Work Connections, U-M’s integrated disability management program, is now providing administrative services for university employees covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The services are available at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The Michigan Medicine Shared Solutions Center will continue to provide FMLA services for Michigan Medicine employees.

FMLA is a federal law that entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leaves for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken a leave.

FMLA services offered by Work Connections include:

  • Qualification of benefits.
  • Medical expertise to review claims.
  • Centralized recordkeeping and notifications.

Until Work Connections began offering centralized FMLA services earlier this year, the process was managed at the unit level. Units can still provide FMLA services on a local level, but using Work Connections to administer FMLA services provides a number of advantages.

“Work Connections ensures FMLA compliance with federal and state laws as well as U-M policies, and assists both units and employees by simplifying the claims process, reducing the administrative burden and safeguarding confidential medical information,” said Kate Rychlinski, assistant director of Risk Management Services, which includes Work Connections.

Work Connections was developed to help employees and supervisors when an employee experiences an injury or illness that prevents working. It offers a variety of services to ill or injured employees, including:

  • Medical expertise to assist employees during recovery.
  • Confidential management of medical information.
  • Coordination with other university programs.
  • Centralized access to a wide variety of resources and support.
  • Facilitation of safe return to work.

The department, which handles more than 6,500 cases every year and is staffed by case managers, nurses and physician advisers, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of serving the university community.