Research indicates that employees who invoke the Family Medical Leave Act are much more likely to request short-term disability within a year. Rather than just sit with that sound bite, Integrated Benefits Institute advises companies to do something about it.
“A worker's request for leave under the FMLA may be a precursor to other, more costly leaves. Rather than view the FMLA as strictly a legal compliance requirement, employers should consider using FMLA as an early-warning system to detect potential costly health issues among their employees and their families,” said Thomas Parry, IBI president.
3. Expand training for supervisors: Employers and their benefits partners should expand FMLA training for supervisors on early warning signs and potential interventions. They should also conduct periodic “roundtables” with supervisors and human resources staff to review ongoing cases and provide appropriate coaching and support for supervisors.
5. Better educate employees about FMLA: Training for employees about their FMLA rights and responsibilities should be improved and consistent. Employees generally receive information about FMLA from their human resource departments, but typically only at the time of requests. This increases the workload of personnel who must verify requests with no chance of approval. Workers should also be educated on the types of leaves FMLA does and does not cover.