Chicago, Illinois, United States
LOA and Employee Benefits Specialist
Job Summary: This role reaches across several key areas of benefits and wellness for our employees – mental, physical, and financial. In partnership with our NA HR team, this individual will guide employees on our leave of absence process, support Covid case management, and help administer benefits and wellness programs, to ensure clarity of programs and process and drive an engaging employee experience. Utilization of these benefits by our employees frequently happen during high stress or challenging situations in their personal lives, and this role requires delivery with a client service mentality, high touch approach of empathy and patience, all with an eye towards accuracy and a strong understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements of the benefits and LOA landscape.
- Communicates with employees regarding their needs for leave and/or modified work schedules, ensures that employees are aware of their responsibilities and of any documentation and notice required to qualify for and to take leave
- Handles the FMLA leave administration process from the employee’s initial notice of the need for leave to the return to work; this includes liaising with external LOA partner, guiding employees on gathering and completing all required paperwork, determining leave eligibility, designating leave as FMLA-qualifying, requesting medical certification as needed, and accounting for intermittent and reduced schedule leave use
- Help navigate and resolve issues with external LOA vendor to support employee experience
- Maintains reasonable communication with employees on leave to facilitate smooth and timely return to work, relays communication between employees, HR and payroll, and their managers during leave within reason
- Advises managers and employees on the interaction of leave laws with paid time off, workers’ compensation, and short-term and long-term disability benefits
- Oversees the return-to-work process for employees returning from extended FMLA, workers’ compensation, or other leave(s)
- Facilitates other leave requests, which may include accommodation requests under the ADA
- Monitors for legal and regulatory changes, effectively communicating changes to stakeholders (HR partners, business and finance leads, employees)
- Assesses current processes, recommending improvements to enhance efficiency and employee experience
- Facilitates implementation of new leave programs, benefits plans, and other related initiatives
Covid Compliance and Case Management
- Leads contact tracing process for any Covid cases brought forward, keeping stakeholders informed throughout the process (HR, Business Leads, Operations, Legal) including engaging with impacted employees, obtaining relevant information, providing guidance on process and follow up actions, maintaining case logs with up-to-date status and information
- Manages compliance for vaccine/testing requirements through our space booking system (SBS)
- Handles all benefits communications to employee population, including health, 401K, FAQs, trending topics, program changes, etc.
- Assists employees regarding benefits claim issues and navigating plan changes
- Responds to benefits inquiries from managers and employees on plan provisions, benefits enrollments, status changes and other general inquiries
- Manages annual open enrollment process
- Partners with stakeholders to administer the tuition reimbursement and Juice programs
- Identifies, recommends, and implements ongoing wellness programming related to physical, mental, and financial health including:
- Familiarizes self with resources offered by parent company (IPG Benefits and IPG DXTRA Learning teams) and partnering with HR team to communicate to employees
- Identifies external vendors/partners for additional and just-in-time events and situations
- Develops and communicates original content for employees on timely topics related to wellness
- Recommends and implements wellness campaigns for US and Canada (as appropriate)
- Manages compliance reporting for various programs, including building reports, analyzing trends, following up with stakeholders and employees on compliance related matters, participation/utilization of programs, etc.
- Associates or Bachelor’s degree in HR or related field, but experience and/or other training/certification may be substituted for the education
- 4-6 years of benefits experience in managing LOAs and other employee benefits programs
- Extensive knowledge of employee benefits and applicable laws; strong working knowledge of self-funded benefits plans, best practices in managing employee LOAs
- Experience in managing LOAs across multiple geographies, applying various local requirements with organization’s leave programs
- Completion of specialized certification or training on FMLA/leave administration a plus
- Exceptional written and verbal communications
- Strong attention to detail and an ability to multitask
- Strong collaboration and relationship building skills
- Excellent management skills and ability to practice discretion
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software; proficient with or the ability to quickly learn the organization’s HRIS, payroll, and similar human resource management software and practices
Weber Shandwick is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Weber Shandwick recruits qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, ethnic or national origin, protected veteran status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or citizenship status.
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