The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) took effect 20 years ago. To celebrate, the DOL released a survey on the impact and use of the FMLA. According to the DOL, the survey found that “misuse of the FMLA is rare.”
Now, for those of you who have not laughed yourself right out of your chair, congratulations. For the rest of us, the reality is that FMLA abuse is, in many, many workplaces, a significant problem and, I bet many employers would say, maybe the most misused workplace law today. Of course, I don’t have a survey to back up my conclusions. But there you have them, anyway.
Putting aside the issue of employee misuse and abuse, employer compliance with the FMLA is difficult, to say the least. It’s a very technical statute and seemingly harmless oversights can land an employer in court.
One of the easiest ways to improve your odds of not getting it wrong with the FMLA is to use, consistently, the DOL’s standard forms. Use of the forms is voluntary—you may, lawfully, use your own forms and/or create your own letters and abandon forms altogether. But, really, why? The FMLA is not a law for which creativity will be rewarded.
The DOL has just released updated FMLA forms. Download the forms and, if you don’t use them (and, really, why wouldn’t you?), at least take this opportunity to review your own forms and letters to be absolutely sure that you have encompassed every aspect of the DOL’s versions.
Forms relating to military caregiver leave for a veteran are not included in the revised forms. That rule does not take effect until March 8, 2013. In conjunction with that effective date, though, comes another important requirement— a new FMLA workplace poster. The new poster has an updated section regarding Employee Rights and Responsibilities. You can download the poster from the DOL’s website.
Until then, you can download the rest of the forms (in PDF) for your review and use using the links below or, if you prefer, download the whole lot in a single PDF containing all of the new FMLA forms.
- WH-380-E Certification for Employee’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-380-F Certification for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities
- WH-382 Designation Notice
- WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
- WH-385 Certification for Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave
- WH-385-V Certification of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave