FMLA Benefits and Employer-Provided Employee Assistance Programs Support Your Staff When They Need It Most

Supporting employee mental health is an important part of creating a positive company culture. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers yet another level of support for employees facing depression or anxiety that is preventing them from working.

 

FMLA, a US Department of Labor law that went into effect in 1993, requires employers to allow eligible employees an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 work weeks in a year for:

  • The birth of a child or to care for a newborn, or the adoption or foster care of a newly placed child in the employee’s home
  • The care of an immediate family member (such as a spouse, child, parent) with an illness or chronic condition
  • The employee’s own serious health condition

Employees are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for the covered employer for at least 12 months, worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the FMLA leave and if they work at a location, or within 75 miles of other employer locations, where at least 50 employees are employed. This Just In. COVID-19 Update: Summary of Federal Emergency Paid Leave Benefit Law

Employees experiencing mild to moderate cases of anxiety or depression would not likely be covered by FMLA. However, there are many adults who experience symptoms severe enough to warrant FMLA coverage.

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In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Major Depressive Disorder or MDD is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15 to 44. MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the US population age 18 and older, in a given year.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, according to the ADAA, affecting 40 million adults ages 18 and older, or 18.1 percent of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9 percent of those suffering receive treatment.

Mental health should be considered equally as important as physical health, when it comes to employee benefits. Providing intervention and early treatment for mental health disorders can help prevent future serious and more costly conditions for employees. Employers offering a comprehensive employee assistance program (EAP), such as Ulliance’s Life Advisor EAP, gives employees the opportunity to meet and talk with a counselor, identify approaches and solutions, and receive resources for additional help.

3 TIPS TO BOOST EAP UTILIZATION ►

1.)  Communication, Communication. (Posters, newsletters, videos, orientations and a resource portal are all standard value-adds at Ulliance)

2.)  Create an open forum for talking about mental health such as, rallying around Mental Health month in May OR really promoting the EAP at open enrollment time.

3.)  Utilize your dedicated Account Manager and the EAP resources available to employees as an extension to your HR department—so you can focus on all things HR & your EAP can focus on all things employee work/life issues.

 


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Organizations that realize that the financial health of a business is directly tied to the physical and emotional health of their employees turn to Ulliance Life Advisor Wellness® Programs to help staff members improve their health.

For every $1 you invest in a wellness program, you can save $3 to $5 in health care costs—and your employees reduce risk behaviors such as smoking and overeating. How can we help you? Visit www.ulliance.com, or call 866-648-8326.