The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a new guide for employers called “The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).”  The FMLA provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons.

The guide addresses several basic topics of interest to employers, including but not limited to:

  • Who is a covered employer;
  • When an employee may qualify for FMLA leave;
  • The FMLA certification process;
  • Managing FMLA leave while the employee is absent;
  • Military exigency and caregiver leave; and
  • Prohibited employer conduct in connection with FMLA leave.

For seasoned HR professionals, the guide includes special sections that highlight lesser-known aspects of the FMLA.  While the guide is a reference upon which both new and experienced HR professionals can rely, DOL explains that the guide is “intended as general information only and does not carry the force of legal opinion.”

In addition to the new guide, DOL also released a revised FMLA poster for employers that replaces the last poster published in 2013.  All covered employers are required to display and keep displayed a poster prepared by the Department of Labor summarizing the major provisions of the FMLA. The poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see it, even if there are no eligible employees. The new poster is more employee-friendly with added language for how to file a complaint. DOL, however, acknowledges that employers are not required to use the new, 2016 version, but the 2013 version is no longer available online. The new poster may be downloaded from the DOL website.

For more information on the FMLA, visit DOL’s website or you may visit AGC’s Labor and HR Topical Resources webpage.  On the AGC website, first login as an AGC member, then select the primary category “Leave” and the secondary category “Family and Medical Leave Act.”