Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) update July 2020
The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
On July 16th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced significant steps to streamline optional-use forms that workers can use to request and employers can use to coordinate leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We recommend that covered employers use the below linked forms as they have been vetted by the WHD which adds credibility to the process. Covered employers are defined beginning on page 9 of this FMLA Employer Guide: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/employerguide.pdf
FMLA Employer Resource page: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla
Employers can use the following forms to fulfill the FMLA notice requirements.
- General Notice, the FMLA poster –English and Spanish to post with other required employment postings
- Eligibility & Rights and Responsibilities Notice, form WH-381 –informs the employee of eligibility and the specific expectations & obligations
- Designation Notice, form WH-382 – informs the employee whether the FMLA leave request is approved; also tells the employee the amount of leave that is designated and counted against the employee’s FMLA entitlement.
Certification Forms – new five-category DOL optional-use FMLA certification forms. Optional meaning an employer is not required to do this step but they can. If FMLA applies to work comp injury/illness, an employer might consider not doing these forms because the employer already has enough information to make the designation decision.
Certification of Healthcare Provider for a Serious Health Condition
- Employee’s serious health condition, form WH-380-E – use when a leave request is due to the medical condition of the employee. E for Employee.
- Family member’s serious health condition, form WH-380-F – use when a leave request is due to the medical condition of the employee’s family member. F for Family.
Certification of Military Family Leave
- Qualifying Exigency, form WH-384 – use when the leave request arises out of the foreign deployment of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent.
- Military Caregiver Leave of a Current Servicemember, form WH-385 – use when requesting leave to care for a family member who is a current service member with a serious injury or illness.
- Military Caregiver Leave of a Veteran, form WH-385-V – use when requesting leave to care for a family member is who a covered veteran with a serious injury or illness.
- Important note: None of the FMLA leave forms above are for the employee who is the military person. That is because the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) applies to their leave. USERRA resources link here. The USERRA protections apply to the military service member employee only.
Source: Blakeman & Associates
***DISCLAIMER*** Please note, this communication is not intended or offered as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only, and provides general information concerning safety, environmental, industrial, commercial, and employment-related matters to help you identify when you may need to seek additional advice. No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this communication. Unless expressly stated otherwise, no information or document contained herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state. As such, business owners and other decision-makers should seek the advice of counsel prior to making their determinations.