In a February 1, 2022, news alert, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that “its Wage and Hour Division is seeking to add 100 investigators to its team to support its enforcement efforts including the protection of workers’ wages, migrant and seasonal workers, rights to family and medical leave and prevailing wage requirements for workers on federal contracts.”
The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, a law that, for 29 years now, has been anything but easy to navigate. Many a Human Resource professional who has been tasked with administering employee leave under the FMLA know that the law involves humans and their personal situations, so there are often many challenges.
With the WHD’s renewed enforcement initiative, employers who have been a bit lax in their FMLA administration might want to take this opportunity to review their FMLA and related policies and practices. Training managers and supervisors, and providing refresher training, might also help avoid a potential violation.
The FMLA often intersects with other laws, such as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and state workers’ compensation provisions. Many states also have their own employee leave laws, creating an even greater administrative challenge for employers with employees in multiple states; this includes remote employees working from their personal homes. Employers can benefit from reviewing policies and practices related to all this, as well.
Goodness knows that the pandemic has also prompted increased employee leave requests. Despite the never-ending changes in the employment law world, the FMLA has not changed much — at least in the last year or so.
A quick review of related policies, practices, and even internal complaints might help detect some issues that need addressing and can help keep investigators at bay.
Key to remember: With an increased focus on enforcement, employers can benefit from making sure their ducks are in a row for purposes of the FMLA
This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.Copyright