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Monthly Archives: May 2013

ADA Survey – Share Your Thoughts

Are you a business executive? If your company is among the many American companies that have one or more employees requesting leave under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), then we’d like your thoughts on administration of the ADA. Reed Group has partnered with Spring Consulting to survey executives on ADA accommodations practices. Please take a few minutes to take the survey:

http://survey.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bpcnNN3rQ7wrGjb

Participants will receive a summary of the results.

Reed Group MDGuidelines Help Maximize Return-to-Work ROI in New DataCare Whitepaper

Reed Group’s MDGuidelines are featured in DataCare‘s latest whitepaper “Calculating Hard-Dollar Returns on Return-to-Work Case Management“.  In today’s competitive business climate, a managed care company must provide empirical data that supports its ability to control costs, increase efficiency, and increase the quality of care. The key metrics that the company can focus on are Return-to-Work (RTW) savings and related hard and soft savings. The latest whitepaper shows how to calculate net savings and RTW ROI.

Download the whitepaper Calculating Hard-Dollar Returns on Return-to-Work Case Management (pdf)

http://www.datacare.com/images/stories/2013/CM_RTW_ROI_whitepaper/rg_rtw_roi_whitepaper.pdf

Reed Group’s evidence-based recommendations provide a predicted disability duration (PDD) benchmark for each injured worker based on the injury, demographics, and co-morbidities. “Having quality evidence-based recommendations that inform the case manager of predicated disability durations is essential. We are committed to bringing our clients the most advanced tools that help them provide injured workers with timely and effective treatment,” said Jon Seymour , MD, Reed Group President.

According to Dr. Paulo Franca , President and Chief Technology Officer of DataCare Corporation, “DataCare’s integration with Reed Group is part of a growing trend to put easy-to-use predictive modeling tools in the hands of nurses and physicians. This will enable them to employ return-to-work guidelines that are more closely tailored for each patient based on factors such as age, job class, and the presence of additional (co-morbid) health conditions.”

About DataCare Corporation (http://www.datacare.com)

Headquartered in San Jose, California, DataCare software supports evidence-based treatment decisions with defensible supporting documentation for workers’ compensation claims. DataCare supports the highly specialized workflows for workers’ compensation claims management, case management, utilization review, and bill review systems. DataCare’s web-based solutions enable reviewers to be twice as productive as those using legacy paper-based workflows, and offer managers much better visibility into status, quality, and workload issues.

About Reed Group (http://www.reedgroup.com)
Reed Group is the world’s most trusted source of return-to-work information, helping companies improve employee absence outcomes. Reed Group’s data, tools, customized solutions, and case management services help reduce absence incidence and duration, and get employees back to normal, healthy lives and full productivity. Reed Group is headquartered in Westminster, Colorado. More information at www.reedgroup.com and www.mdguidelines.com.

For more information, contact
Theresa Shafer
DataCare Corporation
Phone: 866-834-2334
Email

SOURCE DataCare Corporation

RELATED LINKS
http://www.datacare.com

Leaves of Absence Come in all Sizes — Maryland Enacts New Law

By Martha J. Cardi, Chief Compliance Officer, and Megan G. Holstein, Senior Counsel, Compliance and Employment Law

The governor of Maryland has signed into law a new leave of absence that entitles eligible employees a one-day leave of absence for the day that the employee’s immediate family member is leaving for or returning from active duty.  This law is effective October 1, 2013.  Here are more details:

  • An employee is eligible after the employee has worked for a covered employer during the 12 months preceding leave and for at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months.
  • Employers who have 50 or more employees are covered by this law.
  • An “immediate family member” means a spouse (including same-sex spouse), parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, or sibling.
  • The family member for whom the employee seeks leave must be leaving for or returning from active duty outside of the United States as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • An employer can request documentation verifying the leave.
  • An employer cannot require an employee to use compensatory, sick, or vacation leave for the day the employee seeks Maryland family military leave.
  • An employer can choose to run an employee’s absence under the Maryland family military law concurrently with qualifying exigency leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).   Even though this day may not meet one of the defined exigencies under the FMLA, there is an “additional activities” catch-all provision that allows an employer and employee to agree that the employee’s absence qualifies under the FMLA qualifying exigency leave provision (29 C.F.R. § 825.126(b)(9)).

A link to the text of the bill can be found here.  Further information, including the bill’s history, can be found in Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor™ under the Pending Legislation tab by choosing Maryland, Pending Bills, Family Military, and locating Maryland Senate Bill 12.

What Employers Must Do Now

Maryland employers are responsible for compliance with this new law beginning October 1 of this year.  In the meantime, employers should:

  • Update handbooks or employment policies to reflect this new Maryland leave of absence right;
  • Train appropriate personnel (Human Resources, Benefits, etc.) on how to manage leaves under the law;
  • Train supervisors and managers on the new type of leave so they can help spot covered absences and enlist HR assistance; and
  • Communicate the new law to Maryland employees.

Reed Group Will Be Ready for Maryland by October 1!

If you are using Reed Group’s leave management services or software we will be ready to manage your Maryland employees’ family military leaves on October 1.  We will:

  • Update our signature LeavePro™ leave management software to encompass the new Maryland family military leave law;
  • Create a new chapter to address the Maryland law in Leave of Absence Advisor™;
  • Update eligibility letters and packets for Maryland employees to reflect the parameters of the law; and
  • Train staff and update scripts to be ready to administer the Maryland law in time for its October 1st effective date.

Have you tried Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor ™?

Did you know that Maryland also has an adoption bonding leave and a flexible leave law?

Keeping up with existing and new leave of absence laws is a full time job! But help is available: Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor™ (LoAA) is a current and reliable reference tool that provides analysis, helpful tips, examples, and notes on best practices to administer the FMLA and state leave of absence laws.  Reed Group’s LoAA also tracks pending legislation so that you are on top of what new laws or amendments are on the legislative horizon that might impact your employees.  By using Reed Group’s LoAA, you don’t need to memorize all fifty states’ leave of absence laws or the FMLA; rather, you can have access to current information at your fingertips when the need arises.

When it comes to complying with leave of absence laws and regulations, you don’t have to go it alone.  Contact Reed Group with questions about any leave issue:

Leave for Civil Union & Domestic Partners: Colorado Joins the Leave of Absence Game

By Martha J. Cardi, Chief Compliance Officer, and Megan G. Holstein, Senior Counsel, Compliance and Employment Law

Colorado has joined states such as California and Oregon in providing employees in a civil union or domestic partnership the right to take an FMLA-like leave to care for the employee’s partner with a serious health condition. On Friday, May 3, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed the Colorado Family Care Act, HB 13-1222, to be effective on August 7, 2013. Features of the new law include the following:

  • Eligible Colorado employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for a civil union or domestic partner with a serious health condition.  The partners can be of the same or different sex.
  • The leave is available to eligible employees who are:
    • in a civil union under Colorado law;
    • in a domestic partnership that is registered in the municipality in which the person resides or with the state.  Presently, Denver and Boulder have domestic partnership registries; or
    • in a domestic partnership recognized by the employee’s employer.
  • Employers may require reasonable documentation of the employee’s relationship with the civil union or domestic partner.  Documentation can be a simple written statement of the relationship from the employee.
  • The law adopts all other definitions and parameters set forth in the federal FMLA, including rules regarding employee eligibility, covered employers, leave amount, and leave usage.

Up to 24 Weeks of Leave Possible

An employee who takes leave under the Family Care Act may also be eligible for an additional 12 weeks of leave under the FMLA because the FMLA does not include civil unions or domestic partners as covered relationships for whom leave can be taken.

However, the sequence of leaves taken will determine whether an employee may take advantage of this second opportunity for leave.  If an employee first takes leave in a leave year for a reason that qualifies under the federal FMLA law, that time will count toward the Colorado entitlement as well, and the employee will not be entitled to additional leave under the Colorado Family Care Act during that same leave year.  On the other hand, if the employee first takes FMLA-like leave under the Colorado act to care for a civil union or domestic partner, that time cannot be counted against his or her FMLA entitlement, which remains complete at 12 weeks (barring other prior usage).

Note:  The Colorado law provides that leave taken pursuant to the act “runs concurrently with leave taken under the [federal] FMLA”, and that the act does not “increase the total amount of leave to which an employee is entitled” under the Colorado law, the FMLA, or both.  However, a state law cannot serve to deny an employee his or her federal FMLA leave rights by counting toward FMLA leave usage the employee’s time off to care for a person in a relationship that is not covered by the FMLA, i.e., a civil union or domestic partnership (29 C.F.R. § 825.701(a)(3).

A link to the text of the bill can be found here.  For previous discussions about leaves of absences as they relate to civil unions, domestic partners, and same sex-marriages, see Reed Group’s earlier blog post.

What Employers Must Do Now

Colorado employers are responsible for compliance with the Family Care Act beginning on August 7.  In the meantime, employers should:

  • Update handbooks or employment policies to reflect this new Colorado leave of absence right;
  • Train appropriate personnel (Human Resources, Benefits, etc.) on how to manage leaves under the Colorado Family Care Act;
  • Train supervisors and managers on the new type of leave so they can help spot covered absences and enlist HR assistance; and
  • Communicate the new law to Colorado employees.

Reed Group Will Be Ready for Colorado by August 7!

If you are using Reed Group’s leave management services or software we will be ready to manage your Colorado employees’ civil union/domestic partner leaves on August 7.  We will:

  • Update our signature LeavePro™ leave management software to encompass the new Colorado Family Care Act;
  • Create a new chapter to address the Colorado law in Leave of Absence Advisor™;
  • Update eligibility letters and packets for Colorado employees to reflect the parameters of the Colorado Family Care Act; and
  • Train staff and update scripts to be ready to administer the Colorado Family Care Act in time for its August 7 effective date.

 Have you tried Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor ™?

Did you know that Colorado also has leaves for parental involvement in school activities, adopting bonding, and for victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse?

Keeping up with existing and new leave of absence laws is a full time job! But help is available: Reed Group’s Leave of Absence Advisor™ (LoAA) is a current and reliable reference tool that provides analysis, helpful tips, examples, and notes on best practices to administer the FMLA and state leave of absence laws.  Reed Group’s LoAA also tracks pending legislation so that you are on top of what new laws or amendments are on the legislative horizon that might impact your employees.  By using Reed Group’s LoAA, you don’t need to memorize all fifty states’ leave of absence laws or the FMLA; rather, you can have access to current information at your fingertips when the need arises.

When it comes to complying with leave of absence laws and regulations, you don’t have to go it alone.  Contact Reed Group with questions about any leave issue:

This spring, Colorado enacted a bill to recognize civil unions effective May 1, 2013.

A Few Fun Facts Surrounding Paid Time Off for Mothers

MothersDayFun