6 tips to track­ing, ad­min­is­ter­ing paid sick leave

Employee Benefit News - - Strategy Session - —Amanda Eisen­berg

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.

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