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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How to Determine Who is Covered Under FMLA

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who is covered under fmla

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? Who is covered under FMLA? We spoke with ERC's HR Help Desk Advisors 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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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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Paid Parental Leave: Policy, Politics, and Parenting

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Paid Parental Leave: Policy, Politics, and Parenting

Although the chances of this Congress successfully passing a bill on paid parental leave are tepid at best (even among supporters of such a measure), one thing is clear, awareness is building on the topic—from the State of the Union address to its own twitter handle #LeadOnLeave.

A mention in the Statue of the Union is usually a sure-fire way to simultaneously be thrust into the national spotlight as well as get written off as political posturing. Even if Washington is a standstill, the media coverage around the U.S.’s lack of parental leave over the past year has placed this issue in a whole new framework—one that just might persuade the American public and business owners alike to take a second look.
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Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

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pto benchmarking data fmla for men maternity leave Trends in Parental Leave: Looking Abroad, Looking Ahead

Ever since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, the 12 weeks of protected leave offered immediately following childbirth have become nearly synonymous with the concept of parental, typically maternity, leave itself.

Parental leave takes a on wide variety of forms depending on the employee and the employer involved. Exceptions can include:

  • the size of the employer (must have 50 or more employees)
  • the length of service for the employee (1 year or more is the federal standard)
  • a general lack of full time pay over this time period
  • a number of other situational complications

Protected vs. Paid Parental Leave

Approximately 76% of Northeast Ohio organizations provide benefits under the FMLA and 18% of these FMLA claims involve maternity/pregnancy leave according to the ERC FMLA Policies & Practices Survey. However, here in the United States, these 12 weeks typically go unpaid.
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