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Benefit Bytes #3: Navigating the Complexities of FMLA & Disability Benefits for Remote Employees

As more companies adopt remote work policies, administering Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state-mandated disability benefits for remote employees presents new challenges for employers. These benefits are crucial for supporting employees in times of need; however, administering them for a remote workforce requires special considerations. Below is an overview of some of these challenges, as well as links to information to help you address them.

Ensuring Compliance with State and Federal Regulations

Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations is one of the biggest challenges when administering FMLA and state-mandated disability benefits for remote employees. Employers must stay current with the latest laws and regulations governing these benefits, including updates to FMLA requirements or changes in state disability benefit programs. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal issues and penalties for employers. For example, non-compliance with FMLA requirements can result in costly lawsuits, fines, or even reputational damage. Staying up to date with regulations and ensuring compliance is essential to avoid these potential issues and protect both employers and employees.

Implementing and Maintaining Clear and Compliant Leave Policies

Another challenge is implementing and maintaining clear and compliant leave policies. With the increasing number of states and localities adopting paid leave laws, employers must review their policies to ensure compliance with local regulations. It is critical to confirm that existing policies conform to state and local regulations of the location where employees physically work. Employers should also verify their policies do not unintentionally discriminate against employees based on a protected class.

Maintaining Open and Transparent Communication

Maintaining open and transparent communication is also critical for administering leave for remote employees. Employers should keep remote employees informed about their leave status and provide regular updates on any changes to leave policies or regulations. Regular check-ins can also help remote employees feel supported and connected.

Leave Tracking

Leave tracking is another challenge for remote employees. Employers can use leave tracking software to streamline the leave management process, provide real-time information, ensure accuracy, maintain compliance with state and federal regulations, and improve communication between employers and remote employees. Employers should explore the available options and select the software that best meets their needs.

Useful Links:

Understanding Types of Paid Family and Medical Leave
Interactive Leave Law Map
DOL Issues Guidance on Telework and the FMLA
Principal Absence Management Software Overview

If you have questions or if you would like additional information, complete the form below: