DOL Releases New FMLA Guide and General Notice for Employers to Use

DOL has released a new FMLA Guide along with a new General FMLA Notice to help employers administer the FMLA requirements.

FMLA Guide.  DOL says that its new FMLA Guide, "The Employer's Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act", is designed to provide essential information about the FMLA to employers, including information about employers' obligations under the law and the options available to them in administering leave under FMLA.

The Guide provides welcome clarification to employers about the FMLA regulations in a reader-friendly format.  Specifically, the Guide is meant to provide employers with guidance on common FMLA administration issues.  For example, the Guide:

  • Tracks the FMLA regulations and the course of a typical leave request. 
  • Contains flowcharts that allow employers to follow the typical FMLA process.
  • Contains a "Did You Know?" section that provide employers with insight on subtle distinctions contained in the FMLA regulations.
  • Provides an explanation of the medical certification process, including the information required in these certifications.
  • Provides an overview of military family leave.
  • Provides timelines for calculation periods (including the 12-month lookback period). 

The FMLA Employer Guide is available at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/employerguide.pdf 

FMLA Notice.  FMLA-covered employers must post a copy of the General FMLA Notice in each location where it has employees.  The General FMLA Notice is intended to provide an explanation of the law's protections and requirements, as well as how employees can file  complaints of violations of FMLA with DOL.

Specifically, the General FMLA Notice must be:

  • Prominently displayed where it can be easily seen by employees and job applicants.
  • Displayed even if no employees are FMLA-eligible. 

Employers may electronically post the General FMLA Notice as long as they satisfy the DOL's electronic posting requirements.  Where a significant portion of the employer's workforce is not literate in English, the employer must provide the General FMLA Notice in a language in which the employees are literate.  Employers who violate the General FMLA Notice requirements can be liable for a civil penalty of up to $110 per offense. 

The FMLA Notice is available at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaen.pdf