New FMLA forms and a chance to voice your gripes
Key to remember: The DOL revised its FMLA forms and is looking to improve the FMLA regulations and forms by asking for input from the public.
Applies to: Private employers with 50+ employees and all public employers.
Impact to customers: Employers generally prefer to use the latest versions of these notices and forms, even though they are not required to do so.
Possible impact to JJK products/services: Changes to the regulations and forms will impact the FMLA Manager and the Essentials of FMLA manual.
On July 17, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, published a request for information on the effectiveness of those regulations. Even though the FMLA notices and forms did not expire until Auguste 31, 2021, without fanfare, the agency also revised them. The latest versions now expire June 30, 2023.
The changes to the notices and forms are somewhat substantial. The eligibility/rights & responsibilities notice includes more information and is now four pages long. The certification forms have checkboxes to help make their completion easier and allow for future condition and leave start dates, and more closely follow the regulatory definition of a serious health condition. The medical certification forms also include the definition of a serious health condition.
When it comes to the request for information on the FMLA regulations, in addition to the overarching question of what you would like to see changed, the DOL is wondering how you feel about the following:
- What, if any, challenges have you experienced in applying the regulatory definition of a serious health condition (including a chronic condition)?
- What challenges or impacts do you experience when an employee takes FMLA leave on an intermittent basis (including unforeseeable leave)?
- Do employees convey enough information to notify you that they may have an FMLA-qualifying reason for leave or that they are requesting FMLA leave?
- What challenges have you encountered in determining whether a certification establishes that the employee or family member has a serious health condition and the amount of leave needed?
- Would it be helpful if the DOL provided more guidance regarding the interpretations contained in any of its opinion letters through the regulatory process?
- What other challenges do you have in administering FMLA leave?
The floodgates are now open! If you would like to let the DOL know what you think, you can submit your comments at https://www.regulations.gov, and include the agency name (DOL) and the regulatory information number (RIN 1235-AA30). You have 60 days to respond.
This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.
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