The Jindal administration has hired a private firm to oversee state agency practices in implementing federal Family and Medical Leave Act requirements.

ComPsych is working under a $497,000 one-year contract, which can be renewed for two additional years.

The federal law provides employees with unpaid leave of absences of up to 12 weeks per year for the birth or adoption of a child, for an employee’s own serious medical condition or for the care of a family member with a serious medical condition.

The company will review the practices of nine state agencies with an eye on achieving a budget savings. The savings are anticipated through a reduction in lost work days, said administration spokesman Gregory Dupuis.

“We will be able to more effectively administer FMLA services to employees while at the same time saving the state over $5 million in this fiscal year,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said.

The complexities of FMLA and its frequently changing requirements can pose administrative challenges for employers as well as increased costs and liability risk, Nichols said.

The new contract is designed to achieve consistency across state agencies and provide ease of access for employees, according to the administration.

The state agencies that will be served by ComPsych include the Division of Administration, the Departments of Economic Development, Public Safety, Corrections, Health and Hospitals, Children and Family Services, Transportation and Development, Revenue, and the Office of Juvenile Justice.

The contractor will operate the FMLASource program will manage cases and respond to employee requests, explain FMLA policies, determine eligibility, track FMLA time take and documents compliance with state and federal requirements.

The program also provides guidance on individual FMLA cases, coordinates complex cases that combine multiple benefit areas and provides reports that account for employees on leave, their qualifying events and their anticipated return to work so that managers can better plan their staffing requirements.

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