Plan Family Leave Laws and prevent Litigation Later

Entrepreneurs have too much to consider, from funding to adequate work place. With regards to employees, the primary focus is on choosing the best people for the proper positions, those with the abilities and attitude to fuel innovation and growth.

However the legal environment is rapidly changing, with an increase of labor-related rules and regulatory requirements. That is especially the case in the region of employee leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state and even local laws have made leave the most pressing, complex -and possibly litigious-arena of employee relations.

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that provides part-time and temporary workers up to three paid sick days a year. California may be the second state to provide paid sick leave for part-time and temporary workers, after Connecticut passed an identical bill in 2011. THE BRAND NEW Jersey Assembly will look at a paid sick leave bill this fall.

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Along with these state laws are city laws.

In 2006, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA became the first city in the united states to require employers to provide their workers time off. In subsequent years, the District of Columbia, Seattle, Portland, Ore., NEW YORK and Jersey City, N.J., amongst others, passed their own laws.

The expense of complying with just the FMLA has already been significant. In line with the Employment Policy Foundation, compliance with FMLA costs employers a lot more than $21 billion in lost productivity, continued health advantages and labor replacement. However the real FMLA-related risk is that of litigation.

Lawsuits filed beneath the statute jumped from 291 in 2012 to 877 in 2013, in line with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The FMLA was the only employment law to create a sharp upsurge in claims for the reason that period. The statute takes a lower threshold of proof than almost every other employment laws. In a bias case, an employee typically must show that his employer designed to discriminate. However in an FMLA case, he must show only that the employer somehow deterred or interrupted a leave authorized beneath the act.

The Intricacies of fabricating a Parental Leave Policy reports the common verdict for FMLA cases linked to wrongful termination ‘s almost $335,000, a devastating amount for your small business, especially a more recent enterprise investing for growth instead of immediate profitability. Almost as damaging as the direct costs of litigation will be the indirect costs-diverted management time, recruitment impacts and reputational risk.

Just what exactly should employers do to handle these laws, reduce leave absence costs and mitigate litigation risk?

First, employers should invest enough time to learn the fundamentals of leave regulations. There are many associations that understand the truth of owning a business and assist employers to tailor their leave-related programs. The Society for Human Resource Management, the Disability Management Employer Coalition and others provide low and even cost-free overviews of FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and related laws. Opportunities range between online PowerPoints to local seminars created for, and frequently presented by, professional leave and disability experts.

At the minimum, such introductory training can outline the main actions in order to avoid, and point companies to additional resources.

Second, employers should regularly communicate to employees the need for FMLA and ADA, and owners and managers should embrace the laws’ goals and the necessity to adhere to them. Communicating and documenting proper intent helps to ensure compliance and gets the added advantage of reducing fraudulent leave requests.

Finally, companies — especially people that have locations in multiple jurisdictions — should think about automating their entire absence management process. There are many reasonably-priced solutions that enable managers to track and manage absence in compliance with FMLA, ADA and other state and local regulations. Industry groups like Spring Consulting estimate that comprehensive absence management solutions can reduce direct, indirect and return-to-work costs by 11 percent. Perhaps most significant, today’s absence management solutions nearly eliminate litigation risk.

Start-up owners have too much to worry about. Lawsuits over leave do not need to be one of these. Easy and relatively low-costs steps may take the chance off the table.

In the most recent Proceed to Revamp Yahoo’s Culture, Marissa Mayer Expands Parental Leave

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