As we all know, there are approximately a zillion different compliance regulations that small business owners have to keep up with. From minimum wage laws to the overtime rule that keeps changing, compliance proves to be yet another burdensome item filling your plate.

The U.S. Department of Labor just unveiled a new online tool to help you understand some of those regulations as it relates to medical and disability leave.

Called the Medical-and Disability-Related Leave Advisor, this tool was released to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness month in October. The national campaign commemorated the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and aims to educate employers how to effectively recruit and retain these workers.

How it works

The advisor will ask you a few questions like these:

  • Type of business or organization
  • Workforce size
  • If your organization receives federal financial assistance
  • If your particular question is related to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or is a veteran

Once you’ve chosen the answers that best suit your situation, the advisor will then direct you to federal employment laws that apply and provide you with additional information.

The laws that you may encounter include:

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – This provides eligible employees of covered employers up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for certain reasons. Learn more about FMLA here.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – This law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications and governmental activities. Learn more about ADA here.

Depending on your answers, you could be given information on other disability nondiscrimination laws where leave may be considered a reasonable accommodation.

Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for Disability Employment Policy, acknowledged in a news release that they know how much employers want to support their employees. This becomes especially true when dealing with unexpected illness or injury.

According to the release, this new tool is one of a series of employment law assistance for workers and small business providers that the DOL provides.

To use the Medical – and Disability-Related Leave Advisor, click here.

The full release can be found here.

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