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March 7, 2013

Important Date: New FMLA Posting Required by March 8th

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued final regulations relating to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on February 6, 2013 (see the CBIZ At Issue: Highlights of Final FMLA Regulations, 2/19/2013 for a more detailed summary of these regulations).   Among the highlights of changes made by these final regulations are:

  • New/Revised FMLA Poster 

Of particular importance, employers subject to FMLA are required to post the new/revised FMLA Poster beginning March 8, 2013.  The new FMLA Poster can be found here.  As a reminder, the Poster must be posted in a conspicuous place in all of an employer’s locations where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants. The employer must also provide this Poster to any eligible employee by including it in an employee handbook, or other written document that sets forth employee benefits or leave rights, as well as provide it to each new employee upon hiring.  The Poster can be posted and provided electronically, as long as the employee has access to employer’s electronic system.

Employers can duplicate the text of the Poster, or use a different format than the DOL’s model notice, as long as all of the information contained in the alternate form is replicated, and the text is large enough to be easily read.  If English is not the primary language of an employer’s workforce, the DOL makes the Poster available in several languages to be provided to the appropriate employee population.

  • FMLA Military Leave Provisions

The FMLA was broadened in 2008 specifically for employees who have family members called to active military service.  Pursuant to the FMLA military leave provisions, up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave per 12-month measuring period may be taken as a result of a qualifying exigency; and, up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave is available to caregivers of service members in a single 12-month period.

The final regulations make certain modifications as to what qualifies as an exigency, including the addition of parental care leave.  The regulations also clarified that military exigency leave is not only available to active military families, but is available to families of members of the National Guard and Reserves, and the Regular Armed Forces.

In addition, the final FMLA regulations expand the caregiver leave rights to include veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.

  • Revised FMLA Forms

Coincident with the regulations and due to changes in the military leave provisions, the DOL released 3 revised model FMLA forms and a new model form relating to caregiver leave for Veterans: 

  • Finally, the final FMLA regulations address leave specific to unique categories of individuals, such as airline pilots and other airline personnel. 

Additional FMLA information, forms, publications, fact sheets, employee guides for both military and non-military leave, FAQs, etc., can be found on the DOL’s designated FMLA website: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/.

 

The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations.

As required by U.S. Treasury rules, we inform you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

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