How to Coordinate a Medical Leave of Absence for an Employee
Unfortunately, almost every medical practice has to deal with an employee's medical leave of absence caused by a medical emergency, sickness, or FMLA leave.
These issues can be life-changing for your employees. At the same time, you have an obligation to your medical practice to ensure that you meet the needs of your practice, employees, and patients. Managing this balance requires coordination between management and your team members.
Fortunately, with appropriate planning and expert consultation, you can coordinate a medical leave of absence or FMLA leave compatible with the needs of your practice and the federal employee paid leave act. Here's more information on what to do.
Communicate the Plan with Your Employee
You should always document every conversation about this topic, even if they are positive interactions. You want to be consistent with completing all the steps for leave, and do so equally for each employee. This consistency protects you from claims of discriminatory practices. It also allows you to have a written record that tracks all communications. HR for Health has cloud-based documentation that can allow you to appropriately document any interaction, including verbal or written exchanges.
Be sure to provide your employee with privacy during any conversations related to their leave. These conversations should take place in It should be one-on-one meetings. Some states even provide specific timelines for steps, so practices must be aware of requirements that may be specific to their location.
Confirm that Employees Understand Their Legal Rights (FMLA, Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, Insurance Benefits, Company Leave Protocol)
Your employees may need assistance to understand their legal rights. It is helpful to share any brochures that the state makes available. These brochures are required documents to provide at the time of hire, and you should document when you provide employees with this information. In addition, our software has an electronic onboarding process, customized for each state. Practices can easily refer employees back to these brochures. They can also help keep practices on course with the procedure.
If an employee takes a medical leave of absence or FMLA leave, you may want them to sign paperwork that indicates they understand their rights. You should then store that paperwork to address future concerns.
Make Sure Other Team Members can Cover Employee's Daily Tasks
If possible, you should plan for an employee's absence in advance as much as possible. This gives you time to prepare for the absence and provide any
needed training to employees who will pick up the duties of your missing employees.
As a manager, you will need to communicate your expectations with your team at any meetings. It would help if you also documented these communications.
Conduct Check-Ins with Team Members Who are Picking Up Employee's Daily Tasks
You should check regularly with these team members, making sure they have what they need to be successful at their new responsibilities. Regular check-ins show your employees that you are there to offer support and assistance.
There could be a situation where it may be difficult to run your operations with one less employee. In this case, you may consider hiring a temp and getting them up and running with software like HR for Health. HR for Health can help with the onboarding process, even for temp employees.
Prepare for Employee's Return to Practice
Thankfully, employees will return to work after taking leave in most cases, often returning after their benefits under the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act expire. You should check in with your employee from time to time. You will also need to confirm if the tentative return date has changed or not. Once you confirm a return date, you can begin to plan for the employee to re-enter the team, take on their job duties again, and start to get back into the swing of working.
What Do You Need to Know?
As you can see, there are many steps involved in communicating an employee's rights, tracking their leaves, and preparing your practice to manage the absence. In addition to following all interactions, you need to ensure that you track the employee's leave time. It is critical to document how long an employee is out and when you believe they will return. HR for Health can help you do this with our time-keeping software.
How HR for Health Can Help
Coordinating a medical leave of absence or FMLA leave - while still complying with federal laws like the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act - can be tough. Fortunately, you can do it with the right planning. At HR for Health, we have individuals on staff that can give you the tools you need to coordinate these issues and manage any changes in workplace responsibilities. This includes tracking leaves, cloud-based document storage, creating appropriate policies in your employee handbook, and more.
Looking for more information? Contact HR for Health today to schedule a demo and learn more about how HR for Health can help your practice thrive.