Top Compliance Challenges for 2019
By Terri L. Rhodes
CCMP, CLMS, CPDM, MBA
Managing the key requirements of ever-expanding state mandates is just one of many leave compliance challenges for 2019. Paid parental leave and paid sick leave policies, ADA/ADAAA management, supervisor training, and many other complex issues create hurdles for leave professionals on a daily basis, according to the 2018 DMEC Employer Leave Management Survey.
Even for those not in our profession, new leave laws are on everyone’s minds, whether it is a new state mandate or a company-sponsored program. Federal paid leave is creating media buzz as “a program whose time has come”; however, it has yet to break through the logjam on Capitol Hill. Eight states have taken the lead in passing laws, and twenty-two states have some type of pending legislation.
In today’s workplace which relies heavily on employee skills and knowledge, even with artificial intelligence, paid leave programs have become less of a compliance issue and more a competitive edge for recruitment and retention.
Finding the right balance between supporting employees and maintaining productivity with paid leave programs can be challenging. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was a leader in the paid leave movement when it announced a 52-week paid parental leave benefit three years ago. As they have evaluated their program, they recently made the decision to reduce the amount of paid leave but added a $20,000 stipend to help defray child care expenses and other family costs. There is no roadmap for the best paid leave program design, and employers continue to struggle with the length of time off, percentage of pay, and family members covered.
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