By Marti Cardi, Chief Compliance Officer, Reed Group
Keeping up to date on leave of absence laws is a challenge for every employer, particularly for those with multi-state operations. It is especially difficult to stay abreast of proposed legislation so that the employer is compliant as soon as a new or expanded law is passed. Some become effective immediately or within 30 days after passage!
2013 is off to a roaring start – over 96 bills have been introduced by various state legislatures since January 1 that, if passed, will either create a new leave of absence right or expand an existing leave law. Examples:
- 14 states have proposed Sick and Safe leaves
- 4 states have proposed Organ/Blood donor leaves
- 15 states have proposed new FMLA-type leaves (or amendments to their existing ones)
- 4 states have proposed military leaves (or amendments)
- 6 states have proposed school activity leaves
- 8 states have proposed bonding leaves
- 8 states have proposed crime victim leaves
- 13 states have proposed paid family leaves (or amendments)
- 1 pregnancy/pregnancy disability
- 1 family military
An interesting trend is demonstrated by a number of bills which would require that, if employers voluntarily provide paid sick or safe leave, they must allow employees to use such leave for mandated types of reasons. For example, if passed, the following legislation would require employers who offer paid sick leave to permit its use:
- Minnesota – to care for a family member with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive dysfunction
- Texas – for an adopted or foster child if the leave is available for a biological child
- Maryland – to permit employees to use it for their family members
- Montana – for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- New York – for federal FMLA leaves and to care for family members in situations not covered by the FMLA
Need help? Reed Group tracks state and federal leave legislation and implements developments for its clients as they occur. And now, Reed Group has a new service that keeps employers, attorneys, human resources and benefits professionals, and others up to date on proposed leave of absence legislation. Our Pending Legislation feature of Leave of Absence Advisor™ captures all significant proposed leave legislation and reports on it in a simple, user-friendly format that provides:
- bill state, name, number
- leave type
- summaries of key provisions of the bills
- date introduced, date of last activity
- current status
- sort by bill name and number, state, date introduced, date of last activity
- filter by state, leave type, bill status
For more information please call 866-218-4650. Click here to access a free 14-day trial of Leave of Absence Advisor™, including the Pending Legislation feature.
By Martha J. Cardi, Chief Compliance Officer, and Megan G. Holstein, Senior counsel, Compliance and Employment Law
The much-publicized new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations issued last month by the U.S. Department of Labor go into effect today, March 8. We provided a summary of the major provisions of the new regulations in a post last month.
What Employers Must Do Now
Employers are responsible for compliance with the new regulations as of March 8, 2013. If you are using Reed Group’s leave management services or software we have taken much of the pain out of the process for you. However, employers still need to:
- Post the updated notice to employees, which can be found here.
- Update the FMLA section of your handbook or employment policies to reflect the changes.
- Train appropriate personnel (Human Resources, Benefits, Managers, etc.) on the new aspects of the FMLA.
Reed Group’s Actions to be “March 8 Ready”
It has been a busy time at Reed Group since the release of the new regulations four weeks ago. In addition to updating our signature LeavePro™ leave management software, Reed Group has revised the FMLA chapter in Leave of Absence Advisor ™ (LoAA) to be a current and reliable reference tool. Complying with the FMLA regulations is not easy; they are lengthy and cumbersome. And, keeping up with revisions to the regulations and court cases interpreting the FMLA is a full time job! But help is available: Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor ™ reference tool provides helpful tips, examples, and notes on best practices to administer the FMLA. By using Reed Group’s LoAA, you don’t need to memorize these new regulatory changes to the FMLA; rather, you can have access to current information on the FMLA at your fingertips when the need arises.
In addition to updating LeavePro™ and the Leave of Absence Advisor ™, Reed Group has also updated our eligibility letters and packets with the current FMLA Rights and Responsibilities, updated our Injured Servicemember and Qualifying Exigency certification forms, and trained our staff on all of the pertinent changes to the FMLA and corresponding forms.
When it comes to complying with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact Reed Group with questions about the FMLA or any other leave issue:
- Outsourced Case Management Services: 866.218.4650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- LeavePro™ Software: 866.218.4650 or email@example.com.
- Leave of Absence Advisor™, an on-line resource for authoritative guidance to federal and state LoA management: 866.889.4449 or email or check it out: http://leaves.mdguidelines.com/
- MDGuidelines™, web-based return-to-work toolkit: 866.889.4449 or email.