The Incapacity Administration Employer Coalition introduced its new CEO on the prime of the month: Bryon Bass started his tenure as head of the group June 1. Bass, a decades-long DMEC member, beforehand oversaw absence administration at Sedgwick, a danger and advantages administration firm. Terri Rhodes, the outgoing CEO, will facilitate the transition by way of the tip of 2023.
In saying its change of management, DMEC famous Rhodes’ work beefing up the group’s L&D choices and supporting employers all through the pandemic. Rhodes mentioned in an announcement her successor’s ardour and devotion for DMEC matches her personal — “and that could be a tall order,” she mentioned. “I look ahead to watching [Bass] and the DMEC crew take the group ahead to satisfy the challenges and adjustments in our business.”
Since her appointment in 2015, Rhodes has emerged as a key voice within the depart administration area, the primary space by which DMEC points employer greatest practices. She has spoken on the Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. ruling, by which the seventh U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals dominated that multimonth leaves of absence ought to fall underneath the Household and Medical Depart Act — and that the Individuals with Disabilities Act can’t all the time be justification for perpetual leaves past FMLA entitlement.
And but, HR managers ought to proceed with warning, Rhodes mentioned, if they’re eager about giving such workers the pink slip.
In 2018, Rhodes, in addressing that 12 months’s DMEC survey findings, highlighted all of the challenges HR professionals mentioned they had been dealing with. She pointed to how HR can outsource work throughout an worker’s FMLA depart (and even their non-public, employer-provided sick depart) and the way one can practice supervisors and managers on FMLA compliance.
HR leads nonetheless face these questions at this time, with an more and more complicated patchwork of state household depart legal guidelines that aren’t broadly relevant federally; this complicates compliance for totally distant workforces and hybrid employers. Whereas masking necessities and vaccine mandates might not be prime of thoughts, affordable lodging for lengthy COVID-19 — one other challenge Rhodes has commented on — is a number one pandemic-era compliance concern.
Alongside it’s the query of accessibility amid the return-to-office wave. And as optimistic marijuana drug checks on the heels of worksite accidents attain a 25-year excessive, it’s value noting Rhodes’ feedback on hashish, continual ache and incapacity inclusion.
Under are a number of key HR Dive conversations with Rhodes, whose insights function a primer on the Household and Medical Depart Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and the place disability-related employment regulation upholds or diverges from these pillars.