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FMLA

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Managing absence is definitely one of the most challenging aspects of HR. But nothing leaves you banging your head against the wall like a holiday week.

If you don’t have a cloud-based leave management system to get a handle on unscheduled absence and deduct the appropriate holiday hours for employees already on leave, it won’t be the fireworks or 4th of July celebration that causes your head pain.

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  1. #Saynotospreadsheets and wave goodbye to sticky notes.

  2. Gain insight into absence trends.

  3. Manage accommodation requests & approvals.

  4. Track eligibility and certification documentation online instead of in paper files.

  5. Keep your data secure in the cloud instead of in a dusty file cabinet.

  6. Show your manager and team you’re an HR Rock Star! Try before you buy and see which product edition works best for you.

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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).

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Last week, we explained why using spreadsheets to track employee leave isn’t ideal. Managing graphical output, looking for the latest document version, and setting up pivot tables spirals your valuable time into a tornado of wasted efforts. Hopefully we inspired you to say goodbye to FMLA tracking spreadsheets for good; but, we can bet you’re wondering how to navigate leave events without them.

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Managing leave events by using Excel spreadsheets and desk calendars can get burdensome in a hurry. And yet, so many HR professionals rely on these seemingly innocent sheets.

What many people don’t consider is the cost of a spreadsheet. Sure, you might think of it as ‘free’ because the software is already on your computer, but is that the only cost to consider?

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Managing leave can be tricky. Managing leave while managing all of the other tasks that fill up an HR manager’s schedule is even trickier.

We’ve found that even the most savvy leave manager can have trouble staying compliant and consistent when managing leave events. On top of administrative burdens, many HR leaders are also expected to shorten leave durations and lower the overall costs of absence. With all there is to do in HR, it can be overwhelming to even think about implementing a leave management program.

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Did you catch the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) study that was published last week, “Early Warnings: Using FMLA to Understand and Manage Disability Absence”? If not, HRE’s Leader Board did a great recap in their blog post here. IBI’s study found that FMLA leaves can be predictive of future STD claims. It also emphasized the need to see the big picture of your employee leave trends.

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This week we’re blogging about audits again. But we can assure you that it won’t be that painful. And we’ll provide you with guidance on how to save money, time and productivity.

One of the first steps to getting a handle on employee absence is investigating what leave types are most commonly used in your company. Why, you ask? Because isolating the most frequently used leave types provides valuable case information — and ultimately, an analytical assessment of leave benefit utilization will uncover opportunities to save money, time and productivity.

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Last week, you likely saw the final ruling issued by the DOL implementing FMLA expansions to military families and airline crews. Even with quite a bit of news coverage — as it coincided with the FMLA’s 20th birthday — new regulations tend to result in many, many questions.

But for us, the main question we asked was, “How will these expansions impact our customers?”

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Here at Optis, we keep our ears to the ground on recent industry news and regulations.

You’ve probably read by now that the DOL has issued a final rule implementing two expansions on the Family Medical Leave Act related to military families and airline flight crews. Additionally, they've recently issued clarification on what qualifies as an adult son or daughter and how it relates to protections under FMLA leave. And in state news, Philadelphia and others are considering paid sick leave policy adjustments.

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