Absence Matters: Integrating Leave Programs

DMEC Staff@Work

Integrating Leave Programs to Ensure Consistency and Compliance

Integrating Leave ProgramsBy Bryon Bass

SVP, Disability and Absence Practice & Compliance
Sedgwick

Integrated programs that take into account all types of leave of absence continue to generate interest among employers. However, the challenge is balancing employee experience with compliance in all applicable leave of absence laws. Not surprisingly, the intersection of various leave of absence laws, including those around workers’ compensation (WC), is becoming increasingly complex amid all the regulatory changes.

Leave of absence laws today include state and municipal laws, as well as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The differences between the state and federal laws stem primarily from two areas: the definition of family member for whom an employee can take time off to provide personal care, and the amount of time the employee is entitled to take.

WC absences typically run concurrent with leaves under state and federal laws. In observing the industry, however, some companies do not run WC concurrently with state and federal laws while others do. Some employers don’t know that certain components of WC, such as an employee taking off time for a doctor’s appointment or a physical therapy session, can be considered an intermittent leave covered under various leave laws.

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