By Bruce B. Deadman
On February 6, 2013, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued final FMLA regulations which take effect on March 8, 2013. Most of the new regulations deal with seldom used FMLA provisions such as military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave for parental care, and job-protected leave for airline personnel and flight crews.
The new regulations mean that an updated FMLA Poster should be used starting no later than March 8, 2013. The poster may be downloaded for free from the DOL website by clicking here. DOL has also prepared a helpful comparison of the 2008 regulations and the new regulations, which may be downloaded by clicking here.
In addition to the airline industry and USERRA related changes, the new regulations cover the following areas of more general application:
- Minimum Leave Increments. DOL has clarified its position that an employer must track FMLA using the smallest increment of time used for other leave. An employer, however, may account for FMLA leave in shorter increments than what is used for other forms of leave. The regulations also state that an employer may not require an employee to take more leave than necessary.
- Compliance with GINA Recordkeeping Requirements. The new regulations require that FMLA documentation covered by the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”), e.g., medical certification forms for family members, must comply with the confidentiality requirements of GINA.
In light of these new regulations, employers having 50 or more employees should make sure the new FMLA poster is posted by March 8, 2013 and should review existing FMLA policies to ensure they are up-to-date.