Navigating FMLA: Beyond Maternity Leave

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Navigating FMLA: Beyond Maternity Leave

Typically, when the term FMLA comes up, most people (that is, anyone NOT employed in the field of Human Resources) immediately think of maternity leave. While FMLA obviously does kick in for maternity leave, according to ERC’s research, when it comes to administering FMLA, pregnancy/maternity leave is really the least of HR’s worries. Instead, for most HR practitioners, the challenge lies in the administration of FMLA for serious health conditions and/or other circumstances outside of pregnancy and child birth.
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6 Frequently Asked Questions about Absence Management

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6 Frequently Asked Questions about Absence Management

Absence management comes in many different shapes and sizes. Oftentimes issues arise in the workplace regarding absence management or FMLA and the intricate compliance laws and requirements may make handling the issue more complicated than expected. ERC’s Help Desk compiled a list of frequently asked questions we receive from our local members and with the help of CareWorks, here’s the answers to those questions:
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FMLA Designation Notice: 5 Things It Could Tell an Employee

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Granting or denying FMLA leave involves a multi-step process, in which the designation notice is the final step. 

The designation notice, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor as a documentation resource, is an easy-to-use tool that allows an employer to inform an employee whether the request for leave is covered under the FMLA.

The designation notice is essentially a document that serves as the leave contract between an employer and employee. It is completed by an HR professional and shared with the employee, and specifies the number of weeks, days, or hours (in the case of intermittent leave) that the leave will take place.

The designation notice tells the employee one of five things:

  1. FMLA leave is approved
  2. More information is needed to determine if leave can be approved
  3. Leave is denied
  4. FMLA does not cover the leave requested
  5. Employee has exhausted his or her FMLA leave entitlement for that 12 month period

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5 Common FMLA Challenges and 8 Suggestions for Solutions

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5 Common FMLA Challenges and 8 Suggestions for Solutions

In the last decade, organizations report increasing difficulties in certain facets of FMLA administration (DOL). 2015's ERC FMLA Practices Survey reports only 15% of local organizations are “very satisfied” with their FMLA administration efforts. Read on to learn which 5 challenges Northeast Ohio employers are citing most frequently, and what solutions you can implement in your own organization to resolve these challenges.


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Determining What is Considered a Serious Medical Health Condition

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Determining What is Considered a Serious Medical Health Condition

Many employers struggle with the question of whether an employee’s request for medical leave is covered under FMLA as a serious health condition.

The term “serious” is intended to exclude minor ailments, like colds, earaches, flus, and headaches.

However, whether a health condition is serious depends on its origin or effects. For example, a cold is typically not a serious health condition, but it could become one if it leads to pneumonia. The health care provider will make the determination of whether a condition is serious; it is not at the discretion of the employer.

So what counts as a serious health condition – and how can you tell whether an employee qualifies for this type of leave?
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How to Determine if Your Employee can be Covered Under FMLA [Video]

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year. It is also required that health benefits be maintained while the employee is on leave.

However, how do you know if FMLA coverage is an option for your employee? We spoke with Tara Haskett, HR Advisor at ERC, about the steps to take to decide if your employee would qualify for coverage under FMLA.

Determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA coverage

Here are some guidelines to follow to determine if an employee is eligible for FMLA coverage. And remember, all must apply.



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New Rulings and Regulations Impacting HR

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New Rulings and Regulations Impacting HR

From marriage equality to proposed changes to overtime exemptions (not to mention the Supreme Court ruling that again affirmed the ACA), HR professionals across the country are taking a collective breath after a week of landmark rulings and proposed new regulations that impact the employment landscape. Here is what employers need to know (and do) now.
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The Unique World of “Leave of Absence” Policies

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When an employee takes a “leave of absence," this time away from work can take many forms depending on the situation. From the Family & Medical Leave to Short Term Disability to jury duty to bereavement to military leave, these various policies and structures do share the common purpose of allowing an employee to take time away from work above and beyond vacation time or sick days, while also protecting the employer from potential abuses of these leave requests.

Ultimately, assuming that the employee meets and abides by all of the necessary requirements during the agreed upon leave of absence, the goal for both parties is that their job (or at least a similar position) will be waiting when they are ready and able to return to the workforce. But as is often the case in the world of Human Resources, the application of these laws and policies to the real life situations encountered in the workplace is less than clear cut.
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What Are the Changes to the New FMLA Ruling?

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As of March 27, 2015,  another change to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will be followed by employers nationwide. There is now a revised definition of “spouse” and it includes same-sex married couples in all 50 states.

 The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a change to the FMLA’s definition of “spouse.” The change is stated as:
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3 Facts about Measles and the Workplace

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In 2015, measles was rising health concern in the country. Organization's everywhere wondered what they should do in the event that one of their employees is diagnosed with measles, and how they can prevent other employees from future contact.

Here are four facts about what can and cannot happen when measles comes to your office.
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