Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced they are seeking public feedback on proposed revised versions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms that the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) makes available for use in leave administration.
The WHD has proposed revisions to all five FMLA certification forms, as well as the Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities, and the Designation Notice. The WHD hopes the revised forms will be easier to understand and increase FMLA compliance. Proposed changes include:
- Fewer questions that require a written response
- More questions that can be answered by checking a box
- Reformatting to make the forms more readable and user-friendly, including color coded sections, additional headings, and revised numbering
- Clarifying language intended to reduce how often a health care provider might need to provide follow-up information
- Reorganization of medical information intended to more quickly determine whether an illness or injury qualifies as a serious health condition under the FMLA
Employers, leave administrators, healthcare providers, and employees should review the proposed revised versions (linked below) and determine whether they want to submit feedback:
- WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
- WH-381 Notice of Eligibility of Rights & Responsibilities
- WH-382 Designation Notice
- WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave
- WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service member—for Military Family Leave
- WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave
According to the notice posted by the WHD, the Department is particularly interested in comments that:
- Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
- Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;
- Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
- Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. (Federal Register)
Comments must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on October 4, 2019, and can be emailed to WHDPRAComments@dol.gov.
What ReedGroup Is Doing
ReedGroup uses its own FMLA certification forms in client leave administration. However, we are reviewing the proposed revisions and will submit comments in October based on our expertise in leave administration and book of business feedback. In addition, we will determine whether any of the proposed changes should be applied to our current forms to enhance both compliance opportunities and user experience. If you’re a current client, feel free to reach out to your Account Manager to provide feedback. If you’re looking for help in administering your leave of absence programs, including FMLA, please check out our services here.