6 tips to tracking, administering paid sick leave
Paid sick leave has grown
over the past few years across states, cities and localities, yet benefits managers often struggle with compliance and administration. To help them better track and manage such policies, here are six tips from Sherri Bartels, HCM product strategy director at Oracle.
1. Keep abreast of regulatory changes.
With paid sick leave laws changing frequently and irregularly and varying by state, city and locality, HR professionals oftentimes struggle to keep up with the changes. Bartels suggests looking to the Department of Labor, state labor offices and local municipalities to discover what rules your company needs to comply with.
2. Pay close attention to particular classes of employees.
Although contract workers are generally included under paid sick leave policies, HR departments should also be conscientious of telecommuters and mobile workers.
“It becomes more complicated. Those workers are going in and out of jurisdictions,” Bartels said, adding that HR departments should track when those employees are working in areas covered under paid sick leave and use that data to determine eligibility.
3. Consider how unions come into play.
Companies that have unions should make sure to communicate how paid sick leave will be applied internally, Bartels said.
“Some paid sick leave laws will allow unions to waive this particular law, but the rule needs to be clearly stated in collective bargaining law,” she said.
4. Keep employees updated on policies.
Companies need to post their paid sick leave policies to ensure they are compliant with the law while also informing workers of their rights in order to avoid being fined. Updating the company handbook, sending a quarterly mailer to employees with their paid sick leave policy clearly outlined and providing available sick time on employees’ pay stubs are good strategies.
5. Understand different “family member” definitions.
For workers in Emeryville, California, taking care of a sick guide or seeing eye dog qualifies for paid sick leave, Bartels said. Other paid sick leave policies will define who qualifies as a family member — most don’t include pets — and create guidelines for using the leave, which may include family medical leave, public health emergencies and safe leave.
6. Use technology to track leave policies.
Bartels said that some technologies, such as the Oracle HCM Cloud, allow for HR professionals to track work hours and policies.