Absence Matters: Compliance Programs

Tasha Patterson@Work


Do Your Compliance Programs Measure Up?

Compliance ProgramsBy Bryon Bass

SVP, Disability and Absence Practice & Compliance

For compliance purposes, employers need to be aware of the enforcement agenda of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL).

Recently, the EEOC issued a Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2021.1 For compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the EEOC’s SEP narrows its focus to issues related to qualification standards and inflexible leave policies that discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Accommodating pregnancy-related limitations under the ADA and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an additional area of focus.

The DOL has focused more of its resources on enforcing compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) through employer audits. In the past, audits were typically triggered by an employee complaint or employer violation trends. Recently, the DOL has initiated compliance reviews without a triggering event.

Many believe budgetary constraints under the Trump administration may alter the way the EEOC and DOL approach enforcement activities. However, that should not deter employers from ensuring their programs can withstand a formal review by either agency.

How can you be prepared?

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