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U.S. Department of Labor Publishes New FMLA Poster and Guide for Employers

Published by and on June 16, 2016

Recently, the Department of Labor issued a new FMLA poster, as well as a compliance aid for employers titled the Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Recently, the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) issued a new FMLA poster, as well as a compliance aid for employers titled the Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

FMLA Poster Requirements

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), all covered employers are required to post a copy of a poster prepared by the DOL, summarizing the major provisions of the FMLA and telling employees how to file a complaint.

The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it. The poster must be displayed at all locations of the employer, even if there are no FMLA-eligible employees at the location.

The DOL website provides that employers can post either the new FMLA poster or the February 2013 version to fulfill their posting requirements. As a result, employers are not currently required to change out their FMLA posters if the February 2013 version is already posted.

FMLA Employer Guide

The Department of Labor website explains that the Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (“the Guide”) is designed to provide information to employers about their obligations under the law and the options available to employers in administering leave under the FMLA.

According to the DOL, the Guide is organized “to correspond to the order of events from an employee’s leave request to restoration of the employee to the same or equivalent job at the end of the employee’s FMLA leave.”

The Guide contains several charts that help explain the administration of FMLA in basic terms. For example, page 8 of the Guide is titled “the Employer’s Road Map to the FMLA,” which provides a high-level overview of the FMLA process.

Page 26 of the Guide includes a chart regarding the definition of serious health condition under the FMLA, and a flowchart regarding certification for a leave can be found on Page 28. These charts may be good resources for employers to provide to managers in order to help familiarize them with the general FMLA process and definitions.

The Guide includes “Did You Know?” sections to provide employers with additional information on the more detailed aspects of FMLA compliance, as well as “Review” sections that point employers to applicable regulations.

The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL says that it will be holding informational webinars on the Guide in the near future and the DOL’s website will be updated with more information when the webinars are scheduled.

Welter Insight:

While the Guide is likely a useful resource to explain to employers the more straightforward aspects of FMLA administration, it does not address the more nuanced aspects of the FMLA compliance that would be helpful to more experienced HR professionals, leave administrators, and employment law attorneys. Employers would do well to take advantage of these new DOL resources as tools for front-line training and familiarization, though, as well as to reiterate the importance of FMLA compliance on a company-wide basis.

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