30 episodes

HR Trends features interviews with leading experts in the field of Human Resources. Produced by Unum, HR Trends draws from the deep bench of subject matter experts at Unum as well as industry partners and national HR thought leaders, to help listeners understand complex HR policy, best practices for compliance and new ideas for managing people. We'd love to hear from you. Email us at hrtrends@unum.com.

HR Trends Clare Morin

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

HR Trends features interviews with leading experts in the field of Human Resources. Produced by Unum, HR Trends draws from the deep bench of subject matter experts at Unum as well as industry partners and national HR thought leaders, to help listeners understand complex HR policy, best practices for compliance and new ideas for managing people. We'd love to hear from you. Email us at hrtrends@unum.com.

    Leave, the ADA and return to work

    Leave, the ADA and return to work

    Unum employment law experts Daris Freeman and Tamika Newson join Clare Morin in the HR Trends studio to update employers on legal considerations for leave, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and other issues as employees begin returning to offices and worksites after the pandemic.
    Challenges from rise of remote/hybrid work: Most leave laws don’t address the complexities of remote or hybrid work. With more people working away from the company’s physical location, employers are struggling to determine which leave laws apply to which employees. Some states have provided clear guidance, while others have not. Checking with your legal counsel is the wisest course of action for making correct, consistent decisions. (1:30)With workers scattered to different cities, states and even countries since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s even more important for leave administrators to ensure that employee information is up to date. They also need to put clear parameters around their policies — most will not want to administer leave for workers living in foreign countries, for example. (5:00)ADA and vaccinations:Employers who decide to mandate vaccinations may face ADA discrimination claims from those who aren’t vaccinated. On the other hand, vaccinated employees may not feel safe returning to work with unvaccinated co-workers and may have claims of their own. (6:30)Guidance on this issue is evolving daily, so employers should stay engaged to be sure they are following the latest regulations. (8:19)Note: After this podcast was recorded, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance reaffirming that federal equal employment opportunity laws do not prohibit employers from requiring or incentivizing vaccination, provided they comply with ADA and other accommodation provisions.Return to work best practices:To help employees feel safe, employers can implement in-work accommodations such as mask requirements and six-foot spacing between desks. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have outlined some guidance in this area. (8:50)Temporary work from home can also be considered an accommodation, but be sure the basis for requiring a return to the workplace is clear. Also revisit relevant job descriptions to make clear that being in the workplace is an essential job function. Consistent practices are important. (9:58)For positions that transition to permanent work from home, formal standards for remote work should be implemented, such as requiring that employees have a dedicated workspace free of distractions. (11:05)Featured speakers
    Daris Freeman
    Assistant Vice President and Legal Counsel, Unum's Employment Law Group
    As Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel for Unum, Daris’ primary responsibility is to support Unum’s Absence Management Center which administers FMLA, paid leave, ADA and over 200 complementary state laws. 
    Tamika Newson
    Assistant Vice President and Legal Counsel, Unum's Employment Law Group
    Tamika Newson joined Unum after 22 years of employment law counseling and litigation as a Partner in several large law firms. Prior to joining Unum, she litigated employment matters nationwide. 

    • 12 min
    How employers can respond to the mental health crisis

    How employers can respond to the mental health crisis

    Listen in as Dr. Philip Levendusky of the world-renowned McLean Hospital joins Unum’s Swapnil Prabha, to discuss the worsening mental health crisis in the U.S. and how innovative employer behavioral health programs can help remove the barriers to care.
    A continuing trend. Mental health issues have been on the rise for the past five years.  [2:18]Gen Z suffering most. People aged 18 to 24 accounted for 56% of those reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depressive disorders during the pandemic. [8:21]Access is major difficulty. Inpatient psychological treatment, in short supply before the pandemic, reached critical scarcity, with some young people spending as much as seven days in the emergency room waiting to be admitted. [13:17]Stigma is continuing barrier. Employers need to take the weight off of the people in their organizations by making it clear that needing and seeking help is OK. [14:10]Digital benefits can help solve for access. By directing people with less serious issues to digital and self-help tools, innovative behavioral health programs can help with demand management. [16:30]Employer advocacy is critical. From training to policies to making sure behavioral health providers are transparent and accountable, employers have a big role to play in helping employees take advantage of the behavioral health benefits offered at work. [18:00]Returning to the workplace. Returning to work will have issues of its own, which employers can combat with clear communications, small steps and promotion of resources to help.  [19:45]Additional resources: Webinar, Supporting behavioral health at work.

    • 23 min
    Josh Bersin on 2021 benefits tech trends

    Josh Bersin on 2021 benefits tech trends

    The world-renowned HR thought leader Josh Bersin joins Mike Simonds, COO of Unum Group, and Swapnil Prabha, Unum’s VP of Digital Offering, in a discussion about the fundamental changes wrought by the pandemic – and how those changes are driving benefits...

    • 26 min
    Employers' critical role with COVID-19 vaccinations

    Employers' critical role with COVID-19 vaccinations

    The ongoing pandemic has put a spotlight on people’s physical and mental health – and on the critical role employers have in safeguarding their employees’ overall well-being. As the vaccine efforts continue across the U.S., we discuss the role employers...

    • 16 min
    The state of public sector benefits

    The state of public sector benefits

    The ongoing pandemic has left a huge impact on the public sector, from budget cuts to complex operational needs in state, local and municipality governments, public agencies and schools. Employee benefits has become a critical retention strategy, but...

    • 16 min
    How the small business benefits landscape is changing

    How the small business benefits landscape is changing

    Two founders of HR firms and industry podcast leaders – Lars Schmidt and Joey Price – talk about how businesses are adapting their wellness and benefits packages in 2021. We focus on employers with 250 employees or less and the data from a new report....

    • 16 min

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