on  a  habitual   basis   •  Smallest  increment  of  Nme  allowed  based  on   increment  policies  for  other  types  of  leave  (e.g.   sick  or  vacaNon)   •  Employer  not  required  to  grant  for  bonding  leave   11  
  12. 12. IntermiMent  leave   •  Employee  is  sNll  enNtled  to  up  to  12   workweeks  of  leave  in  a  12  month  period   •  Employee  must  work  with  employer  to   schedule  leave  to  not  disrupt  operaNons  if   able   •  May  transfer  employee  temporarily  to   alternaNve  posiNon  (with  equivalent  pay  and   benefits)   12  
  13. 13. What  is  the  12-­‐month  period?   •  The  calendar  year   •  Any  fixed  12-­‐month  “leave  year”  such  as  a  fiscal   year,  a  year  required  by  State  law,  or  a  year   starNng  on  the  employee’s  “anniversary  date”   •  12-­‐month  period  measured  forward  from  the   date  any  employee’s  first  FMLA  leave  begins   •  A  “rolling”  12-­‐month  period  measured   backward  from  the  date  an  employee  uses   FMLA  leave   13  
  14. 14. The  “Rolling”  12-­‐month  period   •  The  look-­‐back  method   •  Avoids  “stacking”  of  leaves   •  Amount  of  FMLA  leave  available  can  be   constantly  changing   •  To  determine  available  leave  on  a  given  date,   subtract  all  leave  taken  in  the  12  months   preceding  that  date  from  12  weeks   •  Leave  is  accrued  back  on  anniversary  of  use   14  
  15. 15. Qualifying  Reasons  for  FMLA     15  
  16. 16. Birth,  adopNon  or  fostering   •  Can  be  taken  by  both  parents   •  Employer  not  required  to  approve   intermiMent  leave  for  bonding   •  Leave  must  be  taken  within  1  year  of  birth  or   placement   •  Can  be  taken  prior  to  placement  for  related   acNviNes   16  
  17. 17. Serious  health  condiNon   •  For  employee  themselves     •  For  a  family  member   •  Spouse   •  Parent   •  Child   •  In  loco  parenNs     •  ConNnuous  or  intermiMent     •  Cannot  deny  intermiMent  if  it  is  needed   17  
  18. 18. Serious  health  condiNon   •  Illness,  injury,  impairment  or  physical  or  mental   condiNon  that  involves  any  period  of  incapacity:   •  connected  with  inpaNent  care  (i.e.,  an  overnight  stay)   in  a  hospital,  hospice,  or  residenNal  medical  care   facility   •  requiring  absence  of  more  than  three  calendar  days   that  also  involves  conNnuing  treatment  any  period  of   incapacity  due  to  pregnancy,  or  for  prenatal  care   •  due  to  a  chronic  serious  health  condiNon   •  that  is  permanent  or  long-­‐term   •  Any  absences  to  receive  mulNple  treatments   that  likely  would  result  in  incapacity  of  more   than  three  consecuNve  days  if  lej  untreated   18  
  19. 19. Serious  health  condiNon   •  The  following  condiNons  are  excluded,  unless   inpaNent  care  or  complicaNons  develop  that   would  meet  the  above  criteria:     •  cosmeNc  treatments   •  common  colds   •  Flu   •  ear  aches   •  upset  stomach   •  minor  ulcers   •  headaches  other  than  migraine   •  rouNne  dental  or  orthodonNa  problems   •  periodontal  disease   19  
  20. 20. Qualifying  exigencies   •  Covered  acNve  duty  definiNon   •  Family  member  includes  spouse,  son,  daughter  or  parent   •  Qualifying  exigencies  include:   •  Responding  to  short-­‐noNce  deployment,   •  AMending  military  events  and  related  acNviNes,   •  AMending  to  childcare  and  school  acNviNes,   •  Receiving  counseling,   •  AMending  to  financial  and  legal  maMers,   •  Periods  of  rest  and  recuperaNon,   •  Post-­‐deployment  acNviNes,     •  Parental  care  (military  member’s  parent),  and     •  Other  acNviNes  agreed  to  by  the  employee  and  the   organizaNon.     20  
  21. 21. Military  caregiver  leave   •  Up  to  26  in  a  12-­‐month  period   •  To  care  for  a  current  service  member  or   veteran   •  Undergoing  medical  treatment,  recuperaNon,  or   therapy  for  a  qualifying  serious  injury  or  illness.   •  Incurred  in  line  of  duty  or  condiNon  exacerbated  by   service   •  For  veterans,  for  treatment  of  injury  or  illness  incurred   or  exacerbated  while  an  acNve  member  of  the  armed   forces   21  
  22. 22. 12-­‐month  period  for  military  caregiver  leave   •  Single  12-­‐month  period  begins  the  day  of  leave   and  ends  12  months  later   •  Not  always  the  same  as  the  12-­‐month  period   available  for  other  FMLA  leave  reasons   •  Eligible  employee  limited  to  combined  total  of   26  workweeks   •  Including  leave  used  for  other  FMLA  qualifying   reasons   •  Military  caregiver  leave  available  once  per   servicemember,  per  serious  injury  or  illness   •  Eligible  employee  can  care  for  more  than  one   covered  servicemember  at  a  Nme  during  leave   22  
  23. 23. Employer  ResponsibiliNes   23  
  24. 24. Posted  noNce   •  Post  a  general  noNce  explaining  rights  and   responsibiliNes  (WH  PublicaNon  1420)   •  Posted  for  all  worker  to  see  in  common  area   •  Must  be  in  plain  view   •  Provided  in  other  languages  when  porNon  of   workforce  is  not  fluent  in  English   •  Provides  informaNon  regarding  filing  a  complaint   •  May  be  assessed  a  fine  for  not  posNng   24  
  25. 25. WriMen  policy   •  Provide  wriMen  FMLA  policy   •  Best  place  is  in  an  employee  handbook   •  Contains  same  informaNon  as  in  poster,  at   minimum   •  Best  pracNce  to  include  further  detail   25  
  26. 26. Eligibility  noNce   •  Provide  eligibility  noNce     •  Must  state  whether  the  employee  is  eligible,  and   if  not  eligible,  the  reason  why   •  Provided  within  5  business  days   •  Only  provided  once  in  a  12  month  period  unless   the  FMLA  qualifying  reason  is  different  or   eligibility  has  changed   •  Form  WH-­‐381   26  
  27. 27. Rights  and  responsibiliNes   •  Provide  Rights  and  ResponsibiliNes  noNce   •  Form  WH-­‐381   •  Qualified  leave  may  be  designated  and  counted  against   annual  leave  enNtlement   •  Requirements  of  cerNficaNon  of  the  need  for  leave   •  SubsNtuNon  of  paid  leave   •  Premium  payments  to  maintain  benefits   •  “Key  Employee”   •  Maintenance  of  benefits  during  leave   •  Job  restoraNon   •  Employee  potenNal  liability  of  health  insurance  premiums   if  employee  fails  to  return  to  work  ajer  leave   •  Other  informaNon   27  
  28. 28. CerNficaNon  of  leave   •  Medical  cerNficaNon  for  serious  health  condiNon   •  WH-­‐380-­‐E,  WH-­‐380-­‐F   •  Employer  must  allow  15  days  to  be  completed   •  Employee  responsible  for  any  costs   •  If  incomplete  or  insufficient,  provide  wriMen   noNce  to  employee  to  cure  (7  calendar  days)   •  Employer  representaNve  can  authenNcate  and   clarify  cerNficaNon  (not  direct  supervisor!)   •  Employer  can  request  second  opinion  at   employer  cost   28  
  29. 29. CerNficaNon  of  leave  request       •  Qualifying  exigency   •  Copy  of  orders   •  Statement  of  facts   •  Approximate  Nmes  of  leave   •  Contact  informaNon  for  third  parNes   •  Proof  of  relaNonship   •  Cannot  request  second  or  third  opinions   •  Cannot  require  recerNficaNon     •  Must  allow  15  days  to  complete   •  Form  WH-­‐384   29  
  30. 30. CerNficaNon  of  leave  request   •  Military  caregiver   •  Completed  by  authorized  health  care  provider   •  DOD,  VA,  DOD  TRICARE,  Non-­‐military   •  Second  or  third  opinions  only  for  non-­‐military   affiliated  HCP   •  Must  allow  15  days  to  complete   30  
  31. 31. Designate  the  leave   •  DesignaNon  noNce   •  Employer  is  responsible  for  designaNng  leave  as   FMLA  leave   •  NoNce  should  be  provided  within  5  business  days   •  Should  be  provided  for  each  qualifying  reason  per   applicable  12  month  period   •  Employer’s  determinaNon   •  Any  concurrent  use  of  paid  leave  requirements   •  Any  fitness  for  duty  requirements   •  Provides  amount  of  leave  counted  against   enNtlement   •  Form  WH-­‐382   31  
  32. 32. Recordkeeping   •  Dates,  documents  and  records  of  FMLA  leave   •  Hours  if  leave  is  intermiMent   •  Keep  for  no  less  than  three  years   •  Maintain  medical  informaNon  in  a   confidenNal  manner   32  
  33. 33. Benefits   •  Maintenance  of  employee  benefits   •  Employer  maintains  payment  of  their   contribuNon  to  premiums   •  Employee  must  pay  their  premium  porNon   •  During  leave  at  specific  Nme  or  upon  return   •  Same  condiNons  applied  as  if  the  employee  were   conNnuously  employed   33  
  34. 34. Reinstatement   •  Employee  reinstatement   •  Same  posiNon,  or  to  an  equivalent  posiNon  with   equal  pay,  benefits  and  other  terms  and   condiNons   •  Pay  includes  bonuses,  uncondiNonal  pay   increases,  pay  premiums  and  opportunity  for   overNme   •  Benefits  include  insurance,  paid  Nme  off,   pensions,  educaNonal  benefits   •  Other  terms  and  condiNons  may  include  duNes,   condiNons,  responsibiliNes,  schedule,  locaNon   34  
  35. 35. Fitness-­‐for-­‐duty   •  NoNfy  employee  of  need  when  designaNng   leave   •  Releases  employee  to  return  with  or  without   accommodaNons   •  Provide  a  list  of  job  duNes  employee  would     need  to  be  able  to  perform   •  Remind  employee  of  need  approximately   two  weeks  prior  to  expected  return   35  
  36. 36. “Key”  employee   •  Salaried,  FMLA-­‐eligible  employee,  among   highest  paid  10  percent  of  all  employees   within  75  miles  of  employee’s  worksite   •  Employer  may  deny  to  reinstate  employee,   not  the  request  for  leave   •  Must  show  that  if  reinstated  it  would  case   “substanNal  and  grievous  economic  injury”   •  NoNfy  employee  of  possibility  when  FMLA  is   approved   •  Must  maintain  FMLA  rights  unNl  end  of  leave   36  
  37. 37. Employee  ResponsibiliNes   37  
  38. 38. Requirements  for  employees   •  Eligible  employees  may  be  required  to   provide:   •  30  days  advance  noNce  for  foreseeable  leave   •  NoNce  as  soon  as  pracNcable  when  not   foreseeable   •  Sufficient  informaNon  for  the  employer  to   understand  why  the  leave  is  needed   •  Timely  noNce  of  leave  being  FMLA  qualifying  if   not  addressed  prior  to  absence     38  
  39. 39. AddiNonal  requests   •  And  if  requested,  employee  should:   •  Provide  cerNficaNon  requests  in  a  Nmely  manner   •  Must  be  given  at  least  15  days  to  provide   •  Provide  periodic  status  reports   •  Submit  fitness  for  duty  upon  return  to  work   •  “Working”  while  on  leave   •  Reasonable  requests  for  assistance  only   39  
  40. 40. AddiNonal  FMLA  Concerns   40  
  41. 41. Reducing  abuse   •  Use  “rolling”  12-­‐month  period   •  Require  medical  cerNficaNons   •  Seek  recerNficaNon  when  circumstances   change   •  Confirm  cerNficaNon  with  HCP   •  Enforce  call-­‐in  procedures   •  Train  supervisors  and  management   41  
  42. 42. Most  common  violaNons   •  Failure  to  noNfy  of  rights   •  Failure  to  designate  leave  appropriately   •  Considering  FMLA  leave  in  disciplinary   acNons   •  Failure  to  reinstate  employee  appropriately   •  Denying  coverage  to  an  eligible  employee   with  a  qualifying  reason   42  
  43. 43. What  happens  when  violaNons  occur?   •  Failing  to  post  noNce  -­‐  $110   •  Employees  who  feel  that  their  FMLA  rights   have  been  violated  can  go  to  the   Department  of  Labor,  Wage  and  Hour   Division   •  Costs  from  law  suits  can  include  back  wages,   reinstatement  of  terminated  employees,  medical   bills,  legal  fees,  as  well  as  other  expenses  and   fees.   43  
  44. 44. Court  cases   •  DOL  v.  D.S.  Waters  of  America  (Sparklets)   •  Employee  terminated  by  company’s  new  owners   while  on  FMLA  leave.     •  Smith  v.  Genon  Energy   •  Employee  was  asked  to  perform  20  to  40  hours  of   work  while  on  an  FMLA  leave.   •  Alexander  v.  Boeing  Company   •  Employee  terminated  when  she  took  a  4-­‐day  leave  of   absence  for  migraine  headaches.   •  Hurley  v.  Kent  of  Naples  Inc.   •  Employer  denied  leave  for  depression  and   terminated  employee.     44  
  45. 45. Don’t  forget  the  Americans  with   DisabiliNes  Act  (ADA)   •  Employee  isn’t  eligible  for  FMLA   •  FMLA  exhausted   •  Do  not  automaNcally  terminate  when  an   employee  is  unable  to  return  to  work   •  Employee  returns  to  work  with   accommodaNons     45  
  46. 46. In  closing   •  Employers  cannot  interfere  with,  restrain  or   deny  employees’  FMLA  rights.   •  It’s  prohibited  to  retaliate,  discriminate,   discharge  or  otherwise  consider  a  negaNve   factor  against  an  employee  for  exercising   FMLA  rights.   46  
  47. 47. HRCI  Cer;fica;on  Credits:     "This  webinar  has  been  pre-­‐cerNfied  for  1  hour  of  general  recerNficaNon  credit   toward  PHR,  SPHR  and  GPHR  recerNficaNon  through  the  HR  CerNficaNon  InsNtute.       We  will  send  out  a  confirma;on  e-­‐mail  to  all  those  that  are  confirmed  as   aAended  with  the  program  ID  code  to  note  on  your  HRCI  recer;fica;on   applica;on  form.       The  use  of  this  seal  is  not  an  endorsement  by  the  HR  CerNficaNon  InsNtute  of  the  quality   of  the  program.    It  means  that  this  program  has  met  the  HR  CerNficaNon  InsNtute's   criteria  to  be  pre-­‐approved  for  recerNficaNon  credit."   QUESTIONS?   G&A  Partners   info@gnapartners.com   (800)  253-­‐8562   *This webinar has been recorded and will be posted on the G&A website by Friday. 47  

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