Much like the rest of us, the U.S. Department of Labor apparently needed a break from COVID-19 news, so it has turned its attention to FMLA classic and released new model notices and forms for administration of FMLA leave.
Here are some highlighted changes:
Notice of eligibility
· Includes check boxes to specify precisely which family member will be cared for
· Separate section outlines employee rights and responsibilities
· Clarifies how employer-provided, accrued paid leave may run concurrently with FMLA
· Clarifies that the employer is responsible in all circumstances for designating leave as FMLA-qualifying and giving notice to the employee, regardless of whether the employee or employer want to decline FMLA protection for the leave
Clarifies how employer-provided, accrued paid leave may run concurrently with FMLA
· Outlines the steps that an employee should take to cure an incomplete or insufficient certification
· Clarifies that an employer may not request certification for FMLA leave to bond with a healthy newborn child or a child placed for adoption or foster care
· Includes a “best estimate” of the employee’s or family member’s future treatment
The DOL also published a request for information asking the public to provide feedback on potential changes to the FMLA regulations. For example, the DOL specifically wants to know:
1. What, if any, challenges have employers and employees experienced in applying the regulatory definition of a serious health condition?
2. What, if any, specific challenges or impacts do employers and employees experience when an employee takes FMLA leave on an intermittent basis or on a reduced leave schedule?
3. What, if any, specific challenges do employers and employees experience when employees request leave or notify their employers of their need for leave? For example, do employees convey sufficient information to notify employers that the employee may have an FMLA-qualifying reason for leave or that the employee is requesting FMLA leave?
4. What, if any, challenges employers and employees have experienced with the medical certification process that are not addressed by the newly revised forms?
Note that the FMLA does not require the use of any specific form or format, so employers may continue to use old DOL forms or their own forms for FMLA administration.
This blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact myHRcounsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances.