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Primary Post for #1 and #2
The process of requesting FMLA leave
It is essential to understand the healthy Family and Medical leave act (FMLA) to follow all the necessary steps as stipulated by the law to ensure that it complies with the regulations. For successful processing of FMLA, it is required that the employee requests by filling the required form 30 days before the date requested for the leave so that there is adequate time notice for the human resource department to go through before approving the request.
Procedure and requirements for applying FMLA
The first requirement is for the employee to get FMLA Medical Certification Form from the medical personnel, which should be filled and presented to the human resource department. The form is used to ensure the validity of the application is vetted and accepted. When the employee receives the form and fills it, it must be returned within 15 workdays for approval. After the leave is approved, an employee is required to submit a notification form within two days of requesting leave. After the rest is agreed upon, the employee must submit the notice, and it can be denied if all the requirements were not observed. Therefore, the validity of FMLA leave depends on the information provided by the employee. The employers rely on the form provided by the healthcare provider to decide whether to accept or reject the applied leave.
How the FMLA provides employees with job protection during the leave
The FMLA protected employees during leave by ensuring that employees continue
enjoying the benefits without any reduction because they are on vacation. The employee can continue paying the subscribed premium to provide continuous coverage for the insurance services without disconnection of services because one is on leave. Lastly, the act allows for the restoration of a job where an employee is sure that the job will still be available after leaving, and no replacement can be made.
Responsibilities that employees have during their FMLA leave
It is the responsibility of the employees to respond to routine call procedures when required by the employer. It is the employee’s responsibility to provide sufficient information to the employees about the family member’s state to prove that the family member is unable to work daily activities properly. In case of is the employee that is sick, the employee needs to continue updating the employer on the state of health so that that information is used to prove the validity of the leave so that it may be protected exit where the employee will continue receiving the contracted benefits and salary without any deductions. (Scudder, 2018). It is the responsibility of the employee to take certification that aims to support why the leave is necessary as one way of validating and providing support for why the employee is eligible for the rest. The employee’s responsibility to continue paying for the insurance premiums other premiums so that services can continue as usual even if the employee is on leave.
In conclusion, both the management and employees need to understand healthy FMLA policies so that when requesting for the leave, the required information is provided to ensure that there is the validity of the rest that enables the employee to be under the protected leave with full; salary and other associated benefits depending with the contract of work.
Cruz, K. M. (2017). FMLA Leave Requests. TYL, 22, 6.
Family and Medical Leave Act employee guide. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/employee-guide
Scudder, P. (2018). Failing Our Workers: How the FMLA and RFRA Disadvantage Female Workers in the United States when Compared to their European Union Counterparts, 6 Penn. St. J.L. & Int’l Aff. (2018).
!. Amalia R Robinson
What is FMLA?
Although we would like to take care of all aspects of our lives, we know some things are out of our reach. Unfortunately, this includes medical emergencies that happen to ourselves or our families, and this is where the Family and Medical Leave Act takes place. “The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave (DOL, n.d.). You take 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month job period.
What is the process of requesting FMLA leave?
If you (the employee) know that you will need to request FMLA leave, you have to provide notice to your employer with30 days in advance. This is obviously for things like surgery, or things you have control of. If it’s something you found out and you have less than 30 days, then provide notice as soon as you find out. You should provide enough information to your employer for them to know that this is covered by FMLA, otherwise, it could be considered as not covered. Basically, communication and transparency are key. Your employer will give you an answer of whether or not your request falls under the FMLA within 5 days of your request for FMLA leave. In the event that your request is denied, your employer must provide at least one reason as to why. It is important to know that this type of leave can be taken in conjunction with paid or sick leave but the right steps have to be taken in order to do so seamlessly. I cannot stress enough the importance of communication between you (the employee) and the employer.
What are some examples of how the FMLA provides employees with job protection?
First, know that FMLA includes serious health conditions, military family leave, expanding the family, and some medical emergencies. FMLA provides protections to employees by allowing them to take 12 unpaid weeks of leave from their job while actually keeping the job. Your employer has to continue your medical insurance, and when you come back you will have the same job and position with no negative repercussions.
What are some responsibilities that employees have during their FMLA leave?
As stated before, Communication is key. While you’re out on leave, the employee needs to periodically communicate with the employer. If anything changes in the status of their leave, they have to communicate that to their employer. Your employer will notify you as well of your rights, and if anything changes. That’s why it is very important to keep the communication doors open.
Family and Medical Leave Act. U.S. Department of Labor Seal. (n.d.). https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla.
2. Stephanie Balthrop
As the Human Resource Manager I am going to explain FMLA and its processes. FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This law was established to require covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualifying medical and family reasons. Having this establishment for employees helps to remove the need for employees to have to choose between their health (or their family members health) and their career. As Human Resource Manager, it is in my scope to ensure employees know and understand about FMLA Leave.
What is the process of requesting FMLA leave?
When an employee experiences a serious health conditions, or a family member that the employee must assist in their care, they may request FMLA leave. The first step in the process of requesting FMLA leave is to ensure criteria is met for eligibility. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months. The 12 months do not have to be consecutive (i.e. seasonal employees) but there cannot be a break of 7 years in between that time period. In addition to the 12 month requirement, the employes must also have worked for at least 1250 hours in the accounted 12 month time frame. If this portion of criteria is met, the next step is ensuring that your employer is eligible for FMLA- this would mean the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the jobsite.
If as the employee you have met all criteria, you must notify the employer at least 30 days in advance. If the need for FMLA leave comes about unexpectedly, notifying the employer as soon as possible is necessary. Until leave is processed you must follow the employers guidelines for notice or call-in procedures. When placing a request, it is vital to provide enough information so that approval for FMLA leave can be made. While you do not have to tell the employer your exact diagnosis, you do need to provide indications that leave is absolutely necessary and due to an FMLA-protected condition. Employers have 5 days to return a response on if your FMLA leave meets criteria and you are eligible.
What are some examples of how the FMLA provides employees with job protection during their FMLA leave?
FMLA Leave entitles employees who have met criteria to take unpaid, job-protected leave. Employees may take up to 12 work-weeks of leave during any 12 month period. Examples of providing job protection includes the employer restoring the employee to the same job or an equivalent job as the one the employee left for leave. This means that the employer is not required to guarantee the actual job held prior to leave; the equivalent job must have a virtually identical pay scale, benefits and term and conditions (i.e. shift, location, etc).
What are some of the responsibilities that employees have during their FMLA leave?
During their leave, it is vital that employees stay in communication with the employer. If there are any adjustments made to the leave or the intentions after leave, it is important that the employee communicates that information to the employer. It is also the employees responsibility to ensure that the employer receives any medical documentation that may coincide with the reasoning for taking leave. If this information is not received, it could disrupt the process and may also result in the employees leave not being covered. If additional leave time is required (past the 12 week guideline) it is not guaranteed that the employer will hold a position past that point. Again, communication from the employee is key to ensuring the employer can and will work with them during this time period.
Fact Sheet #28A: Employee Protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
Primary Post for #3 and #4
Social security alludes to funds paid to the government partly by the employees and partly by employers and individuals in other sectors of the economy, such as self-employed, those working for non-governmental institutions, and government workers. Social security plays a significant role in employee retirement. Firstly, when employees age, the funds act as a source of income that the employee can rely on that meets their day-to-day needs; hence, it cushions them and their families from economic disadvantage (Graetz, 2017). Subsequently, the funds are also vital to the sustenance of employees and their families if the employees suffer from debilitating injuries that impede them from working. Thirdly, social security also plays a significant role when employees pass away. The funds are given to the families and beneficiaries of the deceased person to aid in their day-to-day expenses (Graetz, 2017). In some cases, employees’ current or past marital partners may also receive payment from social security after retirement.
FICA, ERISA, and social security are interconnected in that they all refer to elements related to employee retirement. FICA denotes the finances deducted from the employees who contribute to social security and medicare programs (Graetz, 2017). On the other hand, ERISA alludes to the regulatory stipulations established to protect the funds deducted from employees to benefit them during their retirement. The purpose of the tenets is to ensure that the money that the workers accrue for retirement is safeguarded adequately and available when they need it. Consequently, social security refers to the funds that employees remit to the federal government for use after they retire from active service when they become incapacitated or to benefit their families after their demise. An example of fiduciary responsibility under ERISA that federal agencies should comply with is adhering to the stipulations indicated in employees’ retirement plans (Yeung & Zhou, 2017). The officials should not make any changes that violate the interests of the workers when their payments are due.
An example of an effective retirement planning program that could be implemented for the employees of Green Branch Coffee is the SIMPLE IRA plans. The retirement program is an effective plan whereby the organization is required to save a pre-determined amount of money for their workers during the period that they are under their employ (Yeung & Zhou, 2017). The employees of Green Branch Coffee will benefit from the plan because the company will set aside 2% of their salary each year for their use after retirement. The workers can also choose to save up part of their salary for retirement. When they do so, the company must raise the amount they save by 3%.
Graetz, M. (2017). 4. Retirement Security Policy: Toward a More Unified View. In T. Marmor & J. Mashaw (Ed.), Social Security (pp. 91-118). Princeton: Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400886982-008
Yeung, D. Y., & Zhou, X. (2017). Planning for Retirement: Longitudinal Effect on Retirement Resources and Post-retirement Well-being. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1300. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01300
1. Johnathan: At retirement age each American may be eligible to receive a Social Security benefit payment. This could begin at age 62 for early retirement up at a lower rate and go up to age 70 for a later retirement at a 24% higher benefit. (Bell, 2021) To receive a benefit, someone must have paid enough into the Social Security system to qualify. Employees each pay a Social Security tax out of their income. Benefit amount is determined based on the highest earning 35 year period of each persons employment. Thus, it may be more beneficial to hold off on early retirement (or to retire at 70) if a persons highest income is occurring in their 60s.
Social Security and Medicare are both funded by this income tax, which is called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). 6.2% of your gross pay goes to Social Security, and 1.45% goes to Medicare, which is a medical insurance coverage benefit that Americans are also eligible for at retirement (or if disabled). Currently, approximately 171 million people are covered under Social Security. (SSA, 2021)
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects workers, retirees, and their families by setting standards for retirement, health and other employee benefit plans. (DOL, 2021) This act helps ensure that a persons retirement savings/investment plan funds are protected, even if a company goes bankrupt as well as ensuring that a company does not spend this money on other things. It is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, the Labor Department, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. ERISA covers around 684,000 retirement plans, 2.4 million healthcare plans, and 2.4 million welfare benefit plans that involve 141 million American workers and protects $7.6 trillion in assets for those workers.
Under ERISA, companies must have a plan fiduciary which can be a trustee or plan administrator whose primary responsibility is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses. (DOL, 2021) The fiduciary should avoid conflict of interests and they will be held accountable for any deviation from their responsibilities.
Green Branch Coffee offers a robust retirement savings plan for all vested, full time employees. GBC offers employees a 5% match on any payroll deductions that go to the employees 401k retirement investment plan, for a total of a 10% contribution to your retirement each paycheck. This can be added to a persons Social Security benefit for a more comfortable retirement scenario. We have provided a calculation tool on our benefits website that employees can use to calculate their total estimated benefit from this plan along with estimated Social Security benefits to give each of you a better idea of where you will stand financially, whether you decide to retire early or wait until age 70. You can also call Human Resources to speak with a retirement specialist who can answer any questions you may have regarding your company benefit and retirement planning.
Bell, A. (2021, May 31). How Social Security Works After Retirement. Retrieved from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/121015/how-social-security-works-after-retirement.asp
DOL. (2021). Fact sheet: what is ERISA? Retrieved from U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/what-is-erisa
SSA. (2021). What is FICA? Retrieved from SSA: https://www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/materials/pdfs/educators/What-is-FICA-Infographic-EN-05-10297.pdf
2. Asia: What role does Social Security play in employee retirement?
Social security replaces a percentage of workers pre-retirement income base on your life time earnings. The amount of your average wage that social security replaces depends on what you makes at the time you start your benefits. This program was developed to provide revenue safety for the elderly. The way social security works is like this: if you work, you pay social security taxes. Which they will use that money to pay out benefits to those who qualify. Social security not only pays those who are retired, they also pay benefits to people who are disabled, survivors of workers who have died, and dependents of beneficiaries. You can choose to obtain you social security benefits at the age of 62. Social security only provides you roughly 40% of what you make. That is why some employers also provide a 401k for their employees retirement fund.
What is the relationship between FICA, ERISA, and Social Security? Include an example of fiduciary responsibility under ERISA.
(FICA) Federal Insurance Contribution Act is made up of two parts which are Medicare tax and Social security tax. The current tax rate is 12.4% which the employer and employee must echo pay half of this percentage. Medicare tax is 2.9%, so the employer and employee are responsible of paying 1.45% each. If you are self employed, you are responsible of paying the whole FICA amount. ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This law helps set standards to for most voluntary established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide individuals protection for their plans. FICA, ERISA< and Social Security act are put to place to provide help and protection for those individuals who getting ready for retirement.
Describe an example of a retirement planning program that could be implemented for Green Branch Coffee’s employees
Green Branch Coffee can provide several option to provide our employees great ways of saving for their retirement. We will provide SIMPLE IRA account which stand for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. Green Branch Coffee will match the employee 100%. on the first 3% of what they are investing.. SIMPLE IRA would be a great option to those who would want to see their money grow fast with out taxes. This plan is tax free until you pull out your investments which. With this plan all contributions are vested immediately, which guarantee 100% of the contribution is owned by our employees. Which a 401k does not provide immediate vested balance.