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Technology helps track FMLA eligibility and manage leave data

Employers likely find it difficult to track and manage employee leave allowed by disability plans, state laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, software solutions are delivering some relief for administrators. It might help if California workers are aware of these options and know which ones their employers are using.

Tracking employee eligibility for family and medical leave is a must under the FMLA. Employees have to work for a company for a minimum of 12 months and log at least 1,250 hours during that period to qualify under federal law. The California Family Rights Act contains some overlapping provisions. Employers could use technology-based solutions to detect discrepancies in schedules and determine if any federal or state thresholds are met. Companies can also enter the details of disability plans, the benefits for which may fill the gap between government-ordered leave and sick days.

Self-service options are often interactive, and employers can use them to manage leave. Employees can download applications to their smart devices to log time off. If they qualify for intermittent leave for migraines under the FMLA, for instance, they can log the time for leave when they a migraine flares up, explains a Lincoln Financial Group compliance consultant. She believes self-service logging is beneficial for employers, administrators and employees.

Some software solutions are completely outsourced to vendors. This involves the employer sending an outside administrator weekly file feeds with every employee's details. If a worker calls in, the administrator can instantly determine if the worker qualifies based on the hire date, hours worked and location. Then, the administrator notifies the employer about the leave. With co-sourcing solutions, the employer downloads third-party software and uses in-house staff to administer leave.

The FMLA allows workers to take a leave of absence when they or family members need medical attention. They may have legal remedies if employers deny their leave or retaliate against them for taking it.

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