How does the Sterling Administration safeguard employers against FMLA abuse?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on February 5, 1993. According to the law, an employee is entitled to 12 weeks off on grounds such as foster care, military leave, prenatal care, adoption, medical illness, or the ailment of a family member. Furthermore, an employee who takes unpaid leave under the FMLA has their job safeguarded, indicating they can resume the same post they held before their departure.
Even after 29 years of its establishment, businesses still struggle to know when to allocate leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The historical data shows that since 2012, the number of lawsuits alleging violations of the FMLA by employers has more than tripled. Additionally, the continued abuse of FMLA leave jeopardizes the law’s legitimacy and undercuts its goal of providing job-protected leave for people who need it. Thus, the article “How does Sterling Administration safeguard employers against FMLA abuse?” outlines five major FMLA challenges the employers are currently experiencing. As well as how to address them using current effective leave management tools so that it can help the individuals it was designed to support, like employees with serious medical illnesses/injuries, the birth, and care of a child, kinship care, and military leave.
5 Major FMLA Challenges that Employers Experience
1. Improper record-keeping and tracking leaves
Tracking leaves is one of the most difficult aspects of leave management. Employees are typically granted accrued leave based on the month in which they started working for the company. Employees value this practice because it is not always possible to enter a new firm at the start of a new fiscal year. But this, on the other hand, creates additional work for the HR managers.
Many employers refuse to track certain types of leave on purpose. It is frequently motivated by a desire to be kind or accommodating. For instance, an employer may believe they are merely being accommodating by not monitoring routine prenatal absences, which may be FMLA, or adoption-related leaves of absence, such as pre-adoption consultations, meetings with counselors, home visits, and more, which could also be FMLA.
Without clear systems and regulations in place, it’s easy to lose track of who’s out, when they’re out, and how long they’ll be gone, resulting in employee shortfalls, workload residues, and expensive production delays.
Sterling’s FMLA and State Leave Administration service tackles this challenge by guiding employers through comprehensive leave management methods, ensuring that relevant regulations are met, and the required amount of leave is issued. Sterling’s FMLA solution is designed to automate the employee leave tracking system. It enhances information flow to HR, improving the effectiveness of the leave monitoring system and, most crucially, reducing administrative burdens of the HR.
2. Payroll Errors
Payroll management is intertwined with leave management. When your leave monitoring records contain inaccuracy or a miscommunication, payroll issues are inclined to follow. On a microeconomic scale, HR managers must know when the employees are authorized with leaves and when they can utilize them, as well as keep internal policies up to date with state and federal labor laws. On a larger scale, however, the corporation needs to keep comprehensive records for tracking time off to make informed business decisions such as establishing workforce requirements, finances, and time frames.
As a result, if you don’t keep track of whatever kind of leave your employees are taking, you may be overpaying them.
Sterling’s FMLA and State Leave Administration solution includes a compliance algorithm that keeps you up to date on federal and state leave laws, including the FMLA. Our services are designed to ensure that the legislation is followed correctly to avoid any payroll errors, thus guaranteeing the employers with benefits of compliance.
3. Neglecting intermittent leaves
Employees may be allowed to take leave on an occasional basis under specific conditions. Employers should analyze the likely duration and frequency of intermittent leave as soon as feasible by enabling a healthcare expert to estimate how frequently the employee will request time off.
Another common misstep is failing to keep track of an employee’s FMLA leave usage, particularly when it comes to intermittent leave, leading to an employer providing an employee with more FMLA leave than they are authorized.
Employees on leave would be directly connected to Sterling’s FMLA and State Leave Administration service, which would determine their eligibility, collect relevant paperwork, and manage their leave certificates. Their service includes integrated white-glove support and a dedicated client service specialist from start to finish to provide employers with the greatest possible assistance in resolving this issue.
4. Administration Burden on the Employers
Covered employers face substantial administrative burdens connected to employees’ FMLA leaves, which can be difficult to quantify. An employer must obtain some basic information from employees when they request a leave of absence within five days to determine if it qualifies under the FMLA. It means that the employer must devote resources to provide legal training to its human resource workers and extra effort to manage the administration-related workloads.
Sterling Administration’s FMLA and State Leave Administration service takes care of all phases of leave management setups, including providing dedicated customer service for questions to potential leave candidates to alleviate the administrative burdens. Furthermore, it allows the ability to load historical employment records going back three years (capture terminates/rehires). In short, it enables FMLA administration to run smoothly while also saving time and resources for the company, reducing the burden on the human resource personnel.
5. Determining Eligibility and Leave Determination Notice
The employer has five business days to notify the employee whether they are eligible for FMLA leave as per the guidelines. Failure to recognize an FMLA request can cause a delay in receiving suitable responses, which can result in complaints and inconveniences. Employers who comprehend this guideline can effectively manage the FMLA leave period that must be allowed. Furthermore, lawsuits have resulted from miscommunications regarding when FMLA leave commences, so clear communication and controlling employee expectations can minimize the likelihood of litigation.
The FMLA and State Leave Administration service from Sterling Administration ensures that the employer has accurate information about an employee’s FMLA eligibility. The eligibility notice must state whether the employee is qualified for FMLA leave and, if not, at least one reason for the employee’s ineligibility. Sterling Administration recognizes FMLA-eligible leaves and creates and sends all required notices once the employer has enough evidence to establish whether the leave is being undertaken for an FMLA qualifying reason.
Unfortunately, the challenges associated with FMLA do not end with these five. We agree that complying with the FMLA and its restrictions can be difficult, which is why Sterling Administration, a pioneer in financial and health wellness services, has come forth with a solution to the FMLA’s issues.
Both employers and employees benefit from Sterling’s experienced and qualified specialists’ leave management solutions and gain benefit from their compliance guidance, phone, and email support, including hands-on implementation. Hence, with this, Sterling Administration emerges as a go-to platform for managing and resolving FMLA challenges.