Chicago — Claims related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have increased by more than 10 percent this year, according to a report by FMLASource, an affiliate of ComPsych Corporation. ComPsych is the world's largest provider of employee assistance programs and worldwide leader in GuidanceResources (EAPs, behavioral health, wellness, work-life and HR/FMLA administration services).
"As companies continue to operate with leaner staffs in a slowly recovering economy, many workers are seeking FMLA job protection in order to take time off to care for themselves as well as family members," said Jim Brown, vice president of FMLASource. "These trends highlight the need for integrating support services—such as EAP and work-life—to address employee issues and shorten the length of absences."
FMLASource is a service that reviews, approves, processes and tracks leave requests with the oversight of expert legal staff, helping organizations reduce the amount of absences while complying with the complexities of the act. FMLASource also integrates with ComPsych GuidanceResources, including comprehensive EAP and work-life services. The top reasons for FMLA absences are:
(1) personal illness/injury,
(2) caring for a child, and
(3) caring for an elderly relative.
These are employee issues that can be addressed by an EAP/work-life program. When applicable, FMLASource refers employees to these services to reduce the length of the absence and speed return to work.
This practice, as well as tighter controls and thorough monitoring and documentation processes, have resulted in a 40 percent average reduction in overall FMLA absences for FMLASource customers. "By removing the burden of FMLA administration upon an organization's staff, FMLASource can ensure compliance while reducing overall absences so that employers can control their costs, which is especially important in a tough economy," Brown added.