Benefits Leaves Case Specialist
At KinderCare Education, we make it our passion to nurture a sense of discovery, joy, and wonder in every child, every day, at every one of our centers. As the nation's leading private provider in accredited early childhood education, we're committed to delivering the highest-quality child care and educational opportunities for families and the dedicated professionals who serve them.
We see the greatness in each child, and we believe teachers can change the world. Every day, our more than 33,000 employees create a world of learning, joy, and adventure for more than 158,000 children. Whether you're in one of our centers or providing support from our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, being a part of the KinderCare family means that you care deeply about positively impacting the lives of children and families through the power of education.
KinderCare Education has three brands to meet the needs of busy families wherever they need us:
- We're in neighborhoods with our KinderCare Learning Centers that offer early childhood education and care for children 6 weeks to 12 years old
- We're at offices with KinderCare Education at Work, our suite of family-focused benefits for organizations to offer to their employees, including on-site and near-site early learning centers, Back-up Care for last-minute child care and Care Select
And we're at schools with our Champions before and after school programs
At KinderCare Education (KCE), we value the commitment our employees make to provide the best possible experience for the children and families we serve- this deep dedication to our mission inspires us each day to extend that same level of exceptional service to our employees.
The Leaves Case Specialist administers all aspects of the leaves of absence process for all KCE field and National Support Center employees, and reports directly to the Manager of Employee Experience.
As Leaves Case Specialist, you are responsible for providing exceptional customer service, guidance, and communication, to KCE employees and managers across all functions on all HR and Total Rewards programs, with specialized focus on leaves of absence and disability programs. You are responsible for maintaining compliance and managing all aspects of the leaves of absence and disability process while preserving a positive employee experience. You will serve as the primary contact for escalated employee relations issues or investigations related to leaves of absence and are expected to use your knowledge base and case management tools to find creative solutions to leave related problems and mitigate risk to the organization. You will also be accountable for providing status reports and leave analysis to department leadership and work cross-functionally with HR Teams to improve standards and enhance the leave of absence process.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Serve as main contact and subject matter expert for employees and managers regarding leaves of absence and disability programs.
- Process all incoming leave of absence and disability requests within the department established and/or legally required timeframe and communicate timely with employees and managers.
- Maintain knowledge base on Federal and State leave laws, Short Term Disability (STD), Long Term Disability (LTD), Life Insurance, Paid Sick Leave, Worker's Compensation, Military leaves, Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations, and Company Leaves of Absence.
- Process employer statements for Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, and State Disability claims on behalf of employee requesting leave as needed.
- Observe federal and state compliance regulations, as well as company guidelines, and maintain/update leave of absence and disability procedures and communications accordingly.
- Develop and implement improvements to the leave of absence experience while maintaining efficiencies.
- Partner with employees and managers on return to work arrangements and provide guidance on the reasonable accommodations, and partner with or escalate to Employee Relations as needed.
- Produce regular, timely leave and disability reporting and analysis to key stakeholders.
- Partner regularly with Payroll to ensure accurate payroll processing of all employees on leave.
- Partner regularly with Risk to ensure compliance related to workers compensations claims.
- Partner regularly with Employee Relations to provide guidance on leave laws and compliance and mitigate risk on complex leave related cases and ensure ADA and Paid Sick Leave law compliance.
- Partner regularly with Legal on complex and/or multilayered leave cases to ensure compliance.
- Provide leave compliance and company culture perspective when addressing employee performance/conduct issues with managers; collaborate with HRBPs to help coach and influence company culture while mitigating risk.
- Provide exceptional customer service and answer employee inquiries regarding all KCE benefit programs, including but not limited to: Medical, Dental, Vision, Health FSA, Disability/Life products, Leave of Absence, Employee Discounts, and Paid Time Off.
- Provide support and be the liaison between all employees and HR teams including, but not limited to: Payroll, Risk, Employee Relations, Recruiting, HRIS.
- Assist in enrollment, changes, or disenrollment of benefit plans.
- Support the execution of Total Rewards and HR initiatives.
- Facilitate benefit orientations to new hires and department trainings.
- Support and mentor interns and teammates.
- Support Total Rewards and HR teams with other duties as assigned.
Basic Qualifications :
- Minimum 1-2 years of related experience in Human Resources or Operational function.
- Associates or Bachelor's degree preferred.
- General knowledge of HR practices preferred.
- Familiarity with medical case management, including FMLA guidelines preferred.
- Must have proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
- Case management systems and/or database experience preferred.
- Must be able to work in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment.
- Must be able to prioritize work and manage time independently.
- Must be able to multi-task and adapt to shifting priorities. Be comfortable working in an evolving organizational structure.
- Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
- Must have excellent interpersonal and writing skills.
- Must operate with a high degree of confidentiality and demonstrate respect and due diligence in sensitive situations. Must use exceptional judgment in case management.
- Must be able to build trust and credibility with customers.
- Must have an outstanding customer focus, organization, and attention to detail.
- Must possess a general curiosity and willingness to problem solve.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; is able to communicate to diverse groups of people.
- Strong problem solving abilities; can be objective and handle ambiguity well.
- Customer service oriented; establishes strong relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
- Process and detail oriented; uses time effectively and resourcefully.
- Good judgment and discretion; keeps confidences and admits mistakes.
- Flexible and adaptable; can shift gears comfortably.
- Empathic; genuinely cares about people and wants to help.
Meet Some of KinderCare Education's Employees
Julian handles strategic sourcing and supply chain management within KinderCare’s Procurement Department. In collaboration with a national distribution partner, Julian sources and contracts food and beverage purchases for KinderCare centers.
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