New FMLA Employer Guide. If you love leave law the way we love leave law, then you know that this week is the 2016 DMEC FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference. ReedGroup is a partner-sponsor of this event and has several representatives in attendance.

This morning started off with a bang as the DOL Branch Chief for FMLA, Helen Applewhaite, announced the new comprehensive FMLA Employer Guide, available for download now on the DOL website. The Guide walks an employer through the FMLA administration process, covering notice, eligibility determination, leave reasons, certification, calculations, recordkeeping and more. The Guide also provides:

  • “Did You Know” – helpful facts and nuances of FMLA with references to regulations
  • Handy charts to explain common topics, such as what constitutes a serious health condition
  • Flowcharts for topics such as the certification process and military family leave
  • Visual examples of common conversations employers may encounter, such as incomplete certification
  • Timelines for calculation periods, including the 12-month lookback period

The Guide promises to be a useful resource for many of the standard issues that arise in the day-to-day administration of FMLA leave, though the trickier issues that tend to vex employers will likely be beyond its scope. For those issues, LeaveAdvisor – Reed Group’s signature product that breaks down complicated issues so they are easy to understand and manage – is there to help.  ReedGroup combines the law, regulations, cases, DOL guidance (including Fact Sheets) into one comprehensive resource for employers. In addition, we communicate directly with the DOL to understand and resolve tricky administration issues, and we share that knowledge with our customers.

New FMLA Poster. In addition to the new Guide, the DOL has announced that the current poster, required to be displayed by all covered employers, is being updated.  The updated poster isn’t expected to contain substantively new information, but we expect that it will be a more readable and accessible format.  It is not yet available on DOL’s website, but we anticipate its release soon.  In addition to these resources, be sure to check out the DOL Fact Sheets, which also contain helpful information.

Employers Must Be Responsive. One of the other helpful nuggets we heard emphasized at the DMEC conference this morning is that the DOL expects employers to be responsive to answering employee’s FMLA-related questions. ReedGroup can make meeting that obligation easier with AbsenceCare, our suite of clinical disability and absence administration services. We provide our customers’ employees with expert support from a caring, professional team during their leave of absence.

Stay tuned for more updates from the DMEC Employer Compliance conference!

UPDATE: The DOL has published the new poster and made it available for download. The DOL has clarified that the new poster is not mandatory, and the February 2013 version of the FMLA poster is still compliant and may be used to fulfill the posting requirement.

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