On June 16th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced they have revised the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms. The new forms are intended to simplify the FMLA process. The new optional forms are simpler and easier to understand for employers, leave administrators, healthcare providers, and employees seeking leave. WHD made revisions after substantial input from the public. Significant updates include fewer questions that require written responses, replaced by statements that can be completed by checking a box, and – in support of minimized contact – electronic signature features. The changes reduce the amount of time it takes a healthcare provider to provide information, and help leave administrators review and communicate information to employees more directly and with greater clarity, reducing the likelihood of violations. The WHD also made it clear that it is okay to continue using the older forms, as they both have the same information. Employers Council has sample forms available.
On the same day, the WHD announced they are seeking input from the public on FMLA regarding any specific challenges or best practices in the use or administration of FMLA leave. The Request for Information will be live July 17, 2020, and comments must be entered by September 15,2020.