Over the last decade, the topic of inclusivity has become ubiquitous in the discourse of the modern workplace, and with good reason. More than ever employers are feeling the pressure to ensure that their employees are comfortable, encouraged, and supported to bring their true selves to the office (virtual or otherwise). Furthermore, state and federal regulations are continuing to evolve to provide protections to employees to ensure this trend continues.
The side effect of these developments is that employees are feeling more empowered and engaged in their work because, perhaps for the first time as a professional, they’re being treated like actual human beings.
While it may not be inherently obvious (hence this handy blog), inclusivity also plays a major role in the way you manage a leave of absence. Discrimination can take many forms in the workplace, and when your leaves are managed inconsistently, managers aren’t behaving in accordance with the law, or reasonable accommodations aren’t being provided to qualified employees, you can find yourself in some steamy legal soup.
At Tilt, we take inclusivity seriously, not just with Tilters, but for the HR and People Ops leaders like you who are trying to do the best for their people. By managing your leaves the TIlt way, you can enhance your workplace inclusivity and ensure you’re acting compliantly. We do this by:
1) Applying your leave policies equitably: No matter the leave type and no matter the state, Tilt’s platform and 1-1 support team of leave success managers provide a consistent leave experience for your employees needing leave. This provides a slew of benefits to you, but as it pertains to inclusivity, consistently managed leaves help eliminate the risk of two employees taking the same leave but receiving different levels of support. Providing inconsistent leave support is not an inclusive approach, and can be grounds for legal action on the basis of discrimination. Even though accommodation laws like ADA and PWFA require an individualized analysis by your HR/People teams, the support you receive from Tilt will still remain constant throughout the process.
2) Educating managers: Oftentimes, despite our best efforts, leave of absence inclusivity issues arise from uneducated managers. It’s not always their fault (though sometimes it is) as managers are experts in their field, not leave of absence laws. Tilt removes stigmas, the inclusivity killer, surrounding leaves of absence by educating the manager about each employee taking a leave. We help ensure managers are aware of the rights and responsibilities surrounding each particular leave, as well as tips on how to accommodate the employee upon their return. With that said, Tilt offers role-specific access to our platform to make certain that while managers are given high-level educational material, they won’t have access to private information about their employee’s condition(s). We do all of this within the same platform all of your leaves are managed.
3) Supporting ADA/PWFA leaves: Just to do a little level-setting, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a U.S. federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees. Effectively, an ADA leave can be taken for one’s own approved medical purpose that falls outside of FMLA.
Under the PWFA, or Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless it would be an undue hardship to do so.
What does this have to do with leaves of absence? Sometimes an “on the job”, or “workplace”, accommodation, like a standing desk, anti-glare computer screen, or a larger work uniform, will be an appropriate solution for an employee. In other cases, an employee may need time away from work as an accommodation. Both the ADA and the PWFA recognize leave as a reasonable accommodation in many instances.
By supporting ADA and PWFA leaves, Tilt makes it easy to demonstrate that your organization is committed to inclusivity, equal opportunities, and the well-being of your employees. By providing reasonable accommodations and addressing the needs of employees with disabilities, workplaces can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.
Here’s how we do it:
Tilt is leading the charge in all things leave of absence management through easy-to-use tech and human touch. Since 2017, our proprietary platform and Empathy Warriors have been helping customers make leave not suck by eliminating administrative burdens, keeping companies compliant, and providing a truly positive and supportive leave of absence experience for their people.
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