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FMLA

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On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a former city worker from Hot Springs, Arkansas is entitled to liquidated damages nearing $56,000 under the FMLA. You can read the full story here.

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Last week, we discussed FMLA eligibility guidelines, and how important it is to keep managers in the loop regarding what qualifies as FMLA leave. This week, we’re talking about tips on improving your leave request intake process and best practices we’d recommend to improve communication and reduce your administrative burden.

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Lately, we’ve been chatting with several HR generalists who suddenly find themselves responsible for their organization’s absence management. Whether it’s a team member taking on a new role or a staffing reduction, let’s face it, sometimes you’re left holding the bag. But luckily, when it comes to absence management, it’s a designer bag because there’s a lot you can do to proactively manage absence and make significant contributions to your organization’s bottom line.

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It’s trivia time! We’ve listed three scenarios below, two FMLA leaves, one light duty and one reduced schedule. Can you tell which one is which?

1 - Melissa will be having bypass surgery, and will need to miss 6 weeks from work. When she returns she can work her regular job duties as plant foreman but will be limited to four-hour work days for the first three weeks.

2 – Jason has a bad cold and will need to stay home for two days and miss work at his job as a flight attendant to recover.

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Believably or unbelievably not all states have passed laws providing time off from work to victims of domestic or sexual violence. This, while a February 2008 CDC report indicates that, in the U.S., nearly one in four women report experiencing violence by a current or former partner at some point in their life. Whether for the employee or a child/dependent of the employee, a need exists to take time off when events of this nature occur. This need for time off is driven by five general purposes.

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We’re about 3 weeks away from the New Year. (Yes, 3 weeks!) Looking forward to the year ahead there are two important leave updates for human resources to have on their radar. Here’s a quick rundown –

Portland, Oregon Paid Sick Leave Effective Date: January 1, 2014

All private sector employers with employees working in Portland will have to provide sick leave for eligible employees.

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Step 5: Make the Purchase!

After the business justification process has been completed, we’ll assume you received the stamp: ‘APPROVED.’ The last step of the process is making the purchase, but remember with purchasing, comes great responsibility.

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Intermittent FMLA leave tracking, eligibility requirements and varying leave policies by state is enough to haunt HR in their dreams. However, managing employee absence doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Here are a few general tips to follow to keep you on track and help you sleep this Halloween -

• An employer has the right to request a medical certification for an employee absence, but don’t ask for one more often than every 30 days (in most cases.) Give the employee space. Don’t wear that metaphorical bladed glove.

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Shark week. It’s a week that we look forward to all summer here at Optis. While watching theories about Megalodon and the increased shark activity in Chatham in Cape Cod, we can’t help but relate the sometimes voraciousness of sharks to tracking employee absence. (Yeah, we said it…)

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DOMA and FMLA. FMLA and DOMA. There’s so much to know! So many changes to make! So many acronyms to understand! So much work for leave managers!

Wait, there’s always been a lot of work for leave managers. We’re used to that.

Our take on the strike down of DOMA and the impacts on FMLA? Well, if you’re managing leave in the cloud, you only have two things to do:

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