July 2019

Integrated Absence Management

Over the years, the concept of integration has progressed from disability to leave to “day one” absence, and it now requires employers to comply with more than 500 municipal, state, and federal leave laws in the United States, with more on the horizon. This issue of @Work magazine provides thoughtful approaches and useful resources to help you tackle the complex and ever-changing topic of integration.

Features

Return to Work: Creating an Effective Program

Given all the leave options available, it’s no surprise that in the last 10 years, an average of 2.7 million U.S. employees missed work each month due to an illness, injury, or to attend a medical appointment. As employers assess the impact of absence on their organization, they are looking for ways to help injured or ill employees safely stay at work or return to work as soon as they are medically able. Read more.

Integrating the ADA and RTW

Provident Bank has found several advantages in integrating the Americans with Disabilities Act interactive process into its return-to-work process after an absence or disability leave. The two processes travel together to create a better experience for both the employee and the organization. Read more.

Spotlight Articles

Program Showcase: Engaging Employees

Administration of family medical leave, absence, and disability claims allows direct interactions with employees, often at a difficult time in their lives. Employers are beginning to see claim intake as a key point to provide high-touch services and efficient self-service options that build employee engagement. Read more.

Compliance Showcase: Vendor Transition

You have spent months looking for a vendor to help you administer your absence program, and you finally found the one! Regardless of whether you choose to outsource all absence services or use a third-party software solution, you will be faced with a conundrum: do you load up historical leaves, or do you start fresh with a clean slate? Read more.

SAW/RTW Showcase: Managing Claim Offsets

Managing offsets associated with short-term disability benefits and paid family leave creates difficulties for employers that manage leaves of absence and disability benefits in-house. Whether you call it “double-dipping” or managing offsets, these complex claim scenarios can create significant losses for employers due to overlapping state laws and company-sponsored benefits. Read more.

Benchmarking Showcase: Absence Management Scorecard

The absence management trend in 2019 is clear. As more states enact paid leave laws, increased mandates will make the absence management process even more complex to administer for companies large and small. While staying the course on current benefits is important, ongoing refinements are critical to maintaining momentum and achieving a company’s leave management goals. Read more.

Columns

Absence Matters: Integrating Leave Programs

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. Read more.

Integrated Absence Management: Innovative Leaves

Profound changes are occurring in workers’ needs and expectations. Employers who respond by adapting their leave programs to meet these demands have a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining high-performing employees. Read more.

Engaging Today’s Workforce: Employee Stress

As work and life continue to blend, employees may discover that finding balance is a challenge. The ability to be “always on” can lead to blurred boundaries and burnout. Employers must leverage existing policies and new programs to give employees ample opportunities to take care of themselves. Read more.

Employer Solutions: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

Vocational rehabilitation has become much more than just “voc rehab.” Vocational rehabilitation counselors now have a toolbox stuffed with resources to help claimants return to work sooner, or, even better, stay at work altogether. Read more.

FMLA Second and Third Opinions: Good Faith Obligations

When employers use second and third opinions to curb Family and Medical Leave Act abuse, employees are obligated to cooperate in good faith, or face consequences for failing to do so. Read more.

The Disabled Workforce: Interactive Process

What does an employer do when an employee isn’t engaged in the interactive process? It’s not unusual for employees to misunderstand or distrust the process, which makes communication and consistency very important. Read more.

Absence Minded: Integration Continuum

Two decades ago, preventing “double dipping” overpayments from multiple plans was the primary target for integration efforts. Today, the new leave laws have employers focused on controlling employee absences and complying with a dizzying array of mandates. All of these efforts involve integrating or coordinating multiple programs to reduce or prevent absences. Read more.

Technology and Absence Management: Integration Begins with Data

More often than not, absence data related to leave, accommodation, and disability isn’t used effectively because it is siloed away in different areas of an organization. This inaccessibility of data prevents a holistic approach to absence management. Read more.

Disability in the Workplace: Overlapping Benefits

Understanding which of the many private and statutory insurance and paid/unpaid leave and benefit plans may apply to an employee absence is confusing. To add to the confusion, these various programs may run concurrently, successively, or altogether separately. A general understanding of each law, insurance policy, and program is required to support compliance. Read more.

Mental Health At Work: Leading Employer Programs

With mental illness and suicide on the rise, 72% of employees want their employers to champion mental health and well-being. Employers looking for a place to start can review the successes of other employers through case studies and Psychologically Healthy Workplace award winners from the Center for Workplace Mental Health. Read more.

Aligning Workers’ Compensation: Integrated Absence Management Lite

Are you intrigued by the concept of integrated absence management, but your company isn’t ready to embrace the full concept quite yet? Here are some possible small steps you can take with minimal or no cost to test the waters and begin gathering some real-world results. Read more.

Departments

DMEC's FMLA/ADA Training for Supervisors and Managers

The CEO’s Desk: The Foundation & Future of Integration

The integration of employee benefits that has taken shape over the last 20 years has been inspirational. Whether or not this was by design or because we have had to look beyond one program or another to provide an employee-centric experience for leaves, it has been a crucial “win” in the integration quest. Read more.

DMEC News: July 2019

This month’s DMEC News features a recap of the 2019 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference and a preview of DMEC’s new Online Summit Event. Read more.

Compliance Memos: July 2019

The July 2019 compliance memos cover state and local leave laws, “100% healed” return to work policies, obesity as a disability, medical restrictions and the ADA, and cannabis laws. Read more.

Compliance Memos_July 2016