DOL Issues New Employer’s Guide To FMLA & New General Notice

On 04/28/2016, Helen Applewhaite, the FMLA Branch Chief of the Department of Labor (DOL), spoke at the 2016 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference concerning the administration of FMLA. During her presentation, she announced a new FMLA Employer Guide. This guide was three years in the making. The 76-page guide is designed to provide essential information about the FMLA and to walk employers through the process of FMLA. Unfortunately, it does not include answers to those difficult FMLA administration issues. If you recall, the DOL released the FMLA Employee Guide in 2012.

During her presentation, Helen Applewhaite commented on the DOL’s mission to sustained compliance with a focus on systemic FMLA compliance issues. As reported before, on-site investigations are the new norm. As employers, you will want to ensure you are adhering to the employer-posting requirements by posting the General Notice at all facilities, and confirming your FMLA policy is up to date.

If you are not currently a client of BASIC’s FMLA administration, you will want to ensure all of your FMLA forms and correspondences are legally compliant. You will need to confirm any records pertaining to FMLA (documents sent to or received by employees, benefit documents, designation notices, dates and hours used for FMLA) are retained for at least three years. In addition, you will want to ensure all of your managers and supervisors are trained in your leave procedures, including FMLA.

The DOL also announced a new General Notice FMLA poster. While employers are not required to replace their current poster with the new version, it does highlight the information in a more reader-friendly format. BASIC currently sends the General Notice FMLA poster in all FMLA packets mailed to the employee. We are in the process of updating our programming to include the newest version.

Every year the number of employers deciding to outsource their FMLA responsibilities grows dramatically. By our estimates, between 30-40% of employers currently outsource their FMLA administration. Allowing employers to reduce their risk and free up valuable time and resources.

BASIC’s Absence Management and FMLA systems are designed to simplify employer administration and improve employer efficiency. We create a “uniform and sustainable” method to track all employee absences without creating additional administrative burden.

To learn more about BASIC’s FMLA services, click here!