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DOL Issues Streamlined FMLA Forms and Solicits Feedback on FMLA

On July 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released updated optional-use Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms to request and coordinate leave.

Concurrently, the DOL announced the publication of a Request for Information (RFI) to seek public comment on the use and administration of the FMLA for continued improvements and to better reflect changes in the modern workplace.

Optional-Use FMLA Forms

The newly developed forms were revised with extensive public input to simplify the FMLA process for employers, employees, and the employee’s healthcare provider. For example, the forms replaced many questions that require written responses with check-the-box answers. It also includes electronic signature features to reduce contact, a positive in the current climate. The collection of forms is below:

Notice Forms for Employers

Certification Forms for Employees

General Notice, the FMLA Poster Employee’s Serious Health Condition
Eligibility Notice Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
Rights and Responsibilities Notice Qualifying Exigency
Designation Notice Military Caregiver Leave of a Current Servicemember
Military Caregiver Leave of a Veteran

The DOL also provided the following clarifications:

  • Employers may use their own forms or alter the DOL forms, provided they include the required notice and certification information.
  • Old DOL optional-use FMLA forms can still be used.
  • Employers must accept a certification with all the required information, regardless of the format.
  • Completed certifications or forms should not be sent to the DOL.
  • Not applicable to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

DOL Seeks Public Comment on FMLA Process

The DOL seeks to understand what employers and employees would like to see changed in the FMLA regulations. The RFI is comprised of several specific questions to elicit targeted responses related to the definition of serious health condition, the use of intermittent FMLA leave, employee notice requirements, and medical certifications. Anyone who wishes to contribute must submit comments on or before September 15, 2020.

For more clarity on employee leave laws, watch the advisory session: Leave of Absence Management - FMLA and Beyond.