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Keeping up with the ... FMLA Regulations

We all love a little drama now and then. If we didn’t, TV shows about rich, dramatic families wouldn’t be so popular.

But, drama in real life is a little less fun. Especially when it’s your work life. When we think of drama at work, the first thing that comes to mind is FMLA tracking (and maybe a little water cooler gossip).

It’s fun to keep up with the latest relationship, who’s expecting, or the next big move on TV. However, at work it can be more challenging. In the role of HR, FMLA requires us keep up with all of the major life (and subsequent leave) events for every employee. We also have to keep up with the regulations that govern our employer provisions around employee life events.

There should an E! Channel for HR … HR! Channel, anyone?

Speaking of FMLA regulations, there have been a lot of changes in the past year and it sounds like more are in the pipeline. The National Partnership for Women & Families provided four recommended improvements for Congress and the Department of Labor earlier this year. In response to the Family and Medical Leave Act in 2012: Final Report Survey published by the Department of Labor, they recommended increased employer education in order to improve compliance with the FMLA. (Hum, seems like an HR! Channel would be useful here… ).

While the survey results indicate general compliance, one area of exception was associated with the incremental FMLA leave time provided by employers. Instead of the required one-hour increments or smaller, employers are typically providing incremental time in larger chunks closer to the length of one day. (The drama never ends! And the unnecessary costs keep rising!)

Clearly employers need assistance. We feel the need goes beyond just education to the more basic need of gaining back the valuable time HR spends on compliance requirements. While time spent gaining better understanding of the FMLA is important and critical, that time can quickly turn into hours spent reviewing case law, scouring employee benefit websites or attending seminars. (Seriously, the HR! Channel is sounding better and better.)

When we think about improved compliance through education, we have to wonder if it’s worth the cost? Especially when you consider the sad truth that most employers just don’t have the time to dedicate towards maintaining appropriate knowledge about the FMLA.

Everything always works out in the end of a reality TV show though, right? Good news, the same can happen here (with or without our HR! Channel). Did you know that an HR team can have their leave letters automatically changed every time a leave law changes? And leave specialists can receive an email notifying them of changes to laws and when they are taking effect? It’s true. It’s like being a celebrity and having your own personal assistant. While remaining cognizant of changes to the FMLA and other leave laws, you could focus on more pertinent aspects of your leave management program! Huzzah!

Additionally, stress levels would be reduced, or at least those associated with the current pressure of trying to maintain your working knowledge of FMLA.

How can you do all this, you might ask? Leave management cloud-software.

Invest in cloud-software and you will regain valuable time as well as your sanity (plus you’ll be able to leave work early enough to catch your favorite reality show). See, it does always work out in the end.