Employment Practices Compliance

March/April 2023

Absence and disability compliance continues to challenge the savviest professionals as the number of new and modified laws expands, covered relationships shift, and more is required from DEIB initiatives. Gain practical perspectives and implementation guidance in this issue of @Work magazine, which includes articles on how to navigate paid family and medical leaves, whether employers need short-term disability insurance as paid leave programs emerge, how to make eligibility determinations, and more.

The CEO’s Desk

Adjusting to a New Era of Compliance

How do industry professionals adjust to this new era of compliance? It’s important to go back to the basics, identify which employment practices need fine-tuning to ensure compliance, and which policies need updating or modernization. And DMEC is here to offer you the support and resources you need. Read more.


To Gender Equality and Beyond

As employers seek more inclusive environments, many are removing gender pronouns from policies and handbooks in favor of more gender-neutral terms, such as they, their, and them. They’re also working to ensure benefit programs are equitable and accessible. Read more.

The Eye of the Storm: The Evolution of PFML Trends and Paid Leave Policies

Paid family and medical leave (PFML) has become a more critical and sought-out component of employee benefit packages as administration of the programs becomes more complicated. And that creates challenges for employers that are considering starting, expanding, and integrating PFML into their benefits programs. Read more.

Spotlight Articles

Compliance Showcase

The Changing Paid Leave Landscape

As states pass more paid statutory leaves and voters across the country approve paid family and medical leave programs, employers have many options for designing leave benefits to ensure employees have the coverage they need. The question is what to do where. Read more.

RTW Showcase

True DEIB Efforts Include Ability Metrics

As companies strive to meet diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) goals, they should include one large, often overlooked demographic: individuals with disabilities, especially as staffing shortages continue. In addition to showing where the rubber meets the road for an employer’s DEIB program, hiring people with disabilities offers financial and social returns on investment. Read more.

Program Showcase

Does Offering a Private PFML Plan Make Sense?

As more states pass paid family and medical leave, employers are weighing the pros and cons of state program administration and private plans. Because state programs vary significantly, there is no easy answer for determining how to evaluate paid statutory plans. However, there are several factors that employers can consider to help inform their decision. Read more.

Program Showcase

Insights for Employers Dealing with Long COVID Claims

Return to work after illness can be fraught with challenges and concerns. With accommodations and managed expectations, a long COVID diagnosis does not have to mean an extended absence or loss of an employee. With a transition plan to return to normal duties over a period of time, this can be an opportunity to assist and retain a valued employee. Read more.

Expanded Perspectives:
@Work to Share

DMEC provides the following @Work magazine articles and podcast episodes to offer additional perspectives on and increase awareness of integrated absence management trends and challenges. The resources — available to members and nonmembers — can be shared with your colleagues and through social media channels.

DMEC Podcast

Neutralizing the Gender Gap with Employer Policies

It is increasingly important for employers to assess absence management policies to identify and address inherent bias. This work helps employers become more inclusive and avoid risks, explains Amber Burnap, CLMS, a senior absence consultant with Brown & Brown, in this podcast episode. Listen in.

DMEC Podcast

2023 DMEC Compliance Conference Takeaways

Hear DMEC subject matter experts Terri L. Rhodes, Kristin Jones, and Jess Dudley talk about what they learned during the four-day conference, what surprised them, and the valuable resources they’re already using in this episode. Listen in.

2023 Trends

ADA and Long COVID: Are We There Yet?

It’s tempting to think we are done with the COVID-19 conversation, but those who manage ongoing accommodation and leave requests and process claims know that is not our reality. There hasn’t been a tsunami of long COVID claims, as some expected, which makes it easier to adopt an out-of-sight, out-of-mind philosophy. However, that would be unwise — in part, because of potential lag times in reporting. Read more.

Similar But Not Equal: Comparing PML with STD Coverage in States with Paid Leave

As states continue to implement paid leave programs, more employers are reviewing short-term disability (STD) benefits. Keeping STD plans in place even if employees work in states with statutory paid leave programs ensures coverage for all approved medical needs. And that type of employee support matters. Read more.


Absence Matters

Can an Employee Exist in Two States at Once?

Remote work is at an all-time high. And that change in working environment poses unprecedented challenges for absence management professionals — particularly when determining an employee’s work state. Read more.

Integrated Absence Management

The FMLA and Unplanned Intermittent Leave Challenge

Thirty years since its enactment, the FMLA remains an implementation challenge for employers. Despite high awareness of the law, a recent Department of Labor report shows that many employees do not fully understand its design and the protections it provides, and many employers struggle with FMLA administration and intermittent leave. Read more.

Engaging Today’s Workforce

Accommodating the Changing Expectations of Employees

The pandemic changed the workplace by accelerating certain trends. Employers must understand and accommodate these employee needs in order to attract and retain employees in the post-pandemic landscape. Read more.

Employer Solutions

The Need to Support Employees with Caregiving Roles

For a segment of Americans who work full time and are family caregivers, the notion of an attainable work-life balance can seem out of reach. Many employers have responded with more flexible schedules, remote work options, and increased mental health support. Read more.

Common Sense Compliance

In Hybrid Environments, Which Laws Are Applicable?

As remote work increases, the malleability of workplace boundaries (both literal and physical) creates more challenging compliance issues for employers. Discover common-sense tips to maintain compliance. Read more.

Featured Case

What Medical Information Can Employers Request and Remain ADA Compliant?

Disability-related inquiries and requests for medical examinations that follow a request for reasonable accommodation when a disability or need for accommodation is unknown or not obvious must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. But how does that work in a real-life scenario? Read more.

Leave Technology

Making Leave Management and Accommodations More Equitable

Technology has become an integral part of the workplace, and it has revolutionized the way some businesses operate. It can also create more compliant, equitable, and fair leave and accommodation programs by streamlining the submission process, simplifying case management, and ensuring clear communications. Read more.

The Disabled Workforce

Defining “Timely” in the ADA Interactive Process

Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with employees or applicants who request or need reasonable accommodations. So, what is timely? The word refers to both the time it takes for the organization to begin the process and to conduct it. Read more.



Check out the latest DMEC news including updates about our new microcredential course, nominations for the 2023 Emerging Leader Award, long COVID resources, and much more. Read more.

Legislative Updates

Check out the latest federal, state, and local compliance updates on the DMEC Legislative Updates blog. Recent posts cover the DOL’s guidance on telework, updates to local sick and safe leave laws, implementation of San Francisco’s military leave, and more. Read more.

Be sure to follow DMEC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for additional insight and up-to-date news.

Compliance Memos_July 2016

Continue the Conversation

Share insights and ideas about the Employment Practices Compliance issue with other DMEC members in DMECommunities. DMEC’s online networking groups give you the opportunity to connect with industry peers, ask/answer questions, share resources, and seek feedback. Get started.

Compliance Memos_July 2016

@Work™ magazine is the official publication of the Disability Management Employer Coalition. Copyright© 2023. Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC). All rights reserved.

Editorial Policy

The goal of @Work is to present industry and Association news, highlight member achievements, and promote the exchange of specialized professional information. The statements and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association, its staff, board of directors, or its editors. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers does not constitute an endorsement of products or services featured in this, past, or subsequent issues of this publication. DMEC makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to accuracy of the information contained in the articles, and no content herein is legal or tax advice. Consult appropriate professionals for legal or tax advice.

Editorial Staff

Editor: Heather Grimshaw
Editorial Advisory Group Members: Linda Croushore, Rebecca Fisco, Jenny Haykin, Terri Morris, Fred Schott, Jessica Thornton, and Lori Vickory