Department of Labor Issues Employer’s Guide to the FMLA and Revised FMLA Poster
In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a publication titled “The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act,” along with a revised Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) Poster. The Employer’s Guide is designed to provide essential information about the FMLA, including information about employers’ obligations thereunder. The revised FMLA Poster summarizes the major provisions of the FMLA and explains to employees the procedures for filing a complaint. It must be displayed by all covered employers.
The Employer’s Guide
The Employer’s Guide is organized to correspond to the order of events from the point at which an employee requests leave through restoration of the employee to the same or equivalent job at the end of the employee’s FMLA designated leave. It also contains an “Employer’s Road Map to the FMLA,” which covers everything from determining whether an employer is covered by the FMLA and whether the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, to maintaining health benefits during leave and appropriate records. The Employer’s Guide provides a useful resource to answer employers’ basic questions concerning the administration of FMLA leave. However, it does not provide guidance regarding other unique issues that may arise with respect to FMLA leave, such as how to respond when an employee requests that the employer not designate a leave as FMLA leave.
The Revised FMLA Poster
Employers covered by the FMLA are required to provide general notice to their employees regarding the FMLA. To satisfy this requirement, employers must display or post a general notice that explains the FMLA provisions and provides information to employees on how to file a complaint. While employers are free to create their own posting, the FMLA Poster issued by the DOL meets these general posting requirements. The FMLA Poster was last revised in February 2013. In addition to posting a general notice, if a covered employer has FMLA-eligible employees, the employer must also provide each employee with written notice. Such notice can be provided in the form of an FMLA policy in the employer’s handbook or other written materials, or if no written materials exist, it can be distributed to each new employee upon hire. The written notice must, at a minimum, include all of the information contained in the FMLA Poster.
Leech Tishman’s Employment Practice Group has experience counseling employers on compliance with the FMLA, including required postings and the proper administration of leave. We can assist your organization in understanding and fulfilling its obligations under the FMLA.
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