Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The DOL’s New FMLA Poster and Your FLMA Policy


Do You Need To Post The New FMLA Poster?

In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a new “Employee Rights Under The Family And Medical Leave Act” poster, to replace the prior poster on this subject.  The DOL has stated that the old poster (revised Feb. 2013) is still valid and can continue to be used – until further notice – to meet the posting requirement under the FMLA regulations. 
(Note: HCSI clients can also download this poster from the "Employment Law (HR)" section in the "Updates/News" area of our website http://www.hcsiinc.com.) 
The big question: If you already have an FMLA poster on your break room bulletin board, are you now required to display this new poster instead?  The answer is no, you don't have to post this new version as long as you are currently displaying a legal FMLA poster.  (The DOL poster that was last updated in 2013 is still valid).

The new 2016 version contains basically the same information as the 2013 poster, but the new version is organized in a more reader-friendly format. This version also adds more color to the poster. Plus, it highlights the DOL's contact information to file a complaint.

You do not need to rush to update your poster but... yet just as daylight saving time is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, now is a good time to review your FMLA policy to ensure that it contains all of the information that is on the new poster.  Of course, it is to your benefit to include additional provisions in your policy, such as a prohibition on the misuse of FMLA leave.  At a minimum, all of the information that is in the poster must be included.

This is a great time to re-evaluate your FMLA policy and make sure that your policy is updated to reflect and address all the entitlements and requirements of the new poster.  The FMLA regulations provide that, if an FMLA-covered employer has any FMLA-eligible employees, and if the employer has a written policy on the subject of leave/benefits, then the employer must ensure that its policy contains the same information that is in the FMLA poster.  (The notice requirements are discussed at pp. 12-13 of the helpful new publication from the DOL, “The Employer’s Guide to The Family and Medical Leave Act”.)

 Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Guide
Note that “all” means “all”; your policy must include, for example, not only information about the employee’s rights and responsibilities, but also the information in the poster regarding the employer’s responsibilities, along with enforcement information such as the employee’s right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the DOL’s contact information.

Some employers may choose to comply with the FMLA notice regulations by attaching a copy of the FMLA poster to their employee handbook, instead of incorporating all of the language in the poster into their FLMA policy.  If that’s your approach, just ensure that you update the attachment with the new poster.  Either way, however, you should make sure that your policy is compliant.  Because the information in the poster represents basic FMLA information, you should take steps to review and, if necessary, revise your FMLA policy now, even if you wait to hang up the new FMLA poster.

Source(s): https://www.dol.govhttp://www.jdsupra.comhttp://www.lexology.comhttp://www.businessmanagementdaily.com, HCSI

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