The administrative burdens on People Teams of managing their organization’s leaves of absence can be soul-crushing, but it’s the lack of compliance confidence throughout the leave journey that really keeps your clients up at night. As a Benefits Broker, there are various leave management compliance pitfalls your clients are trying to navigate that you need to be positioned to help solve.
Let’s first take a look at what those risks are, then we’ll talk about how Tilt mitigates those risks through their LOA management platform.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain medical and family-related reasons.
Client risks: When it comes to managing FMLA, People Teams are required to:
Getting FMLA right is a huge deal for your clients. Defending an FMLA violation can run an organization $80,000 on average, and of course that number can be a lot higher (upwards of $500,000) if an employee is successful in, say, a wrongful termination suit. Relying on uninformed managers to be compliant (more on that below) and handling FMLA eligibility manually quite literally keeps your clients up at night.
Tilt’s Solution: Tilt’s platform automates the FMLA process by determining employee eligibility and notifying the employee on behalf of the employer. As one customer put it:
“Compliance is the biggest risk mitigation Tilt helps with. Because previously we weren’t providing any employees with FMLA designation or their rights notices. So just being able to know that even if an employee doesn’t take FMLA, but we delivered the notice to them, we’re meeting our compliance as a business which is a HUGE piece of mind aspect.” – Sierra Stein – Benefits Partner @ Robinhood
Different states have different benefits programs that many employers require their employees to apply for. One example is California, which has the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.
The California SDI program provides short-term disability benefits that are designed to replace a portion of the employee’s income while they are unable to work, typically for up to 52 weeks. That’s money in the pockets of the employer who now isn’t on the hook for their employees’ entire salary while on leave.
Client risks: Applying for state benefits is confusing for employees and different states have different rules, requirements and guidelines for the successful filing of benefits claims. If not managed properly, People Teams run the risk of mishandling sensitive employee information which could lead to employee privacy breaches or benefits payment mishaps. All of these risks get amplified if your client’s solution for managing the state benefits isn’t scalable, and gets even more complex if your workforce is remote across multiple states,
Further, some 3rd-party leave management solutions file these claims on behalf of the employee, effectively impersonating the employee through a power of attorney agreement. While this seems like an administrative lift, it means that neither the employee or their employer (your client) has insight into the state benefits process. So if anything goes wrong your client would be the last to know, and since states don’t have sophisticated electronic filing systems, you’re relying on humans outside of your organization to fill and file these forms, which can only scale as much as the bandwidth of those humans.
Tilt’s Solution: Tilt’s personalized leave plans give employees a step-by-step guide for filing forms that are easy to follow, and lays out everything they need to know no matter the leave and no matter the state. Tilt holds their hand to the goal line and shows them how to cross the finish line.
This removes all confusion for employees, all risk for the employer, and scales easily as the employee taking the leave is empowered to check the boxes and submit the claims themselves. No power of attorney required. No impersonating employees. Just simple and thorough support for your client’s employees the entire way. If an employee has a question, they’re supported by a 1-1 Leave Success Manager (LSM) who are backed by our in-house legal and compliance team.
Managers are (mostly) great at what they do, but leave law experts they are not. When an employee requests a leave of absence, the responsibility to successfully navigate and manage the leave falls on more than your client, it also relies on that employee’s manager to know the do’s and don’ts.
Client risk: As mentioned in the FMLA section above, there are things employers can and can’t do as it pertains to FMLA, but this extends to non-FMLA leaves as well. While People Teams are often (not always…) aware of these guardrails many managers don’t know they exist, and some don’t care.
Your clients, however, are well aware that managers should know these rules and should care about them. Managers are a leading cause of employment law violations and if left to their own devices might illegally deny a leave the employee has a right to, require or request that the employee work while on leave, and might implicitly or explicitly express employment recourse against the employee taking leave.
If a manager says this:
“This is really bad timing for a leave, we’re super slammed and remember you’ve got that promotion coming up.”
“Hey, I know you’re on leave, but could you hop on this customer call and send them this deck to review?”
…your client will have a compliance mess on their hands.
Tilt’s Solution: Tilt’s platform not only gives your client complete visibility throughout the leave journey via intuitive dashboards, but we also give limited access to the employee’s manager where they are educated on the type and length of leave their direct report is going on, the rights they have, and guidance on what they can and can’t say. Further, we provide tips on how to provide a soft landing for employees who return on leave.
Here’s a peek at how we help your clients avoid manager missteps throughout each phase of a leave of absence:
Tilt makes the risks of a manager mucking up a leave a thing of the past for your clients.
Leave laws change like the wind, and as employee populations embrace remote work and scatter across the country, your clients are stuck frantically learning the latest leave laws in states they’ve never stepped foot in.
Client risks: Whether they like it or not, your client is responsible for having a firm understanding of Federal and state leave of absence laws. These laws outline the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees and a lack of knowledge could lead to legal disputes, penalties, and fines.
Tilt’s Solution: Tilt provides your clients with compliance confidence through our in-house legal and compliance team. All they do is eat, breathe and sleep leave laws so that our platform is always up-to-date with the latest information and requirements your clients are responsible to adhere to.
Our team also supports our Customer Success and Leave Success Managers so your clients can rest assured that if they have any questions about how a law applies to a specific or obscure leave request, our team of experts have the answers they need to avoid those legal disputes, penalties, and fines.
A consistent leave experience for employees: No more manual processes. Each leave is personalized, standardized, and made consistent for all employees, which helps avoid preferential treatment claims.
Data security: We store all important employee information on our secure platform meaning there is one source of truth for all leaves (more about our security and compliance measures here).
Visibility: Easy-to-use dashboards give your clients, payroll, managers and employees visibility into each leave journey so everyone is on the same page at all times.
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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