Use Systematic Workflow Solutions to Ensure FMLA Compliance

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law in 1993. In the intervening years it has been used more than 100 million times.

Workflow solutions

The FMLA aims to improve work-life balance.

Designed to help workers balance work and family life, the FMLA provides eligible employees of covered employers (those with 50 or more employees) with unpaid, job-protected leave for a range of family and medical reasons, including:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • The care of a spouse, child, or parent experiencing a serious health condition
  • Recovery from a serious health condition preventing the employee from performing essential job functions
  • Qualifying situations surrounding a military member who is a child or parent on covered active duty

Under the FMLA, employers must maintain employee health benefits while they’re on leave and restore them to the same, or an equivalent, job after their return. Certain notification, certification, and recordkeeping provisions are included in the FMLA, and the law is enforced by the US Department of Labor.

The Right Workflow Solutions Benefit All Parties

Administering the FMLA requires several steps, none of which may be omitted. A high-level summary of the steps would include:

  • Displaying the FMLA poster and general notice
  • Employee request for FMLA, or the employer learns the employee’s leave may be FMLA-eligible
  • Determining if the employee is eligible for the FMLA
  • Providing notice of eligibility, rights, and responsibilities to employee
  • Certification of medical need (if required)
  • Employee requests leave under the FMLA
  • Employer grants or denies the leave and notifies employee
  • Employer maintains employee health benefits during leave
  • Employer restores employee to same or equivalent job at end of leave

The right workflow automation software can turn this process from a cumbersome, error-prone ordeal to a streamlined, digital workflow with built-in checks and balances that prevent and preclude common human error.

Visibility into the Process Is Reassuring

One of the greatest benefits of electronic workflow solutions is the visibility it grants to users. At any point, authorized workflow users can learn the status of the process. When workflow solutions exist only on paper and are carried out manually, ascertaining the status of a process can be difficult and frustrating. A form may have made it to one decision-maker’s desk, where it has resided without being acted upon yet. Some desk piles are proverbial black holes. Once documents enter, they are rarely seen again. Or, it could be in transit, yet another place where documents seem to have a habit of getting lost. Workflow automation software, however, allows you to build transparency into work processes so that authorized users can know the current status of a given item at any time.

Workflow solutions

Learning the status of a digital workflow document is straightforward.

Creating an Audit Trail for FMLA Requests

Employers subject to the FMLA are required to make and preserve records pertaining to use of the FMLA under the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers are required to keep records for at least three years and to make them available for inspection, copying, or transcription by Labor Department representatives in the event of an audit. Creation and preservation of records is far easier with an electronic FMLA workflow than a paper-based system.

Workflow automation software enables the creation of an automatic audit trail as the process moves along. You can know exactly what step was taken, when it was taken, and by whom. Among the information that must be maintained under FMLA records are:

  • Basic payroll identification information
  • Pay rate
  • Compensation terms
  • Hours worked per pay period
  • Adjustments to wages
  • Total compensation paid
  • Dates of FMLA leave
  • Copies of employee notices and all other required written notices
  • Documentation of employee benefits including paid and unpaid leave
  • Premium payment records for employee health insurance
  • Dispute records from problems related to the FMLA

Preventing Problems Always Easier than Coping Later

There is much wisdom in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more problems you can prevent through smart workflow solutions, the less time you’ll spend later addressing headaches like lost forms or disputes over what a missing record contained.

PerfectForms workflow management software allows you to create custom electronic survey forms and workflows for even complex, exacting processes like administration of the FMLA. Not only can you create an electronic footprint at every step of the FMLA process, you won’t have to worry about storing all that paper, or about finding a record, should you need it later on. PerfectForms lets workflow users create workflows to their exact needs, whether for FMLA administration or any other work process. We invite you to watch our demo and discover the power and flexibility of the workflow solutions you can create with PerfectForms.

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