The Employer's Legal Resource: New Poster; Guide -- A Reminder of the DOL's Focus
The Department of Labor has increased its focus on FMLA compliance. You may have been subject to a DOL investigation into, or audit of, your company's FMLA practices. Well, now they've issued a new poster. Of course, you are not required to use its poster. You can use any poster which conveys the requisite information. But if the DOL shows up it might be handy to have the one they wrote hanging around. You can rest assured the investigator will want to see what posters you do have.
The new poster can be downloaded from the DOL's website or found here. The law has not changed. They simply redesigned the poster to make it more reader friendly.
In addition to the new poster, the DOL has issued "The Employer's Guide to The Family and Medical Leave Act," a 76-page document designed to assist employers work through the day-to-day administration of the law. Note it begins with a disclaimer that it "is intended as general information only and does not carry the force of legal opinion." In other words, it is not the law. It is the DOL's guidance.
In general, the Guide is helpful. If nothing else, the "road map" on page 8 is a good pictorial of the steps an employer should take. The hyperlinks found in the guide are truly helpful. While reviewing the guide, there are links embedded therein which can take you to more detailed information on various topics should you need it. For example, on page 32, there are links to the various DOL Certification Forms.
Given the hundreds of pages of regulations and interpretative guidance on this topic, the Guide is a reasonable resource for employers. You should definitely bookmark it or save it as one of your favorites. If you have questions which cannot be readily answered by the Guide, you should seek competent employment counsel.
By Kristen L. Brightmire, firstname.lastname@example.org