Writing Employee Leave Policy To Ensure Law Compliance

You may have landed here because you want to write a thorough attendance policy from the start of your business. But, you may also be here because you’ve had a policy in place that you think might not be working (or that might not be fully federally or state compliant). If you’re an HR professional looking at your own attendance policy, this list should help you in preparing to write or modify your own policy.

In general, policies will vary based on the size and needs of the organization, but these are a few notes to be sure to hit in any policy write-up:

  1. FMLA: The Family Medical Leave Act

    What it is:

    This act of legislation requires that certain employees are eligible for family/medical leave. There are specific criteria for which of those employees are covered, but in general these employees are eligible for up to 12 workweeks of leave for particular reasons (including maternity leave or leave to care for a chronically ill spouse or child among others).

    Why it matters:

    The reason this is important is that employers must post a notice of the employee’s rights and responsibilities under the FMLA AND employers must include information about this in their employee handbooks.

    What to include:

    You’ll want to acknowledge the requirements for coverage and your responsibilities to the employee under this act.

  2. ADA: The Americans with Disabilities Act

    What it is:

    This act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.

    Why it matters:

    According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, problems often arise when employers do not “modify policies that limit the amount of leave employees can take when an employee needs additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.”

    What to include:

    Provide specific details about leave as a reasonable accommodation and the employer’s responsibilities under this act (which may or may not provide paid leave). The ADA also suggests a written policy acknowledging the possibility of reassigning workers as an option for employees with disabilities. It should also be clear that taking as a result of a disability leave would not result in discipline of any kind.

  3. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    This law relates to maternity leave policies and laws and applies only to companies with more than 50 employees.

    Why it matters:

    There are policy requirements for 21 specific states and D.C. A best practice is to have in place a written policy that complies with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

    What to include:

    A good idea for specific language details a maximum number of weeks of leave (from 4-12, which may have a minimum requirement based on your state) with options to work from home if possible and with an option for flexible scheduling. It’s recommended that you configure a number of options that work alongside your company’s values.

Related Article: 5 Steps for Efficiently Enforcing Absence Leave Policies

The takeaway: Be human to other humans.

Overall, communicating with your employees on the topic of leave is important. It’s not enough to have the policy as the only communication regarding this issue. After all, you’re a human and your employees are humans, so it can’t hurt to treat one another like humans. Once you’ve got your policies in place, it’s time to check out an automated system that manages leave with your policies in mind.

"An important part of implementation is ensuring that our customer's requirements are fulfilled without jeopardizing end-user acceptance. Respecting this balance ensures a successful rollout."
Director of Business Analysis, Torbjorn Nilsen (DATABASICS)

leave management system eliminates time consuming manual processes and mitigates compliance risk. For more information on DATABASICS Time & Expense, contact us or call (800) 599-0434.

New Call-to-actionDATABASICS provides cloud-based, next generation Expense Reporting, P-Card Management, Timesheet & Leave Management, and Invoice Processing automation. Specializing in meeting the most rigorous requirements, DATABASICS offers the highest level of service to its customers around the world.

DATABASICS is relied upon by leading organizations representing all the major sectors of the global economy: financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, research, retail, engineering, non-profits/NGOs, technology, federal contractors, and other sectors.

Connect with DATABASICS: LinkedInTwitter, and YouTube. DATABASICS is headquartered in Reston, VA.