DOL Publishes New FMLA Forms and Seeks Public Input

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“DOL WHD”) recently issued revised model notices and forms for employer administration of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) plus a Request for Information soliciting feedback on potential changes to the Act.

The revised forms and notices are for employees requesting and employers coordinating FMLA leave. The forms are intended to be simpler for all parties to use due to multiple-choice questions and more explanations about FMLA leave. The revised forms include the notice of eligibility, the designation notice, and medical certifications.

The Request for Information (“RFI”) seeks feedback on the FMLA. The purpose of this request is “to gather information concerning the effectiveness of the current regulations and to aid the Department in its administration of the FMLA” in an effort to “better effectuate the rights and obligations under the FMLA[.]” The RFI includes some sample issues to frame the comments, such as:

· Challenges “in applying the regulatory definition of a serious health condition”

· Challenges or impacts experienced “when an employee takes FMLA leave on an intermittent basis or on a reduced leave schedule”

· Challenges experienced “when employees request leave or notify their employers of their need for leave”

· Challenges “experienced with the medical certification process that are not addressed by those proposed revisions” (referencing the revised forms discussed above)

· Whether more guidance is needed regarding the Department opinion letters on the FMLA identified in the RFI

The RFI was published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2020. Comments must be submitted on or before September 15, 2020. All comments will become public record upon submission, including any personal information provided. Instructions to submit comments can be found in the RFI.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this Alert or would like to discuss this topic further, or if you plan to submit comments and would like our assistance.

Contact info: Meredith S. Campbell Chair, Employment and Labor Group
Shulman Rogers [email protected] | T 301.255.0550 | F 301.230.2891