July 2021

Integrated Absence Management

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have the opportunity to create the next normal — one that supports and sustains employees and organizations through thoughtful, integrated approaches. This issue of @Work magazine explores many aspects of integrated absence programs including parental leave programs, return-to-office strategies, accommodation processes, and much more.


Paid Parental Leave: Implementing Cosourced Programs

Competitive pressures for attracting and retaining talent and an increasing number of state-mandated programs have contributed to increases in paid parental leave benefit offerings. However, the broad scope of designing and implementing these programs can deter even the most organized of HR teams. A comprehensive framework is key. Read more.

Challenges of the Next Normal: Returning to the Office

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have talked about a “return to normal,” but our post-pandemic reality may be significantly different from our lives before it. Employers can be on the front lines of creating the next normal, helping to address longstanding issues and reversing some of the trends that have plagued Americans since the turn of the millennium. Read more.

Spotlight Articles


Program Showcase: Captive Insurance

Employers are looking for new and innovative ways to mitigate rising costs, coverage gaps, and administrative complexities associated with their workers’ compensation and disability programs. A captive insurance structure allows employers to gain more control and insure the risks they most need to insure in a cost-effective manner. Read more.

Compliance Showcase: Accommodation Requests

Many employers are trying to return employees to the worksite and roll back hybrid or full work-from-home assignments, and ADA accommodation requests are on the rise. Employers and their HR and IAM teams can effectively plan for spiking requests with strong and consistently applied processes. Read more.

RTW Showcase: Post-Return Support

Regardless of the reason for an employee’s absence from work, an employer’s efforts to establish a culture of support can have a large, positive impact on successful return to work. Read more.


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Absence Matters: ADA Celebrates Anniversary

As we approach the 31st anniversary of the ADA, let’s take a closer look at some of the common questions related to workplace ADA accommodations, recent trends impacting employers in this area, and steps employers can take to help ensure compliance. Read more.

Integrated Absence Management: Workplace Grief

Grief is a fundamental human experience, affecting at least one in 20 workers every year. It has a profound effect on mental and physical health, absence, and productivity. Employers can help by understanding that the grieving process is different for everyone. Read more.

Engaging Today’s Workforce: Creating a Caring Culture

After a year of widespread lockdowns, lack of social engagement, and fears over contracting COVID-19, many employees are conflicted about returning to the worksite and are shifting their perception about what really matters. To help employees return, employers should reimagine the experience from every angle. Read more.

Employer Solutions: Managing Productivity and Leave

Employers are now re-examining and redefining the workplace. Remote work, last year’s emergency stopgap measure, has proven effective for many businesses. But out of sight does not mean out of mind, particularly in terms of employee well-being, engagement, and productivity. Read more.

Featured Case: Commute Accommodations

Does the employer’s duty of accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act extend beyond the workplace to the employee’s commute? Unrein v. PHC–Fort Morgan, Inc., 2021 WL 1307873 from the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals provides some helpful guidance. Read more.

IAM Technology Tips: Curious Quagmires

An employee taking a leave of absence is afforded job protection for the duration of the available entitlement under the FMLA, most state leave laws, or in some cases, leave as an accommodation under the ADA. But in day-to-day leave administration, many grey areas may affect this job protection. Read more.

Leave Management By the Numbers: The Power of Leave Metrics

Healthcare employers face many staffing challenges when managing their fast-paced, 24/7 workforce, with high and unpredictable leave volumes at the forefront. Regional health system AtlantiCare understands this, and since 2014, has leveraged leave metrics as part of their workforce management strategy to keep 6,000 employees working in sync across 100 locations. Read more.

Common Sense Compliance: New Leave Laws

With the myriad of new temporary and permanent leave laws adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers need to adopt holistic integrated absence management that includes accommodation to stay compliant and avoid pitfalls. Read more.

RTW & Disability: A Work Schedule for Organization’s Needs

One of the easiest ways to retain employees with disabilities is to offer flexible work schedules. This reasonable accommodation helps employees better balance their health and work responsibilities and can help them ease back into the routine of working if they’ve taken a leave. Read more.

The Disabled Workforce: Managing Leave During a Pandemic

While many employers are considering making permanent changes regarding remote work and hybrid work environments, most employers should prepare for pre-pandemic leave levels to resurface. How, then, should human resource departments manage leave as the world comes out of the pandemic? Read more.


DMEC's FMLA/ADA Training for Supervisors and Managers

The CEO's Desk: The Employee Experience

The “employee experience” is no longer just a feel-good platitude; it’s a survival strategy for businesses trying to recruit and retain talent. The challenge for employers will be to shift their thinking, find new ways to address where and how work is done, and reengage employees as they return. Read more.

Employer Perspective: Unique Skills For Critical Incidents

While critical incidents such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, pandemics, volcanoes, and floods vary regionally, they share a common aid — the integrated disability management professional’s ability to respond. Read more.

DMEC News: July 2021

Protecting and cultivating the behavioral health and emotional well-being of employees is of critical importance in 2021 and beyond. To support DMEC members as they confront this unprecedented challenge, we have partnered with two industry thought leaders to provide timely workplace mental health information, updates, and resources. Read more.

Compliance Memos: July 2021

The July 2021 compliance memos cover EEOC conciliation procedures, updates to state leave laws, and an FMLA equivalent position case. Read more.

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