DOL Releases Long-Awaited Model FMLA notices and Medical Certification forms

Background

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives eligible employees the right to take unpaid, job-protected leave each year in certain situations, including the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, their own or a family member’s serious health condition and a family member’s military service.

To administer FMLA leaves, employers must provide certain notices to employees, such as notice designating whether a requested leave will qualify as FMLA leave. Employers may also require that employees provide certifications to substantiate their eligibility for certain types of FMLA leave.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided model notices and certifications to help employers administer FMLA leaves. The DOL’s model FMLA forms are optional; employers may decide to customize the DOL’s model forms or create their own FMLA forms.

Model Forms and Poster

The DOL recently updated its model FMLA forms. The updated forms include an expiration date of May 31, 2018. In addition, the model certification forms that request medical information have been updated to include information on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Employers that use the model FMLA forms should start using the DOL’s updated models as soon as possible.

In addition, the DOL has provided a model FMLA poster, which is available in both English and Spanish, for employers to post in the workplace.

The following are a few basic reminders regarding the FMLA poster:

  • Employers covered by the FMLA are required to display the poster in a prominent place where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants;
  • The poster must be displayed even if the employer does not have any employees who are eligible for FMLA leave; and
  • Covered employers with eligible employees must include the poster in any written guidance to employees, such as an employee handbook, that explains other employee benefits or leave rights (if such written guidance exists) or distribute a copy of the poster to each new employee upon hiring.

The model FMLA forms and poster are also available on the DOL’s FMLA webpage.

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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.