Why FMLA Compliance is Worth Your Time
In past blogs we have already looked at the costs of implementing FMLA and what kind of money you could be wasting with poor leave management. Today I would like instead to show you some of the consequences of not complying with FMLA regulation (BTW, the labor lawyers with whom we regularly speak inform us that the vast majority of employers are doing nothing when it comes to FMLA administration). Be warned if you are faint of heart this may be too much to handle.
The only true penalties under FMLA are for not posting the rules under FMLA in businesses that have 50 or more employees. This usually consists of a $100 fine, more of a slap on the wrist than a true punishment? “That’s not so scary Jim! You had me worried.” Well it’s good to hear that you're confident because now comes the hard part. While there is little to no official penalization for non-compliance that doesn’t mean the law doesn’t favor the employee.
As we know the requirements to be eligible for FMLA are “be employed by a covered employer and work at a work site within 75 miles of which that employer employs at least 50 people, have worked at least 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive) for the employer; and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins.” with the top ten percent of the company’s payroll being exempt.
Think about how many people at your company are eligible under those requirements…got a number? Good, now multiple that number by 100,000 and there is the possible cost to your company for non-compliance if your employees were denied leave and decided to sue.
Related Blog(Whats the real cost of poor employee leave management?)
Now take a breather, not every employee would apply for FMLA leave so that number is a little high. But ask yourself this, “can I afford even one employee taking my business to court?” When you add extra money for lawyers, your own and the employees when you inevitably lose, it starts being worth it to make sure you're administering FMLA leave.
As the employer you can choose how leave-time is used and even if the FMLA time is paid or not, that paired with the fact you get to choose if sick, vacation and/or PTO time is used before the paid/unpaid time means there is little excuse for not complying with the law.
Now I know this all sounds very grim but alas, there is hope. There are multiple ways for your business to handle FMLA administration from hiring specialists to utilizing leave management software. With a short training session leave management software is the most affordable and simple way of handling leave. With integrated fmla compliance software like that offered by Benetech you can do everything from enrolling your employees and managing the rules associated with your companies FMLA to avoiding costly FMLA abuses.
And just like always feel free to contact me using the comments box if you have any questions about today's topic!