DOL Increases FMLA Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is focusing more of its resources on enforcing compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) through employer audits. Although the DOL has always had the authority to conduct FMLA audits, the agency has been ramping up its efforts and taking a more aggressive approach in its investigations.

In the past, FMLA audits were usually triggered by an employee complaint or employer violation trends. Recently, however, the DOL has been initiating more audits on its own, without any triggering event. The DOL’s new approach focuses on “systemic” FMLA compliance issues. These are issues that affect multiple employees or multiple employer locations, rather than a single person or worksite.

Employers that are not prepared for an audit may be subject to costly settlements, fines and penalties.

Action Steps

Employers subject to the FMLA (companies with 50 or more employees) should expect not only a greater likelihood of facing an FMLA audit, but also more on-site visits and requests for wider ranges of information from DOL investigators.

The DOL’s increase in random FMLA audits and on-site visits means that employers should be ready for an FMLA audit at any time.

To prepare for a possible DOL audit, employers should perform internal reviews to ensure their FMLA policies and procedures are compliant. The best time to perform an internal FMLA review is before the DOL selects an employer for an audit.

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For more information on FMLA please contact our Compliance Department

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The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information above contains only a summary of the applicable legal provisions and does not purport to cover every aspect of any particular law, regulation or requirement. Depending on the specific facts of any situation, there may be additional or different requirements. This is to be used only as a guide and not as a definitive description of your compliance obligations.