For an organization, navigating FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave can be confusing, and if not done correctly, it can also be expensive. The penalties for non-compliance incorporate fines from the DOL (U.S. Department of Labor), and potential legal action can result in attorney’s fees, monetary damages, and much more. With so many things at stake, it is essential to understand the obligations to avoid a conflict with a worker.
Here are some of the biggest issues that the organizations need to be aware of to comply with the FMLA:
- Determining eligibility
- Interaction with other types of leave
- Notice requirements
Read this article to understand the steps to stay compliant with the FMLA to avoid potential pitfalls.
What is the Family Medical Leave Act?
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993 to help workers better balance work and family requirements. The FMLA requires organizations to provide job-protected, unpaid leave to workers for qualifying reasons. Generally, organizations provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to the workers.
Who Must Comply with Family Medical Leave Act?
The first thing to do is to determine whether the organization is subject to the requirements of the law. The Family Medical Leave Act only applies to covered organizations, which can be:
- Private Organization: A private organization is covered if it employs fifty or more workers during each working day for twenty or more weeks in the present or preceding year.
- Public Agency: Any public agency is considered a covered organization under the Family Medical Leave Act.
- Schools: Both public and private elementary and secondary schools, along with public school boards, are covered under the Family Medical Leave Act regardless of the number of workers.
If you have a private organization, there are numerous categories of workers that count when deciding the number of workers:
- Any workers on the payroll, even if they are not receiving coverage for the week
- Workers on leave if there is a fair expectation that they will return to work
- Part-time, full-time, seasonal, and temporary workers
For What Reasons Employees Can Take FMLA Leave?
- Placement of a kid with the worker for adoption or foster care
- The birth and care of the worker’s newborn child
- The worker’s own serious health condition
- Taking care of an immediate family member like parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition
Attend the Compliance Prime webinar to know more about the Family and Medical Leave Act compliance for employers.