2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference

image
  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Using Technology to Support Employees' Behavioral & Wellness

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The role technology plays in helping employees recover and return safely to work can also help employers create more effective wellness programs, which is particularly important now with the lingering impacts from COVID-19. To help your workforce recover and return to work, it’s important to understand both the physical and mental conditions someone may be facing, and develop strategies for prevention and intervention. Text mining is one way tool that can be used to identify employees who may need extra behavior health support and services to aid their recovery from a disability. This targeted technology picks up on certain “flags” in claims communications and other correspondence that can trigger a referral for additional support. Complementing that technology — and even in the absence of it — is the need to ensure that managers have the education and awareness to understand the signs as well. This session provided an overview of the effects of behavioral health issues on absence durations, how text mining works, and best practices for identifying common issues to support your training and wellness programs.

    The role technology plays in helping employees recover and return safely to work can also help employers create more effective wellness programs, which is particularly important now with the lingering impacts from COVID-19. To help your workforce recover and return to work, it’s important to understand both the physical and mental conditions someone may be facing, and develop strategies for prevention and intervention.

    Text mining is one way tool that can be used to identify employees who may need extra behavior health support and services to aid their recovery from a disability. This targeted technology picks up on certain “flags” in claims communications and other correspondence that can trigger a referral for additional support. Complementing that technology — and even in the absence of it — is the need to ensure that managers have the education and awareness to understand the signs as well. This session provided an overview of the effects of behavioral health issues on absence durations, how text mining works, and best practices for identifying common issues to support your training and wellness programs.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Compliance Transformation - A People-Centered Approach for Better Compliance Outcomes

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​Today’s organizations are faced with complex challenges as markets, technology, and employee expectations shift and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to bring uncertainty. While this reality is forcing many leaders to reevaluate business priorities and the future direction of their organizations, it should also require a strong focus on employee engagement, physical and mental health, and a critical review of compliance programs that may be falling short. Gone are the days when “one-size-fits-all” approaches — that don’t account for evolving legislation and individual needs — prove to be effective solutions. This session discussed how organizations can focus on their employees as individuals and address their needs and how that can ultimately enhance their compliance programs. We also shared best practices for building a more inclusive and compassionate culture, tips to engage all employees, coaching at all levels of leadership, and effective programs that improve compliance outcomes.

    Today’s organizations are faced with complex challenges as markets, technology, and employee expectations shift and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to bring uncertainty. While this reality is forcing many leaders to reevaluate business priorities and the future direction of their organizations, it should also require a strong focus on employee engagement, physical and mental health, and a critical review of compliance programs that may be falling short. Gone are the days when “one-size-fits-all” approaches — that don’t account for evolving legislation and individual needs — prove to be effective solutions.

    This session discussed how organizations can focus on their employees as individuals and address their needs and how that can ultimately enhance their compliance programs. We  also shared best practices for building a more inclusive and compassionate culture, tips to engage all employees, coaching at all levels of leadership, and effective programs that improve compliance outcomes.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Ask the Experts

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​Our popular “Ask the Experts” session allowed conference attendees to submit their most challenging questions to our panel of distinguished FMLA/ADA legal experts. You provided the uncensored questions, and they provided the unfiltered answers. This interactive discussion between attendees and panelists allowed audience members to have their “real-world” questions answered by the specialists. Attendees came prepared with their toughest questions and the most perplexing challenges faced by their company. And best of all, there were no billable hours or consulting fees incurred!

    Our popular “Ask the Experts” session allowed conference attendees to submit their most challenging questions to our panel of distinguished FMLA/ADA legal experts. You provided the uncensored questions, and they provided the unfiltered answers. This interactive discussion between attendees and panelists allowed audience members to have their “real-world” questions answered by the specialists. Attendees came prepared with their toughest questions and the most perplexing challenges faced by their company. And best of all, there were no billable hours or consulting fees incurred!

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Pandemic Effect on Employee Leave Usage - What Do the Numbers Show?

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​Absences from work in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic started as early as February 2020. Now with a year under our belt, we took a look at what effects the pandemic has had on employee leaves of absence. Using Matrix’s historical leave statistics, we analyzed questions such as: did employee usage of traditional FMLA change during the pandemic; what types of utilization caused the spikes and valleys of leave usage during the first 12 months of the pandemic; and have employers adopted new policies or practices to deal with quarantines and school closures. We compared leave usage (incidence rates, reasons for absence, and durations) prior to the pandemic and during, saw what effect the surges in infection rates have had, and looked at industry, gender, and other differences in leave rates. And finally, we discussed what lessons might be learned for the duration of COVID-19 or for a future pandemic.

    Absences from work in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic started as early as February 2020. Now with a year under our belt, we took a look at what effects the pandemic has had on employee leaves of absence. Using Matrix’s historical leave statistics, we analyzed questions such as: did employee usage of traditional FMLA change during the pandemic; what types of utilization caused the spikes and valleys of leave usage during the first 12 months of the pandemic; and have employers adopted new policies or practices to deal with quarantines and school closures. We compared leave usage (incidence rates, reasons for absence, and durations) prior to the pandemic and during, saw what effect the surges in infection rates have had, and looked at industry, gender, and other differences in leave rates. And finally, we discussed what lessons might be learned for the duration of COVID-19 or for a future pandemic.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Who Needs Leave for What? How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Reshaping Employer Leave and Accommodation Challenges

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    We said goodbye to 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to march forward. Pressures on families and employers are unprecedented and flexible leave and work policies have never been more important. Employees need and want more leave and for different reasons than ever before. After experiencing an unanticipated expansion of federal, state, and local leave and accommodation obligations, employers are now faced with a new challenge. How do we return to full productivity while addressing these new employee expectations? The White House’s legislative and regulatory agenda — will national paid leave be passed, will the FFCRA be resurrected or expanded, etc. — may further complicate this challenge. This session discussed the evolving complexities of leaves and accommodations as employers move into a second “pandemic” year and suggest “lessons learned” that may help them return to “better” rather than “normal.”

    We said goodbye to 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to march forward. Pressures on families and employers are unprecedented and flexible leave and work policies have never been more important. Employees need and want more leave and for different reasons than ever before. After experiencing an unanticipated expansion of federal, state, and local leave and accommodation obligations, employers are now faced with a new challenge. How do we return to full productivity while addressing these new employee expectations? The White House’s legislative and regulatory agenda — will national paid leave be passed, will the FFCRA be resurrected or expanded, etc. — may further complicate this challenge. This session discussed the evolving complexities of leaves and accommodations as employers move into a second “pandemic” year and suggest “lessons learned” that may help them return to “better” rather than “normal.”

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Compliance Considerations in a Work from Home Environment

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    We know first-hand how working from home has added complexity to your day-to-day operations. Add on top of this a continuous development of regulations related to paid leave, unpaid leave, and the ADA. Suddenly, your HR Department is inundated. We want to help!This roundtable discussion addressed best practices for implementing compliance considerations for employers just like you.

    We know first-hand how working from home has added complexity to your day-to-day operations. Add on top of this a continuous development of regulations related to paid leave, unpaid leave, and the ADA. Suddenly, your HR Department is inundated. We want to help!This roundtable discussion addressed best practices for implementing compliance considerations for employers just like you.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: A Deep Dive Into Job Protection - What Does It Really Mean?

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Those in leave of absence often use the term “job protection,” but what does it really mean? In some cases, the law spells it out. The FMLA requires an employer to restore the employee to the same or an “equivalent” job. The ADA holds employers to a higher standard; the employee must be returned to the same position, in the absence of undue hardship. But what about the many other statutory leaves that aren’t as explicit, and which may fall within a grey area? Even murkier, what are an employer’s obligations to restore an employee who takes a company leave, such as vacation or sick leave? This session explored the nuances of job protection, from sticky FMLA and ADA cases, to newly-enacted state and local laws, to the sometimes confusing doctrines surrounding employer-provided plans.

    Those in leave of absence often use the term “job protection,” but what does it really mean? In some cases, the law spells it out. The FMLA requires an employer to restore the employee to the same or an “equivalent” job. The ADA holds employers to a higher standard; the employee must be returned to the same position, in the absence of undue hardship. But what about the many other statutory leaves that aren’t as explicit, and which may fall within a grey area? Even murkier, what are an employer’s obligations to restore an employee who takes a company leave, such as vacation or sick leave? This session explored the nuances of job protection, from sticky FMLA and ADA cases, to newly-enacted state and local laws, to the sometimes confusing doctrines surrounding employer-provided plans.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: The Playbook - Return-to-Work Strategies and Tactics

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    An effective return-to-work program can be integral to retain valued employees and to enhance workforce productivity. However, such programs can be difficult to manage along with all of the other important tasks leave professionals and supervisors are responsible for each day. This session underscored the value of developing a written return-to-work policy and discussed key program components including company commitment, communication, and job descriptions. We also explained and discussed the role the interactive process plays within such initiatives.

    An effective return-to-work program can be integral to retain valued employees and to enhance workforce productivity. However, such programs can be difficult to manage along with all of the other important tasks leave professionals and supervisors are responsible for each day. This session underscored the value of developing a written return-to-work policy and discussed key program components including company commitment, communication, and job descriptions. We also explained and discussed the role the interactive process plays within such initiatives.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: ADA and COVID-19 - How to Handle Accommodations When Returning to the Workplace

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    As many employers approach the one-year mark of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are tasked with determining what’s next for their employees. Employers are considering what a return to the workplace will look like, and critically, what types of accommodations will be requested by employees. This session tackled the legal and employee relations concerns at play when deciding which employees will be required to return to the office; how to handle employee requests to continue remote work as an accommodation; and whether or not to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. We also provided a checklist of considerations to take back to your organization and apply to your own unique situations.

    As many employers approach the one-year mark of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are tasked with determining what’s next for their employees. Employers are considering what a return to the workplace will look like, and critically, what types of accommodations will be requested by employees. This session tackled the legal and employee relations concerns at play when deciding which employees will be required to return to the office; how to handle employee requests to continue remote work as an accommodation; and whether or not to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. We also provided a checklist of considerations to take back to your organization and apply to your own unique situations.

  • 2021 DMEC Virtual Compliance Conference: Paid Family and Medical Leave - What Does the Future Hold?

    Contains 2 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Paid family and medical leave (PFML) laws continue expanding at a rapid pace, and they are changing the American workplace. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have PFML programs, with several more states considering legislation. In 2020, we saw the first federal paid family leave mandate in the COVID-19 relief legislation. To understand where we are going, we need to understand where we are now. This session reviewed current paid family and medical leave laws that have been enacted at the federal, state, and local levels as well as proposed legislation for 2021 and beyond. We discussed the differences between the state PFML programs and the private plan options, and how PFML claims differ from traditional short- and long-term disability claims. We also offered insights into how the new PFML laws that offer job protected leave are affecting the workplace.

    Paid family and medical leave (PFML) laws continue expanding at a rapid pace, and they are changing the American workplace. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have PFML programs, with several more states considering legislation. In 2020, we saw the first federal paid family leave mandate in the COVID-19 relief legislation. To understand where we are going, we need to understand where we are now. This session reviewed current paid family and medical leave laws that have been enacted at the federal, state, and local levels as well as proposed legislation for 2021 and beyond. We discussed the differences between the state PFML programs and the private plan options, and how PFML claims differ from traditional short- and long-term disability claims. We also offered insights into how the new PFML laws that offer job protected leave are affecting the workplace.